An indicator of urban morphology for landscape planning in Lombardy (Italy)
Management of Environmental Quality
Article publication date: 11 June 2018
The spatial development of urban areas affects the characteristics of landscape as well as people’s aesthetic perception of it. Specifically, sprawl results in an urban morphology which is diametrically opposed to the compact city model and which assumes several kinds of patterns: for example “striped”, “ribbon” or “leapfrogged” urban development. Assessing urban morphology in spatial terms is crucial to urban policy, while landscape metrics are the key to a comprehensive understanding of different urban development patterns. The purpose of this paper to design and test an urban morphology indicator (UMI) for the Lombardy Regional Landscape Plan.
The paper describes an UMI that can be used to identify the heterogeneity of built-up patterns according to urban porosity, fragmentation and patch shape. This UMI is a result of Esri ArcGIS 10.3 “grouping analysis” which works by applying a spatial statistical metric for clustering geometries in a given geographical area.
Morphological analysis was used in regional urban development policies with a view to minimising impact on surrounding ecosystems and preserving the natural environment and landscape. It defines 28 different urban morphology patterns in the region, which are divided into systems, polarities and urbanised units.
The proposed methodology differs from those traditionally used in qualitative/descriptive landscape planning and supports the identification of morphological features with quantitative statistical and spatial data, allowing a fine-scale assessment of complex metrics.
Ronchi, S., Salata, S. and Arcidiacono, A. (2018), "An indicator of urban morphology for landscape planning in Lombardy (Italy)", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 623-642. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-05-2017-0048
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