Urbanism Category

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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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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Space Syntax in China

How has Space Syntax been applied in China and are the findings different to those outside China?  Space Syntax is not a prescriptive planning and design methodology. Instead it is a culturally responsive planning methodology. It begins by analysing the spatial layout of urban and rural areas and studying patterns of human behaviour, land use […]

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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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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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Street

The place where we learn the most valuable lessons of our lives. She’s very “street” – streetwise. She’s very “library” doesn’t sound the same.

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The role of national government – some thoughts

To convene National government has strong convening power – look at this event today (UK-China Sustainable Urbanisation Conference). In the UK the national government has created the Smart Cities Forum to bring together those involved in policymaking, research and practice around Smart Cities. The Government Office for Science has brought together cities across the UK […]

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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 Garden Street – the essential, unspoken element of the Garden City 

Too often the Garden City is visualised as a place of huge green spaces enfolding small pockets of grey streets. The green and the grey. But why should streets be grey? What about avenues? Boulevards? Rows of trees? Grass verges? Street planting at various scales.  And don’t those huge green parks just separate the urbanism? […]

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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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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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