Space syntax and volunteered geographic information for university campus planning and design: Evidence from the Netherlands, Zernike Campus Groningen

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The social, physical and psychological dimensions of wellbeing for public spaces between buildings and classrooms in university campus areas represent, for its users, multiple assemblages of material, cultural, emotional and social aspects (Atkinson, Fuller & Painter, 2012). There are a number of complexities that characterise the bonds between people-people and people-environment interactions, which are represented here by the possibilities of socialisation, sense of safety, stress relief and sense of belonging. Such possibilities should be considered in the design of the university campus public spaces, not only in cause of the continuous technological advancement, internationalisation and competitiveness, but also in order to achieve a healthy balance between work and recreational spaces. A variety of space syntax theories and methods have indicated with success the relationship between spatial configuration and pedestrian movement in diverse urban structures (Hillier et al., 1993; Hillier, Yang, & Turner, 2012; Sharmin & Kamruzzaman, 2018). Complementary to space syntax, VGI (Volunteered Geographic Information) participatory methods have helped researchers capture people’s perceptions of the environment representing it as geo-based information. Herein, a mixed-method approach involving space syntax analysis and VGI data collection through face-to-face interviews can be used as evidence for future campus planning and design. This experimental mixed-method was then applied to the case of Zernike Campus Groningen, in the Netherlands. The results obtained have shown that despite the fact that space syntax is very effective in forecasting pedestrian movement, the collected VGI data has the advantage of representing people’s perceptions and experiences of public spaces between buildings and classrooms. The results obtained in this paper found that there is a significantly low spatial correlation between pedestrian movement and the VGI data that the interviewees regarded as possible places of socialisation, sense of safety, stress relief and sense of belonging. The misfits in the correlation analysis contribute to our on-going investigation opportunities for critical reflection and further research; this includes the experimentation of another space syntax measures, modelling internal corridors in the campus and potential ways to collect VGI data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th International Space Syntax Symposium
Place of PublicationBeijing
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2019
Event12th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2019 - Beijing, China
Duration: 8-Jul-201913-Jul-2019


Conference12th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2019

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