|M.Sc Student||Misgav Chen|
|Subject||The Urban Space as Viewed by Gays and Lesbians in Tel-Aviv-|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Arza Churchman|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
This research examined the urban space in Tel Aviv-Jaffa as viewed by gays and lesbians. The purpose of the research was to examine how gays and lesbians in the city perceive the urban space. In the center of the research were three themes:
* Tracking the characteristics of the gay community in Tel Aviv-Jaffa in terms of housing, occupation, leisure time and service consumption, while examining how separated this community is in the urban space (by choice or not).
* Examining this community’s needs in those areas and how much they are answered in the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
* Formulating conclusions and recommendations in the area of city planning.
I conducted individual in-depth interviews with fifty gays and lesbians living in the city. I observed and examined the activities and the use of elements and public services by the gay population in the city. I also analyzed cognitive maps of these interviewees; maps in which they were asked to draw their city environment and the elements which they use in this space. Through these methods I found that it is possible to reveal and understand the urban “local knowledge” of these people.
The findings of the research showed how gays and lesbians use this space for residence, employment, leisure time and services, and how the urban space is viewed by homosexuals and lesbians: on the one hand, the space is the urban living environment with all it entails and it is connected to the daily practices in the city. On the other hand, the urban space is a space which enables a life style that connects to the gay identity, an identity that includes a totality of emotional, psychological and social aspects that are expressed in the daily life of the individual and in what I called “urban living”. Gays and lesbians relate to the urban space of Tel Aviv-Jaffa as a gay space - I defined and characterized a gay space in the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and I offered an explanation for its existence in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa urban space. I also suggested how whoever is in charge of planning and management of the urban space could relate to the gay population in a pluralistic way that takes into consideration its features and its special needs.