Emergent Urbanism

Rediscovering Urban Complexity


The complex grid

In a medieval-era city the pace of urban growth is slow to a point where the growth of the city is not consciously noticed. Buildings are added sporadically, in random shape and order, as the extremely scarce economic situation makes no other pattern possible. Typically this means that the shape of streets will match the existing natural paths of movement, giving the street network an organic structure that is preserved through successive transformations in the urban fabric.

A measure of urban connection

What does it mean for a city to be connected? And is there quality resulting from this property? Let's define the basic node of a city as a doorway. (Not necessarily a building. A single building can have many doorways to separate spaces.) A connection is the distance from this doorway to the next node, that is to say the next doorway. A well connected city is a city where the distance from doorway to doorway is minimized, since everything will be easily accessible from the public space.

Further comment

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