Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.632064
Title: Urban morphogenesis : how form-function complexity coupled temporal changes on street configurations in Manhattan and Barcelona over the past centuries
Author: Al-Sayed, K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 8928
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
The last few decades witnessed the development of key theories on urban form; some centred on understanding city growth by examining the synchronic representation of urban structures in frozen time frames (Space Syntax), while others focused on modelling cities as adaptive complex systems, testing priori assumptions in simulation models. Where research diverges to take either approach, we seek to bridge them in a comprehensive modelling framework, seeking for empirical evidence in the temporal patterns that mark growth and differentiation in urban structures. At the heart of this research is a thesis on how universal patterns emerge in cities and persist to change throughout the process of growth and across different cultures and geographies. The natural process that gives rise to these patterns appears to be reinforced despite large scale planning interventions. In search for an explanatory theory on why such patterns came to be, we trace and model local transformations of street configurations in Manhattan and Barcelona over six and nine centuries respectively. The investigation reveals self-regulatory processes of preferential attachment, pruning and reaction-diffusion that appear to govern growth and differentiation in street structures. To elaborate on the chronology of dependencies that couple these processes, we map historical changes on urban form and function. The mapping is to make explicit the temporal patterns that characterise the generative behaviour of the grid and how it historically shaped the processes of land subdivisions and high-rise development. For an empirical description of these processes, we build descriptive models to capture the relationships between street network configurations, street width, block density, building height, land values and land uses. We validate and test the outlined models to devise them in forecasting and design. With such framework, an analytical description of urban growth was transformed into a synthetic model to support urban design and planning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.632064  DOI: Not available
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