Culture and Commerce of Chennai City – A Spatial Analysis of the Relationship between Temples and Retail Activity

Proceedings: Eighth International Space Syntax Symposium, Santiago de Chile, 2012

Sucharita SRIRANGAM and W. FORSYTH

“Chennai, South India, is a city in which historicity and modernity are evident, both culturally and physically. It is a typical example of an Indian city which has many Hindu temples in its urban landscape. Each temple has a variety of commercial activity around it, often in the form of retail activity.

Spatial evaluation of the temple locations: space syntax study.

Spatial evaluation of the temple locations: space syntax study.

“This paper explores the spatial context of these varied functional patterns and whether they have any significance. The empirical case‐studies examine the contemporary spatial context of 36 temples and establish how these exemplify the relationship between the temples and retail activity. The study uses Space Syntax analysis, land‐use descriptions and figure‐ground studies, at city and district levels. In conclusion, it presents five spatial typologies, a set of principles that illustrate the spatial relationships between the temples and retail activity. It becomes evident that there is a significant relationship between the historical evolution of the temple locations and the retail land use which occurs and therefore the spatial typologies which are found.”