Urbanism Category

Connectivity is only the beginning – networking is the goal

For digital users 2010 was the year to get connected; 2011 will be the year to become networked. It is one thing to buy an iPhone, join Facebook and Twitter, get a blog, friend and follow. It is another to keep it all going. Already, people are being encouraged to unplug. But why unplug when […]

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Performance planning – beauty has a functional component

I spoke yesterday to Prof Jerold Kayden’s “Design Law Policy” class at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. My presentation “Performance planning – urban measurement, analysis & forecasting” can be downloaded from Slideboom.

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Spatial transformation – Berlin

The following images of Berlin have been prepared by Anna Rose and Christian Schwander at Space Syntax Limited as part of a wider study of the city. They show the pattern of “spatial integration” in Berlin at three key periods in history: 1940, 1989 and 2011. The colours read like a temperature scale, with highest levels […]

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Millennium Development Goals

MDG 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger MDG 2 Achieve universal primary education MDG 3 Promote gender equality and empower women MDG 4 Reduce child mortality MDG 5 Improve maternal health MDG 6 Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases MDG 7 Ensure environmental sustainability

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The pace of change – is “online” a reflection of “urban”?

One of the challenges in achieving an integration of thinking between hackers and urbanists is the rate of change online. Will the massive experimentation currently underway on the internet continue at a pace, or settle down as norms are established and protocols emerge? Perhaps the same protocols that make it possible for people to live […]

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Architecting the unexpected

“Serendipity”: it’s what cities have always provided but online environments only sometimes produce. Why “search” isn’t enough, hackers need to think like urbanists and the internet needs urban design. It’s the start of a new semester at Harvard and there’s a real buzz about the place. I had breakfast with Nicco Mele and Chee Pearlman this […]

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Connecting the disconnected – how much is enough?

Yesterday evening, Ed Parham gave a talk at the Graduate School of Design on Space Syntax’s work redesigning unplanned settlements in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Despite the really awful weather, which turned Cambridge into a pedestrian sludge, there was a full house. Ed showed how Jeddah’s unplanned settlements share a common spatial property of being locally […]

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Upcoming talk: “From highways to handshakes – taming roads for people”

Monday, 24th January at 6:00pm Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW Tenth Ave., Portland OR A conversation with Tim Stonor of the renowned London-based planning firm Space Syntax When it comes to transportation, planners use “science” for cars but more often “intuition” for pedestrians. Elaborate computer models have been developed to model traffic scenarios for vehicles, but […]

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Upcoming talk: “Planning the unplanned: An evidence-based approach to design in informal settlements”

Harvard Graduate School of Design, 18th January 2011, 6:30pm With the world population of slum dwellers set to increase to 2 billion over the next 30 years, the need to provide adequate living conditions for the urban poor is recognised as a major challenge. Political and economic pressure to implement improvements quickly, often means that […]

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Go looking for the thing you can’t see

Architecture is obsessed with what things look like. Hence the focus on form and style; on the materials that buildings are made from; on the processes by which these materials are brought together. In school, in practice and in the media. But this isn’t everything and it isn’t enough. Architecture is much more important. It […]

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