Special Issue "Formalizing Urban Methodologies"

A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 January 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. David Leite Viana

ISTAR/Information Sciences, Technology and Architecture Research Centre, ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute
Website | E-Mail
Interests: urban (e)planning; urban morphology; urban data analysis; formal methods in urbanism; advance techniques for urban analysis; space syntax; data mapping; data visualization
Guest Editor
Prof. Franklim Morais

LIA/Research Centre in Architecture, ESAP/Porto Arts Higher School
Website | E-Mail
Interests: space configuration; accessibility and visibility analysis; hardware and software systems for intelligent management of buildings; formal methods in engineering; urban spaces and ‘smart’ environments
Guest Editor
Dr. Jorge Vieira Vaz

LIA/Research Centre in Architecture, ESAP/Porto Arts Higher School
Website | E-Mail
Interests: taxonomies, ontologies and classification systems; architecture and construction technologies; formal methods in architecture; virtual design in construction projects; BIM methodologies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focus is the use of formal methods in architecture and urbanism, promoting the creation of new explicit languages for problem solving involving theoretically-driven techniques expressed in languages stemming from mathematics. Assembling a set of twenty papers presented at the 4th International Symposium Formal Methods in Architecture (April 2018, Oporto, Portugal), this Special Issue brings together content related to the following scientific fields: Ontology in architecture; BIM/VDC; CAD | CAM; cellular automata; GIS; parametric processes; processing; shape grammars; space syntaxes; and tracking/mapping. The aim is to look to the potential of these formal methods and their applications in daily problems. These problems range from representation, to theory, critique, production, communication, etc., never ceasing to see architecture and urbanism as technological activities, as well as artistic ones. The Special Issue, more than an attempt to deepen each specific field, seeks—above all—to correlate them, making a contribution to the advancement of multiple crossings between several formal methods, in which fertility has already been proven. A dialogue with data from semi-formal and even informal methods in current use is to be stimulated as well, as a way to deepen the discussion on aesthetic and ideology controversies associated to formalization within architecture and urbanism.

Dr. David Leite Viana
Prof. Franklim Morais
Dr. Jorge Vieira Vaz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • urban data analysis
  • data mapping and visualization
  • data and technology in architecture and urbanism
  • formal methods in architecture and urbanism
  • formalization in daily problem solving
  • languages stemmed from mathematics
  • information and design project
  • qualitative approaches
  • quantitative methods
  • social sciences

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
3D Space Syntax Analysis: Attributes to Be Applied in Landscape Architecture Projects
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010020
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 5 February 2019
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Abstract
The article delves into the potential application of space syntax methodology to landscape architecture. Anticipating the complexity of the landscape architectural design process, the use of 3D space syntax analysis made it possible to better understand the relations between urban space shapes and [...] Read more.
The article delves into the potential application of space syntax methodology to landscape architecture. Anticipating the complexity of the landscape architectural design process, the use of 3D space syntax analysis made it possible to better understand the relations between urban space shapes and their functions. The application of an iterative process of project improvement optimizes the fulfilment of the landscape architect vision, through changes in ground shaping, selection of tree species and their spatial distribution. This article explores the vegetation attributes of vegetation that are necessary to consider in landscape architecture projects in the context of the DepthSpace 3D software, using the case study of an urban park in Maia—Portugal. To achieve this, it was necessary to define the attributes to be inserted in the software. The main attributes of vegetation that can be employed in landscape architecture projects are form and dimension, growth speed, and visual permeability (opacity) of the crown in winter and summer. The software proved itself a useful tool, not only in studying and evaluating the effects of the final design, but also during project development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle
The Increasing Sociospatial Fragmentation of Urban America
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010009
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
This analysis examines the spatial fragmentation of the urban landscape with respect to neighborhoods classified according to their racial, demographic, housing and socioeconomic characteristics. The analysis is performed on the 50 largest metropolitan areas throughout the United States from 1990–2010, and looks at [...] Read more.
