AccScience Publishing / JCAU / Volume 6 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.36922/jcau.1732
Cite this article
Journal Browser
Volume | Year
News and Announcements
View All

Residential urban heritage space identification, delimitation, and potential assessment model based on space syntax

Yukun He1* Keji Chen2 Xiao Han3
Show Less
1 Department of Architecture, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto City, Kyoto, Japan
2 Department of Architecture, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo City, Tokyo, Japan
3 Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism 2024, 6(2), 1732
Submitted: 31 August 2023 | Accepted: 14 November 2023 | Published: 24 April 2024
© 2024 by the Author (s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( )

In the era of post-modernization, profound transformations in urban spaces have led to significant shifts in the spatial composition paradigms of contemporary urban heritage. Research on this process is crucial for elucidating the spatial pathways and compositional changes in the modernization transformation of urban heritage. This study aims to establish identification indicators and assessment systems for the spatial structure of urban residential environments exhibiting historical characteristics and heritage potential through a comparative analysis of residential urban heritage spatial paradigms in historic cities in China and Japan. First, grounded in space syntax theory, this study selected residential urban heritage in Suzhou’s Pingjiang Historic District and Uji’s Nakauji District as research cases. Utilizing road network data, this study analyzed the Life Integration (Int.VR1000) and Global Integration (Int.VR5000) of urban heritage spaces, thereby constructing a spatial topology system for heritage spaces. Second, the study employed urban spatial entropy indicators, such as architectural density entropy, spatial morphology entropy, and function mixing entropy, to quantitatively describe the spatial structure, consequently establishing a heritage space morphological structure indicator system. Finally, spatial clustering methods are used to integrate the spatial topology system with the morphological structure indicator system, resulting in a feature model for residential urban heritage spaces. The research results indicate that the transformation path of residential space paradigms is mainly influenced by spatial topology, affecting the structure of residential heritage spaces in three aspects: functional layout, building density, and spatial form. This phenomenon, in turn, impacts population distribution and the migration of living spaces. However, at the same time, the “resistance effect” of street and lane spaces and the limitations of architectural forms on spatial functions have protected the integrity and authenticity of the internal space.

Space syntax
Spatial entropy
Residential urban heritage
Potential assessment
China-Japan comparison
Historic cities

Ashrafi, B., Kloos, M., & Neugebauer, C. (2021). Heritage impact assessment, beyond an assessment tool: A comparative analysis of urban development impact on visual integrity in four UNESCO world heritage properties. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 47, 199-207.


Bafna, S. (2003). Space syntax: A brief introduction to its logic and analytical techniques. Environment and Behavior, 35(1), 17-29.


Carmelino, G., & Hanazato, T. (2019). The built environment of Japanese shopping streets as visual information on pedestrian vibrancy. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 8(2), 261-273.


Chen, Y. (2012). The rank-size scaling law and entropy-maximizing principle. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, 391(3), 767-778.


Cui, Y., Guo, X., & Zhang, S. (2016). Activation of historical blocks under the influence of early industry in Chongqing based on space syntax theory-A case study of Chongqing Xia Bancheng Shiba Ladder Central Market and 2~# street. Architecture and Culture, 4, 112-114.


Del Espino Hidalgo, B. (2019). Assessing sustainability within territorial and urban heritage: An indicator-based evaluation in the case of medium-sized cities in inner Andalusia. Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, 9(1), 121-132.


Du, H., Yu, J., Wang, Y., Zhu, Y., Tang, Y., & Wang, H. (2022). Visualized failure prediction for the Masonry Great Wall. Buildings, 12(12), 2224.


Du, Z., & Liu, Y. (2011). Comprehensive evaluation of linear heritage corridor tourism value based on information entropy-A case study of the Silk Road in the Northwest Region. Arid Zone Geography, 34, 520-524.


Hillier, B. (1996). Space is the Machine: A Configurational Theory of Architecture. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.


Hillier, B., & Hanson, J. (1984). The Social Logic of Space. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.


