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Cities as emergent models: the morphological logic of Manhattan and Barcelona

Al Sayed, K.; Turner, A.; Hanna, S.; (2009) Cities as emergent models: the morphological logic of Manhattan and Barcelona. In: Koch, D. and Marcus, L. and Steen, J., (eds.) Proceedings of the 7th International Space Syntax Symposium. (pp. p. 1). Royal Institute of Technology (KTH): Stockholm, Sweden. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper is set to unveil several particulars about the logic embedded in the diachronic model of city growth and the rules which govern the emergence of urban spaces. The paper outlines an attempt to detect and define the generative rules of a growing urban structure by means of evaluation techniques. The initial approach in this regards will be to study the evolution of existing urban regions or cities which in our case are Manhattan and Barcelona and investigate the rules and causes of their emergence and growth. The paper will concentrate on the spatial aspect of the generative rules and investigate their behaviour and dimensionality. Several Space Syntax evaluation methods will be implemented to capture the change of spatial configurations within the growing urban structures. In addition, certain spatial elements will be isolated and tested aiming to illustrate their influence on the main spatial structures. Both urban regions were found to be emergent products of a bottom up organic growth mostly distinguished in the vicinities of the first settlements. Despite the imposition of a uniform grid on both cities in later stages of their development these cities managed to deform the regularity in the preplanned grid in an emergent manner to end up with an efficient model embodied in their current spatial arrangement. The paper reveals several consistencies in the spatial morphology of both urban regions and provides explanation of these regularities in an approach to extract the underlying rules which contributed to the growth optimization process.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Cities as emergent models: the morphological logic of Manhattan and Barcelona
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.sss7.org/Proceedings_list.html
Language: English
Additional information: Part of the 7th International Space Syntax Symposium, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden, 8-11 June 2009. Please see http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/15021, http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/15294, http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/15301/, http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/15302/, http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/15303/, http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/16184/ and http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/16409 for other proceedings from this symposium
Keywords: Spatial configuration, spatial morphology, urban growth, urban space
UCL classification:
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/16411
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