This morning’s announcement by the UK government about the preferred route of the proposed ‘High Speed 2’ rail line north of Birmingham raises, quite rightly, the issue of economic impact and its geographic spread. Will the line draw commerce north, or make it even easier to pull southwards towards London’s greater critical mass?
One way in to the problem is to ask: who will take these trains, or rather: where will they have come from when they get on and where will they be going once they get off? In other words, to consider the total passenger journey.
History tells us through the footprint of human settlement worldwide that economic production is greatest in urban centres. The planet’s continued growth towards cities, despite all recent developments in mobile and online communications, suggests the trend is here to stay. HS2 should bear this urban imperative in mind. Continue reading
Yesterday, UK Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, visited the Space Syntax London studio.
Here’s a summary of the visit on Storify.
“The abstract-seeming images here are not the result of some wacky Photoshopping. Jay Mark Johnson’s photos are actually incredibly precise. The reason they look like this is because he uses a slit camera that emphasizes time over space. Whatever remains still is smeared into stripes, while the motion of crashing waves, cars and a Tai Chi master’s hands are registered moment by moment, as they pass his camera by. Like an EKG showing successive heartbeats, the width of an object corresponds not to distance or size, but the rate of movement. Viewing the left side of the picture is not looking leftward in space but backward in time.”
This is a beautiful application of technology, which more than anything reminds me of David Hockney’s Paper Pools and Polaroid paintings…analogue antecedents that suggest Hockney paints in time as well as space!