טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentEsakov Ben-Shitrit Liyat
SubjectAiming High, Building Low:
A Tool for Evaluating the Quality of Density
Demonstrated on the Florentin
Neighboorhood
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors Professor Tal Alon-Mozes
Ms. Emily Silverman
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Israel in the 21st century faces a major planning challenge - the need to design quality living environments at very high densities.
The debate about how to achieve this is split between two major categories: high rise development and low to mid rise dense urban fabric (known in Israel as "B'niya Mirkamit"). This debate distracts from focusing on the real problem; "the quality of the density, and how it may be achieved". 
This question was examined on Florentine (a dense neighborhood well known for its dynamic street life and intimate scale) in three stages:

First:      Literature survey on quantitative measurements of density, qualitative assessments of density, and the "B'niya Mirkamit" form.

Second:    Developing a new tool for assessing the quality of density. The tool included 48 characteristics important to the quality of density (grouped into seven subjects) with criteria for evaluating whether density is affected positively or negatively, and to what extent (moderately or extensively).   

Finally: Applying the tool to the case study neighborhood of Florentine, and assessing the impact of planned interventions to the quality of density in the neighborhood.

Applying the assessment tool to Florentine outlined the various advantages and disadvantages in its density, and how they affect different parts of the population (deterring especially families with children). The tool also showed how interventions during the planning stage could be used to mitigate two of Florentin's three major disadvantages (thereby improving the quality of density) with minor changes to quantitative density.

Conclusions

These findings indicate the importance of assessing the quality of density alongside the quantitative measures. Assessing the quality of density would require a shift in focus in the planning system. 

Government should develop tools for planning and evaluating the quality of density. The preliminary assessment tool developed in this research could be adapted for wider use, enabling institutions to identify and determine planning targets for densification, and allowing residents to engage in meaningful dialogue about densification in their neighborhoods.

Additional case studies should be examined to develop a repository of examples of densification forms (and their relationships to quality of density) for planners and decision makers.

Obstacles to achieving high quality urban density, and possible solutions, should be addressed, such as the need for more public involvement at early planning stages of densification, and changes required in traffic planning if necessary qualities of public space and streets are to be achieved (and congestion and pollution successfully prevented).