Spatial planning 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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What will cities look like 30 years from now?

I joined a carbon reduction event yesterday where, by way of introducing ourselves, we were each asked to predict the future: what did we think we would see more of in 2050 – in terms of objects, experiences and services. A neat little ice-breaker if ever there was one. Here are my top-of-the-head responses: 1. […]

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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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Reflecting ourselves in the city

What can the form of cities tell us about the structure of the brain? And what can the structure of the brain tell us about the form of cities? These are questions that I’d like to address in this talk. In summary, I believe we can learn a good deal about the interaction between the […]

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Transport & housing: tools, standards, principles

Notes for presentation at Transport & Housing conference: https://www.transportxtra.com/tx-events/?id=2400 To understand where we are & where we need to go, we first need to understand where we come from. And where we come from is a relationship with the car that has fragmented cities & damaged lives. Transport & housing Big problems: – obesity – […]

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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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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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Cargo bikes are an urban game-changer

Cargo bikes are an urban game-changer. The combination of online retail and out-of-town mega-distribution centres means that town centre retail must transform. Shops don’t need so much storage space because goods can be sent straight from depot to home. That storage space can be repurposed as retail or office space, bringing new life back to […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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