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Urban Environmental Psychology Framework
Transcript of Urban Environmental Psychology Framework
Urban Environment Psychology Framework
Activity occurs where pedestrians and cars meet
Lay paths at right angles to roads so that they form their own network - not along the roads. Put them in the middle of the 'block' so that they run across the roads.
Give priority to pedestrians
Space small parking lots so they are at least 100 feet apart.
Enclose parking areas to shield it from view.
Roads can be reduced to tracks suitable for vehicles but retaining grass and vegetation.
Make roads accessible to access wider networks, allowing cars to leave the area, but central areas reserved for foot, bike, horse, taxi.
Pedestrianise main shopping streets, or limit vehicular access to promote safety
PL: 261, 269, 479
Mixing building functions
Looseness, social activity, permeability
Urban areas with mixed functions provide more activities in and near buildings around the clock. It encourages 'eyes on the street' for crime-prevention.
Link activity nodes with a central promenade - within 10 mins walk in the community, with main points of attraction at both ends.
Integrate housing into non-residential areas too (in the fabric of shops, small industry, schools, public services, universities) to create a gradient and make entire area 'lived in' - creates territorial expression, surveillance.
Copenhagen – city centre has buildings between 5/6 stories high. This provides good visual connection between residents and street space. Stories over this height offer little watch over the street – limited surveillance
Jacobs (1961) - diverse land use, creating neighbourhoods containing commercial, residential. institutional and leisure orientated areas, to prevent urban decay - as it attracts continuous flow of people, ensures informal surveillance.
Scattered work patterns
Transparency, social activity
Town able to sustain the whole of life, not just dormitories for people working elsewhere
Expose the origin on manufacture for interest and engagement
Work should be decentralised and woven into housing areas. Creating work communities that can help to form boundaries can increase scattered work patterns.
Place industry in ribbons between 200 and 500 feet wide which form boundaries between communities. Break the ribbons into blocks and treat their edges as opportunities for community engagement with industrial activity e.g. water wheel.
Transparency, spatial expansion
City must be continuous (not broken up) to ensure a great density of interactions among people and work and different ways of life.
Stretch out the urbanised area into long sinuous fingers, which extend into the countryside. Both city and farmland in the form of narrow fingers, within 10 minutes walk. Max width 1 mile for city fingers, min 1 mile for farm.
Transparency - edges between realms are punctured, physically or visually, with gaps, gateways; transitional features to encourage awareness of places and exploration.
Place gateways at those points where the restricted access paths cross the boundary and make the boundary zone wide enough to contain meeting places for common functions shared by several neighbourhoods.
Cullen (1971) - The Concise Townscape: view of townscape as a sequence of visually connected realms that people pass through.
Hillier and Hanson (1984) - high density of linked spatial enclosures increases potential for social interaction.
Cycling and walking
Permeability, spatial expansion
Pedestrian and cycle movement through the city contributes to cleaner and healthier spaces.
Corner convenience stores encourage people to walk to them, instead of drive to large chain stores, and also offer opportunities for social engagement on the way.
Lay roads as parallel one way roads with access to ring road. 9% parking - encourage public transport, restrict to 30 cars per acre.
Separate cycle paths from pedestrian and motor traffic.
For cycle safety - place cycle lanes along roads on the inside of parked car spaces. As in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Enclosure of large spaces
Enclosure, spatial expansion
Large open spaces can feel overwhelming and become underused.
The degree of 'enclosure and convexity' controls the positiveness/negativeness of outdoor space. Negative spaces are poorly defined and their boundaries are unclear.
Outdoor space is positive when it has a distinct and definite shape, as definite as a room. Edge considered as a space, not a line, it has thickness.
Make all outdoor spaces that surround and lie between buildings positive, giving each one some degree of enclosure, surrounded by wings of buildings, trees, hedges, fences, arcades and trellised walks.
Max 150 square feet per person to maintain a lively area. Estimate the number of people that are typically found in a given space at any moment of its use.
Connection with nature and wildlife
Permeability, social interaction
Contact and awareness of natural elements (water and vegetation) can deliver restorative experiences.
Contact with animals has helped children in therapy - who are incapable of forming relationships with people to establish contact with animals - this initiates feelings and capacity for making contact that eventually spreads out to friends and family.
Make accessible pools and streams in city centres. Water plays a fundamental role in our psychology, in the form of stepped walls, river paths, and footbridges to cross them.
