Space Syntax


Space Syntax falls into the framework of strategic planning. The brief description of space syntax  supports to understand why and how space syntax can support a research addressing energy-related questions.



Space syntax (by Hillier and Hanson) works with the comprehensive concept of space, either as built form or as open space, which occurs inside and between built structures. The space syntax methodology addresses the relationship between physical elements of a city and its social activity and the pattern of utilisation. 

Marcus (2007) defines the space syntax theory in a very understandable way when he explains that the main variable of urban form that is analysed within space syntax is accessibility and how the accessibility between spaces varies according to the changes in the configuration of urban form. This methodology considers space and the spatial structure as the fundamental concept. 

Each spatial manifestation unit of urban agglomerations develops an interface with itself. There is a direct link between the urban structure and the pattern of activity, as the organisation of a city and its network of open spaces is created by the urban agglomeration of socio-spatial units. One of the major attributes is the relationship between movement – represented by connectivity and accessibility – and the spatial network, known as configuration. Karimi (1997) summarises the underlying idea when saying that it creates a platform for society and space, to give a spatial nature to society as well as a social dimension to space. In general, represents the space syntax theory urban and regional settlements as a continuous whole. 

Space syntax works with the concept of graph theory to describe relative centrality of singular components. Hillier draws attention to the importance of connectivity and its topological arrangement into a network by the geometry of a system. What can be derived from this point is that the abstract connectivity (configuration) is more important than the position of space (composition) (Marshall 2005). 

What space syntax represents is a topological network to link urban structures with social activity through the idea of connectivity and accessibility. 

In general, the basic dynamics of a city are form-function systems. The network structure shapes flows, and further land use patterns. The network can be distinguished in movement-rich and less-movement rich parts. Economic flows also follow this patterns. (Hillier, Stonor 2010).


tl_files/enur_content/pics/spacesyntaxfeldkirch.png Erreichbarkeitsanalyse Feldkirch und Umgebung Bestand (Fokus Fußgänger – „Stadt der kurzen Wege“)
Durchgangspotential [Choice 800m log+2] – 10 Gehminuten 

(copyright: Czerkauer 2007)


tl_files/enur_content/pics/File.feldkirch.b.jpg tl_files/enur_content/pics/File.feldkirch.a.jpg

Feldkirch 2012,

Potential Through Movement - global (left) and local (right)

(copyright: Czerkauer, Brus, Voigt 2012)