Loughborough University
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Curating sustainable urban development: a study of green infrastructure in compact cities by designing and applying an analytical framework in three English cities

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posted on 2023-08-04, 15:39 authored by Lixu Liu

Curating sustainable urban development (SUD) is an inherent requirement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Green Infrastructure (GI) is a long-term and sustainable method, involving a system of green components (e.g., parks or gardens) that can deliver multiple benefits (i.e., ecosystem services) to the urban environment. Compact cities have serious environmental problems (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions or lack of green spaces), and can be described as having an urban form (UF) quantified by urban compactness variables. The aim of this research is to address the current gap in GI quantitative analysis and spatial-morphological research in the compact urban form context and contribute to the improvement of current green space qualities, e.g., the arrangement of GI’s types, functions, and elements, for benefiting landscape architects, urban designers and urban planners. The research focuses on the identification of spatial-morphological characteristics of GI and UF, and the understudied spatial interrelationship between GI and UF. It develops a GI-UF analytical framework (GUAF) that combines landscape metrics, space syntax, and urban morphometric techniques from the research field of urban morphology (e.g., clustering analysis and ‘spacemate’), socio-ecological spatial morphology (SESM) and urban morphometrics. This framework is a comprehensive process using open reproducible data and is applied to three English cities, London, Manchester and Birmingham. The results can be used to pro- pose GI-guided strategies (i.e., GI spatial-morphological characteristics-guided strategies) for GI quality improvement in compact urban fabrics. The framework can also be applied to different spatial scales and cities in contemporary and future research.


Loughborough University



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


Loughborough University

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© Lixu Liu

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en


Robert Schmidt III ; Falli Palaiologou

Qualification name

  • PhD

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

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