Analysis of patterns of spatial occupancy in urban open space using behaviour maps and GIS

Barbara Goličnik Marušić

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Marušić, B. G. (1). Analysis of patterns of spatial occupancy in urban open space using behaviour maps and GIS. URBAN DESIGN International, 16(1), 36–50.

Behaviour Mapping , Design , GIS , Public Space , Research

The article concentrates on emerging relationships between physical characteristics of urban open spaces and their uses. It draws on a combination of behaviour mapping and geographic information system (GIS) techniques - as applied to urban squares and parks in two European cities, Edinburgh (UK) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) - to reveal common patterns of behaviour that appear to be correlated with particular layouts and details. It shows actual dimensions of effective environments for one use or more of them and shows how design guidance can be arrived at, based on the particulars of the case study sites and cities. In addition, the value of this article is in exploring GIS, a tool that is currently irreplaceable in spatial analysis and planning processes for urban areas, as a detailed analytical and visualisation tool that helps to describe inner structure of places revealed by behaviour patterns.

Main finding
This research reflects on the physical attributes of places as defined by its physical dimensions and the spatiality of the different uses that occupy them. The study finds that spatial articulation facilitates spatial occupancy through zones of activities, especially those significant for active groups, and voids. The study also asserts that people create effective environments based on usage-spatial relationship, such as gender or age differentiations, and socio-economic context as the functions and density of the surrounding area vary and influence the activities and level of use within a space.

Description of method used in the article
GIS-based spatial-behaviour analysis to study usage-based spatial articulation of two case studies in Edinburgh and Ljubljana, representing shapes, sizes, densities and intensities of places’ occupancies.

Of practical use

Organising categories