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Housing growth: impacts on density, space consumption and urban morphology

Kostourou, F; (2021) Housing growth: impacts on density, space consumption and urban morphology. Buildings and Cities , 2 (1) pp. 55-78. 10.5334/bc.75. Green open access

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Abstract

How and why do houses densify over time? What is the impact of that growth and what kind of constraints affect their potential to change? This research explores built form change and densification, providing historical evidence from the incremental transformation of a 19th-century housing scheme, Cité Ouvrière, in Mulhouse, eastern France. This granular longitudinal morphological study uses historical planning applications and images to map the external volumetric transformations of 1253 single-family houses over a 165-year period. The research combines archival work with three-dimensional (3D) architectural modelling and an advanced density method to record, visualise, analyse and evaluate the densification process at the microlevel. Statistical computing traces the densification process and the Spacematrix tool analyses the impact on open space consumption for different building typologies and for the neighbourhood as a whole. The results highlight seven types of transformations, affected by seven drivers of physical change. Densification is manifested either through built intensification or plot union/subdivision, and its degree is determined by the extent to which non-built space is consumed. These depend on socioeconomic, legal and physical constraints imposed by the original design.

Type: Article
Title: Housing growth: impacts on density, space consumption and urban morphology
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5334/bc.75
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.5334/bc.75
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: 3D diachronic modelling; built form; cities; densification; housing; Spacematrix; urban growth; Mulhouse
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10120164
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