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Streets and Open Spaces

Lecture given at the Theory Series in the MA in Urban Design
by

Laura Novo de Azevedo

on 10 October 2016

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Transcript of Streets and Open Spaces

Open Spaces People's Places
revolution in street use
Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), one of the leaders of the modernist movement, was a Swiss architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities.
The present idea of the street must be abolished: DEATH OF THE STREET! DEATH OF THE STREET!
1960s
theories and ideologies began replacing tradition as the basis for development
Jane Jacobs
Kevin Lynch
Gordon Cullen
C. Alexander
1915...
- traditional street-block system discarded and replaced by super-blocks combined with a motorway system;

- urban streets give motorised movement priority; streets as part of public space system should be eliminated in a modern city;

- gigantic scale in urban space configuration, residential tower blocks situated in a sea of parks to achieve maximum sunlight, fresh air, and contact with nature.
Athen’s Charter of CIAM
manifesto of modern urbanism
common global feature:
people in city spaces have been increasingly poorly treated
threat to the social and cultural functions of the street
design principles being widely applied to change city spaces into places
never put together residences, worksplace, recreation and communication
never separate residences, workplace, recreation and communication
city scale
site scale
people scale
brief historical overview
consequences
spaces into places:
process & attitudes
examples
methodological implications
unified, citywide political intervention
the cost to invest in infrastructure for people is much lower compared to costs of healthcare and vehicular infrastructure
more roads lead to more traffic
city life is potentially a self-reinforcing process
city life is the number one city attraction
something happens because something happens because something happens
nothing happens because nothing happens because nothing happens
edges
the edges at ground floor define
the interaction between inside and outside
where city places meets building
to invite or to repel
If activities and people are assembled, it is possible for individual events to stimulate one another. Participants in a situation have the opportunity to experience and participate in other events. A self-reinforcing process can begin.
Integrate various functions in cities to ensure versatility, wealth of experience, social sustainability and a feeling of security in individual districts
Design city space so it is inviting, easily accessible and safe for pedestrian and bicycling traffic
Open up the edges between the city and buildings so that life inside the buildings and outside in city spaces can work together
Work to invite longer stays in city space because a few people spending much time in a place provide the same sense of lively space as many people spending only a short time.
12 quality criteria concerning the pedestrian landscape
designing the ground floor
'building open spaces that are so attractive that will drag people out'
integrated approach that prioritises people moving on foot or by bicycles
railway, metro/tram, bus, cycling networks, vehicular traffic, pedestrianised zones
traditional city
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) American-Canadian writer and activist with primary interest in communities and urban planning and decay. The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), a powerful critique of the urban renewal policies of the 1950s in the United States.
contemporary city
social forums
meeting place
value of people in city spaces
obesogenic environments
city spaces are built for people
city spaces are built for the car
(in developed countries)
City streets that developed as a consequence of necessary activities (trade, manufacturing, business)— now have more optional uses (retail, dining, cultural, recreation and leisure choices)
Le Corbusier, The Radiant City (1933), p. 124
1935
implications for urban form
Venice Charter
(1993)
1943
Buchanan, UK Department of Transport (1963) Traffic in Towns.

flyovers, the widespread use of single and double yellow lines to limit the intrusion of vehicles in town centres;
city centres flanked with multi-storey car parks;
one way streets and traffic restrictions;
separation of pedestrians and traffic (for the efficiency of traffic!), with clearly defined kerbs and pedestrian barriers;
People
“A citizen on a $30 bicycle is equally important to one in a $30,000 car”, declares Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Colombia.
how many how long
(planning tool for liveliness)
numbers
duration
some
Copenhagen:
Vicenza, Italy
The concept of the street as it had been known for millennia was exploded and discarded; walking would no longer serve as a utilitarian travel mode.
http://pedshed.net/?p=227
paradigm shift
Seoul (South Korea) before and after
The Dings, Bristol
Oxford Circus
New York City
millenia
centuries
permanent
temporary
city
landform, blue and green networks
street network
blocks
plots
buildings
decades/
centuries
decades
building layouts & uses
street furniture
street landscaping
years
Identifying and Measuring Urban Design Qualities Related to Walkability
http://www.activelivingresearch.org/files/FinalReport_071605.pdf
Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne
warned of the potential damage caused by the motor car, while offering ways to mitigate
definitions
Rule 1: Make every effort to accommodate the real needs of people. Do not forget the children, the elderly and the disabled. Prepare your plans and programs in cooperation with the public concerned. Urban planning and transportation planning is a social, psychological, economical, ecological, architectural and engineering job.

Rule 2: The prosperity of a city does not depend on private car traffic, but on accessibility in general, on the amenity of its streets and open spaces and – to put it more succinctly – on its genius.

