Understanding urban terrain
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Understanding Urban Terrain. Six Fundamental Differences. Decentralized Control Communications are frequently restricted and intermittent Requires centralized planning and focus Presence of a civilian population Is always a factor Uneven ambient light Glaring lights and harsh shadows

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Understanding Urban Terrain

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Understanding urban terrain

UnderstandingUrban Terrain


Six fundamental differences

Six Fundamental Differences

Decentralized Control

Communications are frequently restricted and intermittent

Requires centralized planning and focus

Presence of a civilian population

Is always a factor

Uneven ambient light

Glaring lights and harsh shadows

Many surfaces are highly reflective

Night vision nearly impossible

  • Defensive Advantage

    • Defender enjoys cover and concealment

    • Avenues of approach are highly predictable

  • Three-Dimensional

    • Buildings are hollow and multi-story

    • Some buildings have intrinsic value

    • Vertical avenues of approach and escape

  • Short-range engagements

    • Typical engagement is less than seven yards

    • Targets are fleeting and line of sight is restricted


Understanding urban terrain public land survey system

Understanding Urban TerrainPublic Land Survey System

  • Originated by Thomas Jefferson in 1785

    • Includes private land that has been sold

    • >1.5 billion acres have been surveyed

  • Used to divide public lands into rectangles

    • Townships—6 square miles

    • Sections—1 square mile(640 acres)

    • Subdivisions—anything less than a section

      • Half section, quarter section, quarter-quarter section, etc.

1 Mile(640 Acres)


Understanding urban terrain city streets

Understanding Urban TerrainCity Streets

Range line

  • Conventions

  • Street numbers

    • Odd—north and west

    • Even—south and east

  • Base line

    • Central or Center

    • Main

    • Midway

  • Range line

    • Meridian

    • Principal

100N→

Base line

←100S

←100W

100E→

200E→

~1/8th Mile


Sociological influences

Sociological Influences

  • Age

    • The 100 year old house is an anomaly. The "lifespan" for houses is ~73 years

    • 43+% have been built since 1970 and about 70% of the 110 million houses in the USA will be around at least another twenty years

  • Family

    • Size and idea offamily has impactedsize and construction

  • Societal shifts

    • Agriculture to industryto information

    • Crime, congestion, safety(reversed floor plans)


Technological influences

Technological Influences

  • Construction materials

    • Plywood, trusses, metal reinforcements, drywall, pre-hung doors, plastic pipes, zero clearance fireplaces, central air conditioning, manufactured housing

  • Accessories

    • Fiber optics, HD TV, intercoms, dishwashers, trash compactors, wireless internet, multiple phones, whole house audio, etc.

    • Multiple bathrooms and home office now common

    • Anti-intrusion systems

  • Floor plans changedto accommodate newtechnologies and life styles


Economical influences

Economical Influences

  • House is single most expensive lifetime investment

    • House representsperson's "worth"

  • Great Depression

    • Smaller houses,row houses andtract housing

  • Post World War II Boom

    • Converted row houses, large scale tracts, mass-produced housing

      • Similar, even identical floor plans

  • Today

    • Cottage industries, telecommuting, electronic access

    • Home offices now becoming a norm


Political influences

Political Influences

  • Building Codes

    • First appeared in 1922

    • Governs types of construction

  • Planning and Zoning Ordinances

    • Four major zones

      • Residential, industrial,commercial and agricultural

      • Divided still further into types of each

    • Results in clusters oftypes of buildings

    • Adjacent attributes oftenapply to target


Environmental influences

Environmental Influences

  • Every house is a "mini-environment" (climate)

    • Conditioned air, water storage and drainage, protection from elements, etc.

  • Fire

    • Protection is paramount

    • Primary impetus for building codes

  • Water

    • Protection from precipitation

    • Protection from ground water

    • Water kept inside for drinkingwashing, eating, cooking, etc.

  • Wind

    • Affects building codes and design

  • Gravity

    • The ubiquitous force to which all buildings eventually succumb

    • Strongly influences construction and provides reliable clues for floor plans— especially weight over distance (span)


Number system

Single Story

Multi-Story

Front side is “1 Side”

“Rear Five”

“Front Five”

Number System

E

1

2

3

D

1

2

3

3

1

2

3

C

2

4

1

2

3

B

1

2

3

A

4

1

1

Left to RightBottom to Top

Immediate Deployments


Understanding urban terrain

NAVIGATION

  • Cardinal Directions (most well known)

    • Awkward in city, compasses affected by magnetic fields and steel objects

  • Shift from a known point (common)

    • Uses prominent terrain features as steering marks

    • Requires prior knowledge or detailed directions

  • Grid System (MGRS, Thomas Guide and others)

    • Effective over distance but requires map and ineffective for micro-terrain

  • Numbering System (Common tactical “work around”)

    • Highly effective for micro-terrain, inappropriate for longer distances


Que s tions

Questions?


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