A Master of Urban Planning (MUP) thesis by Eyad B. Trabulsi entitled, "Developing a Framework for Evaluating Accessibility Density and Coverage," submitted June 2015. Thesis Advisor is Dr. Akmal Abdelfatah. Soft and hard copy available.
The rapid changes in modern life style, technology and globalization are significantly impacting the development of major cities. A number of metropolitan cities in different parts of the world shifted their growth trend towards the development of mega-scale projects. Such projects usually encounter several challenges whether from social, urban or transportation perspectives. One of the significant challenges is the Accessibility which is defined by Litman (2012) as people's ability to reach goods, services and activities. The term "Accessibility Density" (AxeDe) proposed in this thesis is a single metric that captures the accessibility level from one entrance to the numerous destinations, activities, and functions that exist within a development, with reference to a certain threshold of units (i.e. time). Also, Accessibility Coverage (AxeCo) is usefully-derived from AxeDe concept to address the overall accessibility at the project level. In this thesis, the theory and application of the proposed AxeDe/AxeCo concepts address mega-scale developments. The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a number of mega-scale projects. An example of this is Mall of the Emirates (MoE) that is selected as a case study for this research. This thesis represents a potential shift in the planning process by addressing a transportation challenge relevant to access to/from mega-scale developments where walking is the common mode of transportation. It aims at knowing how Accessibility can be evaluated/ measured within mega-scale pedestrian-dominated developments. In order to achieve the aim of this study, a framework has been developed for evaluating AxeDe and AxeCo and then applied to a mega-scale project, MoE. The recommended framework measured the levels of accessibility from the different entrances of MoE, then identified the common features of highest three accessible entrances (i.e. within two tentative thresholds; 120s and 300s). The results showed the impact of design on accessibility. For examples, central location of entrance and connectivity to other levels impact accessibility positively within higher thresholds, whereas entrance proximity to junctions and major shops increases accessibility at lower thresholds. The study also suggests further demonstration of the observed results, and recommendations for further research in order to develop the concepts.