Toward liveable urban forms: Isobenefit Urbanism

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Urban development combines the forces of dispersal and agglomeration, often facilitated by free market forces, and this results in different patterns and self-organized ways, with both positive and negative outputs. Globally, over 6 billion people will live in cities by 2050, and this would need at least an additional 1.2 million km2 land to be built on. This requires construction at scale that avoids current urban problems such as urban heat island effects, carbon emissions, pollution, congestion, urban sprawl and excessive hard surfacing, while maintaining the physical and mental quality of life. Two basic approaches would be to let market forces freely shape our new urban areas or to impose a strong planning framework. A third way is proposed by Isobenefit urbanism taking advantage of the two basic approaches to urban development. Isobenefit urbanism, proposed since 2013, is a development approach to shaping urban form and functions through a simple code whose implementation results in Isobenefit cities where one can walk to reach most daily destinations, a closest centrality (where theatres, restaurant, schools, offices, promenades, shops…are located) and the closest access to green land regardless where one lives, and regardless the size of the city.