Chrispher D. Higgins, Darren Henry Nel, G Bruyns

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


One of the most common measures used to describe the morphology of cities around the world is built density. However, density is an insufficient measure for capturing the complexity ofinteraction in cities in the 21stcentury. Instead, this paper argues that the structure of complex cities is better understood through spatial interaction measures of urban intensity. To that end, the paper proposes a new approach that works from the foundational elements of cities (land uses, density, networks, and flows) and utilizes network interaction methods from quantitative geography to capture urban intensity. The focus here is on the development of an accessibility-based approach to capturing built form, its spatial configuration, and potential to facilitate spatial interaction between different mixes of urban functions. This framework is applied to a case study of Hong Kong, a city which features a highly compact urban form, a layered multi-modaltransportation network, and topographically-rich terrain. Results reveal how different configurations of the built environment are distributed over space and highlight the spatial pattern of interaction intensity across the central area of the city.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISUF 2020 Virtual Conference Proceedings
EditorsWendy McClure, Brenda Case Scheer
PublisherUniversity of Utah College of Architecture + Planning, University of Utah Salt Lake City
VolumeVolume 1 part 5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2021
EventISUF 2020 Virtual Conference Proceedings - University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning, Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: 1 Sep 20204 Sep 2020


ConferenceISUF 2020 Virtual Conference Proceedings
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City
Internet address


  • urban volumetrics
  • network analysis
  • density
  • mixed-use
  • spatial interaction

Cite this