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Computational urban design prototyping: Interactive planning synthesis methods—a case study in Cape Town

Miao, Yufan, König, Reinhard, Knecht, Katja, Konieva, Kateryna, Buš, Peter, Chang, Mei-Chih (2018) Computational urban design prototyping: Interactive planning synthesis methods—a case study in Cape Town. International Journal of Architectural Computing, 16 (3). pp. 212-226. ISSN 1478-0771. (doi:10.1177/1478077118798395) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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This article is motivated by the fact that in Cape Town, South Africa, approximately 7.5 million people live in informal settlements and focuses on potential upgrading strategies for such sites. To this end, we developed a computational method for rapid urban design prototyping. The corresponding planning tool generates urban layouts including street network, blocks, parcels and buildings based on an urban designer’s specific requirements. It can be used to scale and replicate a developed urban planning concept to fit different sites. To facilitate the layout generation process computationally, we developed a new data structure to represent street networks, land parcellation, and the relationship between the two. We also introduced a nested parcellation strategy to reduce the number of irregular shapes generated due to algorithmic limitations. Network analysis methods are applied to control the distribution of buildings in the communities so that preferred neighbourhood relationships can be considered in the design process. Finally, we demonstrate how to compare designs based on various urban analysis measures and discuss the limitations that arise when we apply our method in practice, especially when dealing with more complex urban design scenarios.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1478077118798395
Projects: [UNSPECIFIED] Cognitive Design Computing / Responsive Cities Scenario research
Uncontrolled keywords: Procedural modelling; spatial synthesis; generative design; urban planning
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > Architecture
Depositing User: Peter Bus
Date Deposited: 22 May 2019 11:58 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2019 09:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Buš, Peter:
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