The urban vitality conditions of Jane Jacobs in Barcelona: Residential and smartphone-based tracking measurements of the built environment in a Mediterranean metropolis

Xavier Delclòs-Alió, Aaron Gutiérrez, Carme Miralles-Guasch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Jane Jacobs has presented theories on the attributes that the built environment of cities ought to present in order to ensure pedestrian activity, which she considers to be the main reflection of vibrant street life. While her theses were mainly constructed around the neighborhood as the unit in which these urban conditions should be met, it has to be considered that the main part of daily walking activity occurs beyond this rather limited spatial context. With this in mind, this paper analyzes the urban vitality ideas of Jacobs, not only within the immediate residential context of individuals, but also at the level of the environment in which daily walking itineraries are conducted. The study is based on a GIS-based data synthesis of the ideas of Jacobs together with data extracted during a smartphone tracking experiment in Barcelona. Results indicate that while the study participants walk in environments that are significantly more vital than their residential contexts, this difference is not homogeneous across the different types of urban morphologies that are characteristic of the Mediterranean type of metropolis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-228
JournalCities
Volume86
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Barcelona
  • Built environment
  • Jane Jacobs
  • Mediterranean city
  • Smartphone tracking
  • Urban vitality

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