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On the Integration of Place and Urban Morphology

Housing estates © Sean Benesh​/​Unsplash

The PLATIAL'21 symposium, co-convened by the Spatial Modelling Lab (RAM) and ITC, University of Twente (NL) in December 2021, provided a great opportunity for our lab’s member Liudmila Slivinskaya to present a short paper, co-authored with René Westerholt, to open up a discussion along the nexus of place and the built environment. The presentation delivered at the event revolved around the question of how considering the concept of place, which is difficult to grasp formally but essential for us as humans, would change the study of urban form, thus attempting at aligning human geography and geographical information science agendas in formalisation of place with an urban morphology perspective.

Drawing upon examples and cases taken from the study of urban form (including the challenging typology of prefab housing estates, which is the focus of Liudmila’s PhD research), the talk illustrated the possible varied implications of adhering to human geographical, functional, and relational approaches to place for our understanding of the spatial dimension within the urban realm. The talk showed how place understood as space attributed with meaning could serve as a tool to capture intangible qualitative features of urban form, which often tend to be either overlooked due to both actual and perceived difficulties in their capturing and formalisation or attributed to different objects other than space itself. Further, it was argued that place grasped through uses and actual practices could overcome our reliance on formal abstract functions of urban space derived from representations (plans), allowing us insights into actual ‘lived’ realities of the city, going from ordered regularity of programmed function to an evolving variety of changing and overlapping uses. And, finally, it was demonstrated in the presentation how place seen as set of relations could capture the dynamically changing nature of places and their emergence. The latter includes the multiplicity and hierarchy of places, which is especially relevant today given how much of our ways of inhabiting the world, forming attachments, and sense of belonging to places changed.

The talk was followed by an engaging discussion involving the symposium participants, offering some thought-provoking impetuses for the further development of the theme discussed within the lab research agenda. You are welcome to revisit the paper:

Slivinskaya, L. and Westerholt, R. (2022): On the Integration of Place and Urban Morphology. In: Mocnik, F.-B., Westerholt, R. (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Platial Information Science (PLATIAL’21). Enschede, the Netherlands, 61–66. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3628855.

In addition, feel free to watch the recording of the presentation at PLATIAL’21:

L Slivinskaya and R Westerholt: On the Integration of Place and Urban Morphology


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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Site Map of TU Dort­mund University (Second Page in English)