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Urban Design

LECTURE 4

The Morphological Dimension

Abhishek K. Venkitaraman

Assistant Professor

Urban morphology

Factors Influencing Urban Morphology

  • - Site factors

  • - Historical and cultural factors

  • - Functional factors

  • - Government influence

  • - Social values

  • - Economic forces *economic circulation *economic accessibility / urban land rents

MORPHOLOGY

Line breaks: morph|ology

THE STUDY OF THE FORMS OF THINGS

Origin Mid 19th century: from Greek morphē 'form' + -logy.

URBAN MORPHOLOGY

THE STUDY OF THE FORM AND SHAPE OF

SETTLEMENTS

  • Development patterns

  • Process of Change

Urban morphology the study of change in the physical form and shape of settlements over time focuses on patterns and processes of growth and change.

Differences in street and block patterns, plot patterns, the arrangement of buildings within plots and the shapes of buildings create very different environments the different patterns are commonly referred to as ‘urban tissue’ (Caniggia & Maffel 1979, 1984).

How form of the city changes?

BHOPAL- CHRONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

How form of the city changes? BHOPAL- CHRONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

Growth of Roorkee

Chronological growth of the town

Comparison of growth

1970

2012

Growth of a City

The growth of a city takes place in different stages. Some cities grow so rapidly that it

will be difficult to recognize them after few decades.

New York in 1851 was a fine and spacious city. Situated in the bank of East and Hudson river it had three to four storied terraced houses.

But in 1951, the three and four storied flats gave way to skyscrapers. Only the streets remain unchanged.

Similar is the case with the Birmingham, which expanded fast due to industrial establishments.

Toronto has also made the same mistakes that the other big cities have made.

One can see urban jungle in San Paulo also. But San Francisco is an exception due to the construction of satellite city across the river, overdevelopment cannot be seen in this city. It has thus retained its character.

Chicago is a city which is portrayed as a technological success but a planning failure.

Growth of towns

Growth of town can be classified in two ways

• Growth according to Origin

• Growth according to Direction

Growth according to Origin:

Natural Growth- Not preplanned development, developed as matter of chance; Possibly could be a result of evolution rather than a pre-thought or preplanned development;

Primary factors for the natural growth are availability of fresh water, rich soil,

immediate comfort and convenience of the people

Concentric Spread ,

Satellite Growth,

Ribbon Development and

Scattered Growth;

Planned Growth

The town develops on pre-determined line as prepared by the town planner - Development in a orderly manner;

Planned growth can be understood through 2 points

1) Selection of site for the town; 2) Features to be embodied in the plan

Natural Growth

Concentric Spread:

Here the town develops in the form of concentric rings • Resulting from improper houses, concentration of the people in the heart of the town, congestion of the traffic and accidents

Satellite Growth:

• The satellite growth implies dependency on the parent city but still possessing its town identity; • When a town reaches a certain size, satellite devolution must take place, to break the suburban sprawl beyond that size; • Since its periphery falls away from the heart of the parent city, it becomes less convenient and uncomfortable for the distant people

Ribbon Development:

• Ribbon development is in the form of a ribbon or line, i.e. a single row of houses along the bus stops, bus routes, railway station or highways; • It happens specially in newly developing towns where rules and zoning regulations have not been strictly enforced; Ribbon development has become a regular feature where we find over crowding of all types of building such as school, factories, petrol pumps.

Disadvantages of Ribbon Development:

• Advantage for the frontage of the main road leaving the interior undeveloped and causes

wastage of valuable land; Leads to over crowding of the road and, streets become narrow and give rise to accidents;

• All types of buildings grow at the frontage,

some times affect health conditions;

• Town spreads far and wide, becomes costly

to maintain and future developments are very costly;

Scattered Growth

Town shows erratic growth, expands in a very irregular manner; It results into traffic congestion, slums and lack of open spaces;

Leapfrog Development

• Leapfrogging occurs when developers jump from one built-up area to another, leaving a large, undeveloped space of land or forest in between.

• This can occur because of the city's zoning

laws.

The problem with leapfrogging is that transportation between the two developed

areas often becomes dependent on driving rather than walking or biking.

