Spatial modelling Category

SkyCycle – elevated but not remote

The comparison between SkyCycle – a proposal to create a network of strategic cycling routes above London’s radial railway lines – and the City of London’s much maligned network of (unbuilt or demolished) upper level walkways is one worthy of attention. 1.         The City of London “Pedways” often paralleled routes at street level. When they […]

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Spatial Planning and the Future of Cities

How might cities be planned in the future? This is not only a question of how they might look but also, and more importantly, about how they might be laid out as patterns of buildings and spatial connections. Laying out a city means answering two key questions: “what goes where?” and the “how does it all connect together?” […]

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UrbanRural: one system, many tensions

Notes from a meeting with the Beijing Institute of Agriculture and Forestry at Space Syntax London, 18th September 2013. Common themes Production The rural landscape is a place of production. So is the city: production of goods and production of ideas. Protection Protection of natural assets in the rural landscape. Protection of historic buildings in […]

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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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The importance of grids

The natural shape of the network is a grid, not a tree. Trees focus on singular points – grids share the burden. The natural shape of the city is a grid, not a tree. The evidence of history tells us as much. Rectilinear grids pervade the historic record – in the Middle East, Latin America, East […]

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MSc Advanced Architectural Studies – graduate employability

A talk given at the 40th Anniversary celebrations of the MSc in Advanced Architectural Studies – the “space syntax” MSc at University College London, 3rd September 2013. Good evening, everyone. Let me begin by paying tribute to the genius of Bill Hillier and Julienne Hanson. Not only for pioneering a theory – the theory – of […]

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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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Unbuilt Britain: 3. A Revolution in the City

Broadcast 26th August 2013 on BBC4, featuring Space Syntax analysis of Wren, Hook & Evelyn’s plans for rebuilding the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666.   Link to the programme on the BBC website Link to the programme on YouTube Download a presentation of Space Syntax’s analysis “Using her skills to uncover […]

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Darwin CBD – Workshop 1 – Transcript of Tim Stonor’s presentation

Given by audio link to Darwin CBD Masterplan Workshop 1 on 21st August 2013. Download the presentation, including voiceover “Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Tim Stonor. I’m the Managing Director of Space Syntax and unfortunately I’m not able to join you for the workshop today. But my colleague Eime Tobari is with you and […]

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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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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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Quality Streetscapes Conference notes

My slides This first part of this presentation introduces a new approach to valuing urban design – one which allows design decisions to be embedded in real estate valuation calculations. The approach connects design to the rateable value of retail, commercial and residential property offerings. It allows investment decisions to be related directly to design […]

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Future Cities_Cities of Transaction

Thinking about the future of cities is not a new challenge. From Christopher Wren’s plan for the post-fire rebuilding of London in 1666 to Ebenezer Howards’s Garden City concept, to Le Corbusier, to Bladerunner, human ingenuity has been tasked with anticipating the future. A problem, if we care to admit it, is that these plans […]

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Notes for AGI Conference talk: Measure, map, model, make

My slides Great placemaking is a process combining art and science. There is a place for both and indeed a need for both. Two problems. First, urban planning is largely an analogue discipline. Too many diagrams and watercolours. Not enough science. And, when science is present, it is seen as an adjunct, not as a […]

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AoU Landscape Urbanism notes & questions

These notes accompany a PowerPoint presentation Fragmented urbanism: the rise of Landscape Urbanism & the threat it poses to the continuously connected city TS intro This is a crucial moment for urbanism. In the UK, The Portas Review, highlighting the UK’s threatened high streets. Around the world, cities are growing faster than ever. But cities […]

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London Riots discussion at #lonconf

Darah Singh Groups of rioters: 1. Motivators – of rioting 2. Aggressors – towards police 3. Late night shoppers Simeon Riots gave people unusual opportunities for power and control. Abnormal empowerment. David Lammy MP The risks of social & economic liberalism. Hyper individualism. The selfishness of greed. Poverty, choice, ethics, morality & vulnerability. A policy […]

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