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Journal of Planning Education and Research (2015)
Jane Jacobs's The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) had an enormous influence on urban design theories and practices. This study aims to operationalize Jacobs's conditions for a vital urban life. These are (1) mixed use, (2) small blocks, (3) aged buildings, and (4) a sufficient concentration of buildings. Jacobs suggested that a vital urban life could be sustained by an urban realm that promotes pedestrian activity for various purposes at various times. Employing multilevel binomial models, we empirically verified that Jacobs's conditions for urban diversity play a significant role with regard to pedestrian activity.
Urban Design International (2002)
The way urban solids relate to urban voids, the spatial relations of urban space itself and all other characteristics that define urban space are paramount in determining human distribution in any given community. This determines social relations that in turn reproduce spatial relations. This kind of process determines what sort of community and hence environment that is eventually generated. It is the intention of this paper to establish urban variables and hence urban patterns that promote human distribution, which in turn creates a sustainable community. A further intention is to establish a language that could be used to generate policies and design rules for such communities.
Journal of Urban Design (2005)
The general aim of this paper is to demonstrate the significance of intentional soundscape design in urban squares by investigating people’s general perceptions of urban soundscape and sound preferences, and the effects of demographic factors. An intensive questionnaire survey was carried out in two urban squares in Sheffield. Sound identification and classification were both considered. The results show that natural sounds as a group were generally preferred to urban sounds; the preferences of soundscape elements influenced people’s choice of using an urban square; and in terms of sound preference, the differences amongst age groups were rather significant, whereas between males and females only slight differences were found. Finally, some suggestions on soundscape design in urban squares are given.
Journal of Urban Design (1999)
This paper proposes an essentially new theory of urban space based on information theory and the laws of optics. The use of urban space is linked to the information field generated by surrounding surfaces, and on how easily the information can be received by pedestrians. Historical building exteriors usually present a piecewise concave, fractal aspect, which optimizes visual and acoustical signals that transmit information content. Successful urban spaces also offer tactile information from local structures meant for standing and sitting. The total information field in turn determines the optimal positioning of pedestrian paths and nodes. This complex interaction between human beings and the built environment, incredibly neglected in our times, explains why so many historical urban spaces provide an emotionally nourishing environment.
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (2014)
This paper develops an analytical framework to place the rise of open source urbanism in context, and develops the concept of the ‘right to infrastructure’ as expressive of new ecologies of urban relations that have come into being. It describes, first, a genealogy for open source technology, focusing in particular on how open source urban hardware projects may challenge urban theory. It moves then to describe in detail various dimensions and implications of an open source infrastructural project in Madrid. In all, the paper analyses three challenges that the development of open source urban infrastructures is posing to the institutions of urban governance and property: the evolving shape and composition of urban ecologies; the technical and design challenges brought about by open source urban projects; and the social organisation of the ‘right to infrastructure’ as a political, active voice in urban governance. In the last instance, the right to infrastructure, I shall argue, signals the rise of the ‘prototype’ as an emerging figure for contemporary sociotechnical designs in and for social theory.
Journal of Urban Design (2017)
Existing urban open space typologies within dense urban fabrics cannot meet society’s open space requirements in developing countries’ metropolitan cities, such as Istanbul. Because of high building densities, it is a challenging task to create new open spaces within urban cores. Developing new tools that work with the existing built environment is crucial to reveal ‘opportunity spaces’ that can act as breathing points within dense urban fabrics. In this research, a new model is developed to evaluate the 3D spatial enclosure of open spaces using basic geometrical properties and geographic information system (GIS) tools. As a case study, Istanbul’s changing spatial organization is analyzed using this model.
Journal of Urban Design (2016)
How might the urban structure and public space of Christchurch change as a result of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes? This paper will look at council and community led post-earthquake urban space projects in Christchurch, New Zealand, to investigate the potential reconfiguration of urban public space and structure and the balance of top-down and bottom-up design processes for the delivery of these projects. This will be achieved by comparing the performance of the urban public space and structure of the city during the post-earthquake emergency and recovery phases, with a view to understanding the contribution that these elements can make to the resilience of Christchurch. The paper will argue that Christchurch’s nineteenth century urban structure served the population well during the emergency phases of the disaster and that post-earthquake community-led initiatives model innovative capabilities which may enhance urban design practice in the future.
Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies (2016)
The study engages with the ways in which gender mix plays out in public spaces as a key issue in exploring social diversity and vitality of the urban public life. The paper introduces a mapping method to unravel how gender differences are spatially manifested in urban public spaces. Thus, urban mapping has been considered as a method for producing a kind of spatial knowledge that has the capacity to shed light on how different socio-spatial patterns play out in public open spaces. The proposed mapping method documents where and the extent to which female and male users appropriate urban public spaces. The database for developing and testing the proposed method emerges from two site areas in the city of Tehran. In doing so, the study draws upon direct observation, fieldwork notes, visual recording, and urban mapping as research methods. In this way, the paper raises questions about the importance of gender mix in public space and the ways in which mapping has the capacity to inform urban research.
