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The need for co-presence in urban complexity: Measuring social capital using space syntax
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, Urban Design. (Spatial Analysis and Design (SAD))
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, Urban Design. (Spatial Analysis and Design (SAD))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3173-853X
2012 (English)In: Proceedings Eigth International Space Syntax Symposium / [ed] Greene, M., 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The concept of ‘cities as complex systems’ is well established within academia but rarely applied within professional practice. Therefore, a translation of knowledge is required, from the high theoretical discussions found in academic research to applicable knowledge professional practitioners can use. This paper argues that the concept of ‘co-presence’ has the potential to bridge space syntax to complexity theory while contributing to our understanding of complexity in cities. By applying space syntax, a connection between spatial form and co-presence is feasible and advanced theoretical discussions, mostly within the academic sphere, make it possible to link processes in urban space in a very direct way. It is argued that an individual’s everyday routines contribute to some of the most elaborate forms of societal organization, and these routines are partly made possible and visible through co-presence in public space. What makes this view relevant for architectural research is that both patterns of co-presence as well as the potential exchange between residents and non-residents among co-present people are largely influenced by the properties of urban form generated by urban design and architecture. While this paper mainly focuses on a theoretical discussion of the potential within space syntax to examine co-presence in a way that could be of critical importance in ‘complexity theory’, it also presents an empirical approach along with some preliminary results. Although the results do not yet prove that the study of local co-presence improves the understanding of urban ‘complexity’, we believe that the results are promising and that further exploration of possible connections is needed. The empirical data refers to the results from Södertälje and the preliminary results fromStockholm. The study examines the potential a neighbourhood affords, both regarding the size (or density) of co-presence in urban space, and the potential for an exchange with people from other parts of the city. Thus, the concept of co-presence is applied and refined to contribute to an understanding of how societal processes and phenomena are influenced by urban form.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
space syntax, co-presence, emergence, complexity, scales, social capital
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-53515OAI: diva2:470211
Eigth International Space Syntax Symposium
QC 20120117Available from: 2012-01-17 Created: 2011-12-28 Last updated: 2012-01-17Bibliographically approved

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