Schreck, Tobias

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A visual analytics approach for assessing pedestrian friendliness of urban environments

2013, Schreck, Tobias, Omer, Itzhak, Bak, Peter, Lerman, Yoav

The availability of efficient transportation facilities is vital to the function and development of modern cities. Promoting walking is crucial for supporting livable communities and cities. Assessing the quality of pedestrian facilities and constructing appropriate pedestrian walking facilities are important tasks in public city planning. Additionally, walking facilities in a community affect commercial activities including private investment decisions such as those of retailers. However, analyzing what we call pedestrian friendliness in an urban environment involves multiple data perspectives, such as street networks, land use, and other multivariate observation measurements, and consequently poses significant challenges. In this study, we investigate the effect of urban environment properties on pedestrian movement in different locations in the metropolitan region of Tel Aviv. The first urban area we investigated was the inner city of the Tel Aviv metropolitan region, one of the central regions in Tel Aviv, a city that serves many non-local residents. For simplicity, we refer to this area as Tel Aviv. We also investigated Bat Yam, a small city, whose residents use many of the services of Tel Aviv. We apply an improved tool for visual analysis of the correlation between multiple independent and one dependent variable in geographical context. We use the tool to investigate the effect of functional and topological properties on the volume of pedestrian movement. The results of our study indicate that these two urban areas differ greatly. The urban area of Tel Aviv has much more correspondence and interdependency among the functional and topological properties of the urban environment that might influence pedestrian movement. We also found that the pedestrian movements as well as the related urban environment properties in this region are distributed geographically in a more equal and organized form.


Visual analytics of urban environments using high-resolution geographic data

2010, Bak, Peter, Omer, Itzhak, Schreck, Tobias

High-resolution urban data at house level are essential for understanding the relationship between objects of the urban built environment (e.g. streets, housing types, public resources and open spaces). However, it is rather difficult to analyze such data due to the huge amount of urban objects, their multidimensional character and the complex spatial relation between them. In this paper we propose a methodology for assessing the spatial relation between geo-referenced urban environmental variables, in order to identify typical or significant spatial configurations as well as to characterize their geographical distribution. Configuration in this sense refers to the unique combination of different urban environmental variables. We structure the analytic process by defining spatial configurations, multidimensional clustering of the individual configurations, and identifying emerging patterns of interesting configurations. This process is based on the tight combination of interactive visualization methods with automatic analysis techniques. We demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed methods and methodology in an application example on the relation between street network topology and distribution of land uses in a city.