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Research activity at Architecture explores a wide variety of significant research areas within architecture and the built environment. Among these is the better exploitation of innovative construction technologies and ICT to optimise 'total building performance', as well as reduce waste and environmental impact. Sustainable architectural and urban design is an important component of this. To this end, the Cluster for Research in Design and Sustainability (CRiDS) focuses its research energies towards developing resilient responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges associated with urbanism and cities, in both the developed and developing world.

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Typomorphology and the crisis of Chinese cities

Chen, F. (2008) Typomorphology and the crisis of Chinese cities. Urban Morphology, 12 (2). pp. 45-47.

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Abstract

Chinese cities are at serious risk of becoming placeless and losing their cultural identity in a wave of urbanization and globalization. At present, Chinese urban morphological approaches lack an adequate theoretical basis to deal with the problem. However, Western-derived typomorphology, though lacking a widely acknowledged definition hitherto, is attracting increasing interest in China and offers a solution. The treating of existing urban artefacts as an operative history and the establishment of a solid information database for the transformation of urban forms over time are approaches that Chinese scholars can learn from their Western counterparts. The merits of typomorphology, which is based largely on the typological theory of the Italian School and the urban morphological theory of the British Conzenian School, relate particularly to three aspects: cultural representation and symbolism, morphological references or design language, and effective communication.