Introduction of non-topological costs in syntactic analyses: the case of Gulbenkian estate

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Space syntax is a set of theories and techniques for analysing urban settlements and buildings. Focused on the study of the configuration of convex spaces, space syntax is based on the concept of topological depth, that is, in the number of steps to go from some space (or axial line) to every other space in a spatial complex. Typically, non-topological costs like stairs, ramps, accentuated slopes or walls are not considered in space syntax analyses, or are incorporated in an insufficient fashion, namely, with the arbitrary introduction of axial lines in order to increase depth. This article proposes an innovative method to deal with these costs that uses logic programming with Prolog language. In this way, it is possible to better understand the relative segregation of the Gulbenkian estate within its urban environment, the city of Odivelas near Lisbon (Portugal), noting that it was the largest public housing estate built within the scope of the resettlement plan for those displaced by the great floods of November 25-26, 1967, established by the Ministry of Public Works and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in the late 1960s.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBack to human scale
Subtitle of host publicationrethinking living spaces for tomorrow
Place of PublicationLisboa
PublisherUniversidade Lusofona de Humanidades e Tecnologias
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9789897572203
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2022
EventBack to Human Scale International Meeting: rethinking living spaces for tomorrow - Universidade Lusófona, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 24 Nov 202225 Nov 2022


ConferenceBack to Human Scale International Meeting


  • Space syntax
  • Non-topological costs
  • Liveability
  • Logic programming
  • Public housing estates
  • Great Lisbon’s floods of 1967


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