Planning Category

Harvard Urban Planning Organisation

Today I gave a short presentation to urban planning students at the Graduate School of Design titled: “Urban sustainability: the social, economic & environmental influence of spatial layout”. Here’s the introduction… “In this presentation I will focus on one particular aspect of sustainability: the patterns of human activity – movement, co-presence and interaction – that […]

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The crisis of modelling

Dear [colleague] Are you familiar with the attached. I think there’s a connection with the article on modelling that you sent me. I believe we can present Space Syntax as addressing the “crisis of modelling”, in which: –    traditional modelling makes dire predictions about the impact on vehicles of public realm-/public transport-oriented projects are […]

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Architecture at the edge of knowledge; space syntax at the heart of design

INTRODUCTION Let me begin at the end with a summary of my presentation. The space syntax approach is more than a computer programme. The beauty – and I think it is a beauty – of the approach is that it combines three key aspects of practice: the first two have been dealt with in depth […]

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New settlements & urban extensions

The physical and spatial form of a settlement structures the potentials for two key outcomes: social interaction and economic trade. These outcomes are cornerstones of sustainability. Movement, on foot and in vehicles, is the fundamental process that underpins these outcomes. Patterns of movement are shaped by the geometry of the street network. Patterns of land […]

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Spatial modelling for complex masterplans

One of the most significant challenges in modern planning is to deliver new urban development in a resource-effective and energy-efficient way. Considerable efforts have been made to develop energy-saving building materials and technologies, and rightly so. But is this enough? I believe we can do more by controlling and reducing energy demand not only inside […]

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Searching for a sustainable Britain

In searching for a sustainable Britain, we should not only be looking at what is built in Britain but also at what we, the British, export elsewhere. We need a sustainable British as well as a sustainable Britain.

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The architecture of behaviour

I am delighted to have been invited to this important conference on Italian tourism, to share my experience as an architect, working on the design of tourist destinations in the United Kingdom and overseas. I hope to show how this experience might be relevant in planning and designing the relaunch of Italian tourism. 

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Divided we stand

The quality of advice provided by planners and architects is as much the product of our education, our professional bodies and our office environments as it is our individual talents. The deep structures of our universities, memberships and working cultures have a profound influence on our personal processes of reasoning and acting. We are what […]

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Frayed at the edge (and at the centre)

At the edges of nearly all the world cities, and often at their centres too, are tracts of unplanned settlements. Labelled as slums, favelas and shanty towns, these are places that have been made largely without the intervention of planning. Their numbers are increasing as the planet moves from the field to the street and […]

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Hedging on the pedestrian

February and March are traditionally the Spring conference season and have taken me this year on speaking engagements from Millbank (with RUDI) to Earls Court (with the Academy of Urbanism), the Royal College of Physicians (with the Architectural Review) and, ultimately, to the giant property toyshop of MIPIM in Cannes (with CABE). In more or […]

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Reflective planning

One of the benefits of an international staff is that the office becomes quieter in the run up to Christmas as people leave for home. Since the New Year is an opportunity to take stock and think ahead, the directors took advantage of the lull. We devoted two days to “reflective planning”, a process of […]

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Diary planning

Three months ago, this column was written in a lazy chair and hot sun. Today it is the slow-running 0754 to Cannon Street. I am at least comforted by the thought that the week will end at the Academy of Urbanism’s annual awards lunch. With that carrot before me I count 23 separate meetings in […]

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Londoners develop own space craft

As reported in the Times Higher Education Supplement on 17 April 1998 Julia Hinde reports on UCL’s novel architectural consultancy that aims to make money from the spaces between buildings. How is it that some company coffee machines become the focus of office life, where deals are struck and ideas take shape, while others are […]

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