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Urban Form

Modeling the City and Musings on Density

ground-level-festival-station

Ground Level At Festival Sation

So if you are a regular you potentially noticed that its been a while since I’ve done any real posting. Lately I have been concentrating most of my efforts on a studio project I have been working on. We’ve (My Group and I) been putting together a proposal for the implementation of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line down Avenue Du Parc in Montreal and I have been working on a lot of the 3D images.

3d-2-density-before-birds-eye-looking-at-laurier-stop-up-to-saint-viateur

I’ve also been working over theories on density and its measurements in preparation to discuss potential thesis topics with my adviser in the next couple of weeks and have been finding the concept of density a bit of a quandary when it applies to Urban planning. I mean sure we all think of density in terms of the number of people within a certain area, but is that really an adequate measure for density. Highly built downtown areas can end up measured as having very low density if you have a downtown area that few people actually live in.

Should building volumes be our measure of density? what is the total amount of built space within a certain area, and how much volume does it take up? This could certainly give a better view on what density feels like to the pedestrian, but then there is the issue of neighbourhoods with similar volumes but much higher population levels. Take a small apartment building in Korea and a building here in Canada, in Korea there are likely to be twice as many people in the building.

3d-2-density-birds-eye-looking-at-laurier-stop-up-to-saint-viateur

Until now density has been a fairly loose measurement, it has been ok for statistical purposes and when considered as an abstract number but as we move into a future where compact and efficient cities are the new goal, we are going to need to take a closer look at this measurement.

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