The spatial configuration of local climate zones reveals effects on wayfinding in human walking

Fan P. Y., Chun K. P., Tan M. L., Mah D. N., Mijic A., Strickert G., ...More

PloS one, vol.18, no.9, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0289780
  • Journal Name: PloS one
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Animal Behavior Abstracts, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Linguistic Bibliography, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Psycinfo, zbMATH, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The importance of easy wayfinding in complex urban settings has been recognized in spatial planning. Empirical measurement and explicit representation of wayfinding, however, have been limited in deciding spatial configurations. Our study proposed and tested an approach to improving wayfinding by incorporating spatial analysis of urban forms in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Great Bay Area in China. Wayfinding was measured by an indicator of intelligibility using spatial design network analysis. Urban spatial configurations were quantified using landscape metrics to describe the spatial layouts of local climate zones (LCZs) as standardized urban forms. The statistical analysis demonstrated the significant associations between urban spatial configurations and wayfinding. These findings suggested, to improve wayfinding, 1) dispersing LCZ 1 (compact high-rise) and LCZ 2 (compact mid-rise) and 2) agglomerating LCZ 3 (compact low-rise), LCZ 5 (open mid-rise), LCZ 6 (open low-rise), and LCZ 9 (sparsely built). To our knowledge, this study is the first to incorporate the LCZ classification system into the wayfinding field, clearly providing empirically-supported solutions for dispersing and agglomerating spatial configurations. Our findings also provide insights for human-centered spatial planning by spatial co-development at local, urban, and regional levels.