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Optimizing Urban Structure: Toward an Integrated New Urbanist Model - Evan Jones - CNU 17
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Optimizing Urban Structure: Toward an Integrated New Urbanist Model - Evan Jones - CNU 17


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  • The greater Diversity of Land Use in a traditional area like Subiaco provides more housing, lifestyle and employment choices for local residents whilst reducing the need to travel further for their needs.
  • C entres linear with strong movement economy, partly because of trams
  • Brisbane Inner West The through streets within the inner west follow the distinctive topography of ridgelines and water courses. Centres are plentiful and varied, located in accessible and often visible locations, generally at the intersections of the through streets. Larger centres are found on higher order streets, with smaller centres on less busy streets or along streets where adequately separated from neighbouring centres. Neighbourhood Structure A settlement structure comprising walkable neighbourhoods scaled on the 400 metre radius, five minute walk. Retail and commercial centres are at the centres of the circles. The drawing shows the close clustering of neighbourhoods, in some cases with significant overlap, while in others where there is less through traffic, less catchment and more parkland, spacings are closer to 1-1.2 km. Neighbourhoods marked with red tone from north to south, Paddington, Rosalie. Milton, Torwood, Toowong Town Structure The application of the to inner west of Brisbane. No model has pure application, but the characteristic Types can be observed. TOD Toowong Large Towns Ashgrove, Newmarket Small Towns Paddington.
  • Each TC is sized to its catchment and big enough to serve the catchment - no larger otherwise weakens other centres
  • Every single town centre worth its salt has its own catchment
  • Community and Commerce generally have always co-located within urban centers at intersecting trade routes, to their mutual benefits
  • When establishing public transport and movement networks, these networks should link and ‘feed’ every urban center (including neighborhood centers), with efficient public transport coverage, which will in turn augment economic feasibility. Except when they radially converge to a town or city center, public transport routes generally run straight and roughly parallel for maximum coverage and route efficiency between major destinations, generally spacing themselves no closer than about half a mile (800m), so that walking distance to transport stops is generally no more than about five minutes. An intersecting grid of such public transport routes (with multi-modal interchanges) often forms across a successful and expansive urban area
  • North Harlow- top left Stick the circle on and have Paul verify All have centres on the movement economy
  • ‘ Miller’ TC not on the movement 1/2 mile emulating DPZ or Perry Nu styling sprawl Austin CNU NU paradign but car dependent neighbourhoods
  • Systematically P Calthorpe - not more than 2,000 vpd - forces traffic out to arterials which forces them to be large which than forces couplets P Cathorpe - can’t make Neighbourhood centres work
  • Some might say the Jeffersonian Grid in America precludes this structure of smaller arterials spaced at 800m (half mile) and forces bigger arterials on America. Is it not actually a generally unrecognised US-wide problem that should be fixed? The diagram below shows how structured urbanism fits within the Jeffersonian mile grid
  • Timeframe incluson
  • From commerce and public transport
  • Transcript

    • 1. Optimizing Urban Structure: Towards an Integrated New Urbanist Model Adjunct Professor Evan Jones Brookfield Multiplex In collaboration with Chip Kaufman, Ecologically Sustainable Design, Melbourne CNU 17 June 2009
    • 2. Today’s discussion
      • There is an important debate underway amongst New Urbanists about the structuring of neighbourhoods with their movement networks and how their forming of larger corridors, towns and cities can optimize prosperity, public transport and urban sustainability .
      • This paper reviews traditional Australian structuring and its influence on the development of Australian New Urbanism. This content may reveal opportunities for improvement in the structuring of New Urbanism beyond Australia.
