Magnus Meinert, Stig T. Thomassen, Akkelies van Nes, Hans-Jacob Roald, Tanja L. Skovsgaard

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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The municipality in Bergen in Norway is now facilitating a compact urban development consisting of high number of dwellings, offices and services on limited available urban space. Both politically and professionally there is a growing wish for families with young children to settle in these central urban areas.
Through in-depth interviews with parents of young children, we have conducted surveys regarding residential qualities and city condensement. An investigation was made on how the parents’ choice of residence, available outdoor space, the qualitative and quantitative spatial morphology of the neighbourhood, social living quality, traffic scape, children’s mobility, proximity, and transport, affect the informants’ quality of life. In addition, we have conducted interviews with a developer, a city planner, and two representatives from the Bergen Municipality Planning Department. The interviews with professional participants highlight the opinions and viewpoints of parents of young children.
Various spatial analyses and registration of the children’s behaviour in urban space of the neighbourhoods Laksevåg and Møhlenpris were carried out. Various types of street profiles, various space syntax analyses, as well as urban micro scale analyses (the topological relationship between private and public space) are carried out, and compared with the static snapshots of children on one sunny Saturday (the first spring day with sun in Bergen) at the same time in both neighbourhoods.
As the results show, the spatial layouts on streets and their adjacent buildings matters, in particular on micro scale level. The available outdoor areas are hardly used in Laksevåg, whereas the outdoor facilities in Møhlenpris are well frequented. Laksevåg has several segregated un-constituted and low inter-visible streets with many topological steps between private and public space. Laksevåg’s types of street profiles facilitate vehicle transport with small or no pavements, making the area childunfriendly. Møhlenpris has a highly integrated street network, where the northern part has constituted, highly inter-visible streets and short topological depth between private and public streets. Møhlenpris’ street profiles have a balanced use of vehicle transport and pedestrians.
The informants’ choice of residence is not random, but rather based on the residence’s proximity to the inner city and social functions. The informants wish for closeness to the city centre to make use of what it offers. In addition, proximity to destinations and attractions in everyday life were important. Access to outdoor areas is important for families with children. The interviews and surveys show that location, content, and lay-out of the outdoor space are important. The findings show that the informants care about their neighbourhood and living milieu. Many of them engage personally to heighten their residential quality through social and practical measures. The informants living in urban areas with restrictions on vehicle transport or areas sheltered from car traffic give their children more freedom of mobility, than those who live in an area with heavy vehicle traffic. In short, the research and the findings indicate that the informants are concerned with quality of living, and choose their dwellings accordingly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th Space Syntax Symposium
Number of pages20
Publication dateJul 2019
Article number405-6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
EventThe 12th International Space Syntax Symposium (12SSS) - Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China
Duration: 8 Jul 201913 Jul 2019


ConferenceThe 12th International Space Syntax Symposium (12SSS)
LocationBeijing Jiaotong University

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