Ecologically useful animals in cities: horses, donkeys - for local transportation and sport, pigs - to recycle garbage, cows - for milk, ducks and chickens - source of eggs, goats - milk, bees - honey, bird - maintain insect balance. Need to protect these animals in urban environments and develop a system of movement in the neighbourhood, asphalt free, where dung needn't be cleaned up.
Build one public green within 3 mins walk (750 feet) of every home and workplace. Creates uniformly scattered at 1500-foot intervals throughout city, Make greens at least 150 feet across and at least 60,000 feet in area.
Kaplans - Attention Restoration Theory (1989); people can be restored to better levels of concentration when they spend time within and looking at natural places that offer opportunities for effortless attention. City environments can offer restoration of self-worth and self-esteem - through experiencing social acceptance, making choices and mastering challenges.
Partitions in the landscape
Enclosure, hide and reveal
Gateways and partitions provide punctuation to the landscape, which are useful for increasing legibility and adding interest to the landscape.
Gateways foster understanding and encourage exploration, adding coherence and distinctiveness and making it easier to make sense of a place. They also offer mystery as the partial view invites but doesn't reveal all. They create identification of an area by its inhabitants, reinforcing a sense of community and ownership.
Partitions are hedges, tree rows, wooden areas, hilly topography - stonewalls. Define and make distinct an area.
Limit visual access by placing the gateway off-centre from the main entry to a building and focus the view on some architectural clue such as a decorative fence, window, roofline that hints at the function beyond the area
Use of topography
A vista engages the imagination. People are fascinated by miniature; being able to view everything all at once from above - permits the viewer to imagine wandering in the space and encourages mental exploration of areas hidden from view.
Use natural topography to integrate public use; it is human instinct to want to climb to the top and survey. Key locations act as landmarks and tourist attractions
Public-private gradient, social activity
Connected play - children need to play with other children during the first fiver years of their life to reduce the chance of developing mental illnesses later in life.
Housing density rings in a neighbourhood arranged in a gradient, offer choice to live close to shops (convenience and excitement) and away from services (for quiet and green).
Degrees of privacy are supported by three house types: nearest to action, half way and isolated. All these types occur in all residential areas/developments and draw different people together to learn and share ideas.
Set up a playground for children in each neighbourhood but not highly finished, instead with raw materials - nets, boxes, barrels, trees, ropes, frames, grass and water - where they can create playground of their own.
Integrate old people in every neighbourhood. Place dwellings in three rings: central core with nursing and cooking provided, cottages near the core, cottages further out from the core within 200 yards and mixed within other houses in the neighbourhood
Group community facilities densely round very small public squares - which can function as nodes - with pedestrian movement passing through. This draws together main paths in surrounding community.
Group facilities by type - not so that different people will visit at different times - mutually supportive facilities
Social networks of people who care and depend on each other as a form of dealing with urban problems - more surveillance, stronger community 'block organisations' in dealing with the management of their environment.
Connecting communities through facilities
The capacity of urban streetscapes to act as networks of linked spaces associated with diversity of functional and experiential opportunities.
Market halls provide opportunities for independent local traders to come together and act as a 'supermarket' but sustainable of local economy, trade and business.
Network of health centres, more accessible than a major hospital, one per 7000 across the city, each equipped with both mental and physical illness
Locate bus stops so that they engage with other activities (newsstands, maps, outdoor shelter, corner groceries, coffee bars).
Provide a 'town hall' as to act as community territory and place for debate, discussion, meeting for each community of 7000 people. Locate near major intersections in the town.
Careful consideration of the placement of developments can prevent city spaces becoming abandoned or derelict.
Build on land that is in the worst condition, not the best. Build structures in parts of the site that are least pleasant. Building to the north, outdoors to the south, to catch the best light and warmth.
Bauman Lyons offices, built in Chapeltown, Leeds, to input design into local architecture and improve the area.
Interior – exterior overlap
Looseness, territoriality, hide and reveal, public-private gradient
Blending the exterior and interior realms can facilitate interaction between the building and the street. Arcades and colonnade structures stretch out margin between built form and open space.
Creating a transition between public and private spaces defines territory while allowing the mentality of a user to adjust to the changes in setting and degrees of control/privacy. They create an ambiguous territory between public and private worlds.
Connecting interior spaces to the outdoors provides contemplative experiences.
