Atlantis 22.2 urban form


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Issue #22.2 of Atlantis is an endeavour in exploring urban form by displaying passionate ideas and urban design projects. We explored form on all scales with the cultural aspects thereof, taking into consideration density, history, morphology, typologies, public space, urban techniques and transportation issues.
Chief-editor of volume 22 (2011)

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Atlantis 22.2 urban form

  1. 1. ATLANTIS #22.2 August 2011 Luisa Calabrese 04 Han Meyer 08 EMU Zhang Qinyi 12MAGAZINE BY POLIS | PLATFORM FOR URBANISM Meta Berghauser Pont 16 Dena Kasraian 20 Vertical Asia 22 Seog-Jeong Lee 27 Xiao Liang 30 Amy Casey 32 Erich Raith 35 Leo van den Burg 37 José Beirão 39 Hans Teerds 42 Samantha Salden 44 Shift A+U 47 Explore Lab 50 Martin Dubbeling 52 Stefan van der Spek 54 Posad 56 Taeke de Jong 60URBAN FORM 1
  2. 2. EditorialIn recent years, student work, as a reflection of the Urbanism department has, in The outline for Atlantis volume opinion, focused too little on urban form and too much on research and plan- If you have ideas and would like toning strategies. In the recent Archiprix 2011 competition for best graduate design contribute, please do not hesitate toplans the jury found it remarkable to notice the large amount of thick reports with contact us at quality studies. The jury stated: ‘The shift towards the academic in designeducation has moved the emphasis from the design itself to its theoretical under- #22.1 Urban Societypinning. That said, the tie-up between study and design is quite often under par. Keywords: society, regeneration, politics,At times it seems as though there are two projects, a book and a visual presentation, housing, neighborhood.whose relationship is unevenly balanced.” This is not an unprecedented incident, asjuries of earlier editions perceived the same problem. In 2010 the jury uttered: “For ATLANTIS #22.1 April 2011those entries that gave much thought to research the jury often has to conclude that MAGAZINE BY POLIS | PLATFORM FOR UBANISMthe design is relatively weak when compared to the preliminary study.” Especiallyin Urbanism projects the research is there, but at the cost of the urban design. “Thespatial design is weak and the urbanist as choreographer and designer is all but URBAN SOCIETY 1absent.” This might be an inconvenient message for our discipline but we shouldnot turn a blind eye to it. The need to develop the craftsmanship in forming urbanplaces clearly sets itself forth. In my opinion the knowledge of the repertoire, like #22.2 Urban Formprecise knowledge of building typologies with its logic of access, determining block Keywords: form, density, typologies,depths and buildings heights, understanding of the requisite interstitial spaces and design, public space, urban techniques.natural lighting, as well as exercise in designing well-proportioned urban spaces,should be practiced much more to develop this craftsmanship. ATLANTIS #22.1 April 2011 MAGAZINE BY POLIS | PLATFORM FOR UBANISM However, when looking at recent results of Archiprix, and the Europan,there seems to be a renewed interest in form, especially on the intermediate levelof scale. According to the latest Archiprix jury “the urban design specialism haselicited a batch of mature plans. After a period when the quality of its gradua- URBAN SOCIETY 1tion projects was a cause for concern, urban design seems now to be back in anew role amidst its fellow disciplines.” Issue #22.2 of Atlantis is an endeavour in #22.3 Urban Economyexploring this revival by displaying passionate ideas and urban design projects. Keywords: globalization, urban economy, competitiveness, branding, market, role ofWe explored form on all scales with the cultural aspects thereof, taking into urbanism, foreign direct investment.consideration density, history, morphology, typologies, public space, urban tech-niques and transportation issues. Luisa Calabrese will open this issue by provid- ATLANTIS #22.1 April 2011ing five provocative propositions about urban form. In an interview Han Meyer MAGAZINE BY POLIS | PLATFORM FOR UBANISMtalks about the core chair of Urban Design. Meta Berghauser Pont explainsthe measuring of urban form. Seog-Jeong Lee of Hanyang University in Seouldemonstrates the recently completed project on the future city form of Seoul. URBAN SOCIETY 1Eric Raith of TU Wien and Leo van den Burg both discuss historical formsand their present-day meaning in Vienna. José Beirão gives us an insight inparametric urban design, while Amy Casey, a talented painter from Cleveland #22.4 Urban LandscapeUSA, elaborates her expressive work on urban forms. In an interview, Saman- Keywords: landscape, metropolitan, ur-tha Salden of Notre Dame University pleas for the importance of building ban-rural, biodiversity, border forms. Stefan van der Spek discusses matters of public space, HansTeerds reviews a novel. Posad and Shift, young award winning offices, present ATLANTIS #22.1 April 2011 MAGAZINE BY POLIS | PLATFORM FOR UBANISMinteresting projects and insights derived from practice. Finally, Taeke de Jong ofTechnical Ecology and Methods will reflect on the topics discussed in this issue.Along these lines, the work of TU Delft urbanism students will be exhibited. URBAN SOCIETY 1Jasper Nijveldt2
