Multiscale accessibility and urban performance

Nir Kaplan*, David Burg, Itzhak Omer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Accessibility is fundamentally thought to be related to functional, economic, and social performances of cities and geographical systems and, therefore, constitutes an essential aspect for spatial planning. Previous studies focused on cities or metropolitan scales, often disregarding their position within regional and national systems, which can greatly affect their performance. Although accessibility at various spatial scales has been examined, the studies focused on accessibility patterns at different scales, with no reference to the level of accessibility of cities over local, regional, and national scales simultaneously, i.e. multiscale accessibility. This study aims to elucidate the multiscale accessibility level of individual cities and examine its relationship to urban performance in the urban system of Israel. Spatial accessibility was analyzed using the space syntax methodology for the entire national road network across multiple geographic scales—from the local to the national scale. Based on three distinct spatial accessibility systems identified, a unique multiscale accessibility profile was created for individual cities in Israel. Subsequently, each city’s multiscale accessibility profiles were examined against urban performance indicators determined from urban scaling theory. We found that the superiority of cities characterized by high accessibility level plays a role not only for a specific scale but also over scales and spatial systems. Moreover, most urban performance indicators related to the multiscale accessibility profiles of cities, while some multiscale accessibility profiles can be related to over- or under-performance of cities. The findings suggest that pervasive accessibility across spatial scales is inherently connected to urban performance and may indicate on the implementation and interpretation of accessibility. These findings may assist in various aspects of spatial planning at various scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-703
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel3-13526


    • Israel
    • Multiscale accessibility
    • space syntax
    • urban performance
    • urban scaling


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