Modelling 3D spatial enclosure of urban open spaces

H. Serdar Kaya & Hasan Mutlu

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Kaya, H. S. & Mutlu, H. (1). Modelling 3D spatial enclosure of urban open spaces. Journal of Urban Design, 22(1), 96–115.

Existing urban open space typologies within dense urban fabrics cannot meet society’s open space requirements in developing countries’ metropolitan cities, such as Istanbul. Because of high building densities, it is a challenging task to create new open spaces within urban cores. Developing new tools that work with the existing built environment is crucial to reveal ‘opportunity spaces’ that can act as breathing points within dense urban fabrics. In this research, a new model is developed to evaluate the 3D spatial enclosure of open spaces using basic geometrical properties and geographic information system (GIS) tools. As a case study, Istanbul’s changing spatial organization is analyzed using this model.

Main finding
This study finds that the spatial distribution and total ratio of public open spaces are below expected urban standards in the central core of Istanbul but it is challenging to create new open spaces within urban cores because of high building densities. To address this issue, this study develops a model to analyze 3D spatial enclosure associated with other urban design contexts, such as evaluation of various urban open spaces, user perception and preferences on open space structure and potential roles and land uses of small open spaces. It is proposed that this model can be used by municipalities and urban designers to create a hierarchical network of breathing nodes through the introduction of innovative design solutions.

Description of method used in the article
A new 3D spatial enclosure model (using rectangular tessellation to calculate 3D spatial enclosure) is examined comparatively with a previously developed model (using sets of points). The historical centre of Istanbul was selected as a case study for this research.

Of practical use

Organising categories

Other or N/A
3D / Digital / Datasets
Urban Planning
Physical types
Geographic locations