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Modeling Spatial Wholeness in Cities Using Information Entropy Theory [ITU J Faculty Arch]
ITU J Faculty Arch. 2017; 14(3): 67-81 | DOI: 10.5505/itujfa.2018.83703  

Modeling Spatial Wholeness in Cities Using Information Entropy Theory

Harun Ekinoglu1, Ayşe Sema Kubat1, Richard Plunz2
1İstanbul Technical University
2Columbia University

Descartes states “Divide each difficulty into as many parts as possible and necessary to resolve it.”Deconstruction is not a new idea as demonstrated by Descartes quote but a compelling one for understanding the issues behind complex systems especially as vast as cities. Built form is a relational process and the overall spatial form emerges with a sense of wholeness, a certain degree of completeness, in its topologic embodiment. Using Alexander’s “levels of scale” property of wholeness as a morphologic translation interface, the method developed in this research allows questioning relational scaling formations among the built entities. Shannon’s entropy theory has been employed for measuring the state of uncertainty, and disorderliness conveyed through the multivariate context of morpho-information across varying scales. This study aims to cross-evaluate mean Entropy-IQR values generated for ten cities using proposed method with the survey results that ten experts, architects, urban planners, and landscape architects have rated for ten cities urban layouts in three aspects of the wholeness. Experts do not have an agreement among each other about the wholeness of case study, inter-raters reliability (Kα) is 0,14 and the correlation coefficient between normalized median expert views and mean Entropy-IQR values is 25%. The results indicate that definition and sense of wholeness even for place making experts is not as intuitive as Alexander claims. These findings help to point out the need for evidence-informed analytical methods that measure the relative degree of wholeness in constantly changing cities.

Keywords: wholeness, completeness, multi-scalar, information entropy, measuring

Keywords: wholeness, completeness, multi-scalar, information entropy, measuring


Harun Ekinoglu, Ayşe Sema Kubat, Richard Plunz. Modeling Spatial Wholeness in Cities Using Information Entropy Theory. ITU J Faculty Arch. 2017; 14(3): 67-81

Corresponding Author: Harun Ekinoglu, Türkiye


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