Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Quantitative Methods of Urban Morphology in Urban Design and Environmental Psychology
Irem Erin, Alessandro Araldi, Giovanni Fusco, Ebru Cubukcu

Last modified: 15-05-2018


Irem Erin¹, Alessandro Araldi², Giovanni Fusco2, Ebru Cubukcu1,

¹City and Regional Planning Department. Dokuz Eylul University.  Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi-Mimarlık Fakültesi Tınaztepe Kampüsü, Doğuş Caddesi No:209, 35160 Buca- IZMIR, Turkey ²Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, UMR ESPACE. 98 Bd Edouard Herriot, BP 3209 06204 NICE cedex 3, France

E-mail: irem.erin@deu.edu.tr, alessandro.araldi@unice.fr, giovanni.fusco@unice.fr, ebru.cubukcu@deu.edu.tr

Telephone number: +905363341475

Keywords (3-5): Morphological analysis, quantitative methods, urban design, environmental psychology

Urban morphology investigates “how cities are built and why, how cities should be built, what should be built and what has actually been built?” (Moudon 1997). Together with the qualitative analysis, the founding fathers of urban morphology also proposed quantitative measures of urban fabrics. Allain's methodological work (2004) presents an overview of these quantitative analyses of topological, dimensional and geometrical relations among form elements in urban fabrics. However, urban morphologists have traditionally resisted computer-based geoprocessing of urban form and their calculations were mainly carried out manually. Thanks to technological developments, the number of quantitative studies in urban morphology has increased and fully integrated geoprocessing. More sophisticated computer-aided analyses have increased the potential applications in urban design and in environmental psychology research. Space Syntax (Hillier 1998) and Multiple Centrality Assessment (Porta et al. 2006) are configurational, multi-scale approaches to the analysis of the urban street network, but miss the interplay between streets, building and parcels composing urban fabric. Space Matrix (Berghauser Pont and Haupt 2010) and, more recently, Multiple Fabric Assessment (Araldi and Fusco 2017) are geoprocessing quantitative approaches to the analysis of urban fabric morphology. This study has two aims; (1) classify quantitative urban morphology methods and (2) discuss how these methods could be applied in urban design and environmental psychology. First, the evolution of these methods along with the theories in urban morphology from qualitative to quantitative approaches will be discussed. Methods will be classified by combining their goals, as well as the morphological objects and the scales on which the analyses will focus. Finally, we will discuss how these methods could be combined and used in two different research perspectives: urban design and environmental psychology.


Allain, R (2004) Morphologie urbaine: géographie, aménagement et architecture de la ville, Paris, Armand Collin

Araldi A., Fusco G. (2017) Decomposing and Recomposing Urban Fabric: the City from the Pedestrian Point of View, ICCSA 2017 Proceedings (in press)

Berghauser Pont, M., Haupt, P. (2010). SPACEMATRIX, Space, Density and Urban Form. Rotterdam, NAi Publishers.

Hillier, B. (1998) Space is the machine: A configurational Theory of Architecture, Cambridge University Press.

Moudon, A. V. (1997). Urban morphology as an emerging. Urban morphology,1, 3-10.

Porta S., Crucitti P., and Latora V. (2006) The network analysis of urban streets: a primal approach. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 33(5):705-725.


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