Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 21559

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Architecture, Università di Parma, 43125 Parma, Italy
Interests: urban design; urban morphology; sustainability; public space; new technologies; water cities
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Department of Architecture, TU Delft (NL), 2628 BL Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: urban morphology; building typology; regeneration processes; infrastructure and territories

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban Morphology is a discipline born in the early Fifties of the 20th century as a tool for understanding the problems of the modern city. For the first time, the boundaries of the city clearly exceeded those of the historical one, which was no longer necessarily located in the “center”. For the first time, the logic through which the city had been built for millennia was thrown into crisis. It was the city of the new mass society, the society of large consumption, vehicular traffic, zoning. New methodological and conceptual tools and new theories were therefore necessary to gain understanding in order to guide the transformation processes. Today, once again, society is radically changing. It is the global society of the 21st century. The society of “networks”, of multilayer relationships, of data-driven processes, of ecology. An increasingly smart society that is rapidly transforming the spaces of its vitality, that is the city itself. We are perhaps witnessing the greatest urban phenomenon in human history and certainly the greatest socio-cultural and economic revolution of the modern era.

New tools are therefore needed to understand urban phenomena. A new theoretical–methodological framework, a new “horizon of meaning”, must therefore be defined to understand the complexity of the contemporary city. In this framework, Urban Morphology, due to its eminently “operational” nature, its potentially transdisciplinary character and its strong link with the world of scientific research, stands as a fundamental discipline for the knowledge and transformation of the 21st century city. It is no coincidence that all researchers, all public administrators and all professionals who deal with urban transformations are working in search of these “tools”. It is no coincidence that, throughout the world, there are numerous schools that deal with morphology. However, it needs to change radically.

The main goal of this issue is, on the one hand, to define the boundaries and disciplinary tools of a research that now boasts more than seventy years of history. On the other hand, to understand how these borders and these tools are transforming themselves to respond, effectively and dynamically, to the needs of society and the contemporary city.

The themes of technological innovation, smart transition and trans-disciplinarity are some of the new aspects that must become part of morphological research. Together with the environmental and ecological ones, they certainly constitute one of the major test benches of the new morphological discipline. However, it is not simply a matter of broadening the disciplinary horizon of Urban Morphology. It is a question of defining new theoretical-methodological bases and new analytical tools on which to ground the city's transformation project. In other words, it is a matter of building a new morphological discipline able of intercepting the needs of the new globalized society and translate them into physical places. A discipline that this issue tries to redefine through the contributions of leading experts in the sector, in the awareness of being able to provide a useful scientific basis for understanding and transforming the city in the 21st century.

University of Parma, Department of Engineering and Architecture/KAEBUP_Knowledge Alliance for Evidence Based Urban Practices. Co-Funded by the Erasmus + Program of the European Union.

Dr. Marco Maretto
Dr. Nicola Marzot
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • urban morphology
  • public space
  • urban design
  • new technologies
  • trans-disciplinarity

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Published Papers (15 papers)

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23 pages, 10466 KiB  
Article
From Reading to Design of the “[entra]mar”: The Role of Urban Morphology in Architectural Pedagogy and Design
by Sérgio Barreiros Proença, Cristiana Valente Monteiro and Francesca Dal Cin
Land 2024, 13(6), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13060836 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 427
Abstract
This article presents the pedagogical process of reading and designing in the design studio course in the first semester of the fourth year in Architecture and Urbanism (2020–2021) held at the Lisbon School of Architecture of the Universidade de Lisboa. The research by [...] Read more.
