International Review for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development
Online ISSN : 2187-3666
ISSN-L : 2187-3666
Section A: Planning Strategies and Design Concepts
Spatial Configuration and Density
How Building Density Affects Spatial Arrangement of a Neighbourhood
Sahar Soltani Ning GuJorge OchoaAlpana SivamXuyang Sun
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2020 Volume 8 Issue 3 Pages 87-100


A large body of research has focused on the various social, environmental and economic ways in which urban density might affect cities. When considering density as one of the elements of urban form, the measurements that studies usually apply, such as net or gross building density, do not have any link to the design of the built form. This paper argues that the same building density can yield different design layouts, thereby emphasising the need for developing other measurements of density in close relationship with design factors. To demonstrate this, several cases with various ranges of density (low, medium and high) were explored through spatial analysis and categorised in three clusters for further study with statistical tests. The results confirm meaningful differences between cases with the same density but different spatial design characteristics. The outcomes also indicate that the category of the cases based on conventional density measures, namely population density and building density (which are commonly used in urban studies), fail to capture design differences when density ranges differ. These results should draw attention to this phenomenon, which appears worthy of further investigation in future studies.

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