A theory of the city as object: or, how spatial laws mediate the social construction of urban space


A series of recent papers (Hillier et al 1993, Hillier 1996b, Hillier 2000) have outlined a generic process by which spatial configurations, through their effect on movement, first shape, and then are shaped by, land use patterns and densities. The aim of this paper is to make the spatial dimension of this process more precise. The paper begins by examining a large number of axial maps, and finds that although there are strong cultural variations in different regions of the world, there are also powerful invariants. The problem is to understand how both cultural variations and invariants can arise from the spatial processes that generate cities. The answer proposed is that socio-cultural factors generate the differences by imposing a certain local geometry on the local construction of settlement space, while micro-economic factors, coming more and more into play as the settlement expands, generate the invariants

    Similar works