Miami’s Skyline and Streets: Measuring Urban Visual Aesthetic Quality in Time and Space

Authors: Richard Grant*, University Of Miami, Ayse Tekel, Gazi University
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Applied Geography
Keywords: urban aesthetics, fractal analysis, Miami, built environment
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Empire Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban places evolve as a result of economic, social and political decisions over time, affecting the visual aesthetic qualities of the built environment positively and/or negatively. Preserving, enhancing and improving the visual aesthetic qualities of urban built environments enables the sustainability of urban visual characteristics and urban imaginaries. Quality aesthetics can enhance the life quality of individuals, enable senses of comfort, safety, pride and belonging and be a positive boost to economy of city and region. This study assesses and compares the historical and the contemporary visual aesthetic quality of Miami’s skyline and streetscapes, utilizing a quantitative fractal assessment (fractal analysis) as well as qualitative methods that assesses individuals’ responses via a survey instrument. Ours is the first study employing this methodology to study Miami’s urban aesthetics. Results show a positive fractal dimensions but also some deterioration of fractal scores in the contemporary period compared with earlier times, despite Miami’s skyline and some streets now being recognizable internationally. The analysis confirms that presently significant attention is given to landscaping is enhancing the fractal characteristics of the Miami streets but in the past more emphasis was on facade planning.

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