|M.Sc Student||Balter Noah|
|Subject||The Development of the Structure of Urban Open Spaces -|
A Demonstration on Haifa's Carmel City
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Daniel Czamanski|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The approach that connects complex system theory to urban characteristics suggests that a city evolves in a non-sequential structure, as it "leaps" on land. Built-up urban space therefore contains islands of non-built, open areas; some of them still contain a remnant of their natural vegetation and habitats. These open spaces have a wide range of important functions in regulating and balancing the life-supporting systems within the built urban infrastructure. They also play an important role in assuaging the environmental effects of urban activities, as well as conserving and maintaining the natural habitat network within the city.
This work detects and analyzes the typology of green open spaces in the city of Haifa urban area. A working assumption was that the array of open spaces functions as a subsystem inside the urban structure, and can be distinct within the internal built-up urban space. The city of Haifa was chosen as our case study because it is a tangible example of a city that combines extensive natural woodland areas near the residential areas, due to Haifa's unique location on the northern part of Mount Carmel.
The temporal changes of the city’s built and open areas were documented using historical maps and aerial photographs of Haifa from five different dates, between the years 1945 to 2004.
Data analysis included examination of the open patches’ general distribution over time, their area and perimeter size changes and patterns, and the spatial relationship description between classified groups of open patches over time. We also examine existing morphological configuration in the open patches layout.
The outcomes demonstrate that the city is never in a static mode: it exhibit an ongoing process of converting major open space areas into small patches. Although middle-size areas exist only as an intermediate phase, it seems that they always exist in the urban landscape.
In a general view, while in the city's early years it is clearly possible to identify clusters of small and medium open spaces; their spatial arrangement gradually becomes uniform in space.
Morphology of the cells themselves change; they become elongated and break with time in accordance with the decrease in size. However, the general morphology analysis of the cityscape shows that despite the existence of local processes of fragmentation of open areas, it keeps a constant global fractal dimension over time, a fact that might indicate self-similarity features of the system, in addition to self-organization characteristics.