My PhD research investigates the functional aspect of the urban spatial network, more precisely one particular function: food-and-drink public establishments. Cafés, coffee shops, restaurants and other food-and-drink facilities are used as a functional unit of configurational analysis. These places are known as the “third place” in urban sociology and play an important role in establishing a sense of place. The research explores spatial distribution of food-and-drink public spaces by investigating their visual accessibility in an urban environment.
I analyze how this distribution is affected by the spatial configuration of the urban layout. The research proposes a novel graph-analytic framework in which third place locations are incorporated and represented under realistic constraints of urban morphology and user cognitive properties. This unifying framework links the spatial structure, functioning of urban space and human spatial cognition. In order to examine how feasible the proposed approach is for modeling an urban realm, a case study is conducted in the historical district of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel.
The urban physical environment displays characteristics of networks where nodes and edges are embedded in space. The research applies complex network theory to understand the fundamental forces behind the emergence of functional patterns in today's cities. Such understanding serves as a key to developing sustainable urban neighborhoods and predicting mobility patterns.
The developed simulation model will provide conceptual explanations about the factors which determine and drive the emergence of new building uses, and the pedestrian dynamics associated with them. Additionally, it deals with the hypothesis that those dynamics are related to complex network theory, testing a new probable link between urban-social processes and physical theories.
* food and drink public establishments (Oldenburg 1989)