|M.Sc Student||Reich Roman Adi|
|Subject||Examination of Appreciation and Preference of Public Space|
among Different Groups in Israeli Society
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisors||Professor Emeritus Gabriela Goldschmidt|
|Dr. Einat Kalisch-Rotem|
|Full Thesis text|
This research examines the relationship between cultural identity and the appreciation and preference of urban public space. The objective of the research is to determine the effect different characteristics or properties of the public space have on the appreciation and preference among the different socio-cultural groups. The research includes identification of characteristics which influence the appreciation and preference of the public space, presenting the characteristics using computer-aided simulations to participants of various socio-cultural groups, and questioning the participants regarding their preferences concerning the given scenes. The research follows a mixed methods research design consisting of both quantitative and qualitative techniques, combining preference ratings along with interviews. The preference ratings are analyzed statistically and the interviews analyzed via content analysis. The combination of the two methods allows examining not only the preferences of the participants, but also offers a glimpse into their appreciation of the public space. The characteristics examined in the research are: Building height, Street furniture, Paving, Fixed functions, Vegetation, Density, Activity, Nighttime lighting. The socio-cultural groups chosen for the research are five sub-groups in Israeli society which have distinctive characteristics differentiating them one from another: Ethiopian immigrants, Israeli Arabs, Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi), Jews born in Israel (Tsabars), and Soviet Union immigrants.
The statistical analysis of the preference ratings shows that the reactions to some characteristics of public space are similar in the different socio-cultural groups, while in other aspects differences among the groups are noted. The research is able to recognize characteristics which on there was a broad consensus among the groups (Vegetation), characteristics in which there is a general agreement with some exceptions (Building height, Street furniture, Fixed functions, Density and Nighttime lighting), and characteristics in which no main preference is identified (Paving and Activity).
The content analysis reveals similarities and differences among the groups as well. The analysis identifies the most commonly addressed topics in the interviews (Emotional reaction, Physical characteristics, People, Society and Community, and Action) and the most common motivations (Emotion and Appearance). The content analysis also reveals motivations and concerns which are unique to some of the groups as opposed to others. Furthermore, the content analysis allows suggesting explanations for the differences found between the groups’ preferences, thus linking preference ratings with culture-influenced appreciation of public space. Finally, the research offers recommendations for architects and designers based on the research’s findings and conclusions regarding the examined characteristics.