H. Ihab, L. Xin, R. König, G. Schmitt, R. El Meouche, L. Zhihan, M. Abune´Meh:
"Measuring the homogeneity of urban fabric using 2D geometry data";
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, http://epb.sagepub.com/lookup/doi/10.1177/0265813516659070 (2016), 25 S.

To preserve the urban fabric or characteristics in specific quarters, there is often a need to either
strengthen or lessen the homogeneity of the urban fabric when inserting new buildings. Evaluating
the form of urban fabric is fundamentally important for urban design practice and relevant policy
making. However, the quantitative methods and attempts are rare due to the lack of available
methods. To address this deficiency, this article presents a GIS-based method to measure the
homogeneity of urban fabric by extracting attributes directly from the geometry of 2D building
footprints, including the angles between buildings, areas of building footprints, and distances
between buildings. These attributes are calculated for separate overlaid grids in the open space
between buildings, where each grid holds the measured values for one attribute. We test
the method on a prototype, which we applied on four real sites using OpenStreetMap data.
The results show how to categorize different kinds of urban fabric based on the new measure of homogeneity. The method can be used to interactively inform urban planners how new design
proposals would affect the homogeneity of a neighborhood. Furthermore, the measure can be
used to synthesize new design variants with a defined homogeneity.

Spatial analysis, homogeneity, urban design, geographical information systems

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