Urban coherence: a morphological definition

Despite being one of the most commonly used normative concepts in urban design, coherence still lacks a firm morphological definition. Without an explicit specification of its spatial attributes, coherence remains a vague and subjective notion of design implicitly referred to as one of the basic properties of good urban form. As a contribution to the link between urban design and morphology, this paper renders the normative concept objectively in terms of a set of quantifiable morphological indicators. Spatial proximity and consistency are suggested as the two key indicators for measuring the coherence of urban fabric. Based on the computational theory of coherence, originally put forward by Thagard, an analytical model is suggested to quantify) the morphological coherence of actual urban fabrics. In this framework, three planned neighbourhoods in Rotterdam, the Netherlands are analysed to illustrate the changing nature of morphological coherence through different fashions of urbanism initiated in different periods of time.


Falak, Hareem; Çalışkan, Olgu; Urban Design in City and Regional Planning Department (2022-7-7)
Traditionally the cities have evolved incrementally, but the modern approach to urbanism created a rupture in this evolution process by idealizing the holistic creation of a new urban utopia and, in most cases, disregarding the existing urban context and history. Due to the new typologies introduced by the modern architecture and urban design policies, a controversial relationship morphologically arises between the modern and traditional fabrics. This can be observed best in the urban peripheries where the ...
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Ceylan, Aybike; Barlas, Mehmet Adnan; Department of City and Regional Planning (2003)
Macro-scale planning and design as a product of modernism have been abandoned to a high degree, as a result of the reactionary post-modern approaches since the 19602s. Intensifying with the rise of neo-liberal approaches in the 19702s, these reactions advocated merely incremental decision-making and design in the making of cities. These developments lived in the western countries showed their reflections in Turkey with the 19802s, resulting in fragmented planning practices. However it is the hypothesis of t...
Urban stigma: a morphological investigation of the marginality in the city
İnce, Büşra; Çalışkan, Olgu; Urban Design in City and Regional Planning Department (2021-9-09)
City is one of the most complex and sophisticated artifacts shaped by numerous inputs and many different programmatic layers that eventually form the urban fabric. In modern cities, the fabric is reproduced through standardized and sterilized spatial orders controlled by the local authorities and the state. The marginals (i.e., slum areas, refugee camps, red light districts), in this context, are conceived as deviations where the so-called legitimate spatial syntax is interrupted and deformed. Since the mar...
Urban Fissure: The Spatial Manifestation of the İstanbul Land Walls and Mural Zone
Baş Bütüner, Funda (Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, 2019-01-01)
This article intends to question changing spatiality and position of the "urban edge" in expanding cities, and argues its spatial manifestation as an "urban fissure". The term "edge", which basically refers to the end line between two opposing milieus, became redundant in the expanded urban surface; and necessitates a critical review through a new concept. Edge, demarcating the communication/interaction line between two milieus, acts also as a "productive frontier" and generates an edgescape that subsequent...
Design thinking in urbanism: Learning from the designers
Çalışkan, Olgu (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2012-12-01)
Since the design methods movement of the 1960s, design studies have made significant progress in our understanding of design thinking in general. Nevertheless, urbanism's enduring lack of interest in the cognitive insights of design has caused the field to continue to rely on early procedural models, which have been invalidated by the emerging debates in design studies. The shortcomings of this theoretical condition are proven mainly by the disputable conceptualisations of analysis and design in spatial pla...
Citation Formats
O. Çalışkan, “Urban coherence: a morphological definition,” URBAN MORPHOLOGY, pp. 123–141, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/54080.