M. Salim Ferwati



Street hierarchy, as a way of presenting intended information, conforms to social rules that underlay architectural and urban designs to create public, semi-public, and semi-private. These social rules have the responsibility to convey necessary information about place to outsiders as well as to insiders. This research looks at urban spaces as physical structures that represent foci of attention of users and that are collectively a part of the social pattern framework. The argument of this study is that connectivity and forms of streets house certain social rules that intended to serve users, so that any changes in the street layout lead to changes in its social rules. As a case study, the complexity of a walled Arab neighborhood was examined through Sur Lawatyia, located in Muscat Governorate, Oman. By replacing the curvilinear and broken streets of this neighborhood with straight ones; a simplified street layout was derived. Then, a comparison of both street layouts was carried out through mapping, tabulation, charts, correlation test, and with reliance on the method of measurement of street control values introduced by Hillier and Hanson in 1984. The result was that the simple form is far short to be the representation of the space syntax of the traditional street layout.


Control value; given value; social rules; social environment; simplified street layout

Full Text:



Broadbent, G., Bunt, R. & Jencks, C. (eds.) (1980). Signs, symbols, and architecture. Toronto: John Wiley & Sons.

Damluji, S. S. (1998). The architecture of Oman. UK: Garnet Publishing Ltd.

Ferwati, M. S. (1993). A geographical semiotic analysis of four Damascene residential neighborhoods: Spatial design and behavioral relations. London, Ontario: Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario.

Gehl, J. (2008). Life between buildings: Using public space (6th Edition). Translated by Joe Koch. New York: Danish Architectural Press.

Gifford, R. (2002). Environmental psychology: Principles and practice (3rd Edition). Canada: Optimal Books.

Harrison, S., & Dourish, P. (1996). Re-place-ing space: The roles of space and place in collaborative systems. Proceedings of CSCW 96, 67-76. New York, NY: ACM.

Krupat, E. (1985). People in cities: The urban environment and its effects. Mass.: Cambridge University Press.

Jacobs, J. (1993). The death and life of great American cities (Modern Library Edition). New York: Random House.

Hillier, B. & Hanson, J. (1984). The social logic of space. London: Cambridge University Press.

Hillier, B. (2005). The art of place and the science of space. World Architecture, 185 (Special Issue on Space Syntax), 96-102.

Hall, E. T. (1990). The hidden dimension (Anchor House edition). USA: Doubleday and Company.

Newman, O. (1976). Defensible space: Crime prevention through urban design. New York: Collier Books.

Tuan, Y. F. (1990). Topophilia: A study of environmental perception, attitudes, and values (Morning Edition). New York: Columbia University Press.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 International Journal of Architectural Research: ArchNet-IJAR

Copyrights © Archnet-IJAR 2007-2018


Hit Counter
Visitor Hits Since 15 Jan 2014