This article presents the pedagogical process of reading and designing in the design studio course in the first semester of the fourth year in Architecture and Urbanism (2020–2021) held at the Lisbon School of Architecture of the Universidade de Lisboa. The research by design results are inscribed in the Embryo Project “[entra]mar Sea Intertwined City. Interpretation and Design of Portuguese Seashore Streets Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise”, funded by the FCT exploratory projects through CIAUD—Research Center in Architecture, Urbanism and Design at the Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal). The aim of this article is to demonstrate the usefulness of urban morphology in the reading and design process of an urban seafront vulnerable to extreme weather events. The approach to the “Sesimbra [entra]mar” in a pedagogical context confirms morphological interpretation as a key instrument for the formation of students and is consequently valuable for the practice of architecture and urbanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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29 pages, 29093 KiB  
Article
Study on the Morphological Analysis and Evolution of the Street Network in the Historic Urban Area of Changsha City from 1872–2023
by Bohong Zheng, Fangzhou Tian, Li Lin and Jinyu Fan
Land 2024, 13(6), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13060738 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 631
Abstract
This study focuses on the streets and spatial networks of the historic urban area in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, China, by mainly investigating the evolution of their geometric and topological characteristics. It draws on the theories and methods of urban morphology [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the streets and spatial networks of the historic urban area in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, China, by mainly investigating the evolution of their geometric and topological characteristics. It draws on the theories and methods of urban morphology and space syntax, combines the digital historical maps at different times, and uses methods such as historical map spatial interpretation, geographic information system (GIS), sDNA tools, and urban morphological parameter analysis to explore and sort out the evolutionary process of the street and alley network in Changsha from the early modern period to the present. The paper constructs a parameter system for analyzing the street and alley network of historic urban areas from a geometric and topological perspective. It introduces the indicators of road density, road orientation, intersection density, and approaches such as closeness, betweenness, and intelligibility in space syntax into the parameter analysis framework of street and alley network morphology and spatial characteristics evolution. By comparing the changes in various parameters at different spatial scales, the process of the spatial order evolution of the street and alley network in the historic urban area is analyzed, and the evolutionary rules of the various periods’ morphological characteristics are extracted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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22 pages, 43250 KiB  
Article
Urban Texture Identification and Characteristic Analysis Based on Percolation Theory—A Case Study of the Second Ring Road Area in Wuhan City
by Shen Yang, Qingming Zhan, Kaili Zhang and Hurex Paryzat
Land 2024, 13(5), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050717 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 726
Abstract
The urban texture is the physical manifestation of the urban form’s evolution. In the rapid process of urbanization, protecting and reshaping the urban texture has become an essential means to sustain the overall form and vitality of cities. Previous studies in this field [...] Read more.
The urban texture is the physical manifestation of the urban form’s evolution. In the rapid process of urbanization, protecting and reshaping the urban texture has become an essential means to sustain the overall form and vitality of cities. Previous studies in this field have primarily relied on image analysis or typological methods, lacking a quantitative approach to identify and analyze the urban texture on a large scale. Moreover, the hierarchical structure and networked organization of the urban texture are gradually being elucidated and emphasized. This study takes a complex network perspective and applies percolation theory to identify and analyze the urban texture. The hierarchical evolutionary characteristics of the urban fabric and the underlying mechanisms driving the scale-dependent differences are analyzed, and the toughness of the urban texture is evaluated based on hierarchical connections. The research findings reveal the key scale in the cross-scale evolution of urban textures, with variations in scale dependence and hierarchical evolution characteristics among different types of urban texture. The traditional urban texture displays sensitivity to scale changes, maintaining its integrity and internal connectivity at small scales. On the other hand, the texture characteristics of modern and contemporary urban areas are only discernible at larger scales. The emergence of large-scale texture clusters at specific scale levels can be explained using multiple index systems. This study has reference significance for the preservation and renewal of the urban fabric in urban renewal processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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20 pages, 35626 KiB  
Article
“Architectural Acupuncture” in Urban Morphology Studies
by Paolo Carlotti
Land 2024, 13(5), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050661 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 564
Abstract
This paper aims to track the evolution of urban morphology studies, focusing on a graphical understanding of transformation phenomena in historical and contemporary city fabrics. It points out similarities in urban morphology studies by authors like Aldo Rossi, Carlo Oswald W. Ungers, Hans [...] Read more.
This paper aims to track the evolution of urban morphology studies, focusing on a graphical understanding of transformation phenomena in historical and contemporary city fabrics. It points out similarities in urban morphology studies by authors like Aldo Rossi, Carlo Oswald W. Ungers, Hans Kollhoff, Saverio Muratori, Gianfranco Caniggia, and Giancarlo de Carlo. These studies developed within a supportive cultural environment, aligning with analogical procedures and anticipating the contemporary concept of urban acupuncture. Urban acupuncture denotes episodic and locally impactful interventions countering grand, self-celebratory architectural projects. These interventions are promoted both by liberal and capitalist culture as well as by socialist-inspired culture. Lastly, these interventions, promoted by various cultural backgrounds, highlight the multi-scale nature of urban morphology studies and urban acupuncture projects. Each change in form corresponds to a morphological adaptation and a redefinition of urban rules and grammar usable in projects with territorial significance. Today, enhanced by digital tools, these studies confirm insights and syntheses, presenting urban acupuncture interventions in real-time socio-economic flows and dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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30 pages, 19206 KiB  
Article
Agency within Neighborhoods: Multi-Scalar Relations between Urban Form and Social Actors
by Ilaria Geddes, Christakis Chatzichristou, Nadia Charalambous and Ana Ricchiardi
Land 2024, 13(3), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13030269 - 21 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1289
Abstract
This research provides an abstract representation of neighborhoods, accounting for the actors involved in the process of their formation and transformation as local entities embedded in a complex yet specific configuration of historical, social, structural, and political contexts. The analysis uses a conceptual [...] Read more.
