Urban Morphology Ontology (UMO)

Published: 6 September 2021| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/bkk6wzcbm8.2


Urban Morphology Ontology (UMO) is a way of reading the contemporary city, highlighting the components (‘concepts’ in the broader definition of a generic ontology) and the relationships among them. The components are defined as urban elements. The purpose of this interpretation is to define a set of entities, and the relations between them, that can be used to describe and to compose urban fabrics. UMO offers a vocabulary of the domain composed by the urban objects and their properties; the knowledge of spatial and composition relationships defines the constraints that regulate the possibilities of combination of the single objects into urban fabrics. UMO implements four reference classes that map the hierarchical main morphological levels of objects: Root class: Geometrical families. This class tries to divide the urban space elements starting from their intrinsic dimensional nature: lines (i.e. elements with a standard cross section, developed along a path, like the streets), surfaces (i.e. every open and non-covered space), volumes (i.e. every building over covered space). This class contains also a primary distinction between the public/private conditions (for the linear elements and the surfaces), and between the closed or open volumes. Subclass 1: Functional families. In this class of the Urban Ontology there is a distinction among the main functional families of the elements, such as building, green etc. Subclass 2: Architectural typologies. This class articulates the typological peculiarities of the entities, such as semi-detached building or office block etc. Subclass 3: Distribution type / internal organisation. In this last class there are some information about the details of the structural schemes (e.g. single, double o multiple span) or about the internal organisation of the entities. This last class matches with the dimensional features, specified for every single element. UMO implements five different types of relationships between class individuals: • hypernym-hyponym relationships (subclasses and superclasses); • holonym-meronym relationships; • pertinence relationships; • spatial relationships; • size relationships.



Politecnico di Torino Dipartimento di Architettura e Design