|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Architecture and Town Planning|
|Assoc. Prof. Tzamir Igal|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
This research outlines a new strategy addressing the needs for growth and rehabilitation of the contemporary city and handling its future challenges. The strategy is based on the synergetic potential of utilizing the underground levels of the city. The research demonstrates the advantages of underground urban development over other current urbanization tendencies, especially - its significance considering the on-going steep decrease of ground reservoir (in view of the unprecedented densities predicted), and facing the environmental threat caused by the expeditious urban growth.
In order to make full advantage of the subsurface space potential, it is not enough to answer its technical, physical, psychological, and cultural complexity, but also requires to develop a public urban network, which will allow underground sites - which are typically confined and artificial spaces - to function as an integrated element of the urban fabric.
The thesis displays a method by which the city can evolve inwards and at its boundaries, through an auxiliary underground network, in order to achieve qualitative densities (intensifying functionality and built form), and restraining the urban sprawl. These in turn can achieve a sustainable compact city structure, improve pedestrian movement and traffic system, preserve natural resources, reduce ecological footprint, and support social balance. In addition it can settle the contradiction between conservation needs and renewal and developmental needs of the city center. Therefore, the research focuses on that upper layer of the underground, the top strata, closest to the surface, which functional division identifies as the one with the highest potential of intensifying human activities and urban vitality.
The research analyses some existing and theoretical models of underground networks, and sites and evaluates their efficiency (the evaluation is based on preliminary principles, such as "urbanicity", contribution to urban renewal, quality of architectural space, etc).
The research maintains that urban design and architectural tools play a major role in disassociating common prejudgments concerning underground space, moderating feelings of claustrophobia and answering problems of disorientation. Urban design and planning are crucial in enabling the integration of the horizontal networks of the city (ground face and underground layers). In light of these examinations the research offers new typological schemes for a suggested underground urban layout, and formulates evaluation criteria of architectural characteristics, to ensure the efficiency and validity of such projects. The prospects of the suggested schemes are also examined in Israeli perspective.