  3. 3. From the boardAs Polis board we are proud to present to you the second Committees 2011Atlantis of this year, issue 22.2 Urban Form. The first issue We could not be as visible as we are without the greatshowed us the impact of the magazine and the important effort of a lot of active students. In the last 5 months Polisrole it has in exposing Polis as an active study association. was able to organize a big trip to Vienna, excursions toThe basis of our mission statement is ‘… to construct a net- Antwerpen and Amsterdam-Noord, a double lecture onwork for intellectual transmission within the Department digital urbanism, the Roadshow on sustainable planning,of Urbanism and beyond. Connecting students, research- a casestudy on Spoorzone Delft and several drinks. Theers and practitioners, by exposing and investigating con- board wants to thank all the people involved in this greattemporary affairs and academic ideology. We will do this achievement, and trigger you to join us!by means of a magazine, organizing excursions, lectures,debates, expositions and other activities’. Atlantis is a great Education. This is a new committee that organizesinstrument to expose and investigate, correlating the fields evaluation meetings in all the directions of Msc educa-of education, research and practice. It has developed itself tion. Especially in these times of cutting down budgets,into an important part of our platform and supporting our our education is under great pressure and therefore weaims of this year. The second Atlantis of this year means should keep sharp and critical. Jenny Nauta & Noorthat we are already halfway our board year. Polis has organ- Scheltemaized a lot of different activities in the last 5 months andbecame an even livelier part of the Urbanism department Urbanism Week. This is another new committee,again. The Urban BBQ of June 29th is probably the best responsible for setting up the Urbanism Week 2011. Theexample of this transformation. Regardless of the start of Urbanism Week is organized by a big group, but alwaysholidays around 40 students of all sorts of disciplines and looking for others to join! Tülay Zivali, Arie Stobbe,nationalities joined us in the Delftse Hout! Jorick Beijer, Karien Hofhuis, Vera Konings, Tim Ruijs, Noor Scheltema.Meanwhile Polis is extremely busy in organizing theUrbanism Week 2011. The theme of Urbanism Week Big Excursion. After the great success of the big trip to2011 is: so, you are an urbanist?! This is an open ques- Vienna this committee has unfortunaltely stopped aftertion, sharply reflecting on the importance of the urban- the graduation of its members. From here we want toism discipline, looking back, but more importantly look- thank Maike Warmerdam, Alicia Schoo and Liselotte vaning into the future: What is your discipline? What does der A for all their effort! Interested in organizing a newthe ‘urban’ do for you? What is the profession really big excursion? Let us know!about? We can proudly confirm the participation ofspeakers such as Alfredo Brillembourg, Edward Soja, Lectures. This committee is looking for new enthousi-Rene Boomkens, Alexander DHooghe, Maarten Hajer, asts! Let us know if you want to join them and organizeTess Broekmans and Adriaan Geuze. Next to this Atlan- more interesting lectures! Remmelt Oosterhuis, Sylketis magazine you will find a flyer with more detailed Koumans & Thomas Paul.information. For updates, backgrounds and registrationplease visit: Small Excursion. The small excursion committee will be losing some members in September so is of course lookingFor us it is of big importance to keep close contact with our to fill those gaps. More people means more creativity andmembers. The new Polis website is our main platform for possibilities! Hannah Cremers, Gijs Briet, Andre Kroese,sharing information. Besides this we put effort in keeping Verena Roell & Wieke Villerius.our Facebook and Linkedin pages as up to date as possible.These are great places to interact and share your fascina- Borrel. Maaike Zwart, Nazanin Hemmati, Ani Ska-tions. Keep in touch! chokova & Laurens de Lange.Urban greetings from the Polis board 2011, Atlantis. Jasper Nijveldt, Edwin Hans, Jan Wilbers, JanJorick Beijer, Karien Hofhuis, Vera Konings, Tim Ruijs & Breukelman, Yu Zhang, Mike Yin, Wang Jue & SangNoor Scheltema Huyn Lee. 3
