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The Physical Density of the City—Deconstruction of the Delusive Density Measure with Evidence from Two European Megacities

Taubenböck, German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), Oberpfaffenhofen, Wessling 82234, Germany
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Academic Editors: Jamal Jokar Arsanjani and Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5(11), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi5110206
Received: 6 June 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 4 November 2016 / Published: 9 November 2016
Density is among the most important descriptive as well as normative measures in urban research. While its basic concept is generally understandable, approaches towards the density measure are manifold, diverse and of multidimensional complexity. This evolves from differing thematic, spatial and calculative specifications. Consequently, applied density measures are often used in a subjective, non-transparent, unspecific and thus non-comparable manner. In this paper, we aim at a systematic deconstruction of the measure density. Varying thematic, spatial and calculative dimensions show significant influence on the measure. With both quantitative and qualitative techniques of evaluation, we assess the particular influences on the measure density. To do so, we reduce our experiment setting to a mere physical perspective; that is, the quantitative measures building density, degree of soil sealing, floor space density and, more specifically, the density of generic structural classes such as open spaces and highest built-up density areas. Using up-to-date geodata derived from remote sensing and volunteered geographic information, we build upon high-quality spatial information products such as 3-D city models. Exemplified for the comparison of two European megacities, namely Paris and London, we reveal and systemize necessary variables to be clearly defined for meaningful conclusions using the density measure. View Full-Text
Keywords: building density; soil sealing; floor space density; open spaces; 3-D model; structural classes; remote sensing; volunteered geographic information; comparative urban research building density; soil sealing; floor space density; open spaces; 3-D model; structural classes; remote sensing; volunteered geographic information; comparative urban research
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Taubenböck, H.; Standfuß, I.; Klotz, M.; Wurm, M. The Physical Density of the City—Deconstruction of the Delusive Density Measure with Evidence from Two European Megacities. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5, 206.

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