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Rivers as integration devices in cities
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Geoinformatics.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture. (Spatial Analysis and Design (SAD))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7089-4244
2016 (English)In: City, Territory and Architecture, ISSN 0885-7024, E-ISSN 2195-2701, Vol. 3, no 1, 1-21 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: As dynamic systems rivers and cities have been in interaction under changing relations over time, and the morphology of many cities has risen through a long and steady struggle between the city functions and the river system flowing inside. This makes river cities an interesting case to study how the presence of geographical features interacts with spatial morphology in the formation of cities.

Methods: The basis of this research is enabled by utilizing a novel model for cross-city comparison presented by Hillier in his Santiago keynote in 2012 called a “star model”. This is done on large samples of cities investigating concurrent configurations, as well as how the properties in this star model react to specific forms of disturbance.

Results: Results illustrate that the foreground network as identified through maximum choice values in cities are more vital to the structure of cities than the bridges. The overall syntactic structure tends to retain its character (degree of distributedness) and the location of its foreground network (which street segments constitute the foreground network) even when bridges are targeted. Furthermore, counter to the initial hypothesis, river cities tend to change less than non-river cities after targeted disturbance of the systems. Finally, the results show that while there is a statistical morphological difference between river cities and non-river cities, this difference is not directly explained through the bridges.

Conclusion: Integrating space syntax with statistical and geospatial analysis can throw light on the way in which the properties of city networks and urban structure reflect the relative effect of rivers on the morphology of river cities. The paper, finally, contributes through offering one piece of a better perception of the structure of river-cities that can support strategies of river-cities interaction as well as enhance our knowledge on the constraints and limits to that interaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016. Vol. 3, no 1, 1-21 p.
Keyword [en]
river-cities, morphology, space syntax, structured or distributed city, foreground network
National Category
Geotechnical Engineering Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Research subject
Geodesy and Geoinformatics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-180733DOI: 10.1186/s40410-016-0030-4OAI: diva2:896583

QC 20160309

Available from: 2016-01-21 Created: 2016-01-21 Last updated: 2016-03-09Bibliographically approved

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