Scaling and Allometry in the Building Geometries of Greater London: Paper in The European Physical Journal B – Condensed Matter and Complex System

We have a new journal paper out entitled: Scaling and Allometry in the Building Geometries of Greater London, published in the The European Physical Journal B – Condensed Matter and Complex Systems.

Publisher Springer Berlin / Heidelberg
ISSN 1434-6028 (Print) 1434-6036 (Online)
Issue Volume 63, Number 3 / June, 2008
Category Topical issue dedicated to ECCS2007 – Dresden
DOI 10.1140/epjb/e2008-00251-5
Pages 303-314
Subject Collection Physics and Astronomy
SpringerLink Date Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Abstract:

Many aggregate distributions of urban activities such as city sizes reveal scaling but hardly any work exists on the properties of spatial distributions within individual cities, notwithstanding considerable knowledge about their fractal structure. We redress this here by examining scaling relationships in a world city using data on the geometric properties of individual buildings.

We first summarise how power laws can be used to approximate the size distributions of buildings, in analogy to city-size distributions which have been widely studied as rank-size and lognormal distributions following Zipf [Human Behavior and the Principle of Least Effort (Addison-Wesley, Cambridge, 1949)] and Gibrat [Les Inégalités Économiques (Librarie du Recueil Sirey, Paris, 1931)]. We then extend this analysis to allometric relationships between buildings in terms of their different geometric size properties.

We present some preliminary analysis of building heights from the Emporis database which suggests very strong scaling in world cities. The data base for Greater London is then introduced from which we extract 3.6 million buildings whose scaling properties we explore.

We examine key allometric relationships between these different properties illustrating how building shape changes according to size, and we extend this analysis to the classification of buildings according to land use types. We conclude with an analysis of two-point correlation functions of building geometries which supports our non-spatial analysis of scaling.

You can download the paper via The European Physical Journal B – Condensed Matter and Complex Systems page.

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

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