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Remote sensing as the 'X-ray crystallography' for urban 'DNA'

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The aim of this paper is to establish a creative link between contemporary remote sensing and urban analysis. The argument is rooted in model-based urban analysis and it is shown that, mainly through spatial interaction modelling, the workings of the city - the 'physiology' - can be represented. Models have now been extended to have the capacity to represent structural dynamics and this is shown to be dependent on what can be characterized as 'urban DNA'. It is shown that urban information systems can be enhanced by remote sensing, particularly temporally, through the concept of an intelligent information warehouse (IIW) and that such a system relates to 'urban DNA' structure in the same way as X-ray crystallography relates to the elucidation of DNA. This adds to the potential capability of analysing, even predicting, urban phase transitions as an aid to planning.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, London, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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