Deficiency of the Space Syntax method as an urban design tool in designing traditional urban space and the need for some supplementary methods

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 A Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran.

2 A Student of MS in Architecture at the College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology.

Abstract

Urban design problems have become so complex that no single designer is able to consider all aspects of a design area simultaneously. Lately the application of computerized and scientific methods have helped designers analyze complex problems. One of these new methods is Space Syntax. The purpose of this study is to first investigate the strengths and weaknesses of this method and then suggest some supplementary methods to cover its pitfalls. On the next phase Space Syntax and supplementary methods will be used to design a pedestrian pathway in the Imamzade Ghasem neighborhood as a traditional context. Space Syntax will identify the existing spatial structure and direct future changes toward its strengthening. The case study reveals that Space Syntax can be successfully used in analysis of traditional spaces, but in order to successfully design a neighborhood in such a complex context, it involves logistical shortcomings which could be eliminated through supplementary methods.

Keywords


  1. Abbaszadegan M (2002) Space syntax method in urban design process, with an overview on Yazd city (in Persian) Urban Management9: 35-43.
  2. Abbaszadegan M, MalekzadeA(2003)Moving towards sustainable urban development through promoting non-vehicle access to subway stations (in Persian). In Proceeding of the Iranian urban problems congress.22-25 June. Tehran.
  3. Alexander C (1979) the timeless way of building. New York: Oxford University Press.
  4. Alexander C, Ishikawa S, Silverstein M (1977) A pattern language. New York: Oxford University Press.
  5. Bacon E (1974) Design of cities. New York: Penguin Books.
  6. Bafna S (2003) Space Syntax, a brief introduction to its logic and analytical techniques. Environment and Behavior35 (1): 17-29.
  7. Bahrainy H (1996) the local language of urban design (in Persian). In Proceeding of the Bam Fort congress.12-15 January. Bam.
  8. Bahrainy H (1998) urban design process (in Persian). Tehran: University of Tehran Press.
  9. Barati N, Taghizade M, Aminzade B (1988) Recognition of principles and concepts of Islamic Urbanism (in Persian).Master dissertation. Department of Urban Design. The University of Tehran.
  10. Brösamle M, Hölscher C, Vrachliotis G (2007) Multi-level complexity in terms of Space Syntax: A case study. In Proceeding of the 6th international symposium on space syntax.12-15 June. Istanbul. http://www.spacesyntaxistanbul.itu.edu.tr/papers%5Clongpapers%5C044%20-%20Br%C3%B6samle%20H%C3%B6lsher%20Vrachliotis.pdf
  11. Chomsky N (1986) Language and mind. New York: Brace & World.
  12. Crompton A, Brown F (2007) The double structure of Venice. In Proceeding of the 6th international symposium on space syntax.12-15 June. Istanbul. http://www.cromp.com/download/pdfdocs/venice.pdf
  13. Hillier B (1996) Space is the machine: A configurational theory of architecture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  14. Hillier B (1999) the hidden geometry of deformed grids: or, why Space Syntax works, when it looks as though it shouldn’t. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design26:169-191.
  15. Hillier B (2001) A theory of city as object, or, how spatial laws mediate the social construction of urban space. In Proceeding of the 3th international symposium on space syntax. 7-11 May 2001. Atlanta. http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1029/1/hillier_city 2001 .pdf.
  16. Hillier B (2005) the art of place and the science of space. World architecture 11(185): 96-102.
  17. Hillier B, Leaman A, Stansall P, Bedford M (1976) Space Syntax. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design3:147-185.
  18. Hillier B, Burdett R, Peponis J, Penn A (1987) Creating life: or, does architecture determine anything? Architecture and Behaviour3 (3): 231-248.
  19. Hillier B, Penn A, Hanson J, Grajewski T, Xu J (1993) Natural movement: or, configuration and attraction in urban pedestrian movement. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design20:29-66.
  20. Hillier B, Hanson J (1997) the social logic of space. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  21. Hillier B, Green M, Desyllas J (2000) Self-generated neighborhood consolidation in informal settlements. Urban Design International5 (2): 61-96.