This research provides an abstract representation of neighborhoods, accounting for the actors involved in the process of their formation and transformation as local entities embedded in a complex yet specific configuration of historical, social, structural, and political contexts. The analysis uses a conceptual framework combining Assemblage Theory and Actor–Network Theory to examine how both human and non-human actors or agents interact and consequently exert an impact on three different neighborhoods in Limassol, Cyprus. The methodology combines both qualitative as well as quantitative approaches. The tools used include space syntax, land use, and building typology, descriptive statistics of social factors, a photographic survey, observation of the built environment’s expressive features, and archival research of press articles. The findings reveal the extent to which global factors, such as colonialism and the mobility of wealthy populations from former Soviet countries, have an impact on the social makeup and expressive features of the environment, while local factors, such as block size and housing typology, have a strong impact on the use of public space. Furthermore, more complex networks may exhibit structural resilience or adaptability but may be, at the same time, more sensitive to varying and conflicting interests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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15 pages, 6044 KiB  
Article
Documenting Urban Morphology: From 2D Representations to Metaverse
by Alessandro Merlo and Gaia Lavoratti
Land 2024, 13(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13020136 - 25 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1136
Abstract
The documentation of urban morphology is linked to the complex operation of representing the city, which over the centuries has been undertaken using different methodologies, instruments, and purposes. The “IT revolution” has expanded the possibility of overlapping and relating multiple pieces of information [...] Read more.
The documentation of urban morphology is linked to the complex operation of representing the city, which over the centuries has been undertaken using different methodologies, instruments, and purposes. The “IT revolution” has expanded the possibility of overlapping and relating multiple pieces of information in connection to the urban organism on the same support and, on the other hand, has opened up new scenarios linked to the use of urban digital twins to support the analysis and urban planning. The 21st century has marked a momentous turning point compared to the recent past: the advent of artificial intelligence has in fact allowed the introduction, alongside Urban Information Systems, of ‘Predictive’ Systems, capable of formulating new scenarios on the basis of the elements available and pictured on 3D models. At the same time, the technical and technological acquisitions of the last century have contributed to evident experimentation on the metaverse, which, although it still exists in a de-emphasised form, is currently a whole universe under construction and expansion. Its rules are written with every passing day, in which the individual can recreate a reality similar to, or absolutely antithetical to, the one they experience on a daily basis, populating virtual cities that elude the established urban dynamics of physical structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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17 pages, 7932 KiB  
Article
Exaptation in Transitional Urban Morphologies: First Notes on the Dynamics of Urban Form Read through the Theories of Natural Evolution
by Marco Trisciuoglio
Land 2024, 13(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13010074 - 8 Jan 2024
Viewed by 961
Abstract
Studying the dynamics of urban form means questioning the processes of evolution of the form in general. The current discussion on the architecture of buildings and urban spaces has drawn the concept of adaptation from theories of natural evolution. These notes propose a [...] Read more.
Studying the dynamics of urban form means questioning the processes of evolution of the form in general. The current discussion on the architecture of buildings and urban spaces has drawn the concept of adaptation from theories of natural evolution. These notes propose a reflection on the opposite and controverse concept of exaptation as it was proposed by the biologist and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould in 1982. Through some examples (the different transformations of some Roman amphitheaters of the imperial age and the metamorphoses that occurred in the 20th century to some Chinese urban fabrics, originally made by courtyard houses), it is possible to extend to urban forms the idea of the casual co-optation for new uses of organs and anatomical parts developed for other reasons. This kind of reflection opens up innovative considerations on the potential of transitional urban analysis and its repercussions on evolutive urban transformation processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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21 pages, 14736 KiB  
Article
Urban Morphology and Forms of the Territory: Between Urban and Landscape Design
by Giulia Annalinda Neglia
Land 2024, 13(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13010037 - 28 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
This paper explores the relationship between territory and urban space, discussing the joint development processes of urban and territorial morphologies. The paper argues that territorial structure is a precursor to urban design. It also discusses how landscape architecture can respond to the morphological [...] Read more.
