Spatial layout Category

“7Ls” of urban planning & design

Location – where is the site and what’s around it Linkage – where are the principal ways into the site (can any new ones be established?) Layout – the pattern & hierarchy of streets Land use – more than housing? Landscape – the look and feel of the place (covers a lot eg materials, blue/green) […]

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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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The Auranga Story: create streets = create jobs

Research by Mike Cullen of Urbacity has shown that: Out-of-town malls generate 0.5 non-retail jobs per retail job created. Mall-dominated towns generate 1.2. Street-based retail generates 2.6 Answer = build street-based retail As if we didn’t know enough already about the social, economic and environmental benefits of connected, mixed-use urbanism, Cullen’s research provides one more […]

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How cities connect people across space & time

The subject of “connectivity” is much mentioned in urban planning practice, not least by the Space Syntax community.  But what do we mean by connectivity?  1. Urban practice should connect across different scales of activity: Urban Planning (macro scale) Urban Design (meso scale) Building Design (micro scale) ie 3 scales of space. 2. Urban practice […]

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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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Past, present & future_Space Syntax in practice

[Speaking notes for Tim Stonor’s opening presentation at the First Conference on Space Syntax in China, Beijing, 5th December 2015.] Good morning. It is an honour to be speaking at this important conference alongside so many distinguished speakers and attendees. My talk today will cover the past, present and future of Space Syntax Limited’s experience […]

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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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The future of Faversham Creek

Address to the Faversham Creek Trust event on board SB Repertor – speaking notes Tim Stonor 2nd September 2015 Good evening. It is an honour to have been asked to speak this evening and I’m grateful to Lady Sondes, Sir David Melville and Chris Wright for their invitation. As I prepared for this evening I wondered if I […]

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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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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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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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Bill Hillier’s Smart London

Notes of Bill Hilliers opening talk about the NLA Smarter London exhibition, 8th October 2014. Congratulations to the NLA and CASA for the exhibition. It’s evidence that London is the original smart city – nowhere such a collection of top class practices, imaginative authorities and academic departments developing new ways of doing things, and new […]

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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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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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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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What exactly is human scale?

Darwin City Centre Masterplan, Space Syntax For too long, architects and urban planners have pursued the myth that human scale means “local” scale. In doing so, they have downscaled space, thinking that by fragmenting and disconnecting towns and cities into small enclaves they would be creating “community”. They were wrong. Isolated and disconnected, people on inner -city […]

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