Theoretical Representations of the Built Environment

A. van Nes, Claudia Yamu

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific

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    In this chapter, we show what and how space syntax has contributed to theories and general knowledge of the built environment. First, we provide an introduction to two established research traditions, positivism and hermeneutics. The aim is to demonstrate through modal logic what the possibilities and limitations are for gaining general understandings and making theoretical explanations from space syntax research. Modal logic uses expressions to test the explanatory power of statements. Second, we show what space syntax adds to the debate about spatial integration and spatial segregation as seen in relation to market and social rationality. We will focus on the spatial aspects and discuss these in relation to declining versus vital neighbourhoods, crime, anti-social behaviour, cultures, political ideologies, gender, and the use of space. Third, we give some reflections on what space syntax has contributed in regards to a comprehensive architecture theory. Finally, at the end, we add as an epilogue a thought experiment on how space syntax theories can be applied within the compact city debate. Exercises are provided at the end of this chapter.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIntroduction to Space Syntax in Urban Studies
    EditorsAkkelies van Nes, Claudia Yamu
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-59140-3
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-59139-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Positivism
    • Hermeneutics
    • Explanations
    • Understandings
    • Theory building
    • Generalisation
    • Urban sustainability
    • Modal logic
    • Urban theory


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