Digital phenomena Category

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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Integrated Urban Modelling – Space Syntax’s approach

I’ve written before about the benefits of using science-based models in the planning and design process. I’ve raised concerns about the frequent lack of objective analysis in urban and building projects, and the risks this creates in decision-taking. Basing important decisions on gut instinct and experience, then willing on success with little more than hype, […]

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Smart cities – why, what, how, how?

Some advice for people promoting a Smart City approach. Prepare your answers to the following questions: 1.      Why do we need “smart” and do we even need cities any more? First, provide a clear and simple explanation of why cities are important ie what they do that is special: they arrange physical buildings within spatial […]

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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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UBM Future Cities

My piece in full

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Future Cities_Cities of Transaction

Thinking about the future of cities is not a new challenge. From Christopher Wren’s plan for the post-fire rebuilding of London in 1666 to Ebenezer Howards’s Garden City concept, to Le Corbusier, to Bladerunner, human ingenuity has been tasked with anticipating the future. A problem, if we care to admit it, is that these plans […]

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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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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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The end of ages for transport planning and the birth of an era of transaction planning

There is so much interest, from so many different interests, in the future of urban living. This suggests that, whatever else, people suspect that things will change. I’m sure this is right – technology, resource scarcity, population growth, energy shortage and climate change: all are factors that will provoke change. The question is, will these […]

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Measuring & modelling cities

11th May 2011 2011 Urban Systems Symposium NYU Shack Institute of Real Estate, New York Download presentation

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Spatial layout, urban movement & human transaction

Download my presentation “Designing mobility for democracy: the role of cities” #demobility Thursday, 14th April 2011 from 1pm to 5pm NYU, Kimmel Center, Eisner & Lubin Auditorium 60 Washington Square South, New York Summary Given the title of this event: “Designing mobility”, I want to turn to the subject of design and the role of […]

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Space Syntax & the future of urban planning software

Notes from a lecture given at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy 23rd March 2011 View a summary of the presentation on YouTube Opening comments Good afternoon. I am delighted to have this opportunity to report on my progress as this year’s Lincoln Loeb Fellow. My brief today is in two parts: first, to describe my […]

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Academics “embrace” Wikipedia – shock!

“Demonising Wikipedia won’t work. It’s massively used and it’s in all our interests to make it massively better.” Nieman Journalism Fellow and BBC reporter Philippa Thomas comments in her blog on the myth and reality of Wikipedia. Here’s the full post.

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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   Themes 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 […]

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The pace of change – is “online” a reflection of “urban”?

One of the challenges in achieving an integration of thinking between hackers and urbanists is the rate of change online. Will the massive experimentation currently underway on the internet continue at a pace, or settle down as norms are established and protocols emerge? Perhaps the same protocols that make it possible for people to live […]

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Architecting the unexpected

“Serendipity”: it’s what cities have always provided but online environments only sometimes produce. Why “search” isn’t enough, hackers need to think like urbanists and the internet needs urban design. It’s the start of a new semester at Harvard and there’s a real buzz about the place. I had breakfast with Nicco Mele and Chee Pearlman this […]

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Connecting the disconnected – how much is enough?

Yesterday evening, Ed Parham gave a talk at the Graduate School of Design on Space Syntax’s work redesigning unplanned settlements in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Despite the really awful weather, which turned Cambridge into a pedestrian sludge, there was a full house. Ed showed how Jeddah’s unplanned settlements share a common spatial property of being locally […]

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Technology – it’s the new concrete!

Stub… Pouring concrete used to be the “macho” expression of urban planning power. Today it is technology. “Macho” has translated into “cool”. Risk – we jump too quickly through the filter of common sense ie the “What’s all this for?” filter.

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