Tim Stonor_Carbon emissions and spatial connections


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The scale of urban fragmentation that has since ensued can be seen by the comparison of development figure grounds from 1916 and 2005. The close grained nature of the built fabric of 1916 has been undermined through successive wholesale redevelopment and replaced with fragmented, incoherent urban form. Mirroring this evolution has been the increasing prevalence given to facilitating global through movement at the expense of local inter-accessiblity. Movement modes have been physically and functionally separated to the degree that the major public and private transport through routes are extremely difficult to traverse for pedestrians.

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The centre is separated by a complex networks of skybridges, subways and un-constituted urban blocks that deters pedestrian movement. According to the supplementary planning guidance from the district borough, of the inhabitants living in the area only 20% of expenditure are being spent within the centre. One objective of redesign has been to increase local spend by up to 50%

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Testing the future spatial structure showed that reconnecting Woolworth Road to the Northern Roundabout would reinforce the value of Elephant and Castle as a local centre of trade and that connecting Woolworth Road to New Kent Road would open up new areas of relatively high pedestrian movement away from the busy roads, providing a greater diversity of urban space for non residential use and an opportunity to create exciting new urban spaces.

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Carbon emissions & spatial connections Implications for urban planning & design Harvard University Graduate School of Design 4th March 2011 Tim Stonor

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UK domestic CO2 emissions by source category 2007

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92% of UK domestic transport emissions were produced on roads. CO2 emissions from UK domestic transport by source 2007

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UK emissions of greenhouse gases 1990-2008(p) Since 1990, total UK emissions of CO2 fell by 8.5% while road transport emissions grew by 11%.

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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 addressed in two ways. The first way is to tackle supply chains through the introduction of local, efficient 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

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Technology-driven solutions can create cleaner fuels and new ways of living that require less travel. The role of technology in reducing emissions

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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. The role of planning & design in reducing emissions

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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Space Syntax technology was developed to measure the efficiency of spatial layouts and to design sustainable transport networks. By measuring the efficiency of the street network, the technology assesses the likely transport profile of whole cities and city areas. Inefficient parts of the spatial layout of any city can be repaired or replaced through urban planning & design. Space Syntax Measuring the efficiency of spatial networks

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Key discovery Spatial integration influences movement

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Trafalgar Square 1996

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Trafalgar Square 2003

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Observe Explain Forecast Deliver Research into practice Trafalgar Square, London

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Nottingham Old Market Square

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1916 Coherent urban layout “The Piccadilly of the south” 2005 Fragmented urban layout - isolated, divided communities - disposable income exodus. Designing for movement Elephant and Castle

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Designing for movement Elephant and Castle

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Designing for movement Elephant and Castle

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Elephant & Castle A new ‘High Street’ centre Courtesy of Foster and Partners 2004

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Elephant & Castle Southern Crossing

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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

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Space Syntax techniques provide objective assessments of 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

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Space Syntax models measure 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

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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

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In 2009, a competition was held to create a vision for the extension of Beijing’s Central Business District as an eco-city. Space Syntax was invited to create a “design union” with the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design. We set ourselves the challenge of creating: a national CBD a global stage sustaining life everywhere. Case study Extending Beijing’s Central Business District

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One of the fundamental problems of the existing CBD is the high traffic congestion. Our concept tackled this problem directly. We focused on the creation of a sustainable transport network that would significantly increase levels of walking, cycling and public transport usage. Case study Extending Beijing’s Central Business District

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We began by analysing the site within the spatial network of Beijing. The spatial network modelling revealed the over-dominance of the vehicle network and the weakness of the walking network. It identified key connections that could be repaired or replaced. Case study Extending Beijing’s Central Business District CAUPD © 2009

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Historical analysis Understanding the evolution of the site The site has a long and rich history. The CAUPD/ Space Syntax design union researched this history and recovered many elements of it in the final design. These included two ancient trade routes and the more recent - but still culturally important - power station. CAUPD © 2009

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Design process Using the model to test ideas Six concepts were tested. The best aspects of four of these were then combined into a preferred option. CAUPD © 2009

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Preferred option Five types of urban landscape system CAUPD © 2009

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The preferred option was developed to create a system of local neighbourhoods, connected by walkable major and minor streets. Urban character Locally distinct & globally connected Neighbourhood plan CAUPD © 2009

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The preferred option was further developed to exploit the natural importance of a large, central space. Fine-tuning the design through detailed spatial analysis CAUPD © 2009

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The central space is a device that unites the local neighbourhoods. It is also the setting for a “Golden Stage” where major cultural events take place. The central space A golden stage CAUPD © 2009

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Pedestrian, cycle and vehicle connectivity at ground level is complemented by urban and regional train connections beneath ground. An enhanced public transport network CAUPD © 2009

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The outcome A sustainable urban transport network Existing High levels of traffic congestion. Low levels of public transport service. Disconnected from the existing CBD. Low natural landscape quality. Proposed Mixed mode transport network. High levels of walking & cycling. Integrated with the existing CBD. High natural landscape quality. CAUPD © 2009

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紫禁城 Forbidden City 奥林匹克公园 Olympic Park The new CBD Bird’s eye view CAUPD © 2009

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Existing Old plan New plan Entire city planning Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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Urban care process Analytic design Jeddah Planning Code

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Tim Stonor architect & town planner Managing Director, Space Syntax Limited Lincoln Loeb Fellow, Harvard University Twitter @Tim_Stonor Blog www.timstonor.com LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/timstonor t.stonor@spacesyntax.com www.spacesyntax.com Contact details

Tags: sustainability low carbon masterplanning space syntax urban planning design