This paper explores the relationship between territory and urban space, discussing the joint development processes of urban and territorial morphologies. The paper argues that territorial structure is a precursor to urban design. It also discusses how landscape architecture can respond to the morphological needs of contemporary urban design as the boundaries between city and territory merge. The introduction and framework review section examines various approaches to studying the relationship between urban morphology and interstitial spaces or unbuilt geographies, which are often still considered empty spaces, physically incorporated but excluded from urban design. It also briefly discusses the role that green spaces and territorial morphologies have played, or not played, in defining urban form from antiquity to modernity. The paper then focuses on the role of hydromorphologies in shaping the urban form of Rome, Boston and Bari. These cities are analyzed as case studies to discuss 20th-century approaches to urban planning in relation to territorial layout. Finally, this study analyzes a marginal area of the metropolitan city of Bari in order to propose possible landscape morphologies of reconnection for the resulting interstitial areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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21 pages, 21260 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Form of a Smart City District: A Morphometric Comparison with Examples of Previous Design Models
by Alessandro Venerandi, Giovanni Fusco and Matteo Caglioni
Land 2023, 12(12), 2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12122159 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1453
Abstract
In key moments of urban history, urban design is confronted with the emergence of new paradigmatic design models, such as the garden city and the radiant city. Recently, the Smart City seems to have gained centre stage in the public debate. However, despite [...] Read more.
In key moments of urban history, urban design is confronted with the emergence of new paradigmatic design models, such as the garden city and the radiant city. Recently, the Smart City seems to have gained centre stage in the public debate. However, despite its emblazoned technological features, the Smart City remains a hazy concept in the urban design domain to such an extent that almost any form can be built under the Smart City label. While this may sound libertarian and progressist, it is also concerning since different urban forms are associated with different societal outcomes. This paper aims to investigate the forms of Smart City districts through morphometric comparison. More specifically, it proposes a replicable methodology based on 18 metrics of urban form and statistical analysis to compare a Smart City district with other city areas with known design models of reference. Such a methodology is applied to three case studies on the French Riviera: Méridia, a Smart City district, Hôtel-des-Postes, a 19th-century traditional district, and Sophia Antipolis, a sprawling technopark. The results show that Méridia has a hybrid form that partly resembles Hôtel-des-Postes (higher densities, gridiron plan, and functional mix) and partly Sophia Antipolis (bulky buildings with large setbacks). However, the top–down approach used in the production of the physical space ultimately renders Méridia more similar to Sophia Antipolis than Hôtel-des-Postes. This study provides one of the first morphometric characterisations of a Smart City district, but also a replicable methodology that can further the morphological understanding of the Smart City phenomenon worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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20 pages, 8395 KiB  
Article
Urban Morphology, Identity, Heritage, and Reconstruction Processes in Middle East Post-War Scenarios: The Case of Mosul Old City
by Domenico Giuseppe Chizzoniti and Tommaso Lolli
Land 2023, 12(12), 2140; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12122140 - 7 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1158
Abstract
The theme of architectural reconstruction has gained significant prominence within the discipline of architecture, intersecting with the increasing complexity of contemporary events, especially complex socio-political scenarios including deliberate city destruction, often referred to as urbicide. Preservation strategies that safeguard the memory and values [...] Read more.
