Why space matters

The spatial layout of buildings and urban places exerts a powerful influence on human behaviour. The way that places connect is directly related to the way that people move, interact and transact.

Space connects or segregates; brings people into social and economic relationships or keeps them apart; helps people save time or consigns them to carbon-intensive lifestyles; enhances real estate value or damages investments; increases safety or encourages criminal behaviour.

Well designed spatial layouts produce safe and vibrant places and, in doing so, create enormous levels of social, economic and environmental capital.

Poor layouts risk functional failure, loss of investment and social harm. The urban landscape is littered with failed development, much of it caused by misunderstanding how spatial layout affects human performance.

Space Syntax provides a trusted, evidence-based approach to the analysis and design of spatial layout and land use patterns. We help people to see, in clear and straightforward terms, how buildings and urban places can be designed to optimise their functional performance.

Our unique contribution to the field of urban planning and design is in the identification of fundamental links between spatial layout land use attraction and the social, economic and environmental performance of places.

Space Syntax research has made five key discoveries that demonstrate how spatial layout directly affects:

movement – such that Space Syntax models can be used as strategic traffic modelling tools for vehicle, pedestrian and cycling movement

land use -showing how land use performance is deeply influenced by spatial location

safety – allowing risk to be identified and safer places to be created

land value – demonstrating the influence of spatial networks on property economics

carbon emissions – highlighting the contribution of spatial planning and design to environmental impact.

Space Syntax works to de-risk property investment decisions, showing how the spatial layout of places can be optimised to enhance the social, economic and environmental value of developments.

Using a highly graphic, data-rich and audience-engaging set of techniques, we help our clients achieve powerful results quickly.
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“What we know and feel about cities is hard to put into words or images, still harder to enumerate. Space Syntax has the vocabulary, graphics and data to do this.”

Paul Fisher
Daily Telegraph