Evolution of the block morphology : comparative case study of the block scale between Chinese megablock and other area

Peng, Yixuan and Nel, Darren and Bruyns, Gerhard and Wang, Ping and Qu, Lei and Chen, Chen; (2022) Evolution of the block morphology : comparative case study of the block scale between Chinese megablock and other area. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 399-405. ISBN 9781914241161

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There is no denying the significance of understanding "scale" in urban studies in China. In either daily life or theoretical analysis, the 'mega' scale has become part and parcel of the Chinese context, intuitively observed by researchers, citizens or even outsiders as a key and foundational role in all dimensions and formats of urban issues. However, scale, at the same time, is often overly underestimated in many studies of Chinese urbanization. When examining the form of Chinese urbanism and its spatial organization, one should understand both the meaning and roles of scale and its mechanization in any type of urban development. This brings in its wake of other questions that pertain to whether the elements of scale can be fully conceptualized and theorized to act as the basic conceptual framework and analytical tools for analysing the Chinese urban form as well as future trajectories of Chinese urbanisms and their evolution processes. The research focus is on the analysis of block scale and more specifically, a mega-scale block typology, which has been widely discussed within the literature of Chinese urban morphology. However, there is little clarity on how big is the Chinese urban block when compared to urban blocks of other forms of urbanism? Within this framing, we also begin to question how big is the "megablock"? This study compares the Chinese megablock with other representative type of urbanism. As part of the comparison, a quantitative analysis of 100 cases from across the world are assessed through a morphological and statistical lens: to classify and rank their value, proportion, and distribution, in order to objectively discuss the evolution of block scale. In addition, to quantitatively describe the unique characteristics of Chinese megablock that worth to be further investigated.

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