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Predicting urban evolution by means of human cognitive characteristics


   School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

  Dr Asya Natapov,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

With rapid urbanisation around the globe, understanding of emergence mechanisms involved in both human behaviour and urban development is important. Most of the current methods in forecasting and modelling of urban space lean on economic factors and transportation demands. Very few models recognize spatial cognition, a field of research concerning with acquisition, organization and utilization of knowledge about spatial environments, as an active factor in the evolution and dynamics of urban space.

The aim of this project is to connect cognitive activities, e.g., visual and audio processing, spatial memory, wayfinding and navigation, to urban dynamics and to describe the evolved urban patterns quantitatively. To investigate how cognitive-behavioural traits shapes our cities, a framework that based on computational simulation should be designed.

The predictive simulation proposed in this project has the potential to address the needs of planners and designers in areas where the urban realm is poor. It aims to improve sustainable urban planning tools and non-vehicle policies and could be directly transferred to socioeconomic impact on spatial environment, preventing car-dependent urban sprawls and supporting all groups of urban population to remain active and healthy.

Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the topic, the candidate could have a background in any relevant STEM subject. The candidate should have strong analytical skills and ideally have experience in programming. Further research direction will be steered by the candidate’s interests and background.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a relevant subject. A relevant master’s degree and/or employment experience will be an advantage.

English language requirements:

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select ‘Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering’. Please quote the reference number ‘ABCE22/Urban Evolution’ in your application. To avoid delays in processing your application please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.


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