Qualitative Assessment of Urban Design Elements from the Old and New Urban Fabrics in Aïn-Beïda (Algeria)

Ines Soltani, Rachid Hadef

Rezumat/Abstract. The effects of the physical environment on people's active behaviour have been a central topic over the last decade, particularly in urban design, public health, and transportation. Research on the impact of the built environment attributes on walkability still needs to be completed in developing countries. Literature on walkability demonstrated the effectiveness of the studies, which consider micro-scale elements when evaluating pedestrian street environments. We are interested in assessing urban design qualities at the micro-scale level, which would give more evidence on the walking conditions of a developing country. This study explores whether the typo-morphological aspect of selected routes in a medium-sized African city is associated with urban design qualities related to walkability and compares the combined scores of urban design qualities with other cities. According to our findings, the typo-morphological aspect of urban routes correlates with the evaluated urban design qualities. The results revealed a significant difference in these qualities between the old colonial and the post-independence fabrics, with imageability and complexity appearing to be the most influential qualities. The results showed that urban design qualities related to walkability in a medium-sized African city scored lower than in other urban contexts. This study has several implications for city planners and decision-makers looking to improve the walking environment of the city.

Cuvinte cheie/Key words: urban design qualities, walkability, evaluation, route, urban fabric

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