Urban Form and Human Behavior

The research work around this theme primarily seeks to understand how the urban form and the dynamic processes that compose our cities and places shape urban experience.

The challenge in our work is to develop methods and theoretical frameworks to bring together the analysis of urban structure from a normative and explorative perspective with a broadly qualitative investigation of individual and community perceptions, experiences and narratives. Relationships between characteristics of the physical environment and the humans using it, between the context and human responses will be examined. The research will evolve a knowledge base for urban design decisions and a unique collection of urban codes and patterns for understanding the city.

Centre for the Future of Places is also interested in exploring how form & meaning, physically, socially and virtually is perceived and communicated by residents and what implications these impacts and consequent resident actions have on the city and its public realm, within the larger scope of ‘human oriented city’ investigation. Place is a closely connected to Urban Form so the Urban Places created are in direct link with Social Life. The investigations will dwell deeper into the intricate relationship between urban form and human behavior - physical design need not create sense of community, but rather, it can increase its probability – “environmental probabilism”. Spatial arrangement is therefore a medium rather than a variable with its own effect.

The focus and research concern will be about the matter of spatial tools, frameworks, models and technologies by which changes in urban form and landscapes can be better understood, visualized and worked with. Last but not least, studies in this area will encompass history, culture and heritage management of cities.

Previous studies in different fields akin to urbanism, such as sociology, geography, architecture, environmental psychology, economics, etc. have explored people’s social behavior and relationships with urban space. Unfortunately the findings of each field remained just that – findings of different fields. Never was there a real attempt made to unify the rich data generated within each discipline in order to shed more life on which and what kinds of urban environments were more conducive to human life.

Top page top