Huang, Y., & Shi, Y. (2015). Review on historical district preservation and renovation practice. Planner, 31(4), 98-104.


Jia, K., Zhang, C., Yang, Y., & You, Z. (2019). Delimitation of urban growth boundary based on the coordination of ecology and residential activity spaces: A case study of Jinan, China. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 10(5), 518-524.


Li, J., Qiu, R., Xiong, L., & Xu, J. (2016). Gravity-space entropy model in urban expansion measurement. Science China: Earth Sciences, 46(2), 229-236.


Li, L., & Han, R. (2021). Study on the spatial characteristics of industrial heritage during the “First Five-Year Plan” period-A case study of “Changchun first automobile manufacturing factory”. Contemporary Architecture, 11, 87-89.


Li, P., & Xu, F. (2018). Quantitative analysis of Chengdu ancient town cultural space. Modern Urban Research, 11, 58-64.


Li, Z., Han, X., Lin, X. S., & Lu, X. Y. (2021). Quantitative analysis of landscape efficacy based on structural equation modelling: Empirical evidence from new Chinese style commercial streets. Alexandria Engineering Journal, 60(1), 261-271.


Liu, F., Liu, Y., & Guo, Z. (2019). Study on the regeneration evaluation of industrial architectural heritage space based on “Space Syntax”-A case study of “Tiexi 1905 cultural and creative park” in Shenyang. Low-Temperature Building Technology, 41(06), 35-41+56.


Liu, L., Peng, Z., & Wu, H. (2021). Entropy model and its application in urban research. Urban Planning, 45(12), 27-39.


Lu, Z., & Guo, W. (2014). Discussion on place image conveyance and continuation mechanism based on space syntax analysis-A case study of Changsha historical urban area. Modern Urban Research, 1, 89-95.


Pizarro-Reyes, L., Díaz-Lazcano, V., Zumelzu, A., & Prieto, A. J. (2022). Resilience and sustainability assessment of cultural heritage and built environment: The Libertad pedestrian walkway in Valdivia, Chile. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 53, 154-164.


Sun, X., Li, Z., Gao, M., & Liu, J. (2017). Coupling analysis of spatial characteristics and commercial service facilities in traditional villages-A case study of world cultural heritage village Anhui Hongcun. Architectural Journal, (S1), 118-122.


Tian, X., Hu, J., Zhang, Z., et al. (2021). Tourism in historical urban areas: Spatiotemporal process, functional transformation and coordination-A case study of Tianshui City historical urban area, Gansu Province. Geographical Science, 41(8), 1371-1379.


Tiesdell, S., Taner, O. C., & Heath, T. (1996). Revitalizing Historic Urban Quarters. New York City: Architectural Press.


Zeng, Z., Zou, S., & Peng, H. (2018). Study on the construction of urban wetland pressure model based on gravity space entropy-A case study of Wuhan Nanhu Wetland. Yangtze River Basin Resources and Environment, 27(8), 1745-1753.


Zhang, Y., & Ke, B. (2016). Spatial distribution characteristics and influencing factors of cultural heritage in Guangdong coastal area. Journal of Hainan Normal University (Natural Science Edition), 29(4), 451-457.


Zhao, Y., & Chen, Z. (2022). Activation study of Daqing Hongqi village Gan Dali building spatial morphology based on space syntax. Housing and Real Estate, 15, 72-76.


Zhao, Y., Zhu, Y., Zhang, L., Yu, H. (2017). Performance evaluation study of classical garden landscape-A case study of Suzhou’s four famous gardens. Hubei Agricultural Sciences, 56(21), 4151-4156.


Zhou, B., Song, S., & Huang, W. (2012). Evaluation of cultural heritage tourism development based on hierarchical entropy analysis method-A case study of Shanxi Pingyao ancient city. Arid Land Resources and Environment, 26(9), 190-194.

Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Back to top
Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism, Electronic ISSN: 2717-5626 Published by AccScience Publishing