Space Syntax Technology overview Description Space Syntax is a sustainable urban planning & design technology. Benefits It is used to reduce the total energy load of cities. In doing so, it targets social & economic prosperity. Features Space Syntax is an objective planning & design approach with deep, scientific foundations. Applications It is one of the longest-established urban planning methodologies. It has been developed & tested over twenty years in China & throughout the world.
The energy consumed by vehicles in towns and cities is often higher than that consumed by either the lighting or heating of buildings. 54% of UK transport emissions are produced by road transport. Of these, 90% are produced by private/commercial vehicles. Since 1990, total UK emissions of CO2 fell by 6% while transport emissions grew by almost 11%. The problem The energy cost of road transport networks Road transport Source: Defra 2007
The increasing dependence of towns and cities on imports of fossil fuelled energy, food and water is a profound risk for the future of urban living. This risk can be mitigated in two ways. The first way is to tackle supply chains through the introduction of local and renewable energy as well as locally produced food and water. The second way is to tackle consumption patterns, by reducing “waste consumption” in urban systems: energy, water and food waste. Solutions Addressing the scarcity of natural resources
Technology-driven solutions can create cleaner fuels and new ways of working that require less travel. The role of technology in reducing emissions
Urban planning solutions can create modal change from private to public transport and from carbon to non-carbon forms of travel such as walking & cycling . Space Syntax is an urban planning solution that creates this modal change. The role of planning & design in reducing emissions
When towns and cities are poorly laid out they create significant volumes of energy waste, most often in the form of dependency on private cars. How do planning & design influence carbon emissions?
Examples include residential communities built at low density at the edges of cities, which cannot sustain local economies and require the use of cars and public transport to access goods and services, with a consequent impact on energy consumption. In many cases, such places are built at too low a density to support public transport, with even greater energy implications. The risk of poor planning & design
Density is not the only influence on urban sustainability. Certain forms of street layout design place greater demands on energy than others, especially when land uses are zoned rather than mixed. Disconnected, mono-functional grids require users to make a greater number of longer journeys, resulting in increased energy consumed through vehicular movement. Disconnected grids increase travel emissions
Disconnected grids are the preference of the transport planning community since they are easier to simulate and traffic control. Unfortunately this form of planning often creates congestion as well as economic under-performance and social segregation. If green buildings are placed into such an inefficient transport network, the result is NOT an eco-city. It is a city of net urban energy wastage. The risk of poor planning & design
Space Syntax’s urban planning and design software calculates the relationship between street layout and energy consumption. This leading eco-city technology was developed at University College London , the world’s 4th ranked university. Space Syntax Deep research foundations at UCL
Using Space Syntax, it is possible to optimise relationships between spatial layout, movement and other critical aspects of urban sustainability. Space Syntax technology identifies the optimal location of land uses, especially retailing, public transport nodes and community facilities. A “total” sustainability solution Economic viability
We have developed techniques to objectively assess the risk of vulnerability to burglary and personal attack. We have worked with city authorities and police forces to reduce crime levels in urban areas . A “total” sustainability solution Crime & safety
Space Syntax technology measures the likelihood that people will walk to take physical exercise and thus avoid the increasing threat of ill-health. Obesity, and the diseases connected to low physical activity, are a growing threat to urban economies, given the increasing financial costs of ill-health. A city is only truly an eco-city when it is also a healthy city. A “total” sustainability solution Healthy living
Spatial layouts influence the degree to which people from different social and ethnic backgrounds are able to live together. Space Syntax technology is used to consult with community groups about development proposals and to find harmonious ways of bringing new communities to live alongside existing ones . A “total” sustainability solution Community cohesion
In conclusion, Space Syntax offers a marriage of theoretical knowledge analytical methods creative thinking worldwide experience . There is more detail than can be described in a short presentation. However, my colleague ZHANG Ji and I will be happy to speak to anyone who wishes to know more about low carbon masterplanning for sustainable cities. Thank you Concusions Tim STONOR ZHANG Ji