Spatial transformation – Berlin

The following images of Berlin have been prepared by Anna Rose and Christian Schwander at Space Syntax Limited as part of a wider study of the city. They show the pattern of “spatial integration” in Berlin at three key periods in history: 1940, 1989 and 2011. The colours read like a temperature scale, with highest levels of integration in red, orange then yellow, and lower levels of integration in green, blue then dark blue. Spatial integration measures the degree to which an urban street is connected into the overall street network. Connectedness is a key influence on the social, economic and environmental performance of urban places. The effects of the post-war division are clear, with the once integrated centre becoming disconnected until Reunification after 1989.

Anna Rose gave a keynote presentation on the spatial transformation of Berlin on 3rd March at the Berlin Kulturforum.

Berlin 1940


Berlin 1989


Berlin 2010

Giving it all away? Space Syntax & the future of urban planning software

Notes for a lecture to be given at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 23rd March 2011
With notable exceptions, the current use of technology in planning and, especially, urban design/architecture practice is medieval. More visual than analytic. More about the “Wow!” than the “Why?”, the “Which?” or the “Will it?” Example of animation in traffic models – “Our clients like to see them move!”

Urban imperative – rapid scaling up of urban centres – provokes need for new thinking.

We need to look more at how places work than how they look.

We need to bring academic research into practice and for academia to be better led by the needs of practice.
We need to think about online social networks as well as “real-world” physical/spatial networks. Indeed real world is as much online as physical/spatial.

We need to share our data. The future will be made by great partnerships, not great individuals. It has arguably ever thus been.

Open source makes commercial as well as ethical sense as the route to collaboration.

Space Syntax as the case study. Continue reading

Weekly update

14-20th February 2011
Loeb Fellowship Seminar: “From Landscapes of Extraction to Creative Industries of Organic Matter and Waste”.

Meetings to discuss development of Space Syntax consulting services in Brazil.

Lunch with Prof Jerold Kayden, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Dinner with students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Mumbai Studio.

Meeting with Armando Carbonell, Lincoln Institute & open source software developers at Tufts University.

Attendance at presentation by Ana Gelabert-Sanchez, Loeb Fellow: “Miami 21: Zoning as Foundation for the 21st Century City” at the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy.

Preparation of note: “Achieving prosperous local communities” for delivery to UK government Cabinet Office.

Lunch with students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Meeting to discuss Space Syntax consulting business in Brazil.

Meeting with Harvard Graduate School of Design students and Paul Cote, GIS Specialist and Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design, to discuss Space Syntax research at the GSD.

Dinner with Loeb Fellows and Jill Medvedow, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Arts, Boston.

Achieving prosperous local communities – physical connectedness is key

Community prosperity means social, economic and environmental prosperity. Each of these dimensions is strongly influenced by the physical design of the places where people live. Physical design influences human behaviour, which in turn influences community prosperity. The most important aspect of physical design is connectedness. Connectedness can be measured scientifically. Its effects on societal wealth have been identified by UK scientific research over the last forty years.

Continue reading

Can the value of design be measured? This house believes it can.

Yesterday evening’s debate at the Royal Institute of British Architects addressed the following motion:

“This house believes the value of design is not measurable”

The motion was overwhelmingly defeated. Rightly so – for, as long as architects claim that the value of design is intangible, the profession does itself a disservice. It is unsurprising that the real worlds of institutionalised politics, social activism and finance undervalue the contribution of design when designers claim that their importance is not only immeasurable but unmeasurable. This sounds hollow in the ears of people used to setting targets, taking action and measuring outcomes. Continue reading

Millennium Development Goals

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Achieve universal primary education

Promote gender equality and empower women

Reduce child mortality

Improve maternal health

Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases

Ensure environmental sustainability

Weekly update

7-13th February 2011
Travel to London.

Meeting with Sir Stuart Lipton to discuss Loeb Fellowship.

Meeting with Michael Evans of Davenport Lyons.

Meeting with Joachim Heintze & Christine Kohlert of Rheform to discuss opportunities in Germany.

Meeting with Alan Penn & Steven Schooling of UCL to discuss strategic relationship between Space Syntax Limited and UCL.

Meeting with Alan Penn & Steven Schooling of UCL to discuss strategic relationship between Space Syntax Limited and UCL.

Company Meeting with Space Syntax Limited staff.

Space Syntax Limited Board Meeting.

Space Syntax Limited Management Team Meeting.

Meeting with Sir Terry Farrell to discuss Loeb Fellowship.

Travel to Boston.

Dinner with Loeb Fellows and Bill Doebele, Founding Curator of the Loeb Fellowship.

Attend “Making Tourism Work” event at Harvard GSD.

Birthday celebration at Union Square and at home with family and Loeb Fellows.