Field of work

Professor Dr. Scient. Akkelies van Nes is working at the Faculty of Engineering and Business, Department of Civil Engineering, at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in Bergen, Norway.

Van Nes is a leading international Space Syntax expert. She was the chairwoman of the 5th International Space Syntax Symposium held in Delft 2005 (SpaceSyntax2005 ( and is the chairwoman for the 13th international Syntax Symposium in Bergen in 2022 (13th International Space Syntax Symposium - Western Norway University of Applied Sciences ( She also chaired the first international online space syntax PhD congress in June 2021, hosted by Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (1st International Space Syntax Phd Conference 21 June 2021 - Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (

Van Nes has been leading and involved in several international research projects related to mobility and network characteristics, such as revealing the relationship between space and energy use for transport, space and crime in neighbourhoods, street life, urban centres and economic development, applying space syntax in regenerating urban areas, developing theories on the relationship between urban space and urban sustainability. The core of her research activities is developing and applying various spatial analyses tools on built environments on various scale levels and test them on various socio-economic data, results from other research, and energy data. For more info: Space Syntax in Norway - Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (

Van nes has been involved in the following EU funded projects: RUFUS (rural future networks 2008-2012, NODES (New Tools for Design and Operation of Urban Transport Interchanges) 2012-2016 and SPACERGY (Space-Energy pattern for smart energy infrastructures, community reciprocities & related governance) 2016-2019.

van Nes applies space syntax in several different disciplines, such as archeology, architecture, urban geography, urban sociology, real estate development, criminology, strategic planning, urbanism, and road engineering. She is actively developing and using space syntax in research, consultancy and in teaching on built environments.


Current research topics:

Theory and method development of space syntax. Link: Sustainability | Special Issue : Space Syntax and the Sustainable City: Theory, Methods and Applications (

Current teaching activities:

New textbook on the space syntax method in urban studies. Link:

Recent consultancy activities:

Application of space syntax in the densification strategies of Bergen municipality. Link: Sustainability | Free Full-Text | A Scientific Approach to the Densification Debate in Bergen Centre in Norway (

Courses taught
  • BYG130 Urban transformation
  • MOA 256 Theory and methods of science
  • MOA272 Urban planning
  • MOA300 MSc thesis
Research areas
  • Development and application of the Space syntax method (homepage)
  • Development of urban analyses methods
  • Lively and safe neighborhoods
  • Development of urban theories
  • The physical conditions for sustainable cities
  • The walking and cycling city
  • Densification in urban areas
  • Urban centrality and road and street building
  • Transformation of urban areas
Research groups

Spatial planning and urban studies (homepage)

Space Syntax in Norway (homepage)


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