A framework for place-making using Alexander's patterns

Yunmi Park, Galen D. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Christopher Alexander's book, A Pattern Language, introduces 253 design patterns that offer a vast grab bag of neo-traditional design options for place-making. One of the more compelling strengths of the text is the connectivity rule which indicates that each pattern is closely connected to other complimentary patterns. What remains unclear is which of these patterns are most influential. In this research, a quantitative assessment through network analysis is used to visualize the networks within Alexander's patterns and examine each pattern's relative importance for place-making. Findings suggest that five design patterns-Wings of Light, Arcades, Building Complex, Pedestrian Street, and Path and Goals-Are, relatively, the most significantly influential and highly connected patterns. These patterns prioritize the importance of the quality of building arrangements, the function of building edges and emphasizes pedestrian-friendly design. The findings of this paper could be used to prioritize specific goals and for long-term place-making during initial design and planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-362
Number of pages14
JournalUrban Design International
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Ltd.


  • Christopher Alexander
  • network analysis
  • network of patterns
  • pattern language
  • place-making


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