Economic Category

Are streets the answer – yes, but…

Yesterday’s launch by think tank Policy Exchange of a report calling for the removal of inner-city high rise estates and their replacement with streets is a welcome contribution to discussions about the design of future cities. The report, authored by Create Streets, concludes that high rise estates are unsafe, antisocial and economically substandard. By proposing […]

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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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Vince Cable visits Space Syntax

On 15th November 2012, UK Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, visited the Space Syntax London studio. Here’s a summary of the visit on Storify.

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Smart Cities World Expo – speaking notes

Spatial layout influences Human behaviour: 1. Movement 2. Awareness 3. Interaction 4. Transaction. Spatial layout benefits 1. Economy – productivity – innovation – building & campus performance 2. Health – active travel – access to healthcare – building & campus performance 3. Social cohesion – the spatial network creates the social network 4. Safety – property theft – personal attack […]

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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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Notes for AGI Conference talk: Measure, map, model, make

My slides Great placemaking is a process combining art and science. There is a place for both and indeed a need for both. Two problems. First, urban planning is largely an analogue discipline. Too many diagrams and watercolours. Not enough science. And, when science is present, it is seen as an adjunct, not as a […]

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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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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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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From landscapes of extraction to creative industries of organic matter & waste

​​Monday, 14th February 2011 at 6pm Stubbins Room, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 Participants Pablo Rey, Basurama Manolo Mansylla, Trashpatch Robin Nagle, anthropologist of material culture (waste) Scientist doing research in biomaterials (Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering/ Materials Research Science and Engineering Center – School of Engineering and […]

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Upcoming talk: “Planning the unplanned: An evidence-based approach to design in informal settlements”

Harvard Graduate School of Design, 18th January 2011, 6:30pm With the world population of slum dwellers set to increase to 2 billion over the next 30 years, the need to provide adequate living conditions for the urban poor is recognised as a major challenge. Political and economic pressure to implement improvements quickly, often means that […]

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