Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Modelling Cities According to Isobenefits

Simulating future societies in Isobenefit Cities: Social isobenefit scenarios(16 page pdf, Luca D’Acci, Futures Journal, Sep. 25, 2013)

Today we review a paper about a model of various urban forms that are evaluated according to the benefits that each confers to its citizens. The forms include a traditional Central Business District form where the population and economy is highest in the centre and radiates outward to a second form where there are several sub centres or sub cities of activity to a third form where there is a ring city surrounding .The isolines of benefits (isobenefits) are based on formulae which estimate such things as benefits to pedestrians and cyclists (pedestrian and bike paths for example) and specific examples from cities around the world are tested. Results indicate the types of cities that could be designed as well as what might be done to existing cities to improve benefits. The optimum one seems to be a multi-centre city. isobenefits  

Key Quotes :

“visionary examples of virtual future societies habitats:
  • the Ring City (a city without the ‘city centre’, where the ‘city centre’ is all around the peripherical ring, or in a series of rings),
  • the Homogeneous City (a city where the ‘city centre’ is everywhere), the Annulus City (a city without any geometrical centre in the city) and
  • the Punctiform City (an interconnected net of urban hyperdense ‘points’ throughout nature, parks and lands)”
“When these influences are objectively negative (pollutions, stress, daily wasting of time for commuting, crime, low quality of life, segregations, urban sprawl or over density, obesity, etc.) and predictable, why not try to avoid them at their origin rather than wait decades and change them just after having continuously suffered their negative effects rather than before?”

“re-transition in some cases is in a forced way, by planning and laws even with strong opposition from the populations which still want to park and pass through the city centre by car; in some opposite cases it is the population who force planning and laws because they want pedestrian areas; in some other cases there is a mutual influence”

“In an isobenefit city there will be a uniform distribution of public transport, streets, and attractiveness, and the typology (parks, pedestrian areas, libraries, shops, etc.) and amount of the attractiveness (both Urban Centralities and Urban Fuzzy Quality) will (ideally) meet the preferences of citizens.”

“Models in modern economics are structured on decision-making-agents; in urban terms this means models which should value individuals who balance decisions.” “the isotropic approach shapes our urbs, which shape our civitas, which shape our urbs.”
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