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Investigating what connectivity means to different social groups in a fast-growing city - The case of Abu Dhabi

Zhand, Sepehr, Gomes, Alexander and Kyriazis, Apostolos (2022) Investigating what connectivity means to different social groups in a fast-growing city - The case of Abu Dhabi. In: van Nes, Akkelies and de Koning, Remco E., (eds.) Proceedings 13th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2022. Proceedings 13th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2022. Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). ISBN 9788293677673

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Abstract

With fast flow of capital resulting from excavation of oil reserves in Persian Gulf region, countries and cities in this region have had to adopt quick solutions to cope with demands of the growing economy. Justified by the availability of inexpensive fuel as well as harsh climatic condition the countries in this region soon began to invest in massive vehicular based development plans. This resulted in settlements merged to shape cities and connected through a network of highways. While this rigid network of roads and highways provide access to every part of the city, in lack of consistent public transport system, connectivity may be different for different areas of the city and social groups. Implementation of the car-driven development logic divides the city fabric between segments of various functions and land uses, which might be well connected through high-speed vehicular routes but are not necessarily well accessible. This paper uses space syntax method to model the urban configuration and accessibility of Abu Dhabi and examines whether the spatial network developed through vehicular-based development provides inclusive access for all city dwellers. It uses a typology as well as demographic datasets that reflect the socio-economic condition of each of various urban blocks that are planned and built in between the grid cells, and measures how different types and classes are connected to centres of activity. Using the measures of centrality and clustering analysis, this paper argues that the result of car-driven development strategy implemented in Abu Dhabi has benefited higher Emiratis rather than the foreign workers, and the patterns of growth in Abu Dhabi have resulted in low density urban sprawl. We argue that with the focus on car development, the access to centres of activity in the city is not equal to all residents of Abu Dhabi. The results show that the urban configuration of the city has evolved in a way that provides better access for those living mansion types in suburbs, relying on personal car use rather than those who live in apartment blocks.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: © 2022 Proceedings 13th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2022.
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2023 16:57
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:58
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/117970

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