Micro-Centrality Strategy

When we study a dense, traditional city, it is more straightforward to identify locations for intervention and to recognise strengths and weaknesses in the urban form. However, in low-density, sprawled cities, this is not an easy task.

Such was the case in Torrance, California; here, the endless expanse of vehicular infrastructure, single-use developments and strip malls makes it nearly impossible to identify points of possible intervention, at any scale.

To overcome this challenge, a methodology to identify ‘micro-centres’ at various scales was identified. These micro-centres are determined as the points where the streets with various degrees of closeness, betweenness and inverse mean depth intersect; at varying scales, these are the locations which demonstrate the highest potential to successfully host activities and interventions which corresponds to the scale of their significance.

Once the micro-centres are identified, a strategy to connect them is developed, whereby the micro-centres at smalls scales should be connected by the significant streets at the global level. The resulting identification of hubs and connections has served to guide more detailed and designed-based intervention proposals at scales corresponding to the scale of centrality analysis.

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