  22. Hillier B, Penn A (2004) Rejoinder to Carlo Ratti. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design31:501-511
  23. Holanda, Frederico R. B. de (2007) be aware of local properties. In Proceeding of the 6th international symposium on space syntax.12-15 June. Istanbul. http://www.spacesyntaxistanbul.itu.edu.tr/papers%5Clongpapers%5C082%20-%20Holanda.pdf
  24. Karimi K (1997) the spatial logic of organic cities in Iran and the United Kingdom. In Proceeding of the 1st international symposium on Space Syntax.16-18 April. London. http://217.155.65.93:81/symposia/SSS1/SpSx%201st%20Symposium%2097%20- 2003%20pdf/1st%20Symposium%20Vol%20I%20pdf/3%20-%20Comparative%20cities/06- Karimi%20300.pdf
  25. Karimi K (2000) urban conservation and spatial transformations. Urban Design International5: 221–231.
  26. Karimi K, Motamed N (2003) the tale of two cities: urban planning of the city Isfahan in the past and present. In Proceeding of the 4th international symposium on Space Syntax.17-19 June. London. http://217.155.65.93:81/symposia/SSS4/abstracts/14_Karimi_abstract.pdf
  27. .Krier R (1979) Urban Space. New York: Rizzoli.
  28. López M, Nes A (2007) Space and crime in Dutch built environments. In Proceeding of the 6th international symposium on space syntax.12-15 June. Istanbul. http://www.spacesyntaxistanbul.itu.edu.tr/papers%5Clongpapers%5C026%20-%20Lopez%20vanNes.pdf
  29. Lynch K (1960) the image of the city. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  30. Lynch K (1981) Good city form. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  31. Marshall S (2009) Cities, design and evolution. New York: Routledge.
  32. Masoudinejad R (2005) Social bazaar and commercial bazaar: comparative study of spatial role of Iranian bazaar in the historical cities in different socio-economic context. In Proceeding of the 5th international symposium on space syntax.13-17 June. Istanbul. http://www.spacesyntax.tudelft.nl/media/Long%20papers%20I/rezamasoudi.pdf
  33. Memarian G (2007) A survey in theoretical principles of architecture (in Persian). Tehran: Soroushedanesh Press.
  34. Motavaf S (1993) Post-war reconstruction and new cities: lessons from England and Iran (in Persian). In Proceeding of international conference of urban development and new cities.p.580-593
  35. Nasr H (1971) Preface. In The Sense of unity: The Sufi tradition in Persian architecture. N Ardalan, L Bakhtiar (2001).Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  36. Penn A (2003) Space Syntax and spatial cognition or why the axial line? Environment and Behavior35 (1): 30-65.
  37. Penn A, Hillier B, Banister D, Xu J(1998a) Configurational modeling of urban movement networks.Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design25:59-84.
  38. Penn A, Hillier B, Banister D, Xu J(1998b)Configurational modeling of urban movement networks. In Travel Behavior Research: Updating the State of Play (L Ortuzar, D Henscher, SJara-diaz), Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  39. Raford N, Ragland D (2003) Space Syntax: an innovative pedestrian volume modeling tool for pedestrian safety. UC Berkeley: Safe Transportation Research & Education Center,http://escholarship.org/uc/item/50m064zp.
  40. Ratti C (2004) Space Syntax: Some inconsistencies. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design31:487 – 499.
  41. Read S (1999) Space syntax and the Dutch city. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design26:251 – 264.
  42. Steadman P (2004) Guest editorial: Development in Space Syntax. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design31:483 – 486.
  43. Turner A, Doxa M, O’Sullivan D, Penn A (2001) From isovist to visibility graph: a methodology for the analysis of architecture space. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design28:103-121.
  44. Turner A (2004) Depthmap 4- a researcher´s handbook. Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, http://www.vr.ucl.ac.uk/depthmap/depthmap4.pdf.
  45. Ünlü A, Edgü E (2007) Comparative Space Syntax analysis of design strategies for Istanbul underground railway system. In Proceeding of the 6th international symposium on space syntax.12-15 June. Istanbul.  http://www.spacesyntaxistanbul.itu.edu.tr/papers%5Clongpapers%5C074%20-%20Unlu%20Edgu.pdf.
  46. Wang J, Mao Q, Dang A (2007) An evolvement model for a metropolis: a case study on the evolution of spatial and functional patterns of Beijing city. In Proceeding of the 6th international symposium on space syntax.12-15 June. Istanbul. http://www.spacesyntaxistanbul.itu.edu.tr/papers%5Clongpapers%5C013%20-%20Wang%20Mao%20Dang.pdf.