This analysis examines the spatial fragmentation of the urban landscape with respect to neighborhoods classified according to their racial, demographic, housing and socioeconomic characteristics. The analysis is performed on the 50 largest metropolitan areas throughout the United States from 1990–2010, and looks at both global trends over time using a landscape ecology metric of edge density to quantify fragmentation over time. It then analyzes the spatial clustering of each neighborhood type over time, for each city. Results illustrate an increasingly fragmented urban landscape with respect to neighborhood type, led by Los Angeles as the most fragmented metropolitan area. Decomposed by neighborhood type, both racially concentrated high-poverty neighborhoods, as well as neighborhoods with a highly educated population, have increased in spatial concentration in large cities over time, exposing rises in spatial inequalities even as global patterns suggest a breaking up of neighborhood types. The global patterns are therefore driven by declines in more moderate-income and multiethnic neighborhoods, and a decline in the spatial concentration of newer, white, single-family housing neighborhoods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle
How is Location Measured in Housing Valuation? A Systematic Review of Accessibility Specifications in Hedonic Price Models
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010003
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 26 December 2018
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Abstract
Accessibility is frequently used for measuring location in housing studies, but specifications of the measures differ greatly and its implications are hardly discussed. This paper sets out to systematically review accessibility measures that are used in hedonic price models (HPM), a method for [...] Read more.
Accessibility is frequently used for measuring location in housing studies, but specifications of the measures differ greatly and its implications are hardly discussed. This paper sets out to systematically review accessibility measures that are used in hedonic price models (HPM), a method for estimating the implicit value of housing characteristics, such as location. From a systematic database search of peer-reviewed journal articles, we examined 54 articles that applies accessibility measures in hedonic price models that are based on three aspects of measure specification: type, impedance, and opportunities. We find that there are clear couplings between different impedances, types, and opportunities. We also noticed a tendency towards less advanced measurements, such as Euclidean distance and zonal measures, being used. Furthermore, we argue that these basic measures have a weaker connection to consumer perception, which is fundamental to the hedonic price approach. We also observed a lack of consideration to how this coupling between type, impedance, and opportunity could possibly affect the results. Theoretically, we can already conclude that some dominating impedances poorly relate to the fundamental theories of HPM, but this also points to the need for further research to empirically test the influence of the type-impedance-opportunity specification on the price estimates in HPM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Locational Attractiveness Modelling of Retail in Santa Maria, Brazil
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2040105
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
A central topic in the retail analysis is store location, which is related to its attractiveness and even with its profitability. In order to determine the force of attraction of a given point of sale, methodologies based on gravitational models have been developed. [...] Read more.
A central topic in the retail analysis is store location, which is related to its attractiveness and even with its profitability. In order to determine the force of attraction of a given point of sale, methodologies based on gravitational models have been developed. More recently, classic models have been integrated with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This paper explores a methodology for retail spatial analysis in a GIS environment, and it aims to: (a) model the degree of influence of different store location attributes on the consumer choice among a collection of retail options, and (b) develop an empirical application for the clothing retail business sector in the city of Santa Maria, RS, Brazil. The study selects three relevant location attributes of store choice: retail market clustering, local accessibility of the street network, and topographic slope of the terrain. These three location features were taken as inputs for the attractiveness evaluation of each store, using the Huff model. As a result, we were able to model the trading areas of each shop related to the selected attributes. The paper provides a methodology for modelling the performance of retail location attributes and building different scenarios of probabilities for consumer patronage, allowing a first measure of the influence of each selected store location attribute. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Measuring Urban Renewal: A Dual Kernel Density Estimation to Assess the Intensity of Building Renovation—Case Study in Lisbon
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(3), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2030091
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 15 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
In the cities of post-industrialized countries, renovation is the main part of building construction activity and has a major urban impact. Measuring this ongoing phenomenon and its distribution is of great usefulness for municipality urban planning and public policies. In this context, it [...] Read more.
