Model of Three Urban Fabrics (UF)

Theory of Urban Fabrics

Urban Fabrics is a new way of thinking and a new comprehensive way of recognizing the fabrics of the cities. It´s a paradigm shift from conventional ways of thinking, which are recognizing the city as one comprehensive system only. These ways of thinking are based on the old Modern City Paradigm and it's city models, which have led to bad mistakes and are out of date.

Urban fabric is used as a name of three comprehensive city systems, which all have their own histories and special characteristic features, which make them different from each other. According to this classification, cities consist of three fabrics :

  • the walking city fabric or the Walking City
  • the transit city fabric or the Transit City
  • the car city fabric or the Car City
Three urban fabrics
Each of these fabrics can be distinguished from amount, quality and location of its typical physical elements. Each fabric has also numerous characteristic features in terms of population and social groups, functions, activities and life styles, culture, architecture and art, green spaces etc. In addition to general features, each fabric can have also special features based on the size, functions and special qualities of the city, the stage of development, history, orientation, etc. An application of urban fabrics theory for planning is developed in a project called Travel-related Urban Zones as a Planning Tool (UZ).

Four Finnish case cities (Oulu, Lahti, Jyväskylä and Kuopio) and the development of their urban fabrics are analysed in the project. There is also an international research period which is carried out at Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP) in Perth, Australia, to deepen the urban fabrics theory. 


Further Information

Head of Unit Ville Helminen, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE,

Researcher Maija Tiitu, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE,

Published 2013-09-26 at 14:36, updated 2021-06-22 at 12:41

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