Technology Category

How do we measure connectivity, walkability & car-dependence at Space Syntax?

SPATIAL LAYOUT ATTRACTION MODELLING ‘Spatial Layout Attraction Modelling’ is a computer modelling technique that calculates the relative importance of each street segment – each piece of street between two intersections – for people moving within towns and cities.  We begin by analysing road the geometry of the street network, using road centreline data. By finding […]

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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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We, robots

The subject of robotics is multi-dimensional, disruptive & urgent. In my summing up at the Public Debate of the Robotics Atelier at the Norman Foster Foundation, I identified three types of robot: Type 1_The robot of repetitive tasks – this kind of robot will end many kinds of manual jobs that people currently have in […]

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The return of the impossible – Astana Economic Forum

Good afternoon. It’s an honour and a pleasure to be here in Astana today with this distinguished panel. In speaking about the cities of the future I’d like to speak about three technologies that I think are not only exciting but are also capable of genuinely addressing the “Global Challenges” theme of this Forum. The […]

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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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Notes from first ULI UK Tech Forum

1. We need to have a clear definition of technology. Physical as well as digital technology. Users and uses as well as creators and providers. Pre-construction, construction, post-construction.  2. Because we’ve always had technology: a. Writing (wooden stylus & wax tablet) movement b. Air conditioning – occupancy c. Underfloor heating – occupancy d. The shower […]

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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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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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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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Defining Smart(er) (as) Cities

I prefer the term “Smarter City” to “Smart City” even if it has already been claimed by IBM. “Smarter City” suggests the city is already smart and technology can make it smarter, whereas “Smart City” can be misinterpreted as suggesting that the city is dumb and technology, like a White Knight, will ride to its […]

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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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Moving cities: from transport to transaction

“If the scope of urban policy makers can be widened from a fixation on transport to an appreciation of value-rich urban outcomes, built on the benefits of effective human transaction, then future cities are more likely to be places that meet the expectations of future citizens.” Cities are ultimately vessels for the concentrated production and […]

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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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