The visual qualities of liveable streets

  • YEAR
    Tucker, Chris
    Ostwald, Michael J.
    Marshall, Josh
    Chalup, Stephan K.
    2007 Conference Papers
    Effective tools: design, assessment, operation


Abstract: The visual character of buildings is often associated with the style of its construction – a set of
visual characteristics that a group of buildings might share. These characteristics include the relationship
of the parts of the building to each other and to the building as a whole, the use of ornament and visible
textures, and the scale of elements within the composition. Alexander (Alexander, 2002) and Rapoport
(Rapoport, 1990) have discussed how these visual features affect urban coherence, and the way that
people behave in public spaces. Using algorithms developed within robotic research that enable a
computer to interpret a visual environment (similar to those used in medicine and facial recognition for
instance), this paper outlines how algorithms can be used to study the visual properties of the built
environment. The paper discusses how the urban texture of houses within the streetscape, at the scale of
the individual, relates to the urban visual character of precincts within the city. The architectural drawings
of a house designed by Le Corbusier and the street frontages of post war and federation houses are
visually analysed using Archimage, software developed by the authors for this type of analysis.


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