Compact cities and their urban forms have implications on sustainable city development because of high density urban settlement, increased accessibility, and a balanced land use mix. This paper uses quantitative means of understanding urban morphological characteristics with reference to the differing qualities of the urban form (i.e., street patterns, building volumes, land uses and greenery). The results, based on 89 neighborhood communities of Hong Kong, show varying degrees of regional differences in the urban built form supported by numerical statistics and graphical illustrations. This paper offers empirical evidence on some morphological characteristics that can be estimated objectively using modern geospatial technologies and applied universally to inform urban planning. However, more studies linking these quantifiable measures of the physical form with sustainable urban living are needed to account for human comfort in the totality of environmental, social, and economic responsibilities.
Keywords: building volume; green space; land use mix; morphology; road networks; urban sustainability.