International journal of urban and regional research (2012)
URBAN DESIGN International (2004)
This paper examines intermediate, semi-enclosed urban spaces and investigates the potential creation of environmental diversity when such spaces are integrated in urban design. More specifically, it focuses on the links between architectural characteristics of semi-enclosed spaces and their thermal performance. The paper identifies major types of semi-enclosed spaces and monitors their thermal performance in northern and southern Europe. The results showed that a wide range of thermal conditions, namely cooler conditions during summer and warmer conditions during winter can be experienced in both regions. Moreover, the thermal variation, which was identified, is linked with the spatial identity of each space and it is argued that the degree of enclosure as well as the orientation and the urban context are significant temperature determinants. Intermediate, semi-enclosed urban spaces should be regarded as important urban components that could increase the thermal and spatial diversity of the urban fabric and therefore contribute to a more fulfilling and comfortable environment.
Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability (2015)
Temporary uses of vacant urban spaces are usually not foreseen in conventional urban planning and have often been linked to economic or political disturbances. In New Zealand, Christchurch’s vacant spaces came into existence after the city was hit by several devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Parallel to the ‘official’ rebuild dis- course, temporary uses have emerged on vacant post-earthquake sites including community gardens, urban agriculture, art installations, event venues, eateries and cafés, and pocket parks. Based on the review and analysis of exemplary transitional community-initiated open spaces and correlated literature, the paper looks at how the post-disaster urban context in Christchurch has influenced particular aspects of temporary urbanism in comparison with case studies in non-disaster environments. By focusing on the anticipated benefits of community-initiated open spaces, the paper dis- cusses the relevance of temporary uses of vacant urban spaces for urban sustainability in relationship to concepts of community resilience and raises questions about possible long-term values.
In a context of increased urban competition, art and culture are often used by cities world-wide as tools to improve their image and make urban spaces attractive. In that process, art is—as we will argue—becoming a new urban norm, which is normalizing not only urban space and experience, but also art itself. By contributing to the pacification or securization of public spaces, art could encourage some behaviors or, on the contrary, discourage others. Reversely, this normative dimension of urban art could impact art itself, especially by redefining the limit between artistic forms that are either inclusive or exclusive, dominant or subversive. Through examples found during PhD fieldwork in Montreal and Johannesburg, we will demonstrate that this normalization of the city through art and of art through the city takes place in various urban contexts, that it questions the distinction between Northern and Southern cities, and the definition of a (global) city itself.
Resources, Conservation and Recycling (2012)
The climate of a city influences the ways in which its outdoor spaces are used. Especially public spaces intended for use by pedestrians and cyclists, such as parks, squares, residential and shopping streets, and foot- and cycle-paths will be used and enjoyed more frequently when they have a comfortable and healthy climate. Due to a predicted global temperature rise, the climate is likely to be more uncomfortable in the Netherlands, especially in summer, when an increase in heat stress is expected. As the phenomenon of urban heat islands (UHI) aggravates heat stresses, the effects will be more severe in urban environments. Since the spatial characteristics of a city influence its climate, urban design can be deployed to mitigate the combined effects of climate change and UHI’s. This paper explores these effects and tries to provide tools for urban design and strategies for implementation. Consequently, the applicability of the design tools is tested in a design for two existing Dutch neighbourhoods.
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (2016)
As Malaysia's population continues to grow and becomes more concentrated in urban areas, the important benefits of urban green spaces to the environment, the economy, and the health and well-being of city residents become even more significant in counterbalancing some of the negative effects of the country's urban development. With this concern in mind, the authors designed a social survey for urban planners and landscape architects in Kuala Lumpur to identify and study their views on the nature, roles, and benefits of urban green spaces; the problems associated with protecting urban green spaces in Kuala Lumpur; and the attributes of green spaces they thought were most important when considering how much priority a particular green space should be given for preservation. Kuala Lumpur provides a particularly interesting case study as a rapidly growing city in a developing country with a tropical climate - a context in which there has been relatively little research on urban green space, despite the importance of shade in very hot climates. In addition, Kuala Lumpur has experienced a great loss of green space in recent decades, both on its periphery from urban expansion and around the city center from the drive (fueled by economic growth) to use central land more intensively.