In the cities of post-industrialized countries, renovation is the main part of building construction activity and has a major urban impact. Measuring this ongoing phenomenon and its distribution is of great usefulness for municipality urban planning and public policies. In this context, it is essential to introduce tools and processes that can allow for describing and predict how building renovation evolves. Open databases have become a valuable resource for observing processes and interactions in urban context. Data-driven analysis methods were used to directly interact with open city data, thus aiming to propose an alternative building renovation approach based on data gathering, parametric modeling, and visualization. Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) is an efficient tool that overcomes incomplete data, as not all renovation is reported to city halls. This article presents a preliminary study on a method of measuring building renovation intensity using the city of Lisbon building permit alphanumerical and spatial database as a case study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Measure of Permeability between Private and Public Space
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2030087
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
This article focuses on the development of a measure for frontage permeability, which we argue is needed to complement existing metrics used to describe urban environments and assess, amongst others, social performativity. Built density and street network centrality are two characteristics often discussed [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the development of a measure for frontage permeability, which we argue is needed to complement existing metrics used to describe urban environments and assess, amongst others, social performativity. Built density and street network centrality are two characteristics often discussed in relation to urban vitality. However, high densities and high centrality do not always result in higher urban vitality, which can be partially explained by a typical densification model often used in Brazil and in some other Latin-American cities with high-rise residential buildings. To understand the relation between urban form and social performativity, the metrics for density and network centrality are thus not sufficient and we propose to add two other urban form properties: frontage permeability and plot size. The hypothesis is that the mentioned densification model combines higher density with larger plots and lower permeability. Many scholars have shown that higher density is often associated with increased urban vitality, but larger plots are said to have the opposite effect and in Latin American cities, it is observed that lower vitality is found where buildings have less permeable frontages. This research aims at studying the combined effect of density, permeability, and plot size on urban vitality or, more generally, social performativity. However, there is no well-developed method to measure frontage permeability. Therefore, this article first presents a method to measure frontage permeability, both in qualitative and quantitative terms. This measure is then combined with existing measures of density and plot size to analyse how these three urban form metrics relate to each other. In a forthcoming paper, pedestrian observation data will be added to the analysis, to be able to give more insight in the relation between the three urban form metrics and urban vitality using pedestrian counts as proxy. We will show that the developed measure seems to be coherent and effective in describing permeability. Further, the preliminary results confirm the hypothesis that the Brazilian densification model with high-rise residential buildings generates a decrease in frontage permeability, although it does not appear to significantly change plot sizes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Alexander’s Theories Applied to Urban Design
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(3), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2030086
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 8 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
Christopher Alexander has presented key concepts, such as wholeness, centres, and harmony-seeking computations, related to the coherence reached by a system. Wholeness is the global structural character of a given configuration existing in space. According to Alexander, wholeness is measurable although we do [...] Read more.
Christopher Alexander has presented key concepts, such as wholeness, centres, and harmony-seeking computations, related to the coherence reached by a system. Wholeness is the global structural character of a given configuration existing in space. According to Alexander, wholeness is measurable although we do not have a mathematical language to describe it yet. Some authors have proposed a network perspective to address this problem. However, it is still poorly developed. This paper discusses how to improve the network approach already suggested in the literature. The aim is contributing to the debate on how to operationalise Alexander’s theories through a network perspective. We check out different descriptive systems and different centrality measures, which can be used to reveal the spatial relationship between urban entities and its hierarchy. The main conclusion is that centrality measures seem to offer an opportunity to get closer to Alexander’s concepts. However, a key point to move forward is a deeper investigation on how to describe the urban elements, how to identify spatial differentiation, and how to visualize the results. The relevance of such kind of research is the possibility of using those insights as analytical methods for supporting urban design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle
The Centrality of (Vocational-Oriented) Knowledge Assessing Location and Configuration of Polytechnic Institutes in Portugal
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2030075
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
Knowledge and creative businesses and industries have been at the core of discussions for urban renewal strategies worldwide. Educational facilities and the businesses they attract are key elements in urban dynamics, helping to promote urban diversity and contributing to enhancing the areas where [...] Read more.
