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Designing Cities for People

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Priyal Shah

on 14 June 2013

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Transcript of Designing Cities for People

Improving Settlements
Redesigning Urban Transport
Reducing Urban Water Use
For cities, the most effective single step to raise water productivity is to adopt a comprehensive water treatment/recycling system, reusing the same water continuously
only a small percentage of water is lost to evaporation each time it cycles through
Some cities faced with shrinking water supplies and rising water costs are beginning to recycle their water in order to survive
Singapore, for example, which buys water from Malaysia at a high price, is beginning to recycle water, reducing the amount it imports
Low-cost alternative: the composting toilet
simple, waterless, odorless linked to a small compost facility
converts human fecal matter into a soil-like humus -> odorless & 10% of original volume
Vendors periodically collect the humus & market it as soil supplement, thus ensuring that the nutrients & organic matter return to the soil
Sharply reduces residential water use compared with flush toilets, thus cutting water bills & lowering the energy to pump & purify water

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
Brown observes Tel Aviv expanded from a small settlement to 3 million today, evolved during automobile era
ratio of parks to parking lots is the best indicator of livability of a city
Urbanization is the 2nd dominant demographic trend of our
Currently there are 20
with 10 million or more residents
Tokyo has 35 million and Mexico City's population of 19 million is nearly
equal to Australia.
World's cities facing problems- the air is not longer safe to breathe
breathing polluted air equivalent to smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day, respiratory illnesses now rampant
Emergence of
new urbanism
- planning philosophy environmentalist Francesca Lyman says “seeks to revive the traditional city planning of an era when cities were designed around human beings instead of automobiles"
Cities require food, water, energy, and materials that nature can’t provide
Collection of materials and dispersing in garbage, sewage,and pollutants in air and water challenging city managers
Evolution of modern cities tied to advances in transport
Cities depend on distant sources for amenities
Los Angeles, draws water from Colorado River (600mi) away
Mexico City depends on pumping water from 150 kilometers away and lift it 1,000 meter to augment bad water supply
Food comes from greater distances
Tokyo-city still gets rice in Japan but comes from
great plains of America and
Australia also
Rising oil prices will affect cities but suburbs also
Scarcity of water will constrain growth of some cit
Richard Register, author of Ecocities: Rebuilding Cities
in Balance with Nature
Pedestrian cities
-communities where people don’t n
eed cars because they can w
wherever they need to go
Cities should be integrated into local ecosystems r
ather than imposing on them
Ecology of Cities
San Luis Obispo- creek restoration project with streets lined with shops connecting to commercial street
Creek has 40% vacancy rate in storefronts
Urban fresh fruit and vegetable production will expand into vacant lofts or roofs as oil prices rise
Cities live on recycled water that is cleaned and used again and again
Cost of energy will increase, shifting trade between countryside and cities
If land and water become scarce, people in rural areas who control them will have t
he upper hand
Ecology cont'd
The best combination of urban transportation is a combination of:
Rail Lines
Bus Lines
Bicycle Pathways
Pedestrian Walkways
Redesigning Urban Transport
Squatter Settlements
Chapter 10:
Designing Cities
For People

Ecology of

Bicycles are an extremely attractive option for personal transportation because they:
alleviates congestion
lower air pollution
reduce obesity
increase physical fitness
don't emit CO2
are affordable
In June 2005 the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reported that Urban and peri-Urban farms supply up to 700 million people with food worldwide.
Urban and peri-Urban= close to or inside the city
These are located in vacant lots,on rooftops, or in yards
WorldWide Examples
Kolkata, India

4,000 hectares of ponds produce 18,000 tons of fresh fish to the city keeping a large supply of fresh fish to the citizens
the cities wastewater is used to feed the bacteria that break down organic compounds which stimulate algae growth that local fish feed on
efficiently breaks down waste and keeps local fish operation sustainable
Caracas, Venezuela
FAO government assisted urban farms are laid out in barrios to stimulate ease of access to fresh food
8,000 microgardens in use producing (per annum):
330 heads of lettuce
18 kilograms of tomatoes
16 kilograms of cabbages
Each is for family/domestic use and is generally placed in front/side yards
Government goals are to increase to 100,000 urban gardens and 1,000 hectares of urban compost nationwide
Intro cont'd
Enrique Penalosa in Bogota, Colombia, transformed quality of urban life
city banned parking cars on sidewalk, created 1,200 parks, introduced bus=based transit system, built bicycle paths and pedestrian streets, reduced rush hour traffic by 40%, planted 100,000 trees, involved local citizens in improvement of neighborhoods
created civic pride among 8 million residents
Penalosa observed “Parks and public space are important to democratic society because they are the only places where people meet as equals”
Gvmnt planners seeking ways to design cities for people not cars
cars=mobility, provide rural setting
urbanizing world conflict between automobile and city
some cities in industrial and developing countries increasing urban mobility and moving away from cars
Jaime Lerner, mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, first to design and adopt alternative trasnp. system
busing, biking, and walking dominate more than half of all trips in the city by bus
city’s pop. tripled since 1974 but traffic declined by 3%

