Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Search results for: Townscape

2 Building an Arithmetic Model to Assess Visual Consistency in Townscape

Authors: Dheyaa Hussein, Peter Armstrong

Abstract:

The phenomenon of visual disorder is prominent in contemporary townscapes. This paper provides a theoretical framework for the assessment of visual consistency in townscape in order to achieve more favourable outcomes for users. In this paper, visual consistency refers to the amount of similarity between adjacent components of townscape. The paper investigates parameters which relate to visual consistency in townscape, explores the relationships between them and highlights their significance. The paper uses arithmetic methods from outside the domain of urban design to enable the establishment of an objective approach of assessment which considers subjective indicators including users’ preferences. These methods involve the standard of deviation, colour distance and the distance between points. The paper identifies urban space as a key representative of the visual parameters of townscape. It focuses on its two components, geometry and colour in the evaluation of the visual consistency of townscape. Accordingly, this article proposes four measurements. The first quantifies the number of vertices, which are points in the three-dimensional space that are connected, by lines, to represent the appearance of elements. The second evaluates the visual surroundings of urban space through assessing the location of their vertices. The last two measurements calculate the visual similarity in both vertices and colour in townscape by the calculation of their variation using methods including standard of deviation and colour difference. The proposed quantitative assessment is based on users’ preferences towards these measurements. The paper offers a theoretical basis for a practical tool which can alter the current understanding of architectural form and its application in urban space. This tool is currently under development. The proposed method underpins expert subjective assessment and permits the establishment of a unified framework which adds to creativity by the achievement of a higher level of consistency and satisfaction among the citizens of evolving townscapes.

Keywords: Townscape, Urban Design, Visual Assessment, Visual Consistency.

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1 High-Rises and Urban Design: The Reasons for Unsuccessful Placemaking with Residential High-Rises in England

Authors: E. Kalcheva, A. Taki, Y. Hadi

Abstract:

High-rises and placemaking is an understudied combination which receives more and more interest with the proliferation of this typology in many British cities. The reason for studying three major cities in England: London, Birmingham and Manchester, is to learn from the latest advances in urban design in well-developed and prominent urban environment. The analysis of several high-rise sites reveals the weaknesses in urban design of contemporary British cities and presents an opportunity to study from the implemented examples. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to analyze design approaches towards creating a sustainable and varied urban environment when high-rises are involved. The research questions raised by the study are: what is the quality of high-rises and their surroundings; what facilities and features are deployed in the research area; what is the role of the high-rise buildings in the placemaking process; what urban design principles are applicable in this context. The methodology utilizes observation of the researched area by structured questions, developed by the author to evaluate the outdoor qualities of the high-rise surroundings. In this context, the paper argues that the quality of the public realm around the high-rises is quite low, missing basic but vital elements such as plazas, public art, and seating, along with landscaping and pocket parks. There is lack of coherence, the rhythm of the streets is often disrupted, and even though the high-rises are very aesthetically appealing, they fail to create a sense of place on their own. The implications of the study are that future planning can take into consideration the critique in this article and provide more opportunities for urban design interventions around high-rise buildings in the British cities.

Keywords: High-rises, placemaking, urban design, townscape.

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