Spatial analysis for cities & regions

Addressing issues of mobility, land use vitality, access to employment, wealth distribution, car dependency, community cohesion and health inequality, Space Syntax analysis helps to put people at the heart of policies and action plans. We help public and private organisations forecast the performance of large urban areas, from individual towns to entire national networks. Our modelling platforms assemble data on spatial layout, land use and transport connectivity.

Space Syntax’s science-based and human-focused approach integrates multiple disciplines including urban design, transport planning, land use economics and environmental engineering. We harness the capabilities of in-use surveys, data analytics and predictive computing to shape the social, economic and environmental impacts of development.

The work we produce helps reduce risk in the planning, design and operation of urban places by linking design inputs to performance outputs.

We address key urban performance issues including:

Patterns of movement and space use are fundamentally influenced by the configuration of space and by the location of activity generators and attractors. We measure levels of accessibility in existing and proposed environments.

From the design of safe street crossings to multi-modal interchanges, Space Syntax provides public and private agencies with robust techniques for evaluating the social, economic and environmental impact of accessibility proposals.

We co-ordinate pedestrian, cycling and vehicle strategies through observation, analysis and forecasting of movement flows. Our work helps create and support ideas to improve accessibility for all movement modes at every scale from entire regions to individual streets.

Successful places rely on effective spatial layouts. Understanding the effects of space on functional performance in terms of passing trade, property value and natural surveillance increases value and reduces risk in the development process.

From urban masterplanning to public space design, we work to deliver proposals that anticipate use patterns and deliver the social, economic and environmental expectations of stakeholders.

Social cohesion, health & safety
Our worldwide body of practice-based research has demonstrated the fundamental role of space in bringing people together or keeping them apart, with consequences for social cohesion as well as individual loneliness. We have also identified ways in which spatial networks influence patterns of physical activity, healthiness and crime in urban areas. We use these findings to advise on planning and design strategies that promote physical activity, social wellbeing and safety.


There are two key stages to our approach:

Stage 1  Urban Baseline Study

At the diagnostic stage, we undertake research and generate insights to help designers, managers and occupiers understand how and why urban places perform the way they do. We build Integrated Urban Models that connect data on issues including movement, land use, land value and population census. The key output from this stage of work is an Urban Baseline Study, a highly illustrated report that contains key insights on how existing places work as well as the opportunities and constraints.

Stage 2  Design Strategy

The insights generated by the diagnostic stage are then used at the strategic design stage to provide an evidence-based, creative input to the planning and design of new places. We lead or support the production of planning strategies, urban masterplans and public space designs, using evidence-based forecast models to demonstrate how design proposals are going to work in terms of their social, economic and environmental performance. Our work is highly visual, engaging and designed to communicate with both technical and non-technical audiences.  



Technical note: the Space Syntax approach