The Urban Context in Flux: Articulating Urban Scales through the Study of Socio-spatial Interfaces

By Garyfalia Palaiologou.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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This paper discusses continuing research framed within a counterbalance between the fields of architecture and urban planning whilst taking into consideration the systematic relationships between spatial patterns and their referring social schemes. The main question addressed, is whether a better understanding of spatial boundaries will contribute—both theoretically and in practice—to conceiving better assimilated planning solutions and interventions into existing urban grids. Boundaries are considered here as structural agents in the global-local-unit interdependence, as the intermediary spatial formations where socio-spatial scales (domestic interior, urban neighbourhood, urban district, city) overlap and potentially interact. It is suggested that boundaries control the flow of social users in spatial patterns, being at the same time potential interfaces at different scales of activity where the individual is (successively or abruptly) transformed from inhabitant, to commuter and to citizen. It is further proposed that boundaries serve to control both disruptions in the large-scale urban grid, and disturbances at the local scale. The research topic is methodologically approached through the study of historic evolution of Athenian housing, as manifested in relation to city’s urban grid transformations. The methodological approach involves correlating architectural and morphological aspects with syntactic and analytical tools of Space Syntax Theory.

Keywords: Housing Typologies, Spatial Boundaries, Social Interface, Urban Flows, Space Syntax

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.41-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 10.223MB).

Garyfalia Palaiologou

PhD Candidate, The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London, London, UK

Garyfalia Palaiologou is a PhD candidate at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London. Palaiologou’s academic interests point towards the investigation of the potentials for persistence and resiliency of urban systems as socio-spatial entities within evolutionary processes. The paper titled “The Urban Context in Flux: Articulating Urban Scales through the study of Socio-spatial Interfaces” is embedded within this spectrum of research focus. Palaiologou is a member of the Technical Chamber of Greece as a registered Architect Engineer. Palaiologou’s academic record includes studies in architecture at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) – School of Architecture, for which Palaiologou was awarded with two distinctions (“Thomaideio Award” and “Lysandros Kautatzoglou” Award). Additionally, Palaiologou has a Master’s Degree in Advanced Architectural Studies (MSc AAS) of the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London.