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Spatial sustainability in cities: organic patterns and sustainable forms

Hillier, B.; (2009) Spatial sustainability in cities: organic patterns and sustainable forms. In: Koch, D. and Marcus, L. and Steen, J., (eds.) Proceedings of the 7th International Space Syntax Symposium. (pp. p. 1). Royal Institute of Technology (KTH): Stockholm, Sweden. Green open access

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Abstract

Because the complexity of cities seems to defy description, planners and urban designers have always been forced to work with simplified concepts of the city. Drawn from natural language, these concepts emphasize clear hierarchies, regular geometries and the separation of parts from wholes, all seemingly at variance with the less orderly complexity of most real cities. Such concepts are now dominating the debate about sustainability in cities. Here it is argued that space syntax has now brought to light key underlying structures in the city, which have a direct bearing on sustainability in that they seem to show that the spatial form of the self-organised city, as a foreground network of linked centres at all scales set into a background network of mainly residential space, is already a reflection of the relations between environmental, economic and socio-cultural forces, that is between the three domains of sustainability. Evidence that this is so in all three domains is drawn from recent and new research, and a concept of spatial sustainability is proposed focused on the structure of the primary spatial structure of the city, the street network.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Spatial sustainability in cities: organic patterns and sustainable forms
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.sss7.org/Proceedings_list.html
Language: English
Additional information: Key note paper
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Graduate Studies
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/18538
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