Innovation Category

Is physical distancing possible on city streets?

Until a vaccine is found for COVID-19, and perhaps beyond, it will be important to practise physical distancing in towns and cities. Whether this is possible will come down to the “carrying capacity” of the urban infrastructure: in particular, the relationship between Pedestrian Supply in the form of sufficiently wide footways and Pedestrian Demand in […]

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No board rooms, no desks. The office of the future…

Images of future offices, with physically distanced workstations to separate desk-bound workers, seem to miss the point. Offices aren’t for staying apart – they’re for coming together. But how can that be organised in a post-COVID world? Offices have desks because we’ve long thought that people couldn’t or shouldn’t work from home. Attitudes were changing […]

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Silver linings: how design can exploit the virus

A “to do” list for urban planners, architects & interior designers, in response to the coronavirus. In towns & cities: reduce traffic speeds to 20mph/30kph to discourage speeding on empty streets during lockdown & to keep the air clean, the sound low & the accidents down after the “return”. On wide streets: broaden footways to […]

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Intelligent mobility: risks & rewards

第一页   技术就是答案 Slide 1       Technology is the answer 1966年,塞德里克·普莱斯说,我喜欢一开始就对新技术进行一点质疑。当然,“技术就是答案”。他也强调:“不过问题是什么?”。 I’d like to begin with a little scepticism about new technology. Of course “Technology is the answer“, said Cedric Price in 1966. He also said, “But what is the question?” 这些问题就是我们试图去获得无人驾驶技术。 What are the questions that we are trying to answer in the pursuit of autonomous […]

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Notes from first ULI UK Tech Forum

1. We need to have a clear definition of technology. Physical as well as digital technology. Users and uses as well as creators and providers. Pre-construction, construction, post-construction.  2. Because we’ve always had technology: a. Writing (wooden stylus & wax tablet) movement b. Air conditioning – occupancy c. Underfloor heating – occupancy d. The shower […]

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Permeability & connectivity: a tale of two cities

Notes from a response to questions from the Strelka Institute.  How would you describe the situation with the permeability and connectivity of city spaces today? There is no single state of permeability and connectivity in the contemporary city. Instead we find two main types of urban layout: first, the finely grained, continuously connected street network […]

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Cargo bikes are an urban game-changer

Cargo bikes are an urban game-changer. The combination of online retail and out-of-town mega-distribution centres means that town centre retail must transform. Shops don’t need so much storage space because goods can be sent straight from depot to home. That storage space can be repurposed as retail or office space, bringing new life back to […]

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Open data needs open attitudes

Tim Stonor speaks at the Building Research Establishment about his experience using data in the planning and design of buildings and urban settlements.

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Integrated Urbanism – Massachusetts & the United Kingdom Partnership Forum

Introduction Good afternoon Governor Patrick, visiting delegates and colleagues from the UK. As a recent resident of Massachusetts myself, it is a special pleasure to speak alongside the Governor on the subject of data and cities: and to share some remarks on the common interest in this room: the science of cities. A few words […]

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RIBA thinkpiece launched: “A SMART approach to digital planning & design”

The RIBA today launched a set of think-pieces on Digital planning: ideas to make it happen.

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Smart City Planning & Design Principles

Smart Cities are smart in two ways. First, they harness technologies to improve the way that urban places are led and managed. Second, they create better outcomes for the people that use them. This two-pronged approach applies to all aspects of Smart Cities. When it comes to the planning and design of Smart Cities, technology […]

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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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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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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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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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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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EPSRC Innovate 11: Working with universities

London, 11th October 2011 Tim Stonor Opportunities & barriers Intro Space Syntax Limited an SME working in the Creative Industries, specifically architecture and urban planning. A consulting company. Engaging in projects from high value real estate developments in the City of London to the regeneration of slum settlements. Outside urban space & inside building space. […]

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