Growth According to Direction • The growth of towns considering the direction takes place in two ways:

1) Horizontal Growth; 2) Vertical Growth

Horizontal Growth- City can grow horizontally in all directions, to accommodate the growing population. Horizontal growth is economical at places where land price is cheap;

• Vertical Growth- City grows vertically which is done by adding more floors to the existing building or by constructing high rise or multistoried buildings. This type of development is suitable where the land value is high;

1) Horizontal Growth:

Advantages:

• Economic building construction

• Does not require high technical personnel • Possible to have roof ventilation and maximum use of roof lighting • Density of population is generally low

• Marginal space around the building could be used for garden

Disadvantages:

• It requires more land for the same space area

• The construction cost rises as foundation area increases • It is uneconomical where the land is costly • There is absence of group living

2) Vertical Growth:

Advantages:

• Over all construction cost reduces because less expenses in foundation • Lot of land saving where land is costly

• Increased green space around the building • Encourages a sense of group living

Disadvantages:

• Fire safety, earthquake issues, heavy dependence on mechanized vertical transportation system in building

• Alteration in microclimate

• Density of population is very high

Morphological Elements:

1. Land uses - Changes to land uses include both new uses coming in and existing uses moving to other areas.

  • 2. Building structures - There has often been a recognisable cycle of building development on each plot.

  • 3. Plot pattern - Cadastral units (urban blocks) are typically

subdivided or ‘platted’ into plots or lots. These may be ‘back-to- back’ plots, each having a frontage onto a main street or

circulation route and a shared or common plot boundary at the

rear.

  • 4. Cadastral (street) pattern - The cadastral pattern is the layout of urban blocks and public space/movement channels between those blocks. The spaces between the blocks can be considered to be the public space network.

Elements which change:

  • LAND USE

  • BUILDING STRUCTURE

  • PLOT PATTERN

  • CADASTRAL (STREET) PATTERN

LEAST RESILIENT

MOST RESILIENT

Cadastral pattern is the layout of Urban Blocks and, between them, the public space/ movement network.

The blocks define the space and the space

defines the block

Cadastral pattern is the layout of Urban Blocks and, between them, the public space/ movement network.

Neighborhood Status

Buildings as constituent elements in Urban block

- Spatial Coherence

Buildings as freestanding pavilions in amorphous space.

-Monumental buildings

-Arbitrary and disconnected individual features

Buildings as constituent elements in Urban block - Spatial Coherence Buildings as freestanding pavilions in amorphous

URBAN GRAIN The balance of open space to built form, and the nature and extent of subdividing an area into smaller parcels or blocks. For example a ‘fine urban grain’ might constitute a network of small or detailed streetscapes.

It

takes

into

consideration

 

the

hierarchy

of

street

types,

the

physical

linkages and movement between locations, and modes of transport

URBAN GRAIN The balance of open space to built form , and the nature and extent
GRAIN FINE: composed of small sized street blocks COARSE: with fewer larger blocks TEXTURE EVEN UNEVEN
GRAIN
FINE: composed
of small sized
street blocks
COARSE: with
fewer larger
blocks
TEXTURE
EVEN
UNEVEN

Von Meiss contends that a fundamental problem of the

twentieth century

urbanization

has

been

the

multiplication of ‘objects’ and the neglect of ‘fabrics’.

Von Meiss contends that a fundamental problem of the twentieth century urbanization has been the multiplication

Cities slowly tended to lose their spatial coherence, becoming a

series of unrelated and competing or isolated monuments and

small complexes of buildings surrounded by roads, parking and landscapingFRACTURING OF SPACE

Regular and Deformed Grids:

Regular or 'ideal grids :

characterised by geometric regularity.

they are typically planned and have some

degree of geometric discipline. due to the ease of laying out streets, the most basic planned layouts have generally been rectilinear and many settlements with

regular or semi-regular grids exist.

'Deformed' grids:

characterised by apparent irregularity. the cores of pre-industrial cities tend to

have ‘deformed’ grids.

generally based on pedestrian movement

and strongly influenced by topography,

they were integral parts of the immediate

area, rather than through-routes, and evolved and developed through use.

Regular and Deformed Grids: Regular or 'ideal grids : characterised by geometric regularity. they are typically

An important Urban Design quality established by the cadastral pattern is that of PERMEABILITY

Visual Permeability Physical Permeability

Railroad Suburbs Railroads appeared about the time of the Civil War and they changed the shape

Railroad Suburbs

Railroads appeared about the time of the Civil

War and they changed the shape of cities. The speed of the railroad allowed people (If they

couldn't afford the fare) to live in "ideal" small towns built beyond the limits of the crowded

organic city in which people worked.

Features of

these

dormitory

towns include

larger lots than in

the

city,

stores

near the

railroad station, and curving streets with names

that have rural/romantic connotations:

Greenfield, Briarcliff, Idyllwylde, etc.

