The Method of Urban Safety Analysis and Environmental Design

house-b.gif (14947 oCg)What is MUSE ?


MUSE is a method of analyzing, designing and simulating a city, in which urban physical elements are defined as parts of the organic system in GIS. The physical elements are classified into the following 10 types.

Element-0: Imaginary Walls

Element-I: Subjects (as Physical Dynamic Elements): people, bicycles, cars, trains, etc.

Element-II: Shapes (as Physical Static Elements)

a. Paths (Leading Paths and Secondary Paths): streets, expressways, alleys, railways, etc.

b. Edges: coastlines, riverbanks, long walls, edges of developed districts, etc.

c. Cells: town blocks, etc.

d. Voids: open spaces, public squares, parks, playgrounds, campuses, parking lots, etc.

e. Cores: city halls, ward offices, elementary schools, hospitals, etc.

Element-III: Webs (as Systematic Elements): common ducts, lifelines, water supply, etc.

Element-IV: Nature (as Natural Elements): ponds, lakes, rivers, green belts, farms, etc.


house-b.gif (14947 oCg)Element-0: Imaginary Walls

It is important to deal with an area as a closed system. The gimaginary wallsh are defined as invisible walls on the boundaries of the area. Usually the area may be an administrative district like a city. It is also possible to change the boundaries according to each occasion. The gimaginary wallsh are vertical planes to close off the area. Imagining these walls in the area of analysis, it becomes possible to divide the city into inside and outside and to measure such factors as the amount of traffic, traffic density, and the number of distribution channels.

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house-b.gif (14947 oCg)Element-I: Subjects (as Physical Dynamic Elements)

We often compare a city to a stage as described by Lewis Mumford (1895-1990). It seems that the city has been developed as an artificial stage for people, the actors, and an audience. Subjects, such as people, cars, and trains, are defined as the principal dynamic element in the MUSE. In most cases, the materials and some information are transported by the movement of the gsubjectsh, like blood in a body.


house-b.gif (14947 oCg)Element-II: Shapes (as Physical Static Elements)

In the MUSE the main objects are urban physical environments, which are represented by the gshapesh as physical static elements. By operating these elements and considering these relationships, we can analyze the city.

Element-IIa. Paths (Leading Paths and Secondary Paths)

gPathsh are linear networked elements on which the gsubjectsh can travel, such as streets, expressways, alleys, and railways. The gpathsh are public streets for the gsubjectsh in most cases; it is possible to put the gnatureh, such as trees, on them to make a good view, and to put gwebsh, such as a common ducts, under them for urban safety. The network of gpathsh is like blood vessels and make up the structure of the city. Moreover, according to the size or the purpose, the gpathsh are classified into two types: gleading pathsh and gsecondary pathsh. Connected to other areas, the gleading pathsh lead human activities in the city and can make up the principal networks of lifelines. In contrast, gsecondary pathsh are narrow humanscale streets, such as alleys, which are familiar to the residents.

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Element-IIb: Edges

gEdgesh are other linear elements which people cannot cross, such as coastlines, riverbanks, long walls, and edges of developed districts. These elements are useful in preventing of the spread of fires. By making on gedgeh in a dangerous zone occupied by many old wooden houses, it is possible to lessen the amount of risk of the area.

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Element-IIc: Cells

gCellsh are town blocks as fundamental units of the organic city in the MUSE. There are many different buildings in each gcellh and it has different characteristics according to the structural types and construction period. By applying the vulnerability functions derived by Murao and Yamazaki (1999) or the Building Collapse Risk Assessment (Murao and Yamazaki 2000) to the gcellh, we can estimate the dangerous area in the city.

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Element-IId: Voids

gVoidsh are places not occupied by buildings, such as open spaces, public squares, parks, playgrounds, campuses, parking lots. People gather in the gvoidsh to take part in various urban activities: taking a walk, meeting with others, playing, evacuating from fires, etc. Networks of gvoidsh and gpathsh influence urban safety.

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Element-IIe: Cores

gCoresh are point elements, such as buildings important in the case of a disaster: city halls, ward offices, elementary schools, hospitals, electric substations, etc. These buildings have special functions for disaster management, evacuation, utilities, lifeline control, and health care.

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house-b.gif (14947 oCg)Element-III: Webs (as Systematic Elements)

While the gshapesh are the physical elements on the ground, the gwebsh are basically systematic elements underground. The gwebsh include each lifeline system, such as common ducts, water pipes, and optical fiber cables, and the systems are related to the gcoresh.

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house-b.gif (14947 oCg)Element-IV: Nature (as Natural Elements)

A city has its own nature, such as lakes, rivers, forests, groves and fields, according to its geographical features or climate. These natural elements, gnatureh, will be essential elements in the urban safety analysis and environmental design. Water from a river is useful for extinguishing fires, and networked greenbelts in the city can be firebreak belts. By combining gnatureh with artificial elements, it is possible to make the city comfortable and safe.


musebtn.gif (126 oCg) 00-Welcome to the MUSE System