    • 3. Part 1 Australian Urban Models: Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane
    • 4. Australian Urban Models: Case Study # 1. Perth How Suburbs Work - Diversity
      • Diversity of Land Use
      • Connectivity
      • Permeability
      • Accessibility
      • Land Use
      • Diversity
      • Residential Densities
      • Worker Densities
      • Diversity of Lot Sizes
      • Energy Use
      Hillarys – Land use map Subiaco – Land use map
    • 5. Not only is the notional catchment for Hillarys much larger, there is also a greater proportion of the area (shaded red ) with no proximity to any centre at all. This area is highly car dependant on the Hillarys regional centre . Sprawl Suburb: Hillarys Traditional Suburb: Subiaco District Centre Town Centre The traditional Subiaco centre is smaller and supported by a cluster of neighbourhoods via direct transit connections. Subiaco as a result achieves much greater residential densities and employment self-sufficiency . Australian Urban Models: Case Study # 1. Perth How Suburbs Work - Self-Sufficiency
    • 6. 1 Mile Town and Neighbourhood Structure Australian Urban Models: Case Study # 2. Melbourne Town and Neighbourhood Structure Mile grid with half-mile arterials and a smaller permeable street network, to minimise need for arterial and retail gigantism
    • 7. 1 Mile Australian Urban Models: Case Study # 2. Melbourne Town and Neighbourhood Structure 1 Mile
    • 8. Australian Urban Models: Case Study # 2. Melbourne Town and Neighbourhood Structure
    • 9. Australian Urban Models: Case Study # 3. Brisbane Town and Neighbourhood Structure Brisbane Inner West Town Structure Neighbourhood Structure Streets, Centres, Open Spaces H illy terrain inspires ridge roads and deforms the grid
    • 10. Part 2 Integrated Urban Structuring in Australia
    • 11. 1. Walkable Neighbourhoods cluster together to form mixed use Towns Typically in the Australian Liveable Neighbourhoods structure, the mixed use town centre serves around 15,000 to 30,000 people, and is supported by six to nine neighbourhoods. It contains a main-street based convenience retail node ideally with two supermarkets, together with service businesses, substantial commercial uses, civic and recreational facilities. Typically one in ten towns within a metropolis enlarge to become a regional centre , and contain major hospital, civic, educational and office uses. It serves around 100,000+ people. Walkable Catchments and Bus Routes Ecologically Sustainable Design
    • 12.
      • Relatively full range of uses compatibly mixed in close proximity
      • Integrator arterial Road Network - no dividers
      • Neighbourhood Connectors
      • Street Network & Ped-sheds
      • Locating key land uses
      • Protecting heritage & environmental assets
      • Providing for parklands, schools and SUDS
      • Defining bus/fixed transit routes
      • Capitalizing on the movement economy
      • Locating and sizing centres
      2. Detailing a Town and Neighbourhood Cluster
    • 13. 3. Various ways for Walkable Neighbourhoods to cluster together to form Towns Near a freeway exit Along a major arterial Perpendicular to a main arterial At a waterfront
    • 14. 4. The Relationships between Town Centres and big Arterials A. Main Street at right angles to big arterial, often with rail station Jindalee TC Mungarie Park TC Point Cook TC B. Main Street parallel to big arterial - needs good local street links to core customers C. Main Street across corner of two big arterials
    • 15. 5. Regional Structuring Examples: Jindalee, North-West Corridor, Perth, WA 1996 Perth - Population: 1.4 million Highly-planned ‘sprawl’ in ever-extending corridors - an urgent need to change as transport networks are now predicted to fail Typical subdivision plans 1995 North-west Corridor Structure Plan
    • 16. Scenario A Rail along Freeway, on edge of urban corridor. National Park to east Scenario B Rail part way into urban corridor, along Connelly Drive Scenario C preferred Rail in the centre of the urban corridor 5. Regional Structuring Examples: Jindalee Regional Structure Scenarios
    • 17. Testing by design at the more detailed scale, then re-adjusting the regional structure as necessary 5. Regional Structuring Examples: Jindalee Town and Neighbourhood Structure
    • 18. Comparing Employment 5. Regional Structuring Examples Jindalee - Measuring Outcomes Conventional Design Population 29,259 Dwellings 9,753 Jobs Needed 14,629 Proposed Jobs 2,612 Containment Factor 18% Liveable Neighbourhoods Design Population 30,234 Dwellings 11,768 Jobs Needed 17,652 Proposed Jobs 11,306 Containment Factor 64%
    • 19. Two main remaining large growth areas totaling 26,000ha in the Sydney Basin, population 380,000 Joint public/private $7.8 billion infrastructure funding Regional structure now set, detailed design to be administered by new Growth Centres Commission and local Councils 5. Regional Structuring Examples: Western Sydney Urban Land Release 2003-05
    • 20. Consolidate and enhance key viable habitat fragments, remove others. Investigate spacing and linking of Town Catchments. Green network generally located between towns , not between neighbourhoods Preliminary urban/green Preliminary town locations 5. Regional Structuring Examples: South West Sydney – urban structuring
    • 21. Scenarios for Testing South West Sydney Final Adopted Plan Rail to Leppington - a new Regional Centre Bus transit boulevards to five town centres. Possible conversion of key route to LRT in future Walkable neighbourhoods with local centres and bus routes on local arterials Green network and heritage farms between towns Retail complementary instead of predatory
    • 22. Molonglo Valley, Canberra To ensure that places will work well, we need to design them out as pieces of cities and towns . The structuring approach is based on good examples of traditional cities, together with responses to current parameters. The town-scaled circle templates are a representation of what will work when adjusted to the site. Constraints must be interrogated to ensure urbanism is not fractured by green. 5. Regional Structuring Examples: Conclusion
    • 23. Part 3 International Practice
    • 24. “ It is no coincidence that Clarence Perry retreated to the centre, in a relatively isolationist, exclusive and defensive fashion, separating social institutions from the life of commerce which he kept on the edge. Oh, and by the way, he blew away Main Street in one fell swoop.” …Paul Murrain Perry identified a walkable neighbourhood based on a five minute walk from community facilities within the centre of a residential ‘cell’. The commercial elements were located at the junction of the arterial routes. This diagram separates Community within a ‘neighborhood center’ from Commerce along arterials outside the neighborhoods. The Perry Diagram
    • 25. Clarence Perry (1920’s) Traditional Neighbourhood Structure Perry interpreted through Traditional Neighbourhood Structure, with a cluster of four Perry Neighbourhood Units - now with local retail internalized away from the movement economy and town centres artificially externalized
      • Key problems:
      • Neighbourhood Centres are only a quarter mile from the Town Centre - too close to complement each other with neighbourhood centres usually failing
      • This diagram limits a Town Centre’s own walkable catchment
    • 26. Perry Transposed By transposing the Perry circles onto the movement economy and commerce , the Liveable Neighbourhoods structure becomes apparent, whereby a cluster of neighbourhoods supports a town centre . Only land expansive community uses such as large-format schools are located in the interstices between neighbourhoods .
