Development of a configurational typology for micro-businesses integrating geometric and configurational variables
Paper i proceeding, 2017

In cities manifold actors are continuously taking decisions and proposing interventions, which are driven by, but also change, spatial conditions and their performance on a variety of scales. Understanding how this interplay works is crucial for urban designers and planners. However, this complexity asks for new methods of analysis or combinations of existing methods that better inform urban designers which is exactly what this paper is aiming at. The use of typologies to describe a complex reality has been both attractive to practice and an important research branch within urban morphology. This paper presents a configurational typology that is not simply representing the physical environment, but rather its affordances (Gibson,1979) where we use as example the conditions needed for various kinds of micro-businesses. It combines properties that describe the position of a specific urban block within the street network of a city, characteristics of the direct surrounding of a block as well as characteristics describing the plot configuration within a block. The spatial characteristics most often associated with the spatial organisation of activities were selected from literature. The statistical method of two-step-clustering was used to distinguish clusters and thereby the different types of configurations. The clustering was tested in an explorative process to understand which characteristics were relevant to distinguish the main urban configurations of the urban system. The results are presented for the city of Amsterdam. The same method can be applied to other phenomena such as co-presence as well as other cities and thereby allows understanding the variety of such types, but also the existence of generic types. In a next step this typology could be tested for applicability in practise.

Space syntax

Configuration typology


Urban morphology


B. Hausleitner

Technische Universiteit Delft

Meta Berghauser Pont

Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik

11th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2017, Lisbon, Portugal, 3-7 July 2017