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The effect of the three‐dimensional scale on the intelligibility of the city

Mavridou, M; (2012) The effect of the three‐dimensional scale on the intelligibility of the city. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis attempts to investigate the issue of three‐dimensional scale of the urban environment through an urban, spatial and cognitive approach. The research question of the thesis is whether the three‐dimensional scale can affect the intelligibility of the city. Threedimensional scale in this thesis is differentiated from the classical concepts of scale used in architecture, urban design and geography and a new definition of scale, called cityscape scale, is introduced. Cityscape scale is defined as the relation of space and form as this is perceived by the moving human mind in an urban environment. The intelligibility of the built environment is defined as a combination of the spatial intelligibility developed by space syntax and of Lynch’s legibility. This means that the threedimensional scale as a relation of space and form is considered as an important visual element of the city but at the same time, since space is included in this relation, spatial intelligibility is equally important. Consequently, the type of intelligibility which is in the interest of this thesis is not simply an attribute of the built environment but it also involves how the built environment is perceived by people moving in it and how it is comprehended by them. In order to investigate the research question two virtual experiments have been set up testing, the first, how differences of the three‐dimensional scale affect the perception of urban environmental properties and, the second, how it affects navigation and wayfinding. The findings point towards important effects of the three‐dimensional scale on the visual legibility of the built environment, and not only the legibility of scale, but it seems that these do not affect navigation as the main factor that affects navigation remains the spatial layout.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The effect of the three‐dimensional scale on the intelligibility of the city
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: 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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1379545
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