Science Category

Beyond placemaking: 7 dimensions of “Place Performance”

Notes from a talk at the Bartlett Real Estate Institute, University College London, 24th April 2019.   Placemaking is the art and science of planning and designing spaces for human activity, however that is done: ‬ – by a single hand (usually not a good approach) or by multiple hands (usually a good approach) – […]

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Cities from scratch – Astana Economic Forum

Good afternoon. I’m delighted to be a member of this panel today. Let me start by describing my organisation’s approach to the creation of cities from scratch. Space Syntax is an international urban planning and design studio and has been involved in plans for new cities and new city extensions throughout the world, including here […]

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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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Growth. Are you old school or new school?

There are two different schools of thought about how to accommodate urban growth. The first says that cities should build more road capacity to handle private vehicle traffic. The second says that less space should be provided for private vehicles and more investment should be made in public transport and “active travel” i.e. walking and cycling. […]

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We are what we street. The elements of successful #urban placemaking

PART ONE – THE ELEMENTS OF SUCCESSFUL URBAN PLACEMAKING Location How the site fits into its context, including complementary and competitive attractions; in other words, what else is nearby to which the design should respond? The success of any development, no matter how large, is a function of the wider setting. Linkage The specific points […]

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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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Sustainable cities of the future – sketch

Notes for keynote at UK Green Building Council Annual City Summit, Birmingham. 1. Spatial planning & human behaviour implications of sustainability – reduction of transport carbon through shift towards walking, cycling & public transport 2. A massive shift needed in transport + land use planning, urban + landscape design, architecture. Professional inertia. Turning the supertanker. […]

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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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Integrated Urban Planning – balancing the multiple flows of the city

Notes for the UK-China Sustainable Urbanisation Conference in Chengdu, China on 24th September 2015    My job as an architect and urban planner is to design new towns and cities – as well as new parts of existing urban settlements. This means designing the multiple systems that make up a city. We often think about towns and […]

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What did the Romans ever do for us? Pompei’s 5 lessons for placemaking…

Download the presentation In looking forwards it is important to learn the lessons of history. Look at Pompei. A city built for efficient mobility.  A model of the 1st century with lessons for the 21st century.  The grid – no cul de sacs. Built for mobility. Built for commerce.  More or less rectilinear – not labyrinthine. […]

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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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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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The spatial architecture of the SMART city

Download this presentation. Good morning. It is a pleasure and an honour to have been invited to give this presentation today at the Nikkei Smart City Week conference. The subject of my talk is architecture – not only the architecture of buildings but, also, the architecture of public space: the space that we move through […]

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A new science for cities

A talk given to the Leaders and Chief Executives of the Key Cities, Brighton, 24th October 2014. Download this presentation. We hear a lot about smart cities as the solution to the needs of urban places. But although technology allows us to live remotely and speak to each other from deep forests and mountaintops, humanity as a species […]

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Let them smoke ciggies because it keeps them calm

“Cul de sac layouts may be the opium of the unwary – seemingly an analgesic against high-density urbanism – but beware the risks of over-indulgence”. Steve Morgan, founder of housebuilder Redrow, attacks high-density urbanism in today’s Building Design. He says: “Build cul de sacs because that’s how people want to live”. This reminds me of some other things I’ve […]

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Forwards to the past! Technology’s greatest triumph

Rick There are so many reasons why what you have set out below is interesting. But I think I can take a different position to the one that you are developing. My approach will be that, far from taking the human mind, behaviours, and cultural norms beyond where they have ever been before, the true […]

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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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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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