CGBC Fall Lecture: John Peponis on “The spatial syntax of cities: are social and environmental choices converging?”

On Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 1:00 pm John Peponis will present a lunchtime lecture via Zoom.

Please RSVP to Jeff Fitton ( to receive a Zoom invitation. This lecture is open to members of the Harvard community.

Born in Athens, Greece in 1955, professor Peponis is an international leader in the field of spatial analysis and one of the original creators of space syntax. He studies the principles and constraints that govern the generation of built form and its social, cultural and cognitive functions. His publications address the geometric and computational foundations of space syntax; the spatial culture of buildings and cities; design formulation and design languages; spatial cognition; work environments; and museums. Professor Peponis has supervised 21 doctoral theses and was a member of the advisory committee of 20 more theses at Georgia Tech. He has examined 30 theses internationally. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the General Services Administration, Steelcase, Dar al Handasah, Perkins+Will, NCR. As a registered architect in Greece, he collaborates with Kokkinou and Kourkoulas Architects.

The spatial syntax of cities: are social and environmental choices converging?

Open cities provide lively public spaces and distributed patterns of attraction or interest; they create direct interfaces of scales of organization; and they are locally and globally legible. Finding appropriate measures and descriptions of connectivity, centrality, intelligibility, density and scale is critical to understanding the social functions of cities and to establishing design benchmarks. I want to discuss how far the ordering principles and measures associated with the social syntax of space are compatible with more sustainable patterns of environmental performance. I will use recent work on Berlin as an illustrative case study; a full description can be found here: Wang W, Hoidn B, (eds) 2020 21 BB. Model Region Berlin Brandenburg (Park Books, Zürich).