Design Category

Spatial Layout as Critical Infrastructure

Stub…notes for an upcoming conference talk Key issue to be addressed: – Urban-Rural development – Urban Regeneration – Smart Cities. When a network of streets is laid out, planners and designers build in an enormous amount of “embedded potential”: the pattern of movement land use potential safety land value social interaction public health carbon emissions. […]

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SkyCycle – elevated but not remote

The comparison between SkyCycle – a proposal to create a network of strategic cycling routes above London’s radial railway lines – and the City of London’s much maligned network of (unbuilt or demolished) upper level walkways is one worthy of attention. 1.         The City of London “Pedways” often paralleled routes at street level. When they […]

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Space Syntax: the push of intent, the pull of need and the resistance of the “pre-digital”

I was asked an interesting question yesterday about the barriers to growth and acceptance of Space Syntax and Integrated Urban Models. I believe there are three important components to the answer. First, the growth of Space Syntax Limited‘s business was robust for 19 years, following its startup as a UCL spinoff company in 1989 – until […]

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Spatial Planning and the Future of Cities

How might cities be planned in the future? This is not only a question of how they might look but also, and more importantly, about how they might be laid out as patterns of buildings and spatial connections. Laying out a city means answering two key questions: “what goes where?” and the “how does it all connect together?” […]

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Urban data: some risks – unnecessary complexity and shallow artistry

As a user of urban data I know the benefits that can be gained from visualising information on city form and city performance. But… and this is the but… these benefits only flow if the visualisation is followed up with analysis of that data – analysis that seeks out patterns, correlations and associations in order to make […]

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Space Syntax City Projects Walk

On Tuesday afternoon, 3rd September, I led a walking tour of built projects by Space Syntax. Trafalgar Square Royal Festval Hall Tate Modern One New Change New Bloomberg Headquarters (under construction) Willis Building 30 St Mary Axe Heron Plaza (under construction) Liverpool Street Station retail concourse Broadgate, Exchange Square Barbican Arts Centre

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MSc Advanced Architectural Studies – graduate employability

A talk given at the 40th Anniversary celebrations of the MSc in Advanced Architectural Studies – the “space syntax” MSc at University College London, 3rd September 2013. Good evening, everyone. Let me begin by paying tribute to the genius of Bill Hillier and Julienne Hanson. Not only for pioneering a theory – the theory – of […]

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Teaching urban design – a sketch for a new approach

Sketch… Space Syntax is keen to play a role in initiatives that embed the Space Syntax approach in everyday urban practice. The watchword is “dissemination”. Our aim is to create a professional landscape that uses Space Syntax as an everyday approach to the planning, designing and general governance of places. Here are some of my thoughts […]

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Old Street – putting the genie back in the bottle?

Old Street Roundabout is a heady intersection of urban movement flows: on foot, on cycles and in vehicles, including the Tube. But it is currently a mess, out of place within the surrounding network of generally convivial streets. In order to appreciate the severely negative condition of the place you only have to walk to […]

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Going to “work” is actually going to “interact”

Why is people movement important in buildings? In a knowledge economy, the key role of buildings is the production and dissemination of new knowledge to drive innovation. Awareness leads to interaction leads to transaction. Spatial layout works with management style to create a “spatial culture”. Corner offices v corridors People should sit based on need […]

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A short film about Space Syntax

Tim Stonor, Managing Director, Space Syntax “The population of the world is increasing and, as it increases, more and more of us are living in cities. As cities have grown in the 20th century they have often grown to disconnect people. Space Syntax has discovered that many of these problems in cities – disconnection, lack […]

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Life by a thousand connections

Background The everyday actions of architects and urban planners influence the everyday physical activity of people by creating the networks of streets and public spaces through which people move. Similarly, inside buildings, the layout of space influences the degree to which people move around. The precise mechanisms through which spatial patterns influence behaviour patterns are […]

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Goodbye spacesyntax.org hello spacesyntax.net

After a decade of earnest, if occasionally erratic, service the spacesytax.org website has been retired. Designed to serve the community of space syntax researchers, .org created the first place online that brought together the various strands of space syntax academic activity: publications, software development and international symposia. Built pre- Facebook, Twitter and YouTube .org was […]

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AoU Landscape Urbanism notes & questions

These notes accompany a PowerPoint presentation Fragmented urbanism: the rise of Landscape Urbanism & the threat it poses to the continuously connected city TS intro This is a crucial moment for urbanism. In the UK, The Portas Review, highlighting the UK’s threatened high streets. Around the world, cities are growing faster than ever. But cities […]

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This town is big enough for the both of us

Independent newspaper, UK I am standing at the junction of two of the busiest streets in central London – High Holborn and Shaftesbury Avenue. In one direction is Centre Point and the start of Oxford Street; in another Leicester Square; to the south-east is Covent Garden; behind me is Bloomsbury and the giant hulk of […]

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Talk, Stockholm: From the city to the bedside

White Tengbom Team AB Hälsingegatan 47 113 31 Stockholm Sweden 7th December 2012

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Approaching large scale urban design schemes

On Friday I gave a presentation at a Design Council CABE event, “Inside Design Review”. My talk, “Approaching large scale urban design schemes“, sets out a framework for thinking about the complexity of major urban development proposals.

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IBM Smart Cities, Helsinki – latest notes

9.50 Keynote What will the future city look like? The city of transaction How to plan a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable city The effects of the digital revolution on human behaviour patterns Tim Stonor, Architect & Urban Planner, Managing Director, Space Syntax (UK) _____________ Data is not the solution. Turning data into knowledge is […]

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IBM Smart Cities, Helsinki

19th October 2011 Tim Stonor “What will the future city look like?” View the presentation Themes to be addressed 1. How to plan a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable city. 2. Effects of the digital revolution on human behaviour patterns. Summary In addressing the question, “What will the future city look like?” I am less […]

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