Some notions on urbanity

Grönlund, B. (Deltager)

Aktivitet: Andre aktivitetstyperAndet


Poster to the 6th International Space Syntax Istanbul Symposium

According to International Federation of Housing and Planning the majority of the population of the planet will be urban in 2007. That definition of the urban, however, is based on zombie categories, to speak as Ulrich Beck. Urbanization and urban areas as we normally understand them are concepts of 'the first modernity'. Nowadays, in 'the second modernity', we have instead to aks: where in the city do you really find urbanity? A large part of what statistically is called urban areas lack urban quality and visible urban life. In the space syntax community urbanity is basically understood as copresence of people in streets and squares and movement economy. About 18 years ago, Bill Hiller gave a definition of urbanity as 'the virtual community'. Since then more aspects have been added to the understanding of the urban within the space syntax community. The field of Urban Design considers a large range of urban and design issues, still only partly related to space syntax. The Urban design field adds more complexity to the question of urbanity but is basically normative and non-coherent from a theoretical point of view. Henri Lefebvre and Richard Sennett take on some more fundamental issues with their focus on the importance of difference, but the implications for design is far from clear. This paper tries shortly to overview the above and then tries to add the notion of urbanity in two ways: First by proposing a three level model for co-presence, second by proposing a fourfold table of some empirically observable urbanity including not only aspects related to co-presence of people but also some aspects concerning human relations to artefacts.
Periode12 jun. 200715 jun. 2007


  • Urbanity
  • Space Syntax Analyses