Use windows and openings in buildings to connect the interior to the exterior; provide views of natural features.
Arcades connect buildings and circulation realms; they are covered walkways at the edge of buildings - partly inside, partly outside.
To establish it as apart from the public world arcade must be felt as an extension of the building - set partly into the building and at least 7 feet deep. Keep edges of the arcade ceilings low.
Balconies and porches should be 6 feet deep as a minimum - provide enough room for 2-3 people to sit in a group and stretch their legs, with a table.
Connect the building to the earth around it by building a series of paths and terraces and steps around the edge. Place them to make the boundary ambiguous - so its impossible to see where the building stops and the earth begins. Use transition of floor texture - from home man-made/natural mix to mediate between house and land.
Transparency, social activity
Use transparency to encourage natural surveillance. Windows from building act as 'eyes' and suggest a human presence and increase perceived and actual safety.
The potential for a safe city is strengthened generally when more people move about and stay in city space.
A wide spectrum of visual experience must be ensured without compromising the private domain.
Windows, glass doors, edges with gaps, gateways and transition features to encourage exploration.
Stepped up street window in alcove enables the inhabitant to view the street, and receive light, without immediate contact. Make the sill 5 feet above the street level.
Active street front
Transparency, social interaction
Level of activity in street increases with level of permeability between space and street. There are more activities where there is high transparency (looking in windows) and where there are niches and openings and opportunities for stopping.
Soft edges = lively city. The slow people down so there is more opportunity for social engagement. Hard edges, such as closed ground floors and pedestrians walk past black glass, concrete or masonry and few doors.
Visual contact between people in the buildings and in front of public space is important to the intensity and contact opportunities.
Build right up to the paths - let building fronts take on uneven angles as they accommodate the shape of the street. Open up street cafes, open food stalls, workshops with garage door openings.
Create soft edges - shops lined up, transparent facades, large windows, many openings and goods on display, to provide much to see and to slow down - soft edges = lively city. Hard edge - closed ground floors and pedestrians walk past black glass, concrete or masonry - few doors. Slows people down (soft edges) so more opportunity for social engagement.
Ecclesall Road, Sheffield has a highly transparent relationship of built form and adjacent public space. It delivers a string of varying enclosures that attract and accommodate stationary activity as part of the street's function as a vehicle and pedestrian movement corridor. The linear arrangement allows people to sit and watch.
Chester has historic rows of medieval origin with decorative building facades. Continuously covered, open-fronted 'walkways' elevated above streets create a highly porous arrangment of localised territories with a variety of functions accommodated.
Visual access increases confidence while blocked or obstructed views can create fear and concern, such as built components - walls, dense vegetation.
Views and Vistas - providing a view, including vegetation, has positive implication for health and well-being - applies to prisons, hospitals, workplaces.
Use tree canopies with little obstruction at eye level.
Direct views in public spaces towards vegetation.
Attract people to city space
Permeability, social activity
The potential for a lively city is strengthened when more people are invited to walk, bike, cycle and stay in city space.
A city that invites people to walk - needs short walking distances, attractive public spaces and variation of urban elements - these increase activity and feeling of security in and around city spaces - more eyes along the street.
Shopping streets - need to be pedestrian streets, at right angles to major streets with parking and access behind shops.
Venice - historic pedestrian city - full of life. Pedestrian streets encourage people to visit, stay - feel safer away from main traffic.
Copenhagen – an example of pedestrianised main streets - if people rather than cars are invited into the city, pedestrian traffic and city life increase correspondingly.
Brighton - pedestrianisation of New Road - pedestrian traffic increased by 62% and staying activities by 600%.
Enclosure, social interaction
Put effort into ground floor to make the edge zone exciting and inviting. Upper floors have less importance both visually and functionally.
Crinkled (articulated) facades - pockets of semi-enclosed spaces make users feel more protected and it creates spaces that are easier to identify with.
Cooper-Marcus and S (1986) - Residents more likely to personalise articulated facades. Varied building line that facilitates street enclosure, but not too loose and unidentifiable.
Sense of enclosure
Enclosure, social activity
A sense of enclosure can help make a place comforting and distinct. Enclosure offers a protective layer, visual separation, privacy and distinctiveness.
Enclosures offer restorative effects by removing distractions outdoors and reducing nearby noise.
