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URBAN DESIGN International (2011)
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.
Urban Studies (2009)
This paper empirically explores the management of privately owned public space. It examines 163 spaces produced through New York City’s incentive zoning programme, whereby developers provide and manage a public space in exchange for fl oor area ratio (FAR) bonuses. Developers of these bonus spaces employ a variety of management approaches, each correlating with common theories of spatial control in publicly owned spaces. However, as developer priorities are often fi scally driven, most approaches severely limit political, social and democratic functions of public space and produce a constricted defi nition of the public. As such, privately owned public spaces have deleterious effects on concepts of citizenship and representation, even as they become the new models for urban space provision and management.
Political Behavior (2012)
Critics have long denounced the design of suburban communities for fostering political apathy. We disaggregate the concept of suburban design into four distinct attributes of neighborhoods. We then use tract-level Census data, the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, and multilevel models to measure the relationship between these design features and political participation. Certain design aspects common in suburban neighborhoods are powerful predictors of reduced political activity, illustrating a potential link between neighborhood design and politics. Yet low-density environments appear to facilitate some types of participation. Suburban designs vary, and so do their likely impacts on political participation.
Journal of Urban Design (2017)
Existing urban open space typologies within dense urban fabrics cannot meet society’s open space requirements in developing countries’ metropolitan cities, such as Istanbul. Because of high building densities, it is a challenging task to create new open spaces within urban cores. Developing new tools that work with the existing built environment is crucial to reveal ‘opportunity spaces’ that can act as breathing points within dense urban fabrics. In this research, a new model is developed to evaluate the 3D spatial enclosure of open spaces using basic geometrical properties and geographic information system (GIS) tools. As a case study, Istanbul’s changing spatial organization is analyzed using this model.
Children, Youth and Environments (2008)
In a research project carried out in various neighborhoods in Stockholm, Sweden, we have developed a method for facilitating children’s influence on spatial planning. Our goal was to construct a vehicle for communication that could work in practice for both children and teachers as well as for planners. The method uses computerized GIS maps—a common tool in spatial planning. With little assistance, 10- to 12-year-old children map their routes and special places, mark activities and write comments. Teachers can also map routes and places used for education. The results have proved reliable and accessible by planners. Use of the mapping method within the school curriculum and in the planning process is broadly discussed in the paper.
Social Forces (2003)
Little empirical research exists on major changes in the strategies and tactics of social movements, but some researchers argue that organizational readiness and political opportunities produce such changes. This article examines the circumstances that led some state woman suffrage movements to use a bold new tactic, the suffrage parade, beginning in the early twentieth century. An event-history analysis reveals that organizational readiness and political opportunities had little to do with change in the suffragists' strategic approach. Rather, the change occurred when movements consisted of a diverse assortment of organizations, when movement organizations were less centrally structured, when conflict existed among movement members, when movements engaged in fundraising, and when the suffragists had recently experienced significant political defeat. The model of tactical change presented here better explains the impetuses for such a shift than do earlier explanations.
Journal of Public Health Policy (2009)
Although many low-income urban areas are highly walkable by conventional measures such as population density or land use mix, chronic diseases related to lack of physical activity are more common among residents of these areas. Disparities in neighborhood conditions may make poor areas less attractive environments for walking, offsetting the advantages of density and land use mix. This study compared poor and nonpoor neighborhoods in New York City, using geographic information systems measures constructed from public data for US census tracts within New York City (N = 2,172) as well as field observation of a matched-pair sample of 76 block faces on commercial streets in poor and nonpoor neighborhoods. Poor census tracts had significantly fewer street trees, landmarked buildings, clean streets, and sidewalk cafes, and higher rates of felony complaints, narcotics arrests, and vehicular crashes. The field observation showed similar results. Improving aesthetic and safety conditions in poor neighborhoods may help reduce disparities in physical activity among urban residents.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2003)
There has been considerable debate over "New Urbanism" as a design strategy for adapting physical space to human needs. Among the interesting questions is whether people are willing to pay a premium to be able to live in areas characterized by New Urbanism design principles. If so, this willingness should be reflected in housing values. We test the hypothesis that urban design, specifically the design attributes associated with New Urbanism, are reflected in housing prices, using a data set for Haifa, Israel. House sales from 1988 through 1996 are analyzed for three neighborhoods in which there are similar socioeconomic compositions, public services, schools, property taxes, and other amenities. One of the neighborhoods has many characteristics of New Urbanism design, while the other two are more traditional urban or suburban developments. Hedonic regression analysis is used to control structure-specific characteristics, and an analysis of the regression values across neighborhoods shows a statistically significant price premium in the New Urbanism neighborhood. The evidence suggests that persons are willing to pay for living in a New Urbanism neighborhood, other things held equal.