  4. 4. A key and a hero1An essay on the current state of urban design luisa maria calabrese‘Urban design is a powerful tool. It plays a key role in the Planning: accommodating quantities, solving technicalformulation and realization of strategic urban projects. It is problems through sound technical solutions, satisfyinga crowbar for innovation and a gate to unexpected solutions. the market demands and speculating on ‘new’ urbanIt has the capacity to serve as a medium for negotiation and identities through the experimentation of ‘new’ urbanconsequently leads to strong, stimulating and simultaneously models3. The motto was and is ‘order, control, techniqueopen-ended plans, leaving margins for evolution and adapta- and economic feasibility’; all of this lately spiced up withtion; contradictions can transcend into productive paradoxes. a flavor of ‘sustainability’, the unavoidable byproduct ofWhile urban design is the ‘key’ to the strategic urban pro- global issues.ject, the ‘hero’ is urban space itself. No matter how good anurban design might be, in the end it is merely addressing the This awkward situation begs a number of questions.endless capacity of and possibilities existing space offers, such In the best academic tradition I offer five propositionsas making use of the resourcefulness of space and the medi- regarding two specific questions: the possible role ofating capacity of space, strategic urban projects deal with urban design in contemporary (Dutch) urbanism andurban space and urbanity remaining, by definition, related the role we (urban planners and urban designers) couldto an urban place. Organisation, servicing and management play in ongoing planning processes. I choose my posi-of city form are consequently the main tasks for urban policy tion. I challenge you to single out yours.and fundamental dimensions for a vast majority of strategicurban projects. They are structured in a manner by which proposition 1the essential principles and concepts – derived from the spe- There is no present and no future for Urban Planningcifics of the context as well as related to an interpretation of without Urban Design.sustainability – are not lost.’Bruno de Mulder et al., A Project of Projects (2004: 196) Planning through politics, policies and bureaucracy is doomed to fail. The present Dutch situation speaks forThis issue of Atlantis highlights the ‘old question’ of itself. The Ministry traditionally appointed to produceurban form and the role of Urban Design2 within it. large-scale planning policies, countless paperwork andThis is not without reason. In the past decades remark- toolboxes lost its raison-d’être and has been shut down4.ably negative opinions were voiced on the urban con- Infrastructure Planning wins 1-0 on Urban Planning;dition and particularly on public space. In the 1990s and even worse than that, public money is currentlyMichael Sorkin’s well known Variations on a theme invested in road development instead of in improvingpark was given the subtitle ‘The end of public space’. public transportation. People’s needs and people’s voicesSoon thereafter Rem Koolhaas spoke of the ‘evapora- are unheard, whilst developers and politicians talk end-tion of public realm’ in his cult essay The Generic City, lessly. Effective normative tools are missing, especiallyand Bruce Robbins named his book The phantom of at those scales of design and interventions where it’spublic realm. all about ‘quality of life’. Historical heritage is usually considered a burden; therefore demolition is easier thanThis wave of publications has made it seem as if urban restoration. Urban composition is arbitrary, even unnec-form – of which public space is the most targeted aspect essary when developers and politicians are satisfied with– has suffered permanent erosion and loss of qual- the allocation of functions. Urban Design disappears andity, and is no longer a matter of concern to Urbanism. Architecture takes over. ‘It’s all about the process’, theyTrue? True. We do not need to take overseas exam- say. Should we still believe it? Recent history teaches usples to admit it. We just need to open the window and that only a few of those planning processes survive thelook outside. The Dutch case – with a few exceptions – ‘polder model’ and finally get built5.shows that the making of the modern and contemporary I usually dislike catastrophic thinking and especiallycity has been characterized mainly by basic pragmatism writing about urbanism, however the present and espe-and bird-eye views. Four concerns were, and in my cially the future of our cities and territories ask for aview still are, leading decision making in Dutch Urban radical change. In my view, urban designers need to get4
  5. 5. more engaged in realizing such change through designknowledge, which means producing fewer words andmore meaningful drawings. Design is engagement.Design is politics. A better urban form needs participa-tion, smartness, quality and flexibility. A durable urbanform needs durable design. We need to stop supportingblue print planning and big promises. It’s time to focuson creating tangible facts on the ground. In order to doso we should learn to do many things at the same time:we should have the courage to test our ideas in con-crete and detailed design (each scale asks for a differentknowledge!) even when we are not asked to do so, to runrisks, and to anticipate the future by means of meticu-lous scenarios. Urban designers need to enter fearless and aggres-sively into the arena of the real challenges, confronting,contemplating, setting the agenda and engaging thedialogue. Urban designers need to re-think their pos-sible role(s) within the actual planning processes. Mostof the tools we need to influence Urban Design in prac-tice with, exist within the present planning system, but Figure 1. Project from Vertical Cities studio, more info on page 22.we are not explicit enough in using them. It’s