Last edited 28 Sep 2020

Spatial diagram


A spatial diagram, or spatial plan, can be used to investigate or illustrate the future spatial development of an area. It communicates a development concept as physical spatial elements and demonstrates how extending and developing spatial uses and infrastructure can shape a location, district or region.

The development of spatial diagrams requires imaginative and innovative ideas. Inspiration for developing a spatial diagram is often drawn from the results of other district or regional analysis methods.

A spatial diagram may give indications as to the highest priority areas to be developed, as well as decisions on the settlement pattern for development in the future. Approximate scales are used for the diagram in order to avoid committing to detail. More specific land use plans are developed once a decision has been taken to implement certain elements of a diagram.

A spatial diagram is not constrained by time, but is designed to be a flexible model, capable of providing guidance and information to urban planners and decision-makers in optimising investment. Such investment can encourage and enable economic and social development, and may result in the progressive delivery of the spatial diagram over time.

Investment decisions are often taken, particularly effecting urban centres, with consideration of functional specialisation to avoid too much competition and duplication, which can lead to a decline in markets or services. Spatial diagrams can be used to assist in this planning work, with what is termed a 'settlement pattern'. This indicates issues such as whether or not the economies of the main urban centres are to be further developed or consolidated, whether urban specialisation should be either maintained or encouraged, and so on.

As well as the settlement pattern, information that is often provided on a spatial diagram may include:

Some of the benefits of using a spatial diagram include:

Some of the limitations of using a spatial diagram include:

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again