The aim of the EMU technology course is to introduce the students to the Space Syntax and GIS tools and to apply them to research and design projects from the local to the regional scale. Space Syntax allows the analysis of how the layout of the built environment influences the social, economic, and environmental performance of places, from the city scale to that of the individual street and building. It allows us to measure the strength of spatial layouts, both existing and proposed, and to interpret how spatial layouts impact the way people move, interact, and transact in streets and buildings.
A geographic information system (GIS) is a tool that integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analysing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. The GIS sessions focus each on different spatial aspects: demographic distribution, different forms of density, and accessibility. Spatial research questions for all these aspects are developed and the students are introduced to the different tools that are provided by ArcGIS to investigate them. The students test out the potential of the tools used for urban analyses and strategic planning.
The main aim is that the EMU students apply the tools in the design studio, but other participants, such as PhD students from TU Delft, PhD students from other universities, and professionals from various disciplines (from road engineers, archaeologists, criminologists, urban geographers, and others) apply these tools in their respective research or design projects. Since the course started in 2007, 7 PhDs have finished their dissertations, and 6 are ongoing.
Text by Akkelies van Nes