Glossary – EPUM Platform

Glossary

Absorption (of Fringe Belts) = see Alienation.

Actor = term used by Actor-Network Theory to refer to participants in networks and systems. These can be human or non-human.

Agency = term used by Actor-Network Theory to refer to heterogeneous associations of humans and non-humans.

Aggregate (also urban tissue) = term used by the Italian School of process typology meaning a component of the urban form made of the combination of repeated smaller elements (buildings).

Alienation (of Fringe Belts) = the replacement of a fringe-belt unit by a functionally different, usually residential, component.

Analytic Relationality = interpretation of places as sets of interconnected and interrelated parts.

Assemblage = a whole which is characterised by relations of it components and the processes the components are involved in.

Biotechnic = a term used by Louis Mumford to refer to technologies which function in an ecological responsible manner.

Centrality = a process by which urban centres are formed, shift and diversify through the configuration of the street network shaping movement and the distribution of land uses. This involves minimisation of distance through placing objects peripherally.

Compactness = a process by which distance is minimised through placing compact objects in the system and thus intensifying the street network, leading to more permeable structures.

Complex Systems Theory = see Complexity Science.

Complexity Science (also Complex Systems Theory) = a broad ranging research approach comprising a collection of theories which studies complex systems as a field of mathematics or informatics.

Configuration = a set of relationships that takes into account other relations among spaces which are interdependent in an overall structure.

Congregation = a process which defines the homogeneity and boundaries of given areas through a tendency of various components to come together in a relatively homogeneous composition.

Copresence = term used by the Italian School of process typology to refer to the spatial relations between components of the urban form.

Critical Urban Theory = a branch of critical theory, which includes neo-Marxist theory, and focuses on the reflective assessment and critique of structural elements of society as determinants of urban processes.

Deformed Wheel = a highly-integrated network of public spaces which links the centre of the city to the edges and appears similar in shape to a deformed wheel.

Derivation = term used by the Italian School of process typology to refer to the cyclical reproduction and modification of forms.

Determinism = the belief that that human behaviour and choices are cause by factors other than the will of humans. In this specific context, it is used to mean that physical and spatial features of the environment influence to a significant extent human behaviour.

Deterritorialisation = term used in assemblage theory to describe a process which destabilises, reduces homogeneity, and might initiate change of an assemblage.

Diachronic = concerned with the way in which something has developed and evolved through time.

Dialectical = relating the logical arguments of two opposing views.

Dichotomy = the contrast between two things which are opposed and mutually exclusive.

Emergence = the process of coming into existence and developing new properties.

Eotechnic = term used by Louis Mumford following concepts originated by Patrick Geddes to refer to the epoch of the middle ages.

Expressive Role = the conveying and semantic role played by components of an assemblage in consolidating and reinforcing the identity of an area.

Fabrique Urbaine = a series of unplanned historical events which lead to effects in the urban form.

Feedback = term used by the spatial analytical approach to urban morphology to identify a process of continuous readjustment.

Fractal = a complex, fragmented geometrical figure which exhibits a repeating pattern and can be subdivided into parts which resemble the whole.

Fringe Belt = area of a city characterised by an initial stage of being located in peripheral zones and comprising land uses which require large plots.

Fringe Belt Absorption or Alienation = the absorption of a fringe belt component by a functionally different cover.

Histories of Spaces = an approach to the historical analysis of place concerned with understanding social construction and the impact of ideologies on the built form.

Indeterminism = the belief that that human behaviour and choices are not wholly caused by factors external to the will of humans. In this specific context, it is used to mean that physical and spatial features of the environment have no significant influence human behaviour, but rather that it is human choices and behaviour that shape the built form.

Individual Singularities = term used in assemblage theory to refer to the variants found across social assemblages.

Material Role = the physical and functional role played by components of an assemblage in consolidating and reinforcing the identity of an area.

Meta-criteria = term used by Kevin Lynch to refer to two dimensions of his normative theory (efficiency and justice), which are dependent on and involved in each of five prior dimensions (vitality, sense, fit, access and control).

Morphogenetic = the process that causes an entity to develop its form.

Neotechnic = term used by Louis Mumford following concepts originated by Patrick Geddes to refer to the present-day era.

Normative = determining or relating to how things should or ought to be.

Normative Drive = the attempt to develop knowledge and tools to determine how things should or ought to be.

Normative Impulse = the instinct to apply individual perceptions and preferences in determining how things should or ought to be.

Ontology = the branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of being.

Paleotechnic = term used by Louis Mumford following concepts originated by Patrick Geddes to refer to the time of the industrial revolution.

Particulars = an individual element or characteristic, as contrasted with universal qualities.

Place Histories = an approach to the historical analysis of place concerned with understanding how historical factors are articulated in the characteristics of a place.

Reduction (of Fringe Belts) = the loss of units of a fringe belt either through translation of alienation.

Relational = concerning the ways in which two or more people or things are connected together.

Segregation = a process which defines the homogeneity and boundaries of given areas induced by external forces.

Space Syntax = a set of theory and techniques for the understanding and analysis of spatial configurations and their relationship to a range of socio-economic phenomena. See Appendix II for further details.

Spatial Histories = an approach to the historical analysis of place concerned with understanding the relationship between spatial and locational factors at specific times in the past.

Superstructure = a part of the overall street network of the city which is constituted by the most integrated lines and acts as a facilitator of longer range movement.

Synergistic Relationality = interpretation of places as wholes whose parts sustain and are sustained by the properties of the whole place itself.

Synthetic Processes (or Mechanisms) = term used in assemblage theory to refer to processes which synthesise the properties of the various components and the exercise of their capacities leading to the emergence of assemblages.

Territorialisation = term used in assemblage theory to describe a process which stabilises, reinforces properties and increases the internal homogeneity of an assemblage.

Translation (of fringe belts) = the transfer of a unit from an older fringe belt to a more recent one without a change of site.

Uncertainties = term use by ANT to refer to the nature of five domains of the social world.

Universal Singularities = term used in assemblage theory to refer to the invariants shared by different assemblages.

Universals = characteristics or qualities which are shared by or recurrent within specific entities, as contrasted with particular qualities.

Urban Morphology = the study of the physical form of urban settlements and the process of their formation and transformation.

Urban Tissue = see Aggregate.

World-systems Theory = a macro-scale approach to social change which focuses on the inter-relationship between countries in the context of the world economy.