The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Dr Asya Natapov

Marie Curie Research Fellow
UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment
Joined UCL: 1st Dec 2018

Research summary

Most of the current methods in modelling of urban space lean on economic factors and transportation demands. Very few models recognise cognition as an active factor in the evolution and dynamics of space. My research links human visual cognition to urban dynamics threading together three scientific fields and practices: spatial cognition (acquisition and utilization of spatial knowledge), complexity science (graph and network theories) and smart cities (urban digital technologies).

My interdisciplinary approach combines quantitative graph-based techniques for spatial representation with qualitative strategies for tracing human behaviour in Virtual Reality. I am particularly interested in the role that diverse elements of urban design play in perception, wayfinding and navigation of city dwellers. This research aims at creating a framework for an evidence-based tool that will assist planners, architects and stakeholders through the process of design and evaluation of urban projects in view of the changing needs of urban population.

I am a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). I am an architect by training and a graduate of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Prior to my doctoral studies, I worked for a number of architectural firms in the USA specializing in developing concepts for large-scale urban projects.

During the PhD studies I have been a guest researcher at Spatial Cognition Research Center of the Freiburg Computer Science and Social Research Institute. Also as a research assistant I have participated in several projects of the European Union on Architectural Cultural Heritage, such as EU-CHIC (European Cultural Heritage Identity Card) and ELAICH (Educational Linkage Approach in Cultural Heritage).

My research at CASA was supported by a social science grant of the British Technion Society and the Israel Science Foundation. Currently I lead the ‘AgeCogCity’ project.