our taskto make Urban Design evident and effective. We must knowledge by communication and participation. Urbanas well show the awareness that creating quality spaces design is also a tool for negotiation towards a workableinvolves more than just us. Other roles involved in synthesis of conflicting realities. Design helps in the for-making a development happen also have an influence on mation of agreements and becomes, in some instances,the environment and this is often forgotten. a legal instrument. Thus, urban design is an essential component that steers the entire development process ofproposition 2 strategic urban projects.Urban Design is an inevitable necessity. Urban design is premised upon a fundamental rethink-Realizing strategic urban projects sounds almost like a ing of the discipline of urbanism following the ‘crisis’mission impossible. They have to comply with an entire of modernist planning methods in the post-war welfarerepertoire of difficult criteria. A strategic urban project state and various self-critical reflections that occurredhas to be structural, multi-dimensional, visibly inno- amongst professionals in the 1970s and 1980s. Unlikevative and beautiful. The recent developments in the the modernist master plan, urban design in general anddesign discipline offer some necessary help. The rein- the strategic urban project in particular, are not consid-vention and resurrection of urban design over the past ered final. On the contrary, they are seen as intermediatefifteen to twenty years has reinvigorated the field by steps, mediums that explore the potential of urban sites,reformulating the roles and methods of urban design. allow for the achievement of qualitative consensus, andExperiments and projects in a wide range of contexts safeguard and accentuate existing spatial qualities. Theyand situations have demonstrated the essential role of are structured in a manner by which the essential princi-urban design – proved through the development of stra- ples and concepts – derived from the specific reading andtegic urban projects. The fact that urban design literally opportunities of sites – are not lost throughout the longcontributes to shaping the city is evident – it deals with and complicated development process, while also allow-forms, the quality of urban space and built form. At the ing for flexibility to deal with changing circumstances.same time, there are a series of other tasks for urban Urban design, vision-making and strategic urban pro-design that are perhaps less visible, but by no means less jects start as ‘designerly’ research. The process is initi-important. Urban design is more inclusive than design ated by a penetrating reading of the site, in which its his-of objects as such. Urban design is investigative and can tory, characteristics, the structural grounding of the sitebe termed ‘design by research,’ which, amongst other in the urban morphology and the problems and oppor-things, includes the acquisition and use of local social tunities of the given urban site are analysed. Designerly 5
  6. 6. research explores the identity of the study area and crea- have territorial effects outside its area of intervention (detively speculates upon the possibilities to reorganise or Solà-Morales, 1989). Each urban project must have thedevelop the site with qualitative urban spaces and urban ambition to constitute a partial contribution to a consistentactivities. A variety of fields of knowledge are deployed overall strategy. The formulation of this wider strategyin this analysis: urban history and morpho-typology, can be considered a project in itself. This wider strategy isurban ecology and landscape, societal issues, such as the what Busquets has called a ‘project of projects’, a concretepower game of decision-making or processes of inclu- demonstration of the way in which local projects can besion and exclusion, architecture and urbanism, and, last part of a wider constellation of projects. This distinctionbut not least, local social knowledge concerning daily life between projects and ‘projects of projects’ correspondsin particular places. From the initial stages, architectural to what in the French tradition is understood by ‘pro-knowledge is present as a way to question the existing jets urbains’ and ‘projects de ville’ respectively. A ‘projetrealities and spatial structures and the desired interplay urbain’ is the expression of concrete intentions to go outbetween future urban space and urban functioning. This and build an urban fragment. Projets de ville, in contrast,type of research work oscillates between analysis and are as such not realized. Apart from not-counting excep-synthesis, between vision and action, between intuition tions, one does not make cities, but one builds parts, bitsand rationality, between the global scale of the city and and pieces. However, as argued by the ‘urban project’ tra-the actual scale of a building, and between an existing dition, that in itself should not keep us from developingand desired spatial structure. projects for the city, from reflecting on the future form of the city, from constructing ‘projets de ville’ as the horizonpropositions 3 for and the context in which