Built Environment (1978-) (2011)
This paper aims to produce new insights into the complex relationship between the spatial and social dimensions of ethnic segregation in the public space of the walled city of Nicosia. The ethnic demographic of Cyprus is subject to a changing population dynamic by net in-migration, from both the EU and Third World countries, which is mainly found in the city centres. The mechanisms involved in the ways Cypriots and ethnic minorities use the public space of the city centre and the interface (or lack of it) between them lies at the heart of this paper. Building on existing research, the study focuses on a ring of public spaces which, despite their small size and the absence of any clearly defined boundaries, form a physically continuous spatial entity that is distinctly divided among different users. An attempt to account for the observed phenomenon is facilitated by the discussion of a number of relevant topics such as: the city centre as an edge condition; the entrance of users into the space through injection versus infiltration; the relationship between history and spatial adjacency; and the emergence of social phenomena from the attempts of individuals to 'make-do'.
Strategies that reduce fear of crime may contribute to improved health outcomes; however interventions require a better understanding of the neighbourhood correlates of both emotional responses to crime (i.e., fear of crime) and cognitive assessments of crime (i.e., perceived crime risk). This study explored the association between objective measures of suburban design and two safety outcomes: perceived crime risk and fear of crime, for participants who lived in new suburban housing developments in Perth, Western Australia. The characteristics of a walkable neighbourhood, particularly retail land, were associated with less fear of crime, but greater perceived crime risk. One interpretation is that ‘strangers’, attracted to the neighbourhood by diverse land-uses, might influence the emotional and cognitive as- pects of ‘fear of crime’ differently. Researchers interested in the impact of the built environment on ‘fear of crime’, and any subsequent influence of these perceptions on health, should be mindful that the environment appears to impact these constructs differently.
Journal of Environmental Psychology (2015)
Declines in children's independent mobility are frequently attributed to parents' fears about stranger danger, yet there is limited understanding of the factors that might aggravate (or ease) these concerns. We examined the social and built environment correlates of parents': (1) fears about strangers harming their child; and (2) perceptions of the likelihood this would actually happen. We also tested whether associations differed by area socio-economic status (SES) as parents in low income neighbourhoods, typically with more crime, may hold greater fears for their children's safety. Results suggest that regardless of SES, neighbourhood features that encouraged pedestrians, whilst minimising vehicle traffic, were most conducive to parents perceiving a safer neighbourhood. The natural surveillance generated by a more walkable neighbourhood may help alleviate parents' fears about strangers.
Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies (2016)
The study engages with the ways in which gender mix plays out in public spaces as a key issue in exploring social diversity and vitality of the urban public life. The paper introduces a mapping method to unravel how gender differences are spatially manifested in urban public spaces. Thus, urban mapping has been considered as a method for producing a kind of spatial knowledge that has the capacity to shed light on how different socio-spatial patterns play out in public open spaces. The proposed mapping method documents where and the extent to which female and male users appropriate urban public spaces. The database for developing and testing the proposed method emerges from two site areas in the city of Tehran. In doing so, the study draws upon direct observation, fieldwork notes, visual recording, and urban mapping as research methods. In this way, the paper raises questions about the importance of gender mix in public space and the ways in which mapping has the capacity to inform urban research.
