A quantitative study of urban form and its spatial character

Huimin Ji, Wowo Ding

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

Abstract

Understanding urban morphological processes can help architects and urban designers in urban design, especially in urban renewal projects. Since urban form and urban space are closely integrated, the morphological changing process inevitably causes changes in the spatial characteristics that are of concern to urban designers. This study focuses on analysing the relationship between the building interface and the space between buildings. We have made a tool to quantify the characteristics of urban space by setting viewpoints in the urban space, which can measure the distances and height angles from the viewpoints to the surrounding building interfaces. To verify the effectiveness of the tool, two urban areas in Nanjing are selected for case studies. One is an area located in the centre of the city that has undergone tremendous changes and has many high-rise buildings. The other is an area located in the historic conservation area that has changed little and has many traditional houses. Comparing the two areas with quantitative indicators of spatial characteristics, it is found that different urban forms have different spatial characteristics. Based on an in-depth study of the morphological evolution process and social background, four morphological periods are selected for the
morphological study of the two areas. By comparing urban morphological processes and spatial characteristics changing process of the areas on the same timeline, the impact of urban morphological change on urban spatial characteristics in different areas and the role of spatial characteristics indicators are analysed. Comparing the two areas with quantitative indicators of spatial characteristics, it is found that different urban forms have different spatial characteristics. In the measurement of the area in the historic conservation area, some spatial indicators that can be used to control the spatial characteristics are found, which are useful for the urban renewal of the historical area.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual Conference Proceedings of the XXVII International Seminar on Urban Form
Subtitle of host publication"Urban Form and the Sustainable and Prosperous City"
Place of PublicationGlasgow
Pages261-268
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • urban morphology
  • urban space
  • quantitative method
  • spatial characteristics

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