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Comparative Study of Complexity in Streetscape Composition

Authors: Ahmed Mansouri, Naoji Matsumoto


This research is a comparative study of complexity, as a multidimensional concept, in the context of streetscape composition in Algeria and Japan. 80 streetscapes visual arrays have been collected and then presented to 20 participants, with different cultural backgrounds, in order to be categorized and classified according to their degrees of complexity. Three analysis methods have been used in this research: cluster analysis, ranking method and Hayashi Quantification method (Method III). The results showed that complexity, disorder, irregularity and disorganization are often conflicting concepts in the urban context. Algerian daytime streetscapes seem to be balanced, ordered and regular, and Japanese daytime streetscapes seem to be unbalanced, regular and vivid. Variety, richness and irregularity with some aspects of order and organization seem to characterize Algerian night streetscapes. Japanese night streetscapes seem to be more related to balance, regularity, order and organization with some aspects of confusion and ambiguity. Complexity characterized mainly Algerian avenues with green infrastructure. Therefore, for Japanese participants, Japanese traditional night streetscapes were complex. And for foreigners, Algerian and Japanese avenues nightscapes were the most complex visual arrays.

Keywords: Complexity, Cluster Analysis, Affordance, nightscape, Streetscape, Visual Array, Hayashi Quantification Method

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