Assessing urban adaptability: The key is in the land use plan

Michal Tsahor, Rachel Katoshevski-Cavari, Nurit Alfasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Urban adaptability describes the capability to adapt private and public urban elements to necessary changes resulting from technological development, policy transformations, environmental crises and changes in fashion and taste. This paper ties urban adaptability with urban regeneration. We hypothesize that the need for comprehensive institutional intervention, often in the form of a new overall plan, to process the regeneration of veteran residential neighborhoods, indicates an inherent, anti-adaptive component in their structure. Moreover, institutional regeneration plans contain, alongside physical improvements, an opportunity to reformulate urban connections and enhance the neighborhood's shape, thus potentially transforming an anti-adaptive urban fabric into an adaptive one. The study shows that land use plans affect the degree to which neighborhoods are adaptable for years to come. Based on this, the research aims to develop an evaluation tool for assessing (anti)adaptability in urban regeneration plans, measuring the degree to which they enhance an existing urban structure and provide better chances for spontaneous regeneration in the future. The tool is grounded on analyzing three spatial layers: (A) street pattern, (B) built elements, (C) land use. We demonstrate the tool in five cases, comparing original neighborhood plans to regeneration plans of residential neighborhoods in five Israeli cities. The results show that it is possible to predict anti-adaptability and anticipate it as part of the planning process. However, we expose that not all regeneration plans utilize the opportunity to create a more adaptive urban fabric but keep producing the same anti-adaptive structure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106508
JournalLand Use Policy
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

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  • Land use planning
  • Urban adaptability
  • Urban dynamics
  • Urban regeneration


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