Eugenio Morello and Carlo Ratti
A new paradigm for assessing the environment consequences of urban texture is investigated. This is based on the use of very simple raster models of cities, called Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). Using software algorithms derived from image processing it is possible to develop efficient methods of measuring geometric parameters and assessing radiation exchange, energy consumption, wind porosity, etc. Results are extremely fast and accurate; due to the increasing availability of DEMs from lidar, they could open the way to new raster-based urban models for planning and design.