The theme of architectural reconstruction has gained significant prominence within the discipline of architecture, intersecting with the increasing complexity of contemporary events, especially complex socio-political scenarios including deliberate city destruction, often referred to as urbicide. Preservation strategies that safeguard the memory and values embedded in places have become imperative to protect this urban tangible and intangible heritage. This study explores the application of architectural reconstruction in the post-war context of Mosul (Iraq) dealing mainly with the selection of traces, combining a strategy based half on physical evidence and half on the reconstruction of memory devices, and intertwining them into an operative procedure hopefully supporting urban reconstruction. The study’s results indicate that architectural interventions focused on revitalizing these symbolic spaces play a pivotal role in reconstituting the inhabitants’ habits and sense of community in Mosul. The projects, including the Souq and the Great Mosque and districts, successfully address various challenges, including the harmonious fusion of tradition and modernization, the delicate balance between memory and oblivion, and the careful negotiation between reconstruction and restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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25 pages, 8509 KiB  
Article
A Novel Quantitative Approach to the Spatial Configuration of Urban Streets Based on Local Wind Environment
by Huimin Ji, Yifan Li, Juan Li and Wowo Ding
Land 2023, 12(12), 2102; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12122102 - 24 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
The urban street is an important part of the urban form and serves as the primary medium for public activities within cities. The morphological characteristics of urban street space not only influence people’s spatial experience but also have an impact on the quality [...] Read more.
The urban street is an important part of the urban form and serves as the primary medium for public activities within cities. The morphological characteristics of urban street space not only influence people’s spatial experience but also have an impact on the quality of the physical environment, such as the wind environment. Numerous scholars have studied the wind environment of streets with different morphological characteristics using abstract and simplified street models, uncovering certain relationships between specific morphological features and airflow patterns. However, due to the significant disparity between simplified models and reality, researchers have attempted to develop models applicable to the complex characteristics of urban street space, with the aim of exploring the relationship between street spatial features and airflow characteristics. This study explores a method to quantify the complex spatial characteristics of urban streets, using a series of parameters to describe the streets, such as average width, proportion of secondary interfaces, and proportion of opening length. Streets with different spatial characteristics in the centre of Nanjing are selected and quantified. A comparison is conducted between the parameters representing street spatial morphology and the simulation results of the wind environment in the area, aiming to assess the effectiveness of these parameter values. The results demonstrate that complex urban spaces can still be effectively represented through parameterization and confirm the validity of our quantitative representation of complex street spatial characteristics. The results could serve as a reference for urban design and urban construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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15 pages, 12342 KiB  
Article
The Role of Urban Vegetation in Counteracting Overheating in Different Urban Textures
by Barbara Gherri
Land 2023, 12(12), 2100; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12122100 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1098
Abstract
With growing global concerns about climate change, the significance of urban greenery in architecture and urban planning is becoming increasingly apparent. Urban vegetation naturally cools cities, provides comfort and clean air, and has positive social, health, and economic effects. It is essential to [...] Read more.
With growing global concerns about climate change, the significance of urban greenery in architecture and urban planning is becoming increasingly apparent. Urban vegetation naturally cools cities, provides comfort and clean air, and has positive social, health, and economic effects. It is essential to ensure passive thermal comfort and safeguard biodiversity. It is widely recognized that urban greenery not only withstands severe outdoor climatic events, but also symbiotically interacts with buildings and citizens. Several studies demonstrated the potential of vegetation to provide outdoor thermal comfort, air purification, noise reduction, and various other ecosystem services. To emphasize the potential of urban green spaces to interact with the local urban morphology in terms of microclimatic aspects, the research examines the dynamic connection between various urban textures and urban green spaces. This study emphasizes how urban green spaces, such as parks, green spaces, and urban greenery, respond to temperature variations in both the present scenario and the projected future. Central to this contribution is the examination of the relationship between urban vegetation and its potential to reduce and counteract urban overheating in both current and projected future scenarios. The aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of urban vegetation compared to dense urban textures. The interaction between urban block morphology, building types, vegetation, and microclimates is presented here for comparative assessment, highlighting the different thermal behaviour and outdoor comfort responses in various urban areas in current and projected scenarios. Using a microclimatic simulation tool, the research will delve deeper into the potential and constraints associated with the role of urban greens in addressing the increasing temperatures in climate change. This paper presents a comparative microclimatic evaluation of two selected green areas in Parma, Italy, within different urban contexts. The evaluation compares the current situation with a projected future scenario (2050) to determine the most effective factors for mitigating overheating phenomena in existing cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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23 pages, 17006 KiB  
Article
The Configurational Structures of Social Spaces: Space Syntax and Urban Morphology in the Context of Analytical, Evidence-Based Design
by Kayvan Karimi
Land 2023, 12(11), 2084; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12112084 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3185
Abstract
This article presents an argument for the enhanced utilisation of urban morphology in urban design, drawing inspiration from space syntax theory and methodologies, advocating for the integration of social, economic, and cultural considerations alongside physical structures. This perspective shift entails transitioning from descriptive [...] Read more.