Enclosures can remove distractions; they can help focus attention on distant vistas and increase the perceived size of a small area.
Enclosures can be made distinctive by using textures underfoot and vertical features to mark its separateness, as well as limiting space overhead (by a tree canopy).
Enclosure can be achieved by providing trellis or beams and seats and galleries around the edges on residential pedestrian streets.
The shape of the street swells out subtly in places where it is good to pause. Make a bulge in the middle of the path and make the ends narrower so that the path forms an enclosure which a place to stay, not just pass through.
Enclosures might be created by using low-branching trees or narrow shrub planting.
A low sprawling oak tree can create an outdoor room, a pair - where two trees form a gateway, a square - where they enclose an open space and an avenue - where a double row of trees with crowns touching, line a path or street.
Identifiable semi public spaces
Distinct areas that are semipublic, whose ownership residents share, make potential intruders more likely to be recognised.
Divide large areas creating distinctive regions, as they are safer and more manageable. Large open spaces are intimidating and difficult to know whom it belongs to.
Large mowed areas seem uninviting so provide a sense of mystery through topographic variation, winding paths or partially obscured views.
Newman 1972 - clearly define areas to provide sense of safety and encourage surveillance of space beyond own private space.
Semi-private spaces 'designed in' to public housing - to facilitate social interaction between residents. Should exist inside and outside the building - designed for inevitable interactions - encourage neighbourliness and mutual helping (Wilner, 1962).
Dividing large space
Enclosure, social activity
Big areas become more interesting if divided, as they can be daunting and uncomfortable. People stay near the edges when passing through.
Wandering in small places offers restorative benefits by permitting the eye to focus on things that do not require any special effort, yet are inviting and fascinating. Mental wandering likely when the setting gives the impression of extent, but physical space need not be big.
Small spaces can be established in a larger space using alles or rows of trees.
Market stalls on a square or the umbrellas or awnings at sidewalk cafes make city spaces seem smaller and more intimate. Furniture and bollards can also help create small spaces in large, such as rows of bollards.
Colonnades allow pedestrian movement in an intimate and delimited space, while having a view of the larger city space.
Rambla in Barcelona, where main pedestrian space is separated from larger city space by kiosks and two rows of shady trees.
The water's edge - waterfront areas offer commercial attraction, developed as greenways for cycles and walking, observing nature.
Use natural edge forms rather than being bound by straight edges.
Abrupt water edges psychologically suggest danger to both adults and children so make entrance to pool only from shallow end and deepen gradually.
Sense of mystery
Mystery - partial view or suggestion of what might lie ahead makes the situation more compelling.
Foliage can hide and reveal; permit a view between them without a view of all that lies ahead.
Winding paths suggest mystery in a landscape - what is round the bend.
Hedgerow suggests there is more information without giving it all away. Adding trees creates hide and seek element of mystery
Residential front gardens
Public-private gradient, territorialisation, social interaction
Transitional strips increase passive surveillance, social encounter and territorial identity and encourage maintenance of space immediately adjacent to the dwelling.
Where building and city meet is the most active outdoor area in a residential area. It acts as an exchange between private and public realms where activities move out from the terrace or front garden in contact with public space.
People spend time on the public side of the house if there is a certain amount of life on foot in front of the house.
Front gardens should deep enough for privacy but not so large as to inhibit personalisation.
Gehl (1996) - social interaction. 3-4 metres for front garden - ensures privacy but close enough to permit contact with events occuring on the street
Hall - The Hidden Dimension (1996) - dimensions social distance (1.3m-3.75m public (.3.75)
Homes for Change, Hulme Project, Manchester - live/work development - complex blend of private, semi-private and communal spaces set at different levels. Material arrangement of internal block facades - gives development a human scale.
Public city squares
Spatial expansion, territoriality, public-private, social activity
Engaging edges hold the attention of passers by. The life of a public square forms naturally round the edge. If the edge fails the place never becomes lively and it becomes a place to walk through not stop.
Surround the square with pockets of activity: shops, stands, benches, displays, rails, courts, gardens.
Small huts, carts, crevices of existing buildings, form part of the fabric of the street. Smells attract people; invite people to sit in the larger scene, not sealed away. Concentrate food stands where cars and paths meet - either portable or small huts, or built into the fronts of buildings, half-open to the street.