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design (2016)
Urban parks are community assets, providing people places to play and rest. Access to parks in urban environments promotes social equity and improves quality of life for surrounding neighborhoods. In this context, social equity is related to accessibility, i.e. the possibility of walking or biking from home to a public park, giving people who do not have access to a variety of entertainment an option that is a public good. This paper examines the spatial distribution of urban parks in the city of Curitiba, Brazil, and how it relates to the socio-economic conditions of surrounding neighborhoods. Curitiba is known for its urban parks; however, no systematic study has been conducted to verify which neighborhoods enjoy park access within walking distance and what the socio-economic differences are between the better and worse served neighborhoods. In addition, we investigate if access to green open space has improved between the last two decennial census, a period marked by unprecedented socio-economic affluence in Brazil. Research questions, to be addressed using spatial analysis, focus on equitable distribution, and spatial evolution of parks and social equity. Variables include measurable walking distances from census tracts to parks, income data from the 2000 and 2010 Brazilian decennial censuses, and qualitative data of urban parks in Curitiba. Findings offer recommendations for future implementation of additional parks in Curitiba so that all areas of the city have adequate green open space and all citizens have equal access to recreation and leisure opportunities.
Environment and Planning A (2014)
Despite an increasing interest in issues surrounding environmental equity, much research evidence to date is based on studies adopting cross-sectional approaches which do not adequately capture the processes and mechanisms generating inequities. Longitudinal studies may better inform policy measures to remedy inequity between populations, but the few that have been undertaken have mostly been focused solely on environmental risks—ignoring access to amenities. As a case study, we adopt a longitudinal approach in this work to investigate the association between sociodemographic indicators and public
park provision over an eighteen-year period in the city of Yokohama, Japan. We show that inequities in park provision are present over the whole time period. Hedonic modelling shows that park accessibility is positively associated with house and land prices in the city. Our results suggested some, relatively weak, evidence of two causal processes: new parks are located in more affluent communities; yet new parks also appear to encourage further move-in of affluent populations. We suggest that park provision by administrative authorities in less-affluent neighbourhoods may be required to maintain equity in access
to these valuable community resources. Economic incentives, such as subsidy provision, may have a role to play to encourage park provision by developers.
Journal of Marriage and Family (2018)
The neighborhoods in which children grow up have consequences for their short‐ and long‐term well‐being. Although most neighborhood research measures disadvantage at the census tract level, more proximate physical characteristics of neighborhoods may be more relevant indicators of neighborhood quality for the well‐being of young children. Using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this study explores the association between these more proximate indicators of neighborhood physical disorder measured across childhood (ages 3 to 9) and early delinquency at age 9. Descriptive results (N = 2,989) indicate that exposure to neighborhood physical disorder across childhood is common among children in urban areas. Multivariate analyses suggest that exposure to neighborhood physical disorder, particularly for older children, is strongly associated with a higher likelihood of engagement in early delinquent behaviors, over and above family and census tract‐level measures of disadvantage. Associations remain robust to numerous supplementary analyses and alternate specifications.
Journal of Environmental Psychology (2014)
Residents in a neighborhood view physical disorders as a potential incubator for negative incidents. Even though the disorders may not directly bring serious crime to the neighborhood, the poor physical conditions may affect residents in other ways, including increases in perceived physical disorder and fear of crime and decreases in neighborhood satisfaction. Focusing on the effects of physical disorder, this study examined the underlying associations between the actual upkeep, perceived upkeep, and neighborhood satisfaction using a structural equation model. The findings confirmed interrelationships be- tween factors; confirmed that as some categories of actual upkeep improved, perceived upkeep and neighborhood satisfaction improved; confirmed that as perceived upkeep improved, perceived safety from crime and neighborhood satisfaction improved; and confirmed that as perceived safety from crime improved, neighborhood satisfaction improved. The structural equation model showed that actual physical upkeep factors each had indirect effects on perceived upkeep, safety from crime, and neighborhood satisfaction.