Rule 3: Transportation and land use must be balanced. Mixed land use must be achieved to reduce journey distances. High density with mixed land use is effective from a transportation point of view. But don’t go beyond the limits of the rule.

Rule 4: Mathematical modeling of traffic behavior and traffic volumes is an important preparation for the decision making. But don’t stretch it beyond its limited validity.

Rule 5: Observe the environmental ranking of transportation modes: walking is preferable to cycling, cycling is preferable to public transit, transit is preferable to private car traffic.

Rule 6: Urban Streets are open spaces for the general public. Consider all functions of the street – social life, strolling around, providing access to buildings, as well as being a transportation facility for pedestrians, cyclists, public transit and private car.

Rule 7: With increasing density the needs of traffic regulations and their enforcement grow rapidly. Strict area-wide parking restrictions are the most effective measures to control traffic.

Rule 8: Most important, especially in high density areas, is urban design and architecture according to human scale. The design quality of a street helps to compensate for the environmental impact of car traffic.

Rule 9: The ground level of streets has to be primarily designed for pedestrians and cyclists, including wide sidewalks, bike lanes, and crossways over the driving lanes.

Rule 10: Provide more plantings and trees within the streets, including façade and roof planting, thus opening the sealed street surface, improving street climate and visual impression and hiding bad architecture.
Liveable Cities: The Ten Simple Rules of Urban Transportation Planning, by Hartmut Topp
http://livablecities.org/blog/ten-simple-rules-urban-transportation-planning-hartmut-topp
a combination of diet, sedentary lifestyles and low levels of active travel have created
paradigm shift
(re-definitions)
changes in users and functions of public spaces
consequences
spaces to places agenda
methodology & research
case studies

content
public [open] space relates to all those parts of the built and natural environment where the public has free access.
streets, squares and other rights of way, parks; and the ‘public/private’ spaces where public access is unrestricted
http://www.public.asu.edu/~mesmith9/1-CompleteSet/StanleyEtAl-OpenSpaces.pdf
1
2
3
changes to urban structure
(open spaces, housing typologies...)
Local Economy
improvements to public spaces can raise footfall and trading by up to 40%
it assumed the primacy of the car and consequently ignored other modes of urban transport—motorcycles, bicycles, buses, foot—that represented the majority forms of urban mobility.
http://tcbh.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/01/25/tcbh.hwq063.full
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/pubs/pdf/streets_people.pdf
+
qualities
The starting point of the social space (or street) is to define the experience that will occur there, is it to shop, relax, view something, play. Following this consideration is given to the kind of spaces required to do this, shops, cafes, amphitheatres and playgrounds. Only after this does the building come into the equation
encouraging cycling:
society, family and physical constrains
The Social Life of Small Urban Places
Whyte suggests that the greatest problem, especially in high density cities, is not the over-use of a public space, it is the under use.
(Whyte 1980)
Manual for Streets - Link & Place
Public realm: space we share with a lot of other people and other functions. Traffic is just one of those functions”
Hans Monderman, Netherlands
Dutch road traffic engineer
Sonnenfelsplatz in Graz, Austria
pioneered in the Netherlands in the 1970s and since spread throughout.
parking-free streets and shared space;
Superkilen is an innovative public park in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen, Denmark. Designed by the arts group Superflex with the collaboration of Bjarke Ingels Group and Topotek1

The High Line, New York
URBAN OPEN SPACES IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE:
A TRANSDISCIPLINARY TYPOLOGY AND ANALYSIS1
Carmona et al. (2008, p. 5)
urban design compendium
The Pedestrian Pound: the business case for better streets and places, Living Streets, 20 September 2013
Gehl
Times Square and Herald Square plazas
‘Negotiated Space’, ‘Shared-Space’, ‘Naked Streets'
Home-zones (Woonerf - 70s)
Clever use of brickwork used to outline the carriageway and crossing points and angle parking reduces carriage width
Large new development but retaining human scale and configured in the Woonerf style. Road layouts bendy and short reducing opportunity for acceleration and sight lines reduced to increase uncertainty and slow drivers.

streets
neighbourhood
parks
details
Creating Playful Environments
+
some
the placemaking agenda
places to stay
THINK OF STREETS AS PUBLIC SPACES
move from narrow perception of “streets as conduits for cars”
to thinking of “streets as places" to stay.
"Innovations" that became common in the UK landscape:
http://www.streetfilms.org/on-herald-squares-transformation-and-disappearing-traffic/
http://www.onestreet.org/images/stories/Disappearing_traffic.pdf
1.45
0.43
sustainable behaviour
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