Venice has a close-knit structure of crowds and pedestrians, which are concentrated around a limited number of main streets connecting destinations and a strict hierarchy of major and minor squares. The whole city is built around a simple network that provides the shortest routes and few but important spaces.
Gehl - where the city and building meet are spaces that can support populating with people.
Increasing activity in a street by ensuring these areas: have access in and out, there are good staying areas available and if there is something to do.
Design relative to the human scale; ground floors of shops are the interface and offer interest and intensity.
The principles of good human scale must be a natural part of the urban fabric in order to invite people to walk and cycle. When in doubt, leave some metres out.
Most comfortable pedestrian streets are ones where width doesn't exceed the height of the surrounding buildings.
Buildings above 5 floors loose connection with the ground and become focused with the sky.
Ground floor facades should be rich in detail - creating rich experiences.
Small in scale means exciting, intense and warm cities. Vertical facade articulation of shops and housing makes walking distances seem shorter and more interesting. Narrow units, many doors and vertical relief in the facades help intensify the walking experience.
Partial proportions in old cities reveal that street widths of 3,5,8 or 10 metres can easily handle pedestrian streams of between 2,400 and 7,800 per hour.
Cerda city structure in Barcelona has a high development density but vibrant street life, fine city space. Active ground floor street frontages.
Spaces to sit
Social activity, social interaction
Vantage points in seating are inviting, give people chance to view but low enough to put them in action.
Variations in step levels are relative to how involved in the action the people want to be.
Make higher places accessible to action too by stepped cafe terraces, steps surrounding public plazas, stepped porches. Make raised areas immediately accessible from below so people may congregate and sit and watch.
Arrange seating in a circle, encouraging people to interact with each other.
Street cafes offer opportunity for staying in a public space for a long time, acting as social glue for the community. Build the cafe so that tables stretch out of the cafe into the street.
Social activity, social interaction
People gather where things are happening and spontaneously seek the presence of other people as it offers interest and safety.
Strengthening common space so that meeting people from various groups of society is a routine part of everyday life can help to prevent crime.
Urban life can also restore self-esteem and self-worth by people experiencing social acceptance, making choices and mastering challenges. This is delivered through social interaction and contact with dynamic environments.
Provide areas of shared space close to residences, such as communal gardens and greens, where meeting others is inevitable and community events can take place.
Allow territorialsation of semi-public space to enable people to express their personality and make choices.
Form communities round central shared facilities to enable frequent encounters with other residents.
Portofino Italy - little town with bay - waterfront example of how people are attracted to the place.
Jacobs (1961) Gehl (1996) Whyte (1980) - people gravitate to places where there are people - don't have to be presence of natural elements. People are more likely to engage in optional or social activities in public spaces if the quality of those spaces is high.
Nature to ease stress
Transparency, social interaction
Continuous stimulation and decision making of urban life causes mental fatigue and decreased attention span.
Outdoor settings in urban environments have the potential to provide sensations of revival/renewal by mitigating the stress and fatigue (mental) from exposure of aspects of town/city life.
Restoration involves a person imagining they are somewhere else and doing other things.
Landscape and natural elements induce reflective and contemplative states of mind and has its roots in Greek/Roman health care facilities and Islamic paradise gardens.
Views of trees from a window tell about the seasons and weather outside, providing mental respite. Windows looking onto treetops can be engrossing.
Limitation in scope or extent removes restorative quality. Hide boundaries to achieve sense of a larger place.
Ulrich (1984) - Patients with a view of 'nature' recovered quicker and took fewer drugs.
Attention restoration theory - (1989) - increased concentration by looking at natural places that offer opportunities for effortless attention
Pedestrian and cycle safety
Encourage exercise as a natural part of daily life; swimming, ice skating, cycling, walking, skateboarding, dancing in street. Safe bicycle routes through city and out into the countryside.
People more likely to use public transport if they feel safe walking to and from bus stops and rails.
Consider safe routes and networks through the city for children, passing through surveillance areas, well lit and limit road crossings.
Build a system of bike paths, with a distinct surface to highlight the difference to pedestrians. Bike path might run along a local road, on the sunny side if possible.
For pedestrian crossings roads - narrow width of the through lanes, continue the pedestrian path about a foot above the roadway (slope the road up towards the crossing) put islands in between lanes and mark the crossing with a canopy or shelter to make it visible.
Creating interest and feel of quick movement using narrow tall facades helps to engage people while walking, keeps them interested.