One time use of water to disperse human and industrial wastes is an outmoded practice made obsolete by new technologies and water shortages
water enters city, becomes contaminated with human/industrial wastes, and leaves city polluted
leads to unsafe drinking water as toxic wastes discharged into rivers/lakes permeates aquifers

current engineering concept for dealing with waste is to use a large amount of water to wash it away

“flush and forget”
takes nutrients originating in soil & dumps them into body of water
leads to nutrients lost in agriculture & nutrient overload
expensive & water-intensive, and disrupts nutrient cycle
water-based disposal is neither environmentally nor economically viable for India
Indian family of 5 produces 250 liters of excrement in a year & by using a water flush toilet, they can contaminate 150,000 liters of water
dispersal of pathogens is a huge public health challenge -> claim lives of some 2 million children/ year

Reducing Urban Water Use
Individual industries facing water shortages are moving away from the use of water to disperse industrial waste
Some industries are beginning to develop “closed-loop” systems where all wastewater is reused internally w/ only small amounts of fresh water needed to make up for water lost in product or evaporation
In household level, water can be saved using water-efficient showerheads, flush toilets, dishwashers, and clothes washers
When water cost rise, investments in composting toilets & more efficient appliances will become more attractive to homeowners

Many cities have already implemented ways to protect the environment while also getting people where they need to go
This system supports a large migration of people from cars into buses by providing express lane for buses that make them easier and faster than cars. This system is used in cities like Curitiba, Bogota, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Hanoi, Seoul, Taipei, Quito, and even Beijing. Los Angeles has also launched, or are heavily considering BRT systems.
The best example of the benefits bikes have is China. With an increase in bicycle owners climbing from 70 to 500 million since 1978 urban congestion has decreased drastically while also greatly decreasing CO2 levels from transportation.
Another way cities are trying to promote buses and railways are by establishing driving fees for cars. London has established a new tax for drivers in the center of the city between 7 a.m and 6:30 p.m and has dropped the muber of daily commuters by cars and minicabs 36%
"Land people squat on"

- 2000 - 2050 World population projected to grow by 3 billion

-Theses projections show that most of the growth will occur in cities and Squatter Settlements

- Squatter Settlements are the only options for these poor stricken people ( Illegal housining, trespassing just for shelter)
- Hoovervilles - Favels, Brazil - Barriadas, Peru - Gecekondu, Turkey -Ghettos Homeless ect.
- Some view as social evil`

How to improve and eradicate these problem
Improve conditions in the countryside making it a viable option to live
Update Basic social services, health care, education
Industrial Investments and factories in small towns to reduce the flow of people into the metropolis
Setting aside safe land for squatters
Theses areas would have safe taps of water and clean toilets throughout the area
Curitiba cutting edge city doing this


Some argue that we need to eradicate these settlements but this adds to the problem of urban poverty

With the small stimulus given and a settlement of land it allows squatters to make incremental improvements over time

