Passages as ‘urban niches’: A comparative research on the cognitive and morphological aspects of passages through space syntax theory and cognition

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Spaces, designed or non-designed, has both morphological and cognitive characteristics. Sometimes they are overlapped onto each other, whereas sometimes the cognitive characteristics lead totally the opposite side than morphological characteristics. In this paper, this situation will be examined. The urban scale is chosen for the examination, as it is the display scale of the daily life of a city. The urban niches are the main focus point of the paper. ‘Urban niche’ defined as the spaces in the urban area that provides personal space to people, in the areas that are causing environmental stress due to crowding. ‘Urban passage’ is proposed as the physical equivalent of ‘urban niche’ in city scene. Further questions will be examined through the paper: Does the location/orientation of the passage affects their usage? Do configurational aspects affect the everyday usage? Being a metropole, having more than 5-6 central points and having ‘crowding’ problem as the main problem of the daily life of the city, make Istanbul, the most suitable city for the examination of the ‘urban niche’ that defined before. For the case study, 2 passages in Istiklal Street are selected: Avrupa Passage and Hazzopulo Passage. Istiklal Street is a backstage for an intense pedestrian flow most of the time and these two passages have certain characteristics in all the passages on the Istiklal Street for their functions, cognitive aspects, architectural configurations and the usage frequencies. The configurational characteristics of these passages and their interrelation with Istiklal Street will be examined. After the observation and on-site analysis, the morphological results and this observation data will be overlapped and interpreted in the frame of configuration – movement – attractors perspective. In this research, the analysis of the movement of pedestrians both to and through the passages, and space usage will be investigated by the data collected on-site observations. The passages will also be analysed with ‘University of Michigan’ licensed ‘Syntax 2D’ software in order to get the syntactic values. The syntactic and observation data will be used comparatively. In conclusion, the features that affects the frequency of pedestrians in the passages will be examined in this study. Two passages will be compared through the morphological - configurational characteristics and cognitive characteristics by using syntactical analysis and on-site data collection.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event12th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2019 - Beijing, China
Duration: 8 Jul 201913 Jul 2019


Conference12th International Space Syntax Symposium, SSS 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Beijing JiaoTong University. All rights reserved.


  • Cognition
  • Istiklal street
  • Space syntax
  • Urban passages


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