Allow spaces to adapt to human use and habitation to allow opportunities for flexibility and changes to be made, enabling human lived experience to shape the environment.
Create spaces that facilitate change by not over-designing elements, allowing for movement, personalisation and to accommodate temporary fixtures and events. E.g. removable canopies/awnings.
Dovey (2005) - place identity in a continuous state of becoming. Phenomenological view of human environment relations; human experience and its spatial context are integrated. Our surroundings are experienced as a projection of our sense of self; its condition is our condition.
Relph (1976) - not possible to design everything about spaces.
Stevens (2007) - the nature of the edge is 'loose' and is susceptible to a multitude of actions.
People feel encouraged to express their individual and collective identities, activities and values with certain structural and social conditions.
Identity expression is more likely where social activity forms a strong part of local identity.
Localised expression addresses how social processes relating to territorial activity take on spatial and material form; depends on opportunities to respond to private/public.
Vary building façade detailing along the street slightly so that it is not uniform.
Provide semi-private areas that are visible to the public, where residents can express their identities.
Chimney Pot Park, Manchester - high levels of design input create sterile and repetition.
Java Island, Amsterdam.
Large scale block, series of enclosures reduce in scale into smaller communal then individually scaled settings. Breaks the development into a series of neighbourhoods - with smaller communally scaled settings, where opportunities for personal adaption can occur (at a smaller scale)
- creates a loose, ambiguous environment
-vegetation plays a key part
Sergio Porta & John Renne (2005) - socially sustainable street has a sense of visual coherence and continuity, but has a fine grain of localised variation - given by visual variety in building facade detail, street furniture and paving surfaces.
Mandanipour (2003) - ambiguity and clarity creates a socially active interface.
Dividing large spaces
Ease anxieties and encourage exploration by orientating people. Coherence of a number of small areas makes a setting easier to understand.
Creating identifiable regions can help way-finding but use no more than five distinct regions to an area.
Use similar plant species in regions and designate/define areas with hedges, fences, paths, texture changes. Too much same ground cover is monotonous. Break up large areas and create smooth surfaces along trails add to perceived width.
Use paths and signs to differentiate the types of paths with colour, texture, width and adjacent plantings.
Territorial markers for safety
Territoriality/ public –private gradient
Allow personalisation of space to promote feelings of protection.
Small environmental gestures impact the most on the quality of day to day life by giving people the ability of having control over these environments - grand gestures are more challenging to adapt/personalize.
Defensible space - clearly bounded or semi-private spaces that appear to belong to someone - leads to feelings of owning the space, promotes social cohesion between neighbours and fosters informal surveillance of the area.
Defence - symbolic barriers to keep strangers out. Appropriation - territorial markers, suggest a space is used and cared for. Primary territory = house - territory is easily visible. Secondary territories - places over which an individual or group has some control, ownership and regulatory power but not to the same degree as over primary territory.
Public housing designed so all space appears to 'belong' to some individual or group - areas are defended, promote surveillance and this tends to reduce crime.
When designing public housing:
Buildings designed so all space appears to 'belong' to some individual or group - areas are defended, promote surveillance and this tends to reduce crime.
Convert public such areas into clearer secondary territories by differentiating the grounds, creating semiprivate entrance accessways, using symbolic territorial markers such as walls, stoops, hedges, using clusters of entranceways and stairways accessible to only small groups of residents, arranging lighting and windows to permit better surveillance of streets and play areas.
Defensible space issues with Park Hill - no secondary territory; went from primary straight to public - provided no graduation or buffer zones under the partial control of residents. More crime occurs where there is a lack of surveillance, territorial control or evidence of territorial ownership.
Newman (1972) Urban housing development study - secondary and public territories need to be designed that renders them distinctive and under the control and surveillance of occupants of a building to prevent crime and increase the perception of safety.
Incivility - physical and social cues (e.g. deterioration) that indicate a decay in social order. These signs affect the occurrence of crime.
Territorial social restoration
Territoriality/ public-private gradient
Territorial awareness can be used to achieve self-esteem and affirmation. People act to control territory and make place.
Territorial experience is related to human psychological health in terms of the need to achieve self-esteem and affirmation - individuals are able to make their ideas into something permanent and become aware that they have a mind of their own.
Self-esteem is created through receipt of positive recognisition of these actions from others and is a component in the development of self-identity.
