Skip to main content

Planning City with Networks

Even with a population of over 6.7 billion people, it still seems this world keeps getting smaller.  We’re always running into mutual friends, someone who went to our alma mater, someone who is from the same hometown as us, and etc. With advance technology, including online social networking sites, we continue to expand our personal “network” and connecting to more people day by day.

The above article is about a new “Urban Network Analysis (UNA) toolbox” created by MIT researchers. This tool is designed to assist urban designers and planners by “describ[ing] the spatial patterns of cities using mathematical network analysis methods.” While these methods are commonly used on Facebook, utilizing them in city analysis is a relatively new venture. These patterns will help urban designers and planners take into account distances in the input networks, include buildings as a separate entity in the node/edge analysis, and allow planners to take into account how important certain buildings are.

When we learned about networks in class, we saw how vital it is for users to be connected because it exposes them to different nodes. The bigger your network is, the more people you know, and the easier it is to connect to all different sorts of people. These tools and this new application will be incredibly powerful since it will actually “quantify how centrally each building is positioned in an urban environment” and what exactly a user can access at each location.  This toolbox will help designers and planners see exactly which nodes are connected to each building, and help them create and monitor progress in any given city.


Leave a Reply

Blogging Calendar

October 2011
« Sep   Nov »