Performance 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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We don’t guess the structural performance of individual buildings so why do we guess the human performance of entire cities?

The structural steelwork of a large and complex building would not be designed without running engineering calculations. Even the smallest of buildings is subject to objective structural analysis. No client and professional team would rely on guesswork, no matter how famous or experienced the architect or engineer. So why do we leave the human performance […]

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Sustainability & resilience – a SMART approach

1. Aspects of sustainability/resilience: SMART outcomes Social – improvements in formation & retention of social connections Environmental – increases in renewable energy production and reductions in energy demand Economic – increases in land value creation Health – improvements in public health outcomes Education – improvements in achievements/qualifications Safety – reductions in offending & reoffending. Environmental […]

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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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Designing Resilient Cities – creating a future Avalon

Designing Resilient Cities – notes from Day 1 A note from the Vice-Mayor for Infrastructure to the Mayor cc Vice-Mayor for Sustainability Vice-Mayor for Engagement Vice-Mayor for Disruption The Public Avalon faces the risk of functional failure. The only way forward is to change. Our infrastructure is inefficient. It needs to become efficient. This is […]

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Technology by necessity

Notes for today’s talk at the NLA’s conference on “How do we build a smarter London” The London context: – more people (growing population) – more data (sensors everywhere) – more sophisticated computing. Strategic problem: how to handle it all. Space Syntax’s experience: address the problem via “the questions of reality”. The commercial application of Space Syntax […]

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Building a Smart City modelling team

. Cities planning their future are increasingly turning to the production of Integrated Urban Models. These are tools that bring together various datasets on different asoects of urban performance, from the behaviour of people to the flows of energy, water and other utilities. The aim is to better predict the future of cities by better understanding […]

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From cities of movement to places of transaction

Summary of Tim Stonor’s talk at the World Cities Summit, Singapore, 3rd June 2014 From cities of movement to places of transaction – a new mobility focus for city leaders, planners and everyday users Key responsibilities for cities 1. Imagining the future of cities and mobility. 2. Designing integrated, people-focused planning to sustain cities. 3. […]

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Digital urbanism – a sketch of a structure

Digital Urbanism has two key components: 1.  Computing That organisations and individuals are involved in the creation, collection, visualisation and analysis of data, leading to the creation, through computing, of modelling tools and predictive analytics. This kind of activity is now central to the operations of public and private organisations. It is no longer peripheral. […]

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Centres and Cities

I’m sure you’re right about the link between street morphology and attractiveness to business. Centres seem to do one of three things through time. They either: 1. consolidate and grow (London, Paris) 2. move (Jeddah) 3. implode (Sunderland). Oh, and some places: 4. never have a functioning centre (Skelmersdale, UK New Towns) because they were […]

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New blog for Faversham Yellow Lines campaign

Information on the campaign against the painting of yellow lines across Faversham town centre has moved to a new blog. Thank you for all the support so far!

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Move, interact, transact – the human dimension of Smart Cities

http://youtu.be/U63hMTIQW8I Speaking at the invitation of the organisers of the British Business Summit, Istanbul, Turkey.

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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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How should the Transport industry change?

First, by seeing the purpose of Transport as the facilitation of human transaction and not only as the movement of people/goods and the construction of roads, rails and runways. Second, that the economic benefits of transport investments are measured not as savings in time but as the creation of opportunities. Third, that when you say transport, people think […]

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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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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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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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