City Club of Portland hosts talks and dinners every week highlighting various aspects of community growth. On Monday they will have a presentation based on the work of Space Syntax, a London based firm that uses spatial research to guide design based on observed human behavior.
Here is the information on the talk:
Date: January 24, 2011 -6:00pm -7:30pm
Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th Ave. in the Pearl
When it comes to transportation, planners use “science” for cars, but more often “intuition” for pedestrians. Technicians develop elaborate computer models for the movement of vehicles. But when it comes to predicting where people will saunter on two feet, it’s all observation and guesswork. In the 1990s, the London-based firm Space Syntax changed all of that.
Mapping neighborhoods from a pedestrian’s eye level for the places people desire to go and then applying relatively simple algorithms to model behavior, Space Syntax developed robust new computer forecasts that led the way to successfully “pedestrianizing” such car-choked districts as Trafalgar Square in London and the historic Old Market Square in Nottingham. Today, with nine offices across the globe, the firm is leading the design and redesign of districts in cities as diverse as Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Beijing, China. Tim Stonor will speak about Space Syntax’s efforts—both the successes and the good tries—to improve the movement and commerce in urban conditions ranging from medieval cities to contemporary suburbs.
Stonor is an architect and town planner with wide international experience. In the 1990s, he established the Space Syntax Laboratory at University College London (UCL) and the consulting firm Space Syntax Limited to build bridges between professional practice and academic research. As managing director, Stonor oversees the London office’s consulting activities and is responsible for the firm’s strategic direction. Stonor is a member of the UK Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the steering group of the UK National Health Service Design Review Panel, and the Expert Advisory Panel at Walk England, and is a director of the UK Academy of Urbanism. For 2010/11, he is a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.