Urban Design and Planning (2016)
A recent approach to place development is to construct integrated systems for managing cultural and identity
resources so that they can be enjoyed through ‘experiential itineraries’. These itineraries are designed on the basis of
a survey of existing heritage, with a view to support creative industries or to help develop new ones. Visitor
experience of a place can be further enhanced and virtualised using smart technologies. The aim of this paper is to
illustrate the studies on experiential itineraries. The studies are rooted in the disciplines of psychology and economy,
and, more recently, in disciplines that study places. The author proposes an analysis and design software tool for
identification and enhancement of cultural and identity resources. The tool is a dynamic and interactive platform for
complex and sensitive management of qualitative data of a place. It is conceived as a single platform with different
entry points, both private and public, for local authorities, professionals and citizens. The paper concludes with a
brief presentation of case studies carried out in the historical centres of Palestrina and Gaeta in Italy, both
characterised by low-impact tourism. The main objective of these studies was to achieve smart experiential
knowledge of a place allowing sustainable enjoyment of its resources.
Sociological Methods & Research (2019)
The social integration of a city depends on the extent to which people from different neighborhoods have the opportunity to interact with one another, but most prior work has not developed formal ways of conceptualizing and measuring this kind of connectedness. In this article, we develop original, network-based measures of what we call “structural connectedness” based on the everyday travel of people across neighborhoods. Our principal index captures the extent to which residents in each neighborhood of a city travel to all other neighborhoods in equal proportion. Our secondary index captures the extent to which travels within a city are concentrated in a handful of receiving neighborhoods. We illustrate the value of our indices for the 50 largest American cities based on hundreds of millions of geotagged tweets over 18 months. We uncover important features of major American cities, including the extent to which their connectedness depends on a few neighborhood hubs, and the fact that in several cities, contact between some neighborhoods is all but nonexistent. We also show that cities with greater population densities, more cosmopolitanism, and less racial segregation have higher levels of structural connectedness. Our indices can be applied to data at any spatial scale, and our measures pave the way for more powerful and precise analyses of structural connectedness and its effects across a broad array of social phenomena.
Journal of Urban Economics (2011)
Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) provide supplemental services to urban commercial corridors using funds from member assessments. They have become a very popular urban revitalization tool, but their formation is still largely unexplained. Theory implies that BIDs will form if they add to aggregate welfare and if the marginal net benefit of membership is positive. I test this for the neighborhood overall and at the BID boundary. Using unique, micro-level and longitudinal data from New York City, I employ survival analysis methods to estimate the likelihood of a neighborhood forming a BID. I then estimate the likelihood of the marginal property’s BID membership by comparing the characteristics of properties located immediately inside and outside of the BID boundaries. I find that BIDs are more likely to form when there is more commercial space over which the BID benefits can be capitalized and when there is homogeneity in service and spending preferences across properties. BIDs also tend to form in neighbor- hoods that possess signs of appreciation and growth. Generally, BIDs are more likely to form in neighbor- hoods with higher valued properties with the exception of very wealthy areas. The BID boundary, however, is comprised of relatively less valuable properties.
European Sociological Review (2007)
This study investigates the degree to which community can be found in Dutch neighbourhoods and attempts to explain why there is more community in some neighbourhoods than in others. We apply a perspective on community which assumes that people create communities with the expectation to realize some important well-being goals. Conditions that account for the creation of a local community are specified, i.e. the opportunity, ease, and motivation to do so. These conditions are realized when (i) neighbourhoods have more meeting places; (ii) neighbours are, given their resources and interests, motivated to invest in local relationships; (iii) neighbours have few relations outside of the neighbourhood, and (iv) neighbours are mutually interdependent. Data from the Survey of Social Networks of the Dutch on 1,007 respondents in 168 neighbourhoods are used. Results show that there is a sizeable amount of community in Dutch neighbourhoods and that all the four conditions contribute to the explanation, while interdependencies among neighbours have the strongest impact on the creation of community.