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A Network Approach to Link Visibility and Urban Activity Location

Natapov, A; Czamanski, D; Fisher-Gewirtzman, D; (2018) A Network Approach to Link Visibility and Urban Activity Location. Networks and Spatial Economics , 18 (3) pp. 555-575. 10.1007/s11067-018-9411-4. Green open access

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Performance of a range of urban amenities is influenced by their accessibility to pedestrians. Success in attracting pedestrians to a particular location depends on how they project visuospatial information. In this paper, we propose an original method for analysing the visuospatial integration of particular locations within a street network. As a case study we analyse the distribution of one type of urban amenities - food and drink public facilities. We represent them in a form of visibility graph as objects of navigational decisions within the street network. To explore how urban facilities, streets and pedestrian visual cognition are interrelated, we create and compare three cases: a street network visibility graph and two visibility graphs of amenities. The first graph is based on the existing, “natural” distribution, while the second is an “artificial”, fabricated version of the environment, where urban locations are redistributed evenly across the case study. We study the graphs’ global network properties by the use of small-world, and scale-free models. Our results demonstrate that views available for an urban traveller in the existing, “natural” setting had a particular structure. It is built of numerous weakly connected locations coexisting with a small number of hubs with an exceptionally large number of visual connections. Such organisation of urban visibility shows that visuospatial network shares morphological similarities with other natural networks, suggesting that common organizational principles underlie network structure.

Type: Article
Title: A Network Approach to Link Visibility and Urban Activity Location
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11067-018-9411-4
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11067-018-9411-4
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Urban planning and design, Activity location, Visibility, Spatial cognition, Pedestrians, Third place, Spatial network,s Small-world, Scale-free
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060610
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