The Martin Centre Research Seminar – Space Syntax UCL

Designing healthy cities: an architectural programme

Prof. Laura Vaughan and Dr. Kimon Krenz
from UCL Bartlett Space Syntax Laboratory

This seminar will showcase some of the latest research undertaken at the Space Syntax Lab, which focuses on an architectural analytical approach to research into healthy cities. Opening with the foundational work from the mid-19th century, when mapping disease was at the heart of urban policy concerns, we will briefly survey the subsequent developments in spatial analysis that have in recent years given rise to calls for improved collaboration between spatial-social experts and a wide range of health experts ranging from mental health to obesity, and more. The importance of analysing the broader environmental (and indeed socio-economic and cultural) context is at the heart of our approach. We will describe some of our latest findings emerging from our collaboration with the Bradford Institute of Health Research, with a particular focus on insights into the relationships between environmental exposure to fast-food outlets and childhood obesity.

Laura Vaughan is Professor of Urban Form and Society and the Director of the Space Syntax Laboratory at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Her expertise lies in applying space syntax methods to investigate the patterning of poverty, segregation, and economic and social exchange in cities – with a human-centred focus on data. She has been teaching on the MSc/MRes Space Syntax since 2001, where she leads a module, Spatial Justice.

Dr Kimon Krenz is a Research Associate at the Bartlett School of Architecture and a member of the UCL Space Syntax Laboratory. His research is interested in spatial data science and computational methods to explore how the built environment shapes human behaviour. Currently, he is focusing on relationships between the built environment and health and well-being outcomes to inform evidence-based urban planning and policymaking.