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Accessibility and Urban Life: Aspects on Social Segregation
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, Urban Design. (Spatial Analysis and Design (SAD))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3173-853X
2009 (English)In: Seventh International Space Syntax Symposium, proceedings / [ed] Daniel Koch, Lars Marcus and Jesper Steen, 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the metropolitan areas of Sweden and in similar European cities, social and ethnic segregation, unequal living conditions, and unequal availability to services and labour market are commonplace and considered major social problems. Several national and local initiatives aim to decrease social and ethnic segregation, but so far only with marginal success. It is established that neighbourhoods provide unequal living conditions for their residents and from an urban design perspective a relevant question is how urban form influences these conditions. It has come to light that different urban design ideas are related to certain preconditions for sociability which highlights the need for a better understanding of the relation between spatial and social phenomena. This paper explores if a reasoning where segregation is discussed in terms of accessibility, or rather, a lack of accessibility, could be a way forward for urban design practice and policies. If configuration of public space influences what an area can afford its users in terms of accessibility this could increase the understanding for the role of urban form in this matter. The configurational approach applied in this paper is also investigating what a focus on other perspectives besides housing segregation could imply. For example, the potential for urban life is explored which is related to interplay segregation which is argued to be equally important for social segregation as housing segregation. The space syntax approach, including place syntax tool, has the ability to illustrate the consequences of segregation in public space and provides logical descriptions from a user's perspective. The results illustrate essential differences between neighbourhoods, indicating that areas afford different spatial advantages. Some inequalities regarding living conditions are made visible and it is possible to verify that urban form has a very direct influence on these conditions. It is argued that such knowledge has the ability to support and contribute to a more effective urban design practice regarding issues related to social segregation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
TRITA-ARK. Forskningspublikationer, ISSN 1402-7453 ; 2009:1
Keyword [en]
spatial configuration, urban life, social segregation, public space, co-presence
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-49812ISBN: 978-91-7415-347-7OAI: diva2:460354
7th International Space Syntax Symposium

QC 20111130

Available from: 2011-11-29 Created: 2011-11-29 Last updated: 2016-05-23Bibliographically approved

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