Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor of Geography Department, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad(FUM)

2 PhD Candidate of Urban Geography, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad(FUM), International Campus, Faculty Member of Kheradgarayan Motahar Higher Education Institute

3 PhD Candidate of Urban Geography, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad(FUM), International Campus



Urban has been defined as an autonomous and complex system. Despite the overwhelming differences between urban growths around the world, their growth still follows some universal mechanisms. Darwin’s theory of evolution might have enlightened an innovative view to perform the research of urban development, as a consequence many researchers have been trying to link their research to the biological metaphor of urban evolution. In the context of an analogy to biology, urban can be seen as ‘organic’ and many concepts from biology can be borrowed to explain the ‘uncertainty’ and ‘relativity’ of urban growth processes. Urban DNA is one of the innovative concepts, which has been used to describe the unique characteristics of urban and the common fundamental elements of each urban area. As Hall (2008) stated “every city has its own DNA, something that makes it unique, and that's part of what makes this city unique”. The main ideas of applying the concept of urban DNA involve identifying the key factors/ metrics which reflect urban characteristics, therefore allowing the understanding the cities’ characteristics with urban DNA. This would allow, among other things, to identify or propose optimal urban form and allowing ‘smooth’ transition of growth patterns and the characteristics of urban from a suboptimal urban form. As Silva (2004) explained, the possibility of defining this ‘key’ (DNA) for each region seems to be of great significance in the planning studies. It allows for the understanding of how the different elements that constraint the functioning of urban system progress and constrain different regions, and what function they should have in shaping future scenarios. This research explores the theory aspects of urban DNA, and makes an attempt to link this concept with an integrated urban growth model (DG-ABC). The simulation results of a pilot study are analyzed in the context of the biology analogy in order to test the possibility of deriving urban DNA from DG-ABC model, by doing so we hope to understand how the key factors and parameters influence the formation of urban patterns, and therefore allowing making optimal solutions to urban growth problems.


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