A sense of mine is important to self-identity. A sense of ours overcomes extremes of possessiveness by encouraging a territorial realm. It encourages communication, negotiation and reconciliation of differences.
Capacity for users to express themselves through their occupation, place-making and community development - people have control over how and what their places become and how becoming expresses its uniqueness and identity.
Symbolic boundaries (such as level change, shrubs) to distinguish territory. Divide projects into 'subprojects' to promote territoriality.
Sweden - no formal boundary around gardens - effect of merging private and semi-public realms - not separating them. Lack of pre-given formal barriers has led to highly imaginative juxtaposition of features - controlled by residents - define and control their privacy
Habraken (1998) - fabric of the ordinary built environment is more about the levels of control that can be exercised by people who use it as opposed to the design of physical structures - built environment arose from implicit structures based on common understanding. Occupation transforms space into place - by definition of territory.
Altman (1975) - Acts of personalisation of space - occurs at major threshold points on the transitional edge (gates, doors, windows) a form of self-identity.
Newman (1972) - territorial depth explored through boundaries:
symbolic - low fences, shrubs, steps, ground level changes, paving texture changes. Real: buildings, fences, walls. Symbolic are more effective in creating distinguishable transitional spaces, but inhabitants need to be able to control the space.
Honneth (1995) - recognition manifests itself as:
having status, valued contributor in a shared project - enables people to exert independent control over spaces they use - but common understanding controls territorial extremes.
Habraken: Biological impulses drive people to control territory - social need to belong controls extremes of territorial expression through awareness of a common understanding
Transitions of public to private
Social interaction/ public-private gradient
Provide a continuum, where many degrees of semi-public/semi-private spaces can be identified, rather than clear-cut separation.
Casual/spontaneous encounters occur where private/semi-private or semi-private/semi-public realms are allowed to become spatially integrated for an interval.
Concept of transition - spatial experience that deals with the ways in which we become aware of change and transformation, identifying signals in spatial organisation.
Different transformational experiences: threshold, corridor, ephemeral, segment.
Soft edges (porches and front yards) can vitalise life in public space and can clearly distinguish what is private and public. Show this through changes in pavement, landscaping, furniture, hedges, gates and canopies to mark where public space ends and fully or semiprivate transition zones begin. Height differences, steps and staircases can also mark transition zones, creating the soft edge to function as the link between inside and out, between private and public.
Alexander (1963) - important for people to be able to distinguish degrees of public-ness and privateness - as it reflects the way people behave.
Using vegetation to form space
Trees provide shade and shelter and act as landmarks that give the landscape form. Trees in numbers can define space.
Two trees create a space - opportunity for squirrel chases or spot to sit between them.
But dense foliage and dark settings are often low in preference. A tree buffer at the edge of a park or between a highway and residential area can help clarify what lies within and what is beyond.
Small open areas can be surrounded by trees to separate from traffic and noise - sufficient tree coverage allows visitor to explore without being reminded of the proximity to the area just beyond.
Allowing for privacy and publicity
Transparency/hide and reveal/social interaction
Design should create responsive environments, offering control to the users of contact that can be altered between separateness and togetherness, depending on people's mood.
Provide places for exposure (to encourage spontaneous interaction) but also retreat, when privacy is wanted - this needs to be adaptable/easily modified by the user.
Create spaces that serve different functions and have it change with our needs, rather than having to shift location.
Privacy - approached as a changing self/ other boundary-regulation process in which a person or a group sometimes wants to be separated from others and sometimes wants to be in contact with others.
Mix of exposure and privacy. Place garden in a half-way position between front and back, to allow privacy but also engagement and views of the street, half-hidden from the street and half exposed, acting as a transition from public to less public space.
'Community alleys' of shared 'ours' space.
Partial screening is used to make visual contact possible while ensuring that other people cannot look in - protection in the form of screens or landscaping - are distancing from passers by, by strategically placed stairs, front gardens, flowerbeds, height differences where private dwelling is raised a few steps above street level - this provides a view of city life while ensuring no one can see in.
Balconies that have half-open enclosures round them are used most (columns, wooden slats, trellises) Partial privacy makes people more comfortable. Recessed balconies are used more, as they allocate more privacy to the area, protection from the elements and security.
Japanese homes - walls can be moved in or out of place so same area can be used for eating, sleeping and socialising at different times. Need changeable environments to permit a greater responsiveness to changing needs for privacy.
