Impact of street path’s form on achieving human scale in a city

A city’s human scale can be achieved if people recognized the four Cardinal Directions (CDs) anywhere within the city. As a reflection of the theory of ‘prospect and refuge,’ this paper investigates the problem of losing a city’s human scale, by studying the impact of the form of the street paths on maintaining and perception of the four CDs. The paper highlights the problem of a non-designed street network and the heterogeneity of its texture. The paper explores the impact of such random street networks on achieving the human scale of cities. Kharga City in Egypt located on (25.4390° N, 30.5586° E) is an example of cities suffering from non-designed street networks. Therefore, the paper relied on the inferential statistics approach by surveying a sample of residents in Kharga City, with the assumption that, the main reason for that problem was the various curves existing in the street paths, which had different shapes, sizes, diameters, and directions. Moreover, the lack of a typical street network pattern had aggravated the problem. Analysis and results confirmed the hypothesis of the research, hence basic recommendations were made. The most important of which is, the need to avoid random curves in street directions, and to follow the orthogonal grid pattern, mainly in the design of street networks, in order to ensure a city with human-scale, that is easy to recognize its correct mental map.