Performance-based model for vertical urbanism

Performance-based model for vertical urbanism


The chapter explores a model of performance-based urban design in a context of Asian urban development in which verticality plays a crucial role. A relationship between density, urban form and performance is examined as it relates to collective design decisions for a smart city project in Tokyo’s Misono area, which is one of the stadium sites of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

A fundamental question is frequently asked by urban designers: What generates future urban forms in neighborhood, campus or district-level territories? Many urban design processes address “contexts” and conduct analyses of broad-scale geographic information such as land coverage, topography, transportation networks or infrastructure systems. Urban design sometimes engages development strategies, in which “contents” of future development programs, land uses and activities are suggested and projected. Urban designers often produce new urban forms from “concepts”—ideas of the future derived from creative thinking or intuitions. In many cases, those concepts or ideas are based upon models or prototypes that exist in the society. As Kevin Lynch suggested, a more systematic analysis of precedent and an elaboration and analysis of new prototypes are the most important tasks for city design (Lynch, 1983).

In this paper, an integrated model is explored based on systems thinking, digital technology and geographic context (Steinitz, 2012). It is still relatively rare to see urban designers apply such a systematic model to generate future urban form, which goes beyond contexts, contents or concepts of traditional urban design reasoning. Urban designers are concerned about how a future urban environment ought to be made, which is a normative and design-oriented question.

In the Misono Smart City project, a goal was set to design a smart and ecologically sound community. To achieve this goal, a framework of performance evaluation was determined to focus on mobility, energy performance and outdoor comfort. Alternative scenarios of future urban forms are derived for testing the performance of design decisions. The proposed performance-based design model integrates scenarios of physical layouts, smart mobility, energy performance, outdoor visual quality and comfort, which are to be supported by the deployment of an Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure of real time sensing in the environment before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

MA Hui
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