Martin (1997) - 'hidden-ness' and 'revealingness' - depending on mood and circumstance, people sometimes wish to preserve privacy whilst at other times choose to be more openly available for contact with neighbours - built environment to allow individuals to control when they wish to hide or reveal themselves as they move about daily life.
Carmona (2010) - A need for the edge to enable interaction and protect privacy. People able to control when they wish to be public (socialble) or when private.
Altman (1975) - territorial behaviour
Too much enforced privacy - obstructs spontaneous encounters - leads to isolation
Too much exposure with no opportunity to retreat into private space - leads people feeling overlooked. These spaces need to be adaptable to change - to facilitate modification by users.
Encouraging social interaction
Public-private gradient/social interaction
Social interaction - improves and promotes sense of place and community.
City furniture can contribute to meetings in urban space - group benches into a 'talkscape' - Ralph Erskine - set two benches at an angle with a small table facing them so people could talk as well as use the table. The angle allows people to choose whether they want to together or alone, and allows for the option of conversation.
Social distance (1.2-3.7m) - where information can be exchanged through conversation - a living room suite around a coffee table
Public distance - (more than 3.7m) - formal contact and one-way communication.
When designing public housing: semi-private spaces 'designed in' - to facilitate social interaction between residents.
Plant fruit trees on common land - shared opportunity for harvest, place for community to take responsibility, great satisfaction.
Vegetable plots create shared spaces for social interaction and community engagement, in a semi-private space, that can be viewed by the public.
Hoogland - semi private zone for residents creates stronger social cohesion, than settlement where there isn't one.
Gehl (1997) - more people use front yards and street (public side of the house) the more frequent contact with neighbours/passers by
Spaces to stay
Social activity, hide and reveal
City spaces without edges provides poor conditions for staying - people pause where they feel protected, back to a wall and out of the way of pedestrian traffic.
Building facades can facilitate this with alcoves and arcades. The most attractive staying zones are those where edge zones and good facade details work together.
If materials used do not detract from the setting, places are more likely to provide restorative benefits.
City facades - 'caves', niches - provide shelter, protection, opportunity to hide or reveal oneself.
Walled gardens offer this experience in cities - some kind of enclosure to protect the sanctuary inside. Large parks or gardens can have soft enclosure - slopes, bushes, and trees.
Use materials that are compatible with their surroundings.
Controlling environmental conditions for human comfort
Focus on the small scale to ensure better conditions for the human dimension.
City space can serve an important function as an interface between art and people.
Wind speed is reduced by friction with the terrain and landscaping. It is further reduced along the terrain if there are many trees and clustered low buildings - provides strong friction so that fast cold winds are diverted above buildings so that there is almost no wind between them. Bumpy terrain reduced wind.
Low clustered buildings of 2/3 stories and slanted roofs allow sun to penetrate between buildings, warming the masonry and cobbled pavements so that the mircoclimate in the small city spaces is considerably better than the climate in surrounding landscapes.
Long narrow lanes and arcades with changing artists decorating spaces for a limited number of months means there is always something new to look at.
The Urban Environmental Psychology Framework (UEPF) is a developing resource of educational principles for Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. Here you will find collated research concerning socially restorative urbanism, suggested design applications of theories, quotes and examples extracted from key environmental psychology texts. It is a developing framework of ideas and is open to expansion with the progression of research.
The information has been organised into large, medium and small scale stages, to follow a macro to micro scale design process. The framework presents how the social value of the built environment can be enhanced through design by a better understanding and use of principles of urban morphology. Increasing the activity of edge environments, which constitute the socio-spatial margins between built form and adjacent public realm can begin to deliver more socially sustainable urban design solutions. Transitional edges are defined, as the interface of material form and human habitation and each design principle in the UEPF is sub-headed with the transitional edge type(s) that it is related to, to emphasise issues relating to place attachment, territoriality, public-private gradients and restorative environments.
References can be found on the page below. The database resource contains references for all the images used in the framework.
Large scale refers to city and district planning, from a bird’s eye perspective, with a focus on connections within the city or town and locations of amenities.
Medium scale refers to street scale planning, from a bird’s eye view perspective, with a focus on layout, spaces in between and interaction between street and façade.
Small scale refers to human scale, at human eye level, with a focus on detail and human activity.
The plan demonstrates use of a shared street, which encourages walking to become dominant