Spatial Configuration and Analysis

Space Syntax – Provides techniques to evaluate the interchange location concerning streets accessibility hierarchy at all scales: what area in the city? What plot in an area? What streets around the plot should include pedestrian accesses?

Space Syntax is a theory and methodology developed by Hillier and Hanson in the 1980s. Network analysis is applied to understand spatial accessibility and the hierarchy of spaces within the urban network of streets and public spaces. This accessibility has proved its strong relationship with distribution of pedestrian flows, location of activities and certain land uses.

Tools consist of a software platform in which cartographies of current or alternative project scenarios are analysed.

Depthmap X – Analysis of the configuration and visibility of the interchange immediate urban vicinity and public space. This is designed to be useful in checking the proposed walkability and pedestrian access of the interchange, including open public spaces and position of guiding signs.

Space Syntax methodology provides a Visual Graphic Analysis (VGA), which can be run quickly thanks to Depthmap freeware. This tool helps to analyse many spatial variables that enrich our knowledge of the physical configuration of spaces in many different insights.

  • However, technicians need to be familiar with the methodology in order to understand the spatial implications of each configuration.
  • This tool may be very useful for detecting problems in current configurations or choosing between future alternatives.
  • Also, this tool is useful for an optimal location of diverse transport services and facilities: information desks, signs and panels, security, publicity, retail shops, waiting areas, etc.

NODES strategic objectiveContribution
Enhance accessibility and integration ++
Enhance intermodality +
Enhance liveability +
Increase safety and security conditions +
Increase economic viability and costs efficiency 0
Stimulate local economy 0
Increase environmental efficiency 0
Increase energy efficiency 0

Good practice

Snow Hill Interchange, Birmingham, UK, NODES Demonstration Site –

MESO SCALE: London Olympic Park

MICRO SCALE: Trafalgar Square

Use in complex spaces: Victoria & Albert Museum

Potential interchange performance improvement

Improves the interchange urban integration, guiding pedestrian in & out flows and access in a coherent, proper way according to the spatial configuration of urban spaces and the interchange design. The optimal location of different facilities and people might be quantified as:

  • Higher demand for travel, due to better spatial accessibility for attracting travellers and added to their travelling comfort.
  • The better business performance of retail and services at the urban context-interchange interface, which might be the base for a better business revenue process.
  • Reducing the number of users who become lost, and providing the necessary information and direction signs through improved wayfinding.
  • Improved performance of transport services and facilities: information desks, signs and panels, security, publicity, retail shops, waiting areas, etc.


  • Software is available as open source, however some software does require additional costs
  • An expert is required during the process and for the interpretation of results
  • Costs assigned to authority in charge of physical planning/design
  • All costs are usually assumed by the transport authority, planners or consultants in charge of the study


Space Syntax Link

Depth Map X Software – Link

Also following contact person: