A Technical Synergy of Cognitive Maps and Space Syntax in Recognition and Analysis of the Sociability of Physical Spaces Influenced by Spatial Territories (Case Study: Ekbatan Town)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D Candidate, Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Art, West Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Art, West Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Art, Science and Industry University, Tehran, Iran.


Problem statement: Nowadays, the presence of neighborhood residents in physical spaces has become scarce as a result of the negligence of spatial territories and this issue has led to a decline in social communications specifically in the neighborhood sphere. Extensive studies have used qualitative methods to investigate the mutual relationship between physical space and social communications or to examine how the sociability of people in a physical space is influenced by the physical capabilities of public territories. Less research exists on the synergy of semi-private territory and social communications. Moreover, reviewing available studies shows that they have contributed to the advancement of quantitative methods that introduce strategies to improve physical conditions. These studies have offered strategies that have not been informed by the qualitative methods.
Research objective: The purpose of this study is to compare the outcomes of the quantitative and qualitative phases on evaluating the correlation of the features in spatial territories specifically semi-private territory with residents’ sociability in physical spaces of a neighborhood to maintain a context for a more exact prediction of the probable behavior of the residents in the physical realm.
Research method: This research employed a case study method and was conducted in two phases; in the first phase, the qualitative variable of social communications was evaluated by using cognitive maps and, in the second phase, the same variable was evaluated through computational modeling of space syntax in a quantitative approach. Also, Ekbatan Town was selected as a context for this case study not only for its age but also for the existing variety in its spatial territories and its significant surfaces of public territory.
Conclusion: Apart from the integration and connectivity variables related to the public domain, the qualitative method helps to gather information on other variables such as geometry and vegetation that cannot be obtained by using a quantitative method. Moreover, the syntax of semi-public territory in blocks is considered a significant variable outside of the public territory in people’s tendency to appear in spaces. Therefore, the quantitative and qualitative methods are complementary to each other in the analysis and study of the sociability of physical spaces.


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