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Space Syntax in Theory and Practice

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Geodesign by Integrating Design and Geospatial Sciences

Part of the book series: GeoJournal Library ((GEODES,volume 111))

Abstract

In the past three decades the space syntax method, developed by Bill Hillier and his colleagues at the University College London, have been applied to urban studies. This method consists of calculating configurative spatial relationships in built environments. In urban analyses, according to Hillier, space syntax is four things. Firstly, it is a way to represent urban space. Secondly, it is a family of techniques for analysing cities as the networks of space formed by the placing, grouping and orientation of buildings. Thirdly, it is a set of techniques for observing how these networks of space relate to functional patterns such as movement, land use, area differentiation, migration patterns and even social wellbeing and malaise. Fourthly, space syntax has made it possible to make a set of theories about how urban space networks relate in general to the social, economic and cognitive factors which shape them and are affected by them. The techniques have been applied worldwide to a large number of cities. In this way a substantial database now exists (Hillier, Cities and urban societies: The role of endogenous factors, 2007). The purpose of this chapter is to present the various elements of the space syntax method and how they have contributed to understandings and theories on urban space and society, and to position the tool within a geodesign process. A consistent methodology and theories is necessary for predicting to some extent the socio-economic effects of urban design proposals.

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Correspondence to Akkelies van Nes .

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van Nes, A. (2014). Space Syntax in Theory and Practice. In: Lee, D., Dias, E., Scholten, H. (eds) Geodesign by Integrating Design and Geospatial Sciences. GeoJournal Library(), vol 111. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08299-8_15

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