Streetcar Grids Streetcars, at first pulled by horses and later driven by electric motors helped to

Streetcar Grids

Streetcars, at first pulled by horses and

later driven by electric motors helped to

shape cities in the late 1800's.

They allowed access

to

residential

areas along major routes, which were

often spaced a mile or half-mile apart in a

square grid. Stores and apartment buildings line the main roads, while blocks of narrow houselots fill the less valuable land far from the streetcar lines.

Numbered or lettered streets and avenues are typical, especially in those parts of the cities that were being urbanized at a very rapid rate.

The City Beautiful Wide boulevards going diagonally through a rectangular grid are the hallmarks of this

The City Beautiful

Wide boulevards going diagonally through a rectangular grid are the hallmarks of this design, which was a deliberate attempt to overcome the dullness of the streetcar city.

The avenues focus on public buildings and pedestrian squares with statues or monuments at strategic locations.

Unfortunately plans for the city beautiful were

expensive as well as imaginative and

therefore most of them were never finished, though nearly every major American city has a few districts.

Bungalow Grids

Compared with the earlier grids, the bungalow

districts have lower population densities, larger lots, and elongated blocks,

often with alleys behind the closely

spaced single-family houses and

duplexes.

Tract Suburbs

After World War II, increasingly affluent commuters demanded better transportation in the form of radial freeways (through old urban

areas to city centers) andbypasses (around cities and railroad

towns.) The automobile suburbs featured rectangular street patterns with partially restricted access to the major highways.

Blocks and houselots tend to be larger and more square than in bungalow districts; commercial strips

are common along the major roads; and stree names often change at suburb boundaries.

Tract Suburbs After World War II, increasingly affluent commuters demanded better transportation in the form of

Rectilinear Grid Iron Pattern

Rectilinear Grid Iron Pattern

Curvilinear City

Cul-de-sac pattern

Cul-de-sac pattern

Cul-de-sac pattern

FIGURE GROUND ANALYSIS OF OLD CITY OF GHAZIABAD

Image Source: Author

FIGURE GROUND ANALYSIS

 

Lack

of

green

spaces

&

Poor

Maintenance

of

existing

green

spaces

TYPICAL NARROW LANES

COLORFUL,OLD SHOPS

CENTRE OF WHOLESALE

& RETAIL

Observations:

The buildings are densely packed with little or no space between them. There are some open abandoned spaces which can be developed into potential urban spaces. Apart from the abandoned spaces, there is a lack of open spaces in the study area which leads to visual chaos and deterioration.

There is no particular movement axis.

Theories in Morphology

Figure-ground Theory: relationship between building mass and open space; analyzes textures

and patterns of urban fabric; and spatial order.

Linkage Theory: Dynamics of circulation as generators of urban form; connection and movement.

Place Theory: Importance of historic, cultural, and social values in urban open space; contextualist’s angle.

Figure Ground Theories

Figure Ground Theories

The figure-ground theory is founded on the study of the relative land coverage of

Solid masses: (“figure”) (buildings) Open voids: (”ground”) (parks, streets, squares)

A predominant “field” of solids and voids creates the urban fabric.

The figure-ground approach to spatial design is an attempt to manipulate the

solid-void relationships by adding to, subtracting from, or changing the physical geometry of the pattern.

The figure-ground drawing is a graphic tool for illustrating mass-void relationships;

a two dimensional Abstraction in plan view that clarifies the structure and order of urban spaces.

Urban Solids:

   

Urban Voids:

Public

Monuments

or

institutions

Entry foyer space establishes the important

(Ziggurat, Pyramid, Gothic or

transition from personal domain to common

Baroque Churches etc.) Urban Blocks (Krier’s mission is to reconstruct the traditional urban

territory- (fore court, mews, niche, lobby, front yard) Inner block void a semi private residential

block as the definer of streets and

space for leisure or utility- (courtyard and

square)

covered passage)

Edge-defining Buildings -establish an edge of the district- (Berlage’s

Network of streets and squares places to spend time in and corridors through which to

Housing district in Amsterdam, 1915)

move-

 

Public parks and gardens nodes for the

preservation of nature in the city, places for

recreation-

Linear open-space system commonly related to major water features such as rivers, waterfronts,

and wetland zones

The objective of these manipulations is to clarify the structure of urban spaces in a city or district by establishing a hierarchy of spaces of different sizes that are individually en- closed but ordered directionally in relation to each other.

A predominant "field" of solids and voids creates this urban pattern, often called the fabric, and is punctuated by object buildings and spaces, such as major landmarks or open spaces that provide focal points and subcenters within the field.