This article presents an argument for the enhanced utilisation of urban morphology in urban design, drawing inspiration from space syntax theory and methodologies, advocating for the integration of social, economic, and cultural considerations alongside physical structures. This perspective shift entails transitioning from descriptive analysis to quantitative inquiries for the prediction and assessment of urban dynamics. By incorporating spatial analysis and socio-economic factors, urban morphology offers a competent understanding of the complexities inherent to urban environments. This comprehension supports the development of evidence-based designs and predictive models that enable such an approach in urban design. To operationalise this approach, the article introduces a methodology that interlinks urban morphology and design through a cyclic process encompassing analysis, design, evaluation, and further design development. This framework is illustrated through the case study of Jilin City, where an assessment of the public transport system led to a comprehensive urban design strategy. The study demonstrates how urban morphology insights, supported by analytical investigations enabled by space syntax methodology, can actively influence urban design and planning practices. By effectively embedding this morphological approach, urban designers and planners acquire the tools needed to navigate the evolving urban systems while respecting the interplay between physical structures and human existence. The article concludes by highlighting the need for an ongoing evolution of this approach to maintain relevance in shaping future urban settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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21 pages, 9683 KiB  
Article
Urban Project, a Matter of Morphology
by Federica Visconti and Renato Capozzi
Land 2023, 12(11), 1958; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12111958 - 24 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1268
Abstract
This research faces the theme of the actuality of the Urban Morphology discipline. Starting with the reconstruction of the history of urban studies in the schools of architecture in Italy in the last century, a personal approach to the theme is proposed as [...] Read more.
This research faces the theme of the actuality of the Urban Morphology discipline. Starting with the reconstruction of the history of urban studies in the schools of architecture in Italy in the last century, a personal approach to the theme is proposed as a result of an intense activity of academic cooperation of the authors (from the University of Naples Federico II) with the research group of Uwe Schröder (RWTH Aachen University in Germany). The main innovation, if referred to the Italian tradition, is that the city is now observed not only from the point of view of the ‘form’ but also considering the ‘space’: thus, the different qualities of the spaces that build every city and its wealth. The ‘results’ of this research are in the projects that the authors develop on different academic occasions; in fact, in Architecture, theory and practice are strictly connected. This is the reason why two projects are described at the end of the study in order to demonstrate that only a disciplinary knowledge of the city can produce its responsible modification, while more general ‘Conclusions’ define the innovation that the study proposes to the debate on Urban Morphology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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41 pages, 130136 KiB  
Article
Mapping Urban Structure Types Based on Remote Sensing Data—A Universal and Adaptable Framework for Spatial Analyses of Cities
by Andreas Braun, Gebhard Warth, Felix Bachofer, Michael Schultz and Volker Hochschild
Land 2023, 12(10), 1885; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12101885 - 7 Oct 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2628
Abstract
In the face of growing 21st-century urban challenges, this study emphasizes the role of remote sensing data in objectively defining urban structure types (USTs) based on morphology. While numerous UST delineation approaches exist, few are universally applicable due to data constraints or impractical [...] Read more.
In the face of growing 21st-century urban challenges, this study emphasizes the role of remote sensing data in objectively defining urban structure types (USTs) based on morphology. While numerous UST delineation approaches exist, few are universally applicable due to data constraints or impractical class schemes. This article attempts to tackle this challenge by summarizing important approaches dealing with the computation of USTs and to condense their contributions to the field of research within a single comprehensive framework. Hereby, this framework not only serves as a conjunctive reference for currently existing implementations, but is also independent regarding the input data, spatial scale, or targeted purpose of the mapping. It consists of four major steps: (1) the collection of suitable data sources to describe the building morphology as a key input, (2) the definition of a spatial mapping unit, (3) the parameterization of the mapping units, and (4) the final classification of the mapping units into urban structure types. We outline how these tasks can lead to a UST classification which fits the users’ needs based on their available input data. At the same time, the framework can serve as a protocol for future studies where USTs are mapped, or new approaches are presented. This article closes with an application example for three different cities to underline the flexibility and applicability of the proposed framework while maintaining maximized objectivity and comparability. We recommend this framework as a guideline for the use-specific mapping of USTs and hope to contribute to past and future research on this topic by fostering the implementation of this concept for the spatial analysis and a better understanding of complex urban environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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