Farming In The City

Dar es Salaam, Capital of Tanzania
Allots 650 hectares of land to farming (1606 acres)
provides for 4000 farmers to intensively farm the land for employment
Hanoi, Vietnam
80% of produce and 50% of pork and poultry produced and sold within the city
50% of fish is produced by urban fish farmers
40% of egg supply is made within the city
Farmers are recycling human and animal waste to nourish fertilizers and fish ponds
Examples Of Cities Worldwide Benefiting from Urban Farming
Many major cities have acres of gardens on their outskirts (i.e. Paris, London)
In London 14% of residents grow their own produce
Vancouver, CA 44% of residents grow their own produce
US: Potential is Everything and Nothing
Residents of Philadelphia were surveyed on why they gardened:
20% for recreational reasons
19% to improve mental health
17% to improve physical health
only 14% cited the reason “because they wanted the higher-quality fresh produce that a garden could provide.
United States (and other countries) have massive potential for urban gardening
Chicago has 70,000 vacant lots and Philadelphia has 31,000 lots useable for urban gardening
The introduction of these gardens are not only productive but aesthetically pleasing
Local Farmers’ Output Increasing
Urban/peri-Urban farming where farmers near a city produce fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, milk, eggs, and cheese
Increase in demand for locally produced fresh food has increased the number of local farmers from 1,755 in 1994 to nearly 5,000 in late 2007
Movement is influencing local restaurants and some supermarkets to increase the amount of locally produced food on their menus
With rising oil prices, the smallest distance possible necessary to transport food will be the most efficient way to produce food
other included benefits are
psychological well-being increases with garden work and consuming fresh foods
healthier diets will ensue from fresher foods being cheaper (due to shorter transport distance)
Aesthetic- well maintained gardens will create a more vibrant and natural aura in our concrete jungles

1. Urban and peri-Urban farms supply what number of people with food worldwide?
a) 2 billion
b) 50 million
c) 700 million
d) 150 gazillion

2. What makes up 50% of household water use?
a) Washing machine & shower
b) Outdoor & washing machine
c) Shower & toilet
d) Indoor misc. & shower

3. Between 2000 & 2050, world population is projected to grow by:
a) 50 million
b) 25 billion
c) 3 billion
d) 150 gazillion

4. What do cities require that nature cannot provide?
a) Food
b) Water
c) Energy
d) All of the above

5. The following are examples of why bicycles are an attraction option for transportation EXCEPT for
a) Alleviates congestion
b) Are very expensive
c) Lower air pollution
d) Don’t emit CO2

Cities For People
Cost of Cars

One of the leading issues in 100’s of cities is the air pollution caused by cars

Traffic causes economic rises in time and gas

Car cause urbanization or “asphalt complex” a degradation of the natural world.
Used to create more livable mobile cities

Studies show that humans have an innate need for nature - Ecopsyhology

Dependence of cars
Atlanta's 95% of workers depend on cars
Amsterdam 40% depend on car; 35 percent bike or walk; 25 percent use public transit

US subsidies free parking, and it is estimated worth of at least 127 billion a year
This encourages people to drive
We could use this money for better investments

1992 - California mandated that employers match parking subsidies with cash that can be used buy the recipient either to pay public transport fare or to buy a bike

Brown feels that parking fees should reflect to cost of driving a car plus extremities (ex. degradation of city)

U.S. Public transit has risen by 2.4%

Means people are choosing healthier options such as walking, hiking, and biking among others

Rethinking the role of the automobile
China decided not to promote the automobile because of its needs of its people such as food, same for India and other densely populated development

Complete Streets
The complete streets project hopes to address several problems such as:
rising gasoline prices
the need to cut carbon emissions
air pollution
mobility constraints in urban areas
The project hopes to accomplish this by designing bike paths and sidewalks that would cause more people to prefer actual exercise to get to where they need to go instead of cars. The national Complete Streets Coalition reports that as of 2007, 14 states and 52 cities have implemented the complete streets project.
6.) How many megacities are there?
c) 20
d)there are none

7.) Name three ways to redesign urban transport.

8.) Which is a reason the Complete Streets Program has spawned?
a) air pollution
b) fracking
c) lack of vegetation in cities
d) none of the above

9.) What does BRT stand for?
a) Buses Rails Trains
b) Bus Revenue Tax
c) Bus Rapid Transit
a) all of the above

10.) Cities require all of the following except for...
a) food
b) space
c) water
d) materials

The key to advancing the use of non-automobile based transportation is for policy to reflect the needs of the many by:
promoting infrastructure that is advantageous to public transit
providing tax breaks to those who regularly use public transit or carpool

The use of cars is being banned or disallowed in certain areas on days of the week or occasions in major cities like Paris, Vienna, Rome, Stockholm and the like

The aesthetics of public transit can also be a large boost to usage
Moscow, Russia-employs the use of beautiful artwork adorn its subway system
Washington DC- Union Station has become a center of architectural wonder and social gathering as well as a transportation hub

Also prevalent in the US is the subsidizing of bus rides across 100s of college campuses to provide free bus rides for the students

There are several systems already being implemented throughout the world that revolutionize urban transportation in a way that is not only helpful to the people, but as well as the environment. Most importantly in the United States is to promote a way of transportation that will help our problems of obesity while also being efficient and appealing to the population.
I hate
my job
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