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A recursive definition of goodness of space for bridging the concepts of space and place for sustainability
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Geospatial Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2337-2486
2019 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 15, article id 4091Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Conceived and developed by Christopher Alexander through his life's work, The Nature of Order, wholeness is defined as a mathematical structure of physical space in our surroundings. Yet, there was no mathematics, as Alexander admitted then, that was powerful enough to capture his notion of wholeness. Recently, a mathematical model of wholeness, together with its topological representation, has been developed that is capable of addressing not only why a space is good, but also how much goodness the space has. This paper develops a structural perspective on goodness of space (both large- and small-scale) in order to bridge two basic concepts of space and place through the very concept of wholeness. The wholeness provides a de facto recursive definition of goodness of space from a holistic and organic point of view. A space is good, genuinely and objectively, if its adjacent spaces are good, the larger space to which it belongs is good, and what is contained in the space is also good. Eventually, goodness of space, or sustainability of space, is considered a matter of fact rather than of opinion under the new view of space: space is neither lifeless nor neutral, but a living structure capable of being more living or less living, or more sustainable or less sustainable. Under the new view of space, geography or architecture will become part of complexity science, not only for understanding complexity, but also for making and remaking complex or living structures. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG , 2019. Vol. 11, no 15, article id 4091
Keywords [en]
Beauty, Cities, Head/tail breaks, Living structure, Scaling law, Streets
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-30574DOI: 10.3390/su11154091Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85070450249OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-30574DiVA, id: diva2:1345380
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, FR-2017/0009Available from: 2019-08-23 Created: 2019-08-23 Last updated: 2019-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Jiang, Bin

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