News 06.03.2020

Graduate Urban Designer Will Kerr talks 'Urban Morphometrics'

Congratulations to Graduate Urban Designer Will Kerr, based in our Hale studio, whose dissertation on Urban Morphometrics has been selected by Strathclyde University as 'PHD potential'.

In his thesis, Will questions whether there are changes in scale of urban building configuration across time and space, and, if so, are there identifiable patterns in these changes?

An extract of 'Urban Morphometrics' by Will Kerr

'Scale in building formation and its association towards creating diverse and truly liveable settlements has, for many years, been frequently overlooked within planning systems across the world. The great and historic places that come to mind when we think of wonderful and culturally rich towns and cities have become so due to their intricate and fine-scale establishment. These are the spaces which have stood the test of time, creating beautiful and mentally and visually stimulating streetscapes, which allow anyone and everyone to access and be a part of. Such developments have accumulated anthropometrically, but it has been difficult and subjective to determine what actually is fine-grain and coarse-grain urban tissue.

By comparing building ground configuration, it has been possible to accurately assess urban form on a global scale, through the phenomenon of morphological tessellation – further progressing the field of urban morphology. By undertaking comparisons of six types of urban tissue across six continents, it has been possible to determine a slight coarsening of urban fabric through the Industrial revolution, but more so with the implementation of professional theories of urban design, such as Modernism (very significantly), Garden City Theory and New Urbanism. These results show that there is room to focus more closely on creating intricate and more ‘human-scale’ development in the future, to contribute towards the ever-evolving profession of Urban Design and help develop sustainable and prosperous lives.'

Supporting Images:

Image 1: Will Kerr, Graduate Urban Designer
Image 2: Birdseye Coarse-Grained Urban Fabric - Marzahn, Germany - Modernism (Google Maps)
Image 3: Birdseye Fine-Grained Urban Fabric - Cadiz, Spain - Pre-Industrial (Google Maps)
Image 4: Street View Fine-Grained - Cadiz, Spain - Pre-Industrial (Google Maps)
Image 5: Ground View Coarse-Grained Urban Fabric - Marzahn, Germany - Modernism (Google Maps)