Kinetic roughening of the urban skyline

Sara Najem*, Alaa Krayem, Tapio Ala-Nissila, Martin Grant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

We analyze the morphology of the modern urban skyline in terms of its roughness properties. This is facilitated by a database of 107 building heights in cities throughout the Netherlands which allows us to compute the asymptotic height difference correlation function in each city. We find that in cities for which the height correlations display power-law scaling as a function of distance between the buildings, the corresponding roughness exponents are commensurate to the Edwards-Wilkinson and Kardar-Parisi-Zhang equations for kinetic roughening. Based on analogy to discrete deposition models, we argue that these two limiting classes emerge because of possible height restriction rules for buildings in some cities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number050301
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume101
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • SCALING EXPONENTS
  • GROWTH
  • DERIVATION
  • ORIGINS
  • MODEL

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