The figure-ground drawing is a graphic tool for illustrating mass-void relationships; a two-

dimensional abstraction in plan view that clarifies the structure and order of urban spaces.

Istanbul

Paris from Above

Berlin from Above

Linkages Theory

Linkage theory is derived from “lines” connecting one element to another.

These lines are formed by streets, pedestrian ways, linear open spaces, or other linking elements that psychically connect the parts of a city.

The designer applying the linkage theory tries to organize a system of connections, or a network, that establishes a structure for ordering spaces.

Emphasis is placed on circulation diagram rather than the spatial diagram of the figure-ground theory.

Movement systems and the efficiency of infrastructure take precedence over patterns of defined outdoor space.

Constantinople, reconstruction of the city’s appearance in the 9 -11 centuries,showing the string of forums.

Constantinople, reconstruction of the city’s appearance in the 9 th -11 th centuries,showing the string of forums.

Place Theories

The place theory adds the components of human needs and cultural, historical, and natural contexts.

Advocates of the place theory give physical space additional richness by incorporating unique forms and details indigenous to its setting.

In place theory social and cultural values, visual perceptions, of users and an individual’s control over public environment are as important as principles of enclosure and linkage

Source: http://www.slideshare.net/ceptwebmaster/janwani-lap-jm-rd
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DEFORMED GRID

TRADITIONAL

MODERN
MODERN

CHANGE OF MOVEMENT SYSTEM

CHANGE OF MOVEMENT SYSTEM HIERARCHY OF ROAD NETWORK CAR AS COLONIZER OF PUBLIC SPACE INTRODUCTION OF
CHANGE OF MOVEMENT SYSTEM HIERARCHY OF ROAD NETWORK CAR AS COLONIZER OF PUBLIC SPACE INTRODUCTION OF

HIERARCHY OF ROAD NETWORK

CAR AS COLONIZER OF PUBLIC SPACE

INTRODUCTION OF CUL-DE-SACS

Queensway in Birmingham

POD DEVELOPMENTS

A further transformation in the morphological structure of urban areas is that from outward facing urban blocks to inward- focused complexes.

  •  

PROVIDES QUIETER

LACK OF

AND SAFE STREETS

INTERCONNECTEDN

 

ESS

PROMOTES

CREATES CAR

RESIDENT

DEPENDENCY

INTERACTION

PROVIDES A LOCAL SENSE OF IDENTITY

ENHANCES OPPORTUNITIES FOR CRIME

REDUCES OPPORTUNITIES FOR CRIME

LACK OF IDENTITY AND CHARACTER

SHARED STREETS

The shared street layout gives pedestrians primary rights, so that, sensing they are intruding into a

pedestrian zone, motorists drive more cautiously

TRAFFIC CALMING

SHARED STREETS The shared street layout gives pedestrians primary rights, so that, sensing they are intruding

STREET RECLAIMING

SHARED STREETS The shared street layout gives pedestrians primary rights, so that, sensing they are intruding

Traditional focus was given to road design:

•More infrastructure for cars

•More space for motorized vehicles •Unsustainable focus

WHY

SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT?

HOW TO ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT SYSTEM?

WALKING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CYCLING FEEDER SYSTEMS
WALKING
PUBLIC TRANSPORT
CYCLING
FEEDER
SYSTEMS

?

?
?
HOW TO ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT SYSTEM ? WALKING PUBLIC TRANSPORT CYCLING FEEDER SYSTEMS ? ?
Consider how best the site can be connected with nearby main routes and public transport facilities

Consider how best the site can be connected with nearby main routes and public transport facilities

Consider how best the site can be connected with nearby main routes and public transport facilities

The typical cul -de- sac response creates an introverted layout, which fails to integrate with the surroundings

Consider how best the site can be connected with nearby main routes and public transport facilities
Consider how best the site can be connected with nearby main routes and public transport facilities

A more pedestrian-friendly approach that integrates with the surrounding community

This street pattern then

forms the basis for perimeter blocks, which ensure that buildings contribute positively to the public realm

links existing and proposed streets, and

provides direct links to bus stops

Ballard Estate, Mumbai

PERIMETER BLOCKS

Ref:

URBAN DESIGN: A TYPOLOGY OF PROCEDURES AND

PRODUCTS- Jon Lang (pg-208)

S E R I A L V I S I O N • Sequence of revelations.
S E R I A L
V I S I O N
• Sequence of revelations.
• Manipulate the elements of town so that impact on emotions is achieved.
• To walk from one end of the plan to another at a uniform pace will provide a
sequence of surprise. so an impact is made on eye.