Research Groups

A diverse range of research groups exist in the department. These are comprised of faculty and students. The latter invariably write their research theses (MA or Phd) as part of their  work in the research group. Research groups are often augmented by visitors and interns from abroad. They reflect the current research projects active in the department and tend to change over time as new research funds become available.


Remote Sensing Lab


The Remote Sensing Lab headed by Professor Noam Levin is engaged in research in the following areas: landscape change , vegetation mapping, pollution tracking, aelonian geomorphology. The lab is equipped with a field spectrometer SVC-HR 1024 Spectra Vista Corporation capable of measuring long wave radiation in the range on 350-3500nm.Additionally the lab has  a digital camera Fuji IS-1 for infra-red photography  and Sky Qulaity Meter equipment for measuring air pollution. The lab uses ArcGIS, Idrisi, PC-Modwin, Envi and ATCOR software.

Remote Sensing Lab Site


Advanced Tracking Methods Lab - Prof. Noam Shoval


This lab was established by Professor Noam Shoval in 2003. Initially research was focused on  tracking tourists in historic cities . Over time the range of interests has broadened considerably. Recent work conducted includes analyzing tourist mobility in amusement parks and in large cities in various countries. Advanced tracking has also been used in cooperation with national projects such as Birthright tours travel surveys. Since 2007 tracking technology has also been applied in the medical field.

A bi-national research project with Heidelberg University looked at cognitive deterioration over space and time. In 2008 a research project with the orthopedic department at the Hadassah Hospital  used GPS tracking to  develop objective indices of recovery from orthopedic  operations. The ideas developed in the project were subsequently commercialized by the Hebrew University.

More recently, work has been focused on the urban geography of Jerusalem. Mental mapping of urban spaces has been assisted by accurate  measurement , feelings and fears in urban spaces have been monitored and mapped real-time using a dedicated phone application  and since 2015 the research group has been working on using sensors for measuring objective physiological changes induced  by excitement, fear etc amongst participants in various research settings.  



Social Geography Research Group


The Social Geography Research group headed by Prof. Gillad Rosen researches the actors, institutions and processes that  determine the use of urban space and influence the lives of urban citizens and communities. Our work focusses on housing policy, high rise building, urban growth coalitions and with strategies to empower local communities.

Since 2010, the research group has looked specifically at  communities parks, local patterns of opposition to special needs communities and regulation of high rise buildings in both Israel and North America. Recent work has researched the conceptual and practical dimensions of affordable housing. Currently an ISF funded project is looking at the process of urban renewal and an interdisciplinary project is studying the provision (or lack thereof) of local infrastructure.



Spatial Analysis Research Group (SpARG)

The Spatial Analysis Research group is involved in a group of projects whose common denominator is the development of analytic methods for spatial research. The group is comprised of  PhD, MA , BA students augmented from time to time by foreign interns on short-term stays.

Currently, the research group has two major foci of interest. The first relates to the development of spatial tools and methods for real estate analysis. These include a GIS-based method for delivering and visualizing real estate data based on hedonic estimation.

The second major area of interest relates to developing tools for improving urban resilience to emergency events and unanticipated disasters. These include earthquakes, flooding, tsunamis, wildfires, industrial  accidents and missile attacks. 

In conjunction with a parallel research group from IRIDeS (International Research Institute for  Disaster Science) at Tohoku University, Japan an agent based model is being developed for simulating the way in which cities return to equilibrium post-disaster. The SpARG group is developing analytical models for assessing emergency evacuation, the operation and recovery of the labor market in disaster situations, assessing building damage, estimating the propensity to acquire insurance cover amongst different socio-economic groups and generating big synthetic socio-economic data for the purposes of simulation. This suite of tools is being developed as part of the dim2sea project (





Environmental Research Group


The Environmental research group  deals with  decision making  related to natural resources and their allocation. The group includes  researchers dealing with issue s of water, energy, urban and environmental planning, transportation and public participation.

The group includes research students involved in a variety of fields such as the political economy of renewable energy, geopolitics and the construction of regional electricity networks, models of public participation, social aspects of desalinization and  food and energy security. The group conducts monthly meetings where students and researchers discuss their work and receive peer-feedback. 



The Urban Clinic



The Urban Clinic at Hebrew University
is an academic initiative that works to strengthen creative and socially aware urban leadership in Israel.



The Urban Clinic provides state of the art knowledge about what works in housing, urban regeneration and community planning, to ensure that the current and next generation of urban practitioners are equipped with effective tools and skills, to make our cities truly remarkable places for all. Founded in 2013, the Urban Clinic is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Hebrew University, and linked to the Institute of Urban and Regional Studies there.

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