Spatial configuration of land-uses and Arab-Jewish residential segregation in Jaffa

Omer, I.

Omer, I. (2011). Spatial configuration of land-uses and Arab-Jewish residential segregation in Jaffa. Built Environment, 37(2), 199–212.

This paper examines the relationship between ethnic residential segregation and two components of the built environment: the geographic distribution of its elements and their spatial configuration (i.e., the spatial relations and visual access between those elements). This relationship is investigated through a case study of Arab-Jewish residential segregation in Jaffa. Statistical and structural analyses (Q-analysis) of this case show that the conjunction of elements having different meanings (symbolic, cultural, functional, etc.) with spatial and visual integration attributes provides varying conditions for the expansion of the Arab Jewish residential patterns, a process potentially affecting the geographic scale intensity of residential segregation. It was found, for example, that public land uses having relatively 'neutral' ethnic and symbolic meanings (e.g. commercial sites and parks) and spatially integrated with the surrounding urban environment tend to moderate residential segregation. Identification of the institutional character of the built environment—segregation/encounters in mixed ethnic areas—may contribute to a more socially oriented spatial policy.

Main finding
Jaffa provides an example of how the geographic distribution of public spaces and building types can channel residential patterns and affect the geographic clustering of an ethnic group. The Arab residential pattern expanded into a built area that was connected to the community’s core area. The size of the neighborhoods formed in the context of Arab-Jewish segregation varied due to the level of spatial integration and the relationship of elements in the built environment. This affected the dimensions of residential segregation. Elements of the built environment, such as commercial sites and public institutions, are relatively neutral in their symbolic and cultural meanings and tend to moderate or lessen residential segregation. The authors argue that a policy aimed at facilitating ethnic residential integration could incorporate public spaces that have relatively neutral symbolic and cultural meaning and/or mixed architectural styles.

Description of method used in the article
The authors use statistics and space syntax to examine the relationship between residential segregation patterns, land use, and architectural style.

Of practical use

Organising categories

Other or N/A
Spatial Methods
Physical types
Geographic locations