Elements and Indicators of Urban Form: A Meta-Synthesis Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Design, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Design, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.


Various approaches have been adopted to urban form and many elements and indicators have been proposed on spatial scales. However, a comprehensive scale-based study of urban form is lacking. This study seeks to identify the elements and indicators of urban form on different spatial scales. The current study is a meta-synthesis based on a systematic review. A search for the keywords in information databases resulted in 12104 studies, which were reduced to 18 after being screened by means of elimination criteria and quality evaluation. Qualitative content analysis was used for the analysis of the results. Thus, 89 codes (indicators) were extracted and classified into 14 concepts (sub-elements) and 5 categories (main-elements) in terms of 3 scales of city and metropolitan area, neighborhoods and urban blocks. Using Shannon entropy method, the significant coefficient of the indicators was determined and the elements of urban form were ranked. Based on findings, the most important sub-elements on the macro-scale are land use mix, density distribution and type of density. In addition, land use mix, street network and type of density have the highest rank on the meso-scale and street design is placed at the first grade on the micro-scale. According to the rank of sub-elements, land use and density are the most important elements of urban form.


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