Incorporating GIS in urban planning : Quantifying accessibility to sociotopic user values for use in urban planning and citizen dialogue – a case study of Årstafältet, Stockholm.

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Geoinformatik

Sammanfattning: There exists a debate regarding where to build new housing in increasingly denser cities today. Often it is the green spaces that must be sacrificed which lead to conflicts among decision makers and citizens. Although, some sources claim (Byrne et al., 2010; Van Herzele & Wiedemann, 2003) that it is not only the fact that there is a green area close to you that matters; but rather which values that piece of green land offers you as a citizen. Values of parks can be described as the features or attributes the park area possess that inspire people to go to and stay there. In Stockholm, Sweden these values are connected to sociotopes, a delimited area containing a set of user values with social meaning (Ståhle, 2006). User values thus describes an activity or an experience that is present at a location.  There exists a lack of and a desire for more detailed mapping of user values of green areas as well as a potential need for finding an efficient method for aiding in citizen dialogue when green areas are planned for urban development. The purpose of this thesis is thus to try to incorporate geographical information science (GIS) in urban planning by investigating if it is possible to measure the physical accessibility of user values of a green area before and after its urban development in lines with the recommendations on accessibility from the municipality. Then, try to create a visual tool to be used in the designing phase of urban planning and in citizen dialogue when developing a new urban area. To do this, a case study was done of Årstafältet, a green area in Stockholm that is planned for urban development and improvement of existing and creation of new user values. By using GIS, the user values were defined spatially, and geographical data based on the study area currently as well as after the development where found or created based on descriptions of the new area in planning documents. Accessibility was defined as the physical distance a resident must walk from their home to the closest access point of a user value. Based on previous research, 1000m was deemed the largest distance a resident can walk to be considered a potential user of a user value. An access analysis was made for all residents within the study area to the closest access point of every user value.  The results of the analysis were visualized in two ways, one regarding urban design and another regarding citizen dialogue in the form of bivariate maps and a GIS web application. Apart from the visual maps, some numerical results regarding distance, distance change and number of accessed user values were calculated.   The maps point out the areas that are mostly affected both in the negative and positive sense.  More research needs to be done to decide the best way of deriving and using the numerical measures. Because of the many assumptions and generalizations made in the study it is difficult to make any overall conclusions about the accessibility of user values at Årstafältet. What is more interesting is the reception by people in the field of GIS and urban planning; which was in general positive. They noted upon the important aspect of concretize the design phase of the urban planning process, which often is based on feeling, and create a solid ground to base more informed decisions upon. The visualization methods presented were well received as tools for enabling more people access into the planning process as well as an easy way of exploring geographical data. Also, the possibility to extend this type of access analysis beyond sociotopic user values was deemed as very useful. Lastly, they expressed that this type of analysis is desired by the workers in the field and highly relevant in today’s urban planning process. 

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