A New Method to Characterize Density Adapted to a Coarse City Model

  • Rachid Hamaina
  • Thomas Leduc
  • Guillaume Moreau
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Density is probably one of the most used indicators to characterize urban development. Even if it is a quantitative and properly defined measure, there are still difficulties in using it properly. This chapter proposes an updated approach to characterize urban density based on buildings’ footprints. It can be applied to huge datasets and allows multilevel characterization of density. We first present an original partition of urban open space. This topology helps us to define a neighborhood function. We then adapt the ground space index and floor space index indices to the previously defined tessellation. The combination of the neighborhood function and the modified indices makes it possible to assess density iteratively. For each building, these values allow one to define the density profile, which is then used in a classification process. The results highlight spatial patterns and homogeneous areas. This transposable method is adapted to urban fabric characterization and surpasses old descriptive and low formalized classifications.


Density profile Extended FSI (Floor Space Index) Extended GSI (Ground Space Index) Open space tessellation Urban morphology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachid Hamaina
    • 1
  • Thomas Leduc
    • 2
  • Guillaume Moreau
    • 1
  1. 1.LUNAM Université, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, CERMA UMR CNRS 1563NantesFrance
  2. 2.LUNAM Université, CNRS, CERMA UMR CNRS 1563NantesFrance

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