Development of urban types based on network centrality, built density and their impact on pedestrian movement
Journal article, 2019
A better understanding of the relationship between the built environment and urban processes is central in guiding urban processes in more sustainable trajectories. Of particular importance to this endeavour is the idea of urban types. However, on closer scrutiny, while such types may capture the symbolic dimension of urban form, they frequently do not capture its performance or functional dimension. This prohibits precise policy formulation on the topic. This paper first presents a methodology for generating urban types relevant to urban practice (using analytical and statistical methods) and, second, an empirical test of the differences in performance concerning their influence on the presence of people in public space (an essential driver of many other urban processes). For this reason, a large (and to our knowledge unique) pedestrian survey of three European metropolitan areas was conducted and used to test the performance of the urban types developed. The results prove that the methodology for developing the types is robust, as it picks up generally recognised spatial patterns in all three cities. Further, the types were able to explain the intensity of pedestrian flow, its spatial distribution and fluctuations of intensity in space and time. These are vital steps forward and provide more useable typologies in urban planning and design practice.