Knowledge and creative businesses and industries have been at the core of discussions for urban renewal strategies worldwide. Educational facilities and the businesses they attract are key elements in urban dynamics, helping to promote urban diversity and contributing to enhancing the areas where they are imbedded. In Portugal, the higher education system follows a binary structure, in which institutions are divided into Universities and Polytechnics. The latter, whose mission is creating vocational-oriented knowledge, grounded on the specific needs of the regions they are in, are key regional drivers, with the possibility of becoming developers and promotors at a regional scale, affecting urban life and urban quality. This paper aims at exploring the location of polytechnic institutions within their hosting cities, attempting to understand location patterns and similarities among different institutions, as well as envisaging the impact of such a location in the engagement with the hosting city. The research is developed at two scales: the first (a) focuses on the location of the institution in its hosting city, while the second (b) focuses on the relative deepness of the internal spaces of the institution. This research aims at providing a methodology for general characterization of regionally oriented higher education institutions in terms of their location within urban systems, as well as exploring the spatial organization of the interior of the institutions analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Segregation and Socio-Spatial Interactions: A Configurational Approach
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2030055
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
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Abstract
Urban segregation is an inherent feature of cities and becomes a problem when excluding or hindering certain groups from accessing services, activities and spaces. In Brazil, segregation by social class is dominant in the structure of cities and public policies rarely address urban [...] Read more.
Urban segregation is an inherent feature of cities and becomes a problem when excluding or hindering certain groups from accessing services, activities and spaces. In Brazil, segregation by social class is dominant in the structure of cities and public policies rarely address urban configuration as part of the segregation problem. This work addresses segregation with a shift in emphasis from traditional housing segregation to segregation as the restraint of socio-spatial interactions, thus including other facets of the phenomenon that have not yet been properly explored and seeking new spatially relevant metrics. This paper aims to present a methodology of segregation analysis based on configurational models and develop an empirical application in a Brazilian city. Representing the probabilities of interaction between different socio-economic groups in public spaces, a configurational model was used, addressing retail-residence spatial relationship. The attributes of population size, household income and number of retail establishments were considered. The results allowed identifying the probabilistic residence-retail trajectories for high and low income groups, providing a first measure of spatial segregation. The conclusions seek to highlight the importance of configurational approaches for segregation studies, as well as to show potentialities and limits of this methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Complex Buildings and Cellular Automata—A Cellular Automaton Model for the Centquatre-Paris
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020050
Received: 21 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
We explored the relational dynamic elements of complex buildings, a type of architecture designed to incubate uses, located in urban areas with high housing density. The uses of complex buildings concern different elements, including the network of agents using or managing them, the [...] Read more.
We explored the relational dynamic elements of complex buildings, a type of architecture designed to incubate uses, located in urban areas with high housing density. The uses of complex buildings concern different elements, including the network of agents using or managing them, the environment, and the activities and functions that take place occasionally, temporarily, or permanently.. Data was gathered through ethnographic research lasting 6 months, and a chronotopian approach was used to describe time and space. We analysed and discussed the interaction of the elements of complex buildings through a cellular automaton model, a computational method that simulates the growth of complex systems. It was used here to generate patterns that suggest configurations of uses that can optimize management and therefore increase economic and social capital. The cellular automaton representation was used to develop an abstraction of the Centquatre, a public cultural center in Paris. This center is a good example of a complex building, being based on a public–private partnership and having an architectural configuration designed to host a wide range of art, social, and productive activities. The building includes a large central space used as an urban public area open to different types of people. The relevance of the case study lies in its capacity to produce economic value by combining different uses, and also by welcoming different people to the public space. We found that the multistate cellular automata representation allows the Centquatre behavior to be modeled by means of combinatorial and statistical methods. The correlations between the automaton behavior and the number of users can be identified using machine learning techniques related to random forests. We argue that this approach makes it possible to improve the planning of complex buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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