the anatomy of sprawl

Hudson, Ohio: the anatomy of sprawl

This article describe the morphological approach to the urban study of a city, establishing a system of analysis that breaks the physical city down into fundamental elements that are found in all cities. Sveral steps are taken to analyse the city:
a. study the population (and growth)
b. locate urban core and village center
c. define land use (functional study, classifying areas and corridors by their use)
form is different from function
d. describe land subdivision (blocks, districts, tissues, regions)
e. proceed through an historical comparison
f. arrange the components of the city into broad groups (site, buildings, objects) this is related to the order of endurance of components.
g. analyse the cadastral map where two broad groups of spatial ordering componets (paths and plts) can be thought of as a “checkboard” upon which the physical elements of the city are composed and built.
h. compare the different layers representing these different components.
i. explore the topography of the site.
The author sketches an operative approach while planning the urban expansions and redesign according to each particular tissue . For the elastic tissue, there is no proper methodology, so, in this sense, there is space for experimenting new approaches, trying to mix phisical walks with traditional approaches.


Most of the tasks described above requires the following cognitive tasks:
1. comparison
2. build exemplar units
3. layering
4. define transitions points

Is it possible to incorporate these tasks in a collaborative game?

1. The gaming board is the cadastral map
2. The size of the city should be determined by the number of participants
3. The goal is to maximise the citizen’s wealth
4. [LAND] Businessman and factory owners expect to collect profits on their business which can be connected to the land value which will result in increased profits.
5. [PEOPLE] if people have to travel a lot to reach their destination they loose their work efficiency
6. [GOVERNMENT] one or more players represent the city government, they have to act in agreement. Also the government can be elected with secret ballot.

Leave a Reply