Place Syntax

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For decades, the human dimension has been omitted from and haphazardly applied in urban planning. While the city has accommodated daily increases in the number of vehicles and the low prioritization of public spaces, efforts have been made to design it as a meeting place for people. Recently, city planning has begun to devote great attention to the human dimension, social aspects, and the efficiency of urban places. Different cities have made huge efforts to rediscover their public spaces and high-quality environments for people by reducing parking and traffic in central areas and calling for “pedestrianization.” In 1975, Monheim first defined “pedestrianization” by describing it as limiting a street to pedestrians’ use. Thus, the pedestrianization process can be defined as removing/restricting vehicles from/in a specific area and devoting it to pedestrian use only. It is worth mentioning that selecting a suitable area for a successful pedestrianization project is a critical and sensitive task. It involves a large number of different overlapping criteria. Ignoring such criteria would lead to unsatisfactory results and wasted funds. Three perspectives influence the selection of streets for pedestrianization. First is the architectural view of the street as a physical structure that makes possible a better space environment; second is the commercial view of the street as a place for commercial activities and shops; last is the social view of the street as a place for social meetings and interactions. Thus, two types of aspects contribute to the performance of pedestrianized spaces: spatial and social aspects. These types of aspects can be involved in formulating the new term, “place syntax,” to replace “space syntax.” This highlights the two common types of aspects instead of focusing solely on the spatial one. The present research considers the new term in its proposal of a comprehensive methodology to help upgrade the selected area (space) into a place. The proposed methodology brings together in an entire framework appropriate measures that correspond to each aspect. It employs space syntax with spatial analysis and different social measures of place theory. “Port Said city,” an old heritage sample, is chosen for the application of the proposed methodology. Afterwards, the methodology requires the addition of a new measure, “availability of implementation,” if the results are equal at the end of the basic stages of analysis.