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Urban form characterizes the spatial structure of fixed elements within a city, which affects daily life and has significant influence on environmental sustainability. Measuring the spatiotemporal characteristics of an urban form and its relationship with sustainable development is the basis of urban planning. Taking 27 large cities in the United States, Europe and China as examples, we developed a ternary graph to quantify urban forms based on the density distribution of the built-up area. The urban forms were divided into the following classes: central-compact, central-sprawl, decentralized-compact, and decentralized-sprawl. Spatially, the cities in the three regions have experienced rapid urban growth, while the urban forms vary greatly from region to region. Urban forms are dominated by decentralized-sprawl in the United States, and central-compact in Europe and China. Temporally, approximately 80% of sample cities kept the urban form class both in 1990-2000 and 2000-2014. It is noted that 40% of sample cities in China tended to grow in a more sprawling pattern in 2000-2014 than in 1990-2000. From the land-saving aspect of urban sustainable development, compact and central spatial growth can significantly reduce per capita land consumption. Population density decreases in all sample cities, but compact and central spatial growth slowed the rate of population density reduction.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
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The process whereby a society changes from a rural to an urban way of life. It refers also to the gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas.
The planned upgrading of a deteriorating urban area, involving rebuilding, renovation, or restoration. It frequently refers to programs of major demolition and rebuilding of blighted areas.
The status of health in urban populations.
A technique of inputting two-dimensional images into a computer and then enhancing or analyzing the imagery into a form that is more useful to the human observer.
Health services, public or private, in urban areas. The services include the promotion of health and the delivery of health care.