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Grand Urban Design - shorter version

Lecture given at Theory II series for the MA in Urban Design, Oxford Brookes University 2012-2013

Laura Novo de Azevedo

on 22 February 2016

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Transcript of Grand Urban Design - shorter version

“The emergence of true urban life, and therefore a flourishing society and a healthy local economy, is inversely proportional to the bigness of the solution.”
from place making
to condition making
urban design interventions that are:
large in scale;
large in ambition;
large in economic investment;
what are the impacts?
what do I mean by Grand Urban Designs?
Eduardo Barra, landscape architect
For the worldcup 2014 we don't want any more of the UFO stadiums landed in conflictive territories.
...alienated from basic questions in urban planning, environmental issues, mass transportation and contextual compatibility...
"the legacy will have an impact on people's everyday lives"
VLT - light vehicles on rails
PAC - Programa de Aceleracao do Crescimento
Maria Eduarda, 8, learnt to swim in the new sports centre at Rocinha slum
Project for the Acceleration of Growth - Footbridge designed by Niemeyer connects Rocinha's residents with the new sports centre
Rocinha, view of the sports centre
The new 'Rua 4', before a 1m wide path, now open and landscaped, with a view to Pedra da Gávea
2 perspectives
& argument
Massive Small
A major premise is that 'big' regeneration is not providing sufficient answers, and a challenge is to re-imagine how 'massive amounts of small' can enable local responses that offer more complex solutions, which are more resilient and adaptable to change over time.

Concepts of 'urban seeding' and 'plot based urbanism' were proposed, whereby it is possible for atomised elements to flourish within a broader guiding framework.
plot based urbanism
The approach does not require all interventions to be small, but larger developments should start from a consolidation of the small
Borneo Sporenburg in Amsterdam
New Islington, Manchester
examples of new ‘fine-grain’ development
“The emergence of true urban life, and therefore a flourishing society and a healthy local economy
is a consequence of the multiplier effect of many smaller responsive actions that lead to making MASSIVE SMALL change”
flexible, democratic, adaptable, robust, connected - physically and virtually,
bottom up and top down approaches
new ways to get local people involved in planning and designing their areas - technology: urban apps;
co-investment, social innovation, urban acupuncture
characteristics of condition making urbanism (process)
Mara Paludo - architect and urbanist
How can this impact the lives of these people?
key Literature in urban design addressing this approach:
It is not necessary to determine where to locate the pub, or how much retail space is required to sustain local community. A successful urban fabric needs no functional programme. In fact, diversity within a complex multi-use urban grain becomes the idea substitute for formal land-use planning. Alternative responses are then merely influenced by proximity of location or variety of place.
(smart, emergent, open source, collaborative, generative)
If we were to break away from the idea of the 'product masterplan' how could we create conditions for good places to evolve?
move away from large scale release to smaller plots
key drivers of smart urbanism
characteristics of condition making urbanism (urban form)
focus on product rather than place
new paradigm?
the plot as the root for diversity
add screenshot
product led
opportunity led
Full transcript