Construction of Digital Elevation Models for a Southern European City and a Comparative Morphological Analysis with Respect to Northern European and North American Cities
Author(s)Di Sabatino, Silvana; Leo, Laura S.; Cataldo, Rosella; Ratti, Carlo; Britter, Rex E.
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A morphometric analysis of a southern European city and the derivation of relevant fluid dynamical parameters for use in urban flow and dispersion models are explained in this paper. Calculated parameters are compared with building statistics that have already been computed for parts of three northern European and two North American cities. The aim of this comparison is to identify similarities and differences between several building configurations and city types, such as building packing density, compact versus sprawling neighborhoods, regular versus irregular street orientation, etc. A novel aspect of this work is the derivation and use of digital elevation models (DEMs) for parts of a southern European city. Another novel aspect is the DEMs’ construction methodology, which is low cost, low tech, and of simple implementation. Several building morphological parameters are calculated from the urban DEMs using image processing techniques. The correctness and robustness of these techniques have been verified through a series of sensitivity tests performed on both idealized building configurations, as well as on real case DEMs, which were derived using the methodology here. In addition, the planar and frontal area indices were calculated as a function of elevation. It is argued that those indices, estimated for neighborhoods of real cities, may be used instead of the detailed building geometry within urban canopy models as those indices together synthesize the geometric features of a city. The direct application of these results will facilitate the development of fast urban flow and dispersion models.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. SENSEable City Laboratory
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
American Meteorological Society
Di Sabatino, Silvana, Laura S. Leo, Rosella Cataldo, Carlo Ratti, Rex E. Britter, 2010: Construction of Digital Elevation Models for a Southern European City and a Comparative Morphological Analysis with Respect to Northern European and North American Cities. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 49, 1377–1396.© 2010 American Meteorological Society.
Final published version