The physical city and the urban structure: detecting amenity zones and applying urban morphology to New York

Ravazzoli, Elisa (2011) The physical city and the urban structure: detecting amenity zones and applying urban morphology to New York, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Economia, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3572.
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The city is a collection of built structures and infrastructure embedded in socio-cultural processes: any investigation into a city’s transformations involves considerations on the degree to which its composite elements respond to socio-economical changes. The main purpose of this research is to investigate how transformations in the functional requirements of New York’s society have spurred, since the 1970s, changes in both the city’s urban structure and physical form. The present work examines the rise of Amenity Zones in New York, and investigates the transformations that have occurred in New York’s built environment since the 1970s. By applying qualitative measures and analyzing the relationship between urban amenities and the creative class, the present work has investigated changes in the urban structure and detected a hierarchical series of amenity zones classes, namely, Super Amenity Zones (SAZs), Nodal Amenity Zones (NAZs) and Peripheral Amenity Zones (PAZs). This series allows for a more comprehensive reading of the urban structure in a complex city like New York, bringing advancements to the amenity zone’s methodology. In order to examine the manner in which the other component of the city, the physical form, has changed or adapted to the new socio-economic condition, the present research has applied Conzenian analysis to a select study area, Atlantic Avenue. The results of this analysis reveal that, contrary to the urban structure, which changes rapidly, the physical form of New York is hard to modify completely, due to the resilience of the town plan and its elements, and to preservation laws; the city rather adapts to socio-economical changes through process of adaptive reuses or conversion. Concluding, this research has examined the dialectic between the ever-changing needs of society and the complexity of the built environment and urban structure, showing the different degrees to which the urban landscape modifies, reacts and sometimes adapts to the population’s functional requirements.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Ravazzoli, Elisa
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze economiche e statistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
urban geography amenity zones urban morphology GIS spatial analysis New York
Data di discussione
13 Maggio 2011

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