Streets for co-­presence? Mapping potentials
Paper i proceeding, 2015

In  times  of  increasing  residential  segregation  in  cities  the  potential  for  interplay  between  local  inhabitants and non-­‐locals in urban public space becomes increasingly important. By sharing space we gain information and knowledge from our fellow citizens (Granovetter, 1983), and are enabled to participate in processes that negotiate social structures, attitudes, norms and acceptable behaviours (Giddens, 1984; Zukin, 2005). From this point of departure streets as well as local squares and centres appear to have a key role providing an arena for interplay between different social groups and an arena for exchanging information and are seen as crucial for providing access to opportunities and various urban resources (Young, 1996). Many neighbourhoods, however, have proved to fail in this respect and in areas that today face problems related to social exclusion in Sweden the streets are often characterized by co-­‐absence rather than co-­‐presence and there is an evident ruptured interface between  locals  and  non-­‐locals  (Legeby,  2013).  We  argue  that  patterns  of  co-­‐presence  to  a  large  extent are influenced by urban form and by the morphological properties that also is related to what kind of non-­‐residential activities are likely to emerge locally. This paper aims to highlight the critical role of public space and demonstrate how configurational properties may be analysed and described so that it becomes clear if and where urban design interventions can be used in order to create more favourable conditions and improve access to both various urban resources and to an urban life with a mix  of  locals  and  non-­‐locals.  In  a  project  conducted  in  collaboration  with  the  city  of  Gothenburg  seven neighbourhoods are analysed according to the potential for co-­‐presence in public urban space, and according to access to urban resources; two aspects identified as highly relevant from an urban segregation  perspective.  This  paper  uses  a  three  pronged  approach  that  combines  configurational  analysis, accessibility analysis and observations, and various diagrammatical representations of the results  are  presented.  The  findings  establish  that  several  of  the  neighbourhoods  prove  to  hold  unfavourable conditions as a result of their spatial configuration. Nevertheless, the study illustrates a way forward whereby public planning can be supported by socio-­‐spatial analysis and more accurately operate by using urban design to reach more equal living conditions and overcome social exclusion.

share space

public space

social exclusion

urban segregation



Ann Legeby

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Meta Berghauser Pont

Chalmers, Arkitektur

Lars Marcus

Chalmers, Arkitektur

10th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2015, University College London, United Kingdom, 13-17 July 2015

978-099334290-5 (ISBN)


Hållbar utveckling


Building Futures (2010-2018)





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