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A reflection on 'Order and Structure in Urban Design'

Kayvan Karimi


This article introduces Julienne Hanson’s seminal ‘Order and structure in urban design: The plans for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666’ and discusses how its fundamental contributions to the field of space syntax could be appropriated to further enhance the understanding of urban form and urban design. The article focuses on the key points of the original research, leaving Hanson’s work to speak for itself.
This article argues that one of the most influential aspects of Hanson’s work is her demonstration that the degree to which a city combines both structure and geometrical order has a profound impact on its essential character. Not only has Hanson’s work been a vital contribution to the study of urban form, but the understanding of how configuration interplays with a city’s ordering principles means that for designers, an essential bridge has been built between the quantifiable methods of space syntax analysis and the intuitive process of design. The article concludes that Hanson’s work on urban structure could be used as a foundation for designing sustainable urban systems based on a synchrony of layers of urban function with spatial structure.


Order and structure, space syntax, urban design, urban elements

Full Text: JOSS_2012_P38-48