28th February 2012

Jeddah, Central Unplanned Areas
Many informal settlements are poorly connected. Spatial layout analysis is used to identify isolated settlements, which appear as "hot spots". An upgrading plan is developed for each neighbourhood based on its unique situation and needs.

Today’s launch of UNICEF’s flagship report, The State of the World’s Children, features a contribution (see pages 64-65) from Space Syntax’s Managing Director, Tim Stonor.

The theme of this year’s report is “Children in an urban world”. City living is often associated with greater wealth and prosperity. However, this masks the reality that, for many in cities, their existence is characterised by exclusion, insecurity and lack of opportunity.

The report has a particular focus on children living in slums. On average, one in three urban dwellers lives in a slum yet, as the report also notes, there is a lack of good data on slum living. As a result, the social and economic consequences of this reality often go unnoticed.

In his foreword, Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, comments: “The hardships endured by children in poor communities are often concealed – and thus perpetuated – by the statistical averages on which decisions about resource allocation are based. Because averages lump everyone together, the poverty of some is obscured by the wealth of others.”

One of the key recommendations of the report is to identify and remove the barriers to inclusion. To this end, Space Syntax’s urban planning work in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is used as a case study to demonstrate how careful analysis of the physical and spatial segregation of slums can lead to interventions targeted at the creation of connections that benefit social and economic inclusion.

Download a brochure on Space Syntax’s approach to the upgrading of informal settlements

Read Kayvan Karimi and Ed Parham’s conference paper on “Regenerating informal settlements”.

For further information or to arrange an interview with Tim Stonor, please contact:

Susannah Williams
Studio Manager, Space Syntax Limited

+44 20 7400 1320