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The Scope of Urban Design

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Presentation on theme: "The Scope of Urban Design"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Scope of Urban Design
From Historical, Professional, and Policy Context….. Why? to provide a framework for exploring the meaning and scope of urban design in contemporary planning and urban development Central Argument: UD is neither big architecture nor limited to urban landscape issues. It does not operate solely at the interface between planning and architecture. UD is a problem-solving activity with applications to spatial decision-making at all scales of urban planning

2 Urban Design Definition
UD: at its broadest, UD is about the form of cities. We may regard it as that element in the planning process that is concerned with finding an appropriate physical framework for human activities in cities. Urban form may be viewed in two or three dimensions, depending on the scale or level of resolution at which the design process is operating.

3 The Scope of Urban Design
The need for UD as a discipline has arisen as a result of the fundamental cultural, political, social and economic changes. Other issues include the impact of environmental issues and quality of life on the nature of the city and how urban form can best be adapted to our current and future needs. It has proved difficult to provide a simple, commonly accepted definition of the scope of UD

4 Origins of Recent Urban Design Theory
Urban Planning was introduce to place a growing body of theory and practice in suitably general geographical context. Urban: was a description of what had become a culture and life style rather than a particular geographical territory. Urban Planning could comfortably accommodate city, town and suburb, no matter how these were administratively defined or physically constituted.

5 Origins of Recent Urban Design Theory
Paul Sprieregaen Urban Design: the Architecture of Towns and Cities was published in 1965 …… The conventions of urban planning at this time favored rigidly-defined, functionally-zoned urban development. This was influenced by the International Modern Architectural Congress (CIAM) set up in 1920s in Europe by Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius & others. Some of their ideas a wholesale renewal of the contemporary city through zoned, single-use high-rise developments. At the same time, organic view of urban form, originating in the English Garden City movement, was being developed in the United States by Olmsted, Mumford, Perry and others. This suggested a regional model of the city, decentralized, low-density and more suburban in character, hierarchically organized on the basis of semi-autonomous community-based neighborhood units or “super-blocks”

6 Origins of Recent Urban Design Theory
In the United States in 1960s, the economist Jan Jacobs published her powerful critique of modern town planning in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, bringing the attention to the complexities of land use arrangements, and high-density living in traditional city blocks and the shared activities of the traditional city street in a new light.

7 Origins of Recent Urban Design Theory
Defectors from CIAM formed Team X in 1953 exploring new low- and medium rise, high density interwoven urban structures that would allow opportunities for social exchange and encounter that the international style excluded. This laid the theoretical basis for an approach to urban renewal which emphasized vehicular and pedestrian separation

8 Origins of Recent Urban Design Theory
In the 1950s, Kevin Lynch at MIT began to devise new techniques for analyzing and representing the perceptual structure of cities His work, The Image of City, 1964 helped give rise to a new science of human perception and behavior in the city. Later, Scott Brown and Robert Venturi published their book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture questioned the International style and advocated the catholic (conservative) approach to the use of architectural styles and symbolism

9 Origins of Recent Urban Design Theory
Ideas of a morphological approach to UD was explored by Colin Rowe of Cornell University and others in Europe. The basic idea was to maintain and restore the traditional 19th century street pattern and form of urban block, street square, without constraining the contemporary architectural expression of new building additions. Aldo Rossi’s the Architecture of the City, 1989 introduce the notion of the collective memory of the city with urban form as a repository of culture from generations past and from generations to come. Rob Krier in his book Urban Space, 1984 sought to catalogue all possible forms of urban space generated from the geometric fundamentals of circle, square, and triangle.

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