Urban Studies (2014)
This paper presents a morphological study of 100 main street networks from urban areas around the world. An expansion in the scale of main street networks was revealed using a unique heuristic visual method for identifying and measuring the lengths of main street segments from each of the study areas. Case studies were selected and grouped according to corresponding urban design paradigms, ranging from antiquity to present day. This research shows that the average lengths of main street segments from networks of historic (i.e. ancient, medieval, renaissance, baroque and industrial) and informal case studies are much smaller relative to those from networks of more contemporary case studies (i.e. Garden City, Radiant City and New Urbanism). This study provides empirical evidence in support of prior, observational claims suggesting a consistent pattern in the smaller scale of main street networks from traditional urban areas, termed the ‘400-metre rule’. Additionally, it makes the case for further empirical research into similarly recursive spatial patterns within other elements of urban form (i.e. plots, blocks, etc.) that, if discovered, could aid in future urban design efforts to help provide the framework for more ‘human-scale’ urban environments.
URBAN DESIGN International (2003)
Within the International debates about the roles and relevance of planning and architecture, urban design is trying to find its place and clarify its contribution to city making. The products and the practice of urban design vary significantly in different global and socio-economic contexts and in relation to varying theoretical foundations. In South Africa, as in other developing countries, urban design is only beginning to feature as a valid mainstream concern within city development and among built environment practitioners. This paper presents the case of the City of Cape Town’s Dignified Places Programme as an example of implementation-focused urban design undertaken in a context where the conscious design and management of the public realm does not feature on the agendas of cash-strapped, basic needs-focused local government. The design and construction of new public spaces is the focus of this programme, but a parallel objective is to place the central concern of urban design – the quality of the public environment – squarely on the agenda of local government in Cape Town. The paper outlines the urban context in which it is being implemented sketches the issues that prompted its initiation and traces its theoretical origins focusing on the linkages between this theory and practice. The paper gives an account of the origins, objectives and strategy as well as the design principles that directed the form and location of the projects in the Programme. The paper finally reflects on the key successes and challenges of the programme and attempts to tease out lessons for both the theory and practice of urban design.
Journal of Urban Design (2009)
This study attempts to comprehensively and objectively measure subjective qualities of the urban street environment. Using ratings from an expert panel, it was possible to measure five urban design qualities in terms of physical characteristics of streets and their edges: imageability, enclosure, human scale, transparency and complexity. The operational definitions do not always comport with the qualitative definitions, and provide new insights into the nature of these urban design qualities. The immediate purpose of this study is to arm researchers with operational definitions they can use to measure the street environment and test for significant associations with walking behaviour. A validation study is currently underway in New York City. Depending on the outcome of this and other follow-up research, the ultimate purpose would be to inform urban design practice.
International journal of urban and regional research (2012)
This is a study of Istanbul's periodic bazaars and an attempt to place them in the context of contestation over urban space, urban poverty and informality. The periodic bazaars in the city are either disappearing or being moved to the outskirts. These trends reflect and reproduce spatial unevenness in the city, manifesting new forms of social exclusion and polarization. The city's increasingly commodified urban space has become an arena of social and economic contestation. We address these questions by focusing on the story of the relocation of one of Istanbul's most popular periodic bazaars, the Tuesday bazaar in Kadıköy. Our analysis reveals that the relocation and reorganization of bazaars in Istanbul in the 2000s have largely been driven by rising real‐estate prices in the city: land has simply become too precious a commodity to be left to the bazaaris. Furthermore, in the context of a pervasive neoliberal discourse on urban renewal and modernization that promotes the notion of a hygienic city, the bazaaris, it seems, have become the new undesirables of the urban landscape, leaving them under double siege from the commodification of public land and from spatially defined social exclusion.
Geographical Review (2000)
This study interprets critical stages in the changing design and landscape of urban squares, or praças, in Brazil and assesses the circumstances of their cultural-historical production. Urban squares were shaped by, and in the process contributed to and shed light on, several of the country's major social and artistic movements. The history of the square illustrates a theme of European cultural dominance, especially French, that was a product of the colonial experience and neocolonial influences which were overcome only in the twentieth century through spontaneous creative fusion with indigenous Brazilian elements.
Environment and Behavior (2010)
Urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg defines a third place as a place of refuge other than the home or workplace where people can regularly visit and commune with friends, neighbors, coworkers, and even strangers. Because little is known about the place-based physical qualities of third places that support sociability and place attachment, this article examines how four urban design characteristics distinguish third-place businesses from other businesses on the Main Street. The article discusses a study conducted at Main Streets in two cities and one town in Massachusetts. As part of the study, visual surveys measured urban design qualities of businesses on the Main Streets, and interviews helped determine user perceptions. The findings suggest that third places are relatively high in both personalization (distinctiveness, recognizability) and permeability to the street, but seating and shelter provisions are perhaps the most crucial urban design characteristics that contribute to sociability on the Main Street.