This paper addresses the role of hills in the spatial configuration of hilly towns firstly. It then discusses the socio-spatial potential of these elements as public places within the city of Sanandaj, Iran. Due to the active presence of the hills in the physical and mental experience of Sanandaj inhabitants, we argue that the hills belong to the public, primarily. So, the hills can construct practical public meanings and functions. However, during the urban development of Sanandaj, some processes are attempting to decrease the function. Data gathering was based on the field observation alongside the study of the theoretical and historical sources. The results showed that the hills occupancy associates with the tendency of the power institutions for privatization. This process has a profound impact on the decline of public spaces in Sanandaj.