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Smart city and spatial configuration: assessing accessibility and intelligibility to increase mobility in the George Town heritage site, Malaysia

Mina Safizadeh (School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Mohammad Javad Maghsoodi Tilaki (School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Massoomeh Hedayati Marzbali (School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Aldrin Abdullah (School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)

Open House International

ISSN: 0168-2601

Article publication date: 29 November 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The emerging concept of smart city is known to aim at sustainable urban development. One of the requirements for a smart city is to address accessibility inequalities. This study aims to investigate the accessibility level issues in urban transformation before and after combining different street networks for Penang, Malaysia, as a case study to reveal greater insight and helpful information into mobility and accessibility inequalities for future smart city planning.

Design/methodology/approach

Using DepthmapX software, two main quantitative methodologies of space syntax, namely, spatial integration accessibility (SIA) and angular segment analysis by metric distance (ASDMA), are employed to analyse the level of accessibility for the main streets of George Town site before and after combination with contemporary networks. Integration, choice and entropy values were calculated for the study analysis.

Findings

Results revealed the implications of combining old irregular gridiron structures with the existing planned grid structures. George Town seems to have gained a higher capacity for pedestrian accessibility; however, vehicle accessibility has lost its capacity. Findings further suggest that a combination of irregular structure and grid structure is essential for urban growth in similar historical contexts to improve accessibility and address mobility inequalities.

Originality/value

The study concludes by highlighting the importance of the analysis of street structure transformation to predict consequences and promote the potential to reduce current inequalities in vehicle accessibility.

Keywords

Citation

Safizadeh, M., Maghsoodi Tilaki, M.J., Hedayati Marzbali, M. and Abdullah, A. (2022), "Smart city and spatial configuration: assessing accessibility and intelligibility to increase mobility in the George Town heritage site, Malaysia", Open House International, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/OHI-06-2022-0150

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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