Urbanism Category

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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. […]

Read More

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.

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Digital urbanism – a sketch of a structure

Digital Urbanism has two key components: 1.  Computing That organisations and individuals are involved in the creation, collection, visualisation and analysis of data, leading to the creation, through computing, of modelling tools and predictive analytics. This kind of activity is now central to the operations of public and private organisations. It is no longer peripheral. […]

Read More

Centres and Cities

I’m sure you’re right about the link between street morphology and attractiveness to business. Centres seem to do one of three things through time. They either: 1. consolidate and grow (London, Paris) 2. move (Jeddah) 3. implode (Sunderland). Oh, and some places: 4. never have a functioning centre (Skelmersdale, UK New Towns) because they were […]

Read More

New blog for Faversham Yellow Lines campaign

Information on the campaign against the painting of yellow lines across Faversham town centre has moved to a new blog. Thank you for all the support so far!

Read More

Move, interact, transact – the human dimension of Smart Cities

http://youtu.be/U63hMTIQW8I Speaking at the invitation of the organisers of the British Business Summit, Istanbul, Turkey.

Read More

UK Spatial Infrastructure Model

This is a model of the spatial infrastructure of Great Britain (and will soon include Northern Ireland to become a model of the United Kingdom). It allows us to zoom in and out on cities, towns and villages as well as the connections between them. It also lets us understand the hierarchy of connections at […]

Read More

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. […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Space Syntax: the push of intent, the pull of need and the resistance of the “pre-digital”

I was asked an interesting question yesterday about the barriers to growth and acceptance of Space Syntax and Integrated Urban Models. I believe there are three important components to the answer. First, the growth of Space Syntax Limited‘s business was robust for 19 years, following its startup as a UCL spinoff company in 1989 – until […]

Read More

A definition of “Smart” – screens, signs and shop windows

“Smart” is too often, too narrowly defined in terms of the benefits of digital technology. Of course, digital technology can help cities to be smarter. But being smart means much more than that. My own preference is to define “smart” by focusing on three factors: 1. people 2. the information that people receive 3. the […]

Read More

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?” […]

Read More