    • 27. Routing Problem: with this diagram, Public Transport must either serve the town center along the main boulevard/s, or else also loop inefficiently through all four NCs, or both, all of which options will compromise transit times and services. Relative performance: Public Transport A Prototype for Heavy Rail with Feeder Buses: Bus routes feed each Neighbourhood Centre, en route through Town Centre, either running both north-south and east-west in an expansive region, or as localized ‘spider’ feeder route, supplementing heavy rail service
    • 28. 4 neighborhoods 8-9 neighborhoods (inc TC) Retail Performance: Twice the capacity to generate sufficient population to enable a relatively self-sufficient mixed-use town center, which can improve on the role of large conventional stand-alone centers Relative Performance: Centres
    • 29. North Harlow a UK examples of public transport feeding neighbourhood and town centers directly Plan courtesy of Paul Murrain Relative Performance: Centres
    • 30. Yard Houses Mueller Plan, Austin, Texas Courtesy of Roma Design Half-mile NC’s seem to be only parks in this plan, whose Movement Economy (main traffic flows) supports neither the NCs nor the Town Centre Neighbourhood Centres
    • 31.
      • Part of a larger supportive urban structure with an effective ‘pedshed’ to the centre
      • A corner store as the minimum facility for a neighbourhood centre.
      • Through streets with at least 5000-6000 total daily trips on them, serving around 1000 dwellings (ie. 17-20 dw/ha over 50-65 ha)
      • Corner stores typically small (150 -250sqm), and preferably combined with a multi-generational dwelling, and co-locating with childcare and home-offices and bus stop
      Strand Neighborhood Center, Melbourne, now operating Neighbourhood Centres Key Success Factors
    • 32. Transit Corridor from Sustainable Urbanism , by Doug Farr Attempts to illustrate transit for all modes - transit corridor bypasses neighborhood centers (only appropriate for heavy rail) 39 neighborhoods but only one city/town center, and difficult, with paired neighborhoods, for others to mature into a larger center/s, supported by smaller ones clustering to it. Regional Structuring Proposals
    • 33. The Urban Network/Regional Transportation Structure - Calthorpe
      • This network isolates neighbourhood centres from the Movement Economy and locates town centres without catchments:
      • The mile spacing induces bigger arterials and retail giganticism –Disconnecting neighbourhood centres a quarter-mile from the main movement economy kills off their retail viability – especially when traffic is kept
      • secondary arterial network needs to function to reduce arterial road size
      Regional Structuring Proposals
    • 34. Are Australia and the US different - the diagram shows how structured urbanism fits within the Jeffersonian mile grid. 1 mile Diagram courtesy of Peter Richards Regional Structuring Proposals – A Liveable Neighbourhoods alternative 1 mile
    • 35. NEW URBANISM (Project level) SUSTAINABLE GROWTH MANAGEMENT Urban, Transport and Natural Resource Context Projects Sustainable Growth Management Model Right Model + Planning Governance, Infrastructure & Finance Mechanisms Green and grey initiatives: water, energy, natural resources, materials, waste New Urban and Transport Coding available Still in many Local Government codes CONVENTIONAL (Sprawl)
    • 36. Conclusions
      • Walkable Neighborhood Centers are a fundamental and necessary component of sustainable urbanism, but how we structure them together will ultimately determine the effectiveness of The New Urbanism
      • Neighbourhoods should be clustered to form cities and towns based on transit to deliver on the promise of sustainable development
      • Don’t segregate community from commerce, as Perry seemed originally to advocate.