fragmentary projects can beIf we do not re-learn how to design at the intermediate evaluated (De Meulder, et al., 2004). This view concursscale Architecture will soon erase Urbanism. with Salet’s (2006) definition of strategic projects as stra- tegic devices with collective missions, visions and plans,Is design one whole from the spoon to the city? Most attempting to settle or stimulate certain joint courses inarchitects would answer yes. What is the answer of individual actions.urbanists? The idea that architects would pursue,throughout their career, a multidisciplinary/multi-scaleproduction is not a new one: they have always looked "Most urbanism students lack indeedbeyond the boundaries of their discipline, appropriatingmaterials, methods and processes from other industries not only design knowledge, but alsoas needed. Often in history they disguised themselvesas artisans, scientists, artists and philosophers all at the basic design skills to be able to work atsame time. In the 1920’s, the Bauhaus founder WalterGropius famously declared that architects should design the intermediate scale."everything. His school cultivated a totalizing conceptin which Architecture was only one aspect of design. Itpromoted the idea of the architect as someone who could The city produces grey by itself. Strategic urban projectsand would design buildings, cities and objects all with are of no use if they only add to the greyness of the city.the same involvement6. On the contrary, strategic urban projects must make a fundamental difference and in that sense they are usu-Contemporary (Dutch) Urbanism thinks differently. ally very visible. They change the face and perceptionScale matters only if it is big. Design matters only when of the city. Strategic urban projects are indicators ofit is regional and metropolitan. Processes are ‘designed’ future development, producers of identity. They supportmore than the physical world is. No hidden or manifest and strengthen the identity of the city and its inhabit-ambition to ‘design a spoon’ in urbanism. Why? ants. This characteristic necessitates considerable design In his essay Urbanism at the turn of the century (2000), skills and aesthetic sensibilities, qualities that are oftenJoan Busquets talks clearly about the importance of the neglected in urban development initiative.intermediate scale in contemporary urbanism, the scale ofthe urban project. According to Busquets the urban pro- propositions 4ject is a type of project that focuses on an urban fragment, Urban form goes beyond morphology. Urban form isas a starting point for tackling wider ranging problems in about the use that people make of space and the meaningthe city. It is situated on an intermediate scale and should they attach to it.6
  7. 7. The city should express the needs of the people and the large-scale issues, the planning and technical aspectsrespond to them, including the need to build up a collec- are openly privileged upon design. A few quick insightstive memory. By analyzing existing places and the com- in what (urban) design is are offered, however there isplex relationships between their constituent parts we not enough space and time to elaborate in depth on whycan learn to recognize and create the qualities of a rich (urban) design is a powerful tool to steer planning pro-and stimulating urban environment. This means on all cesses. There’s no time to reflect-in-action9, neither toscales, on all levels of scale, a city should accommodate find out why “urban design is the ‘key’ to the strategicchange with respect to the past, present and future. urban project and why the ‘hero’ is urban space itself”. On the other hand, a city consists of certain scale (De Mulder, 2004).levels. Each level should have a structure that accommo- Notesdates change in the next level. Each structure should be 1 I borrowed this title from an essay by Bruno de Mulder et al., A Project of Projects (2004: 196).precious to the ones who use it. For example, the scale 2 One important aspect of urban form is the way urban programs are shaped on the ground,level of the neighborhood should have precious street in other words, the way they are composed and ‘designed’ in order to be used.patterns and accommodate changing use of the streets. 3 The Dutch New Towns, the Vinex, American style CBD’s, etc..The street should be precious in its own. As well as 4 After over thirty years the Dutch Ministry of Housing and Planning (VROM) has beenbuildings should be. merged with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructures in 2010. 5 Examples of lengthy processes are the South Axis in Amsterdam and the missing link of the A4 motorway in Midden Delfland.propositions 5 6 In Italy the method ‘Dal cucchiaio alla citta’ (“From the spoon to the city”, Ernesto Rogers,Designing at different scales should be taught consistently 1952) was born precisely from the meeting between the nascent Prussian industry and thethroughout the curriculum to all students at our faculty, visionary educational model developed in Dessau. This utopian sentence defined an attitude that Italian designers have developed and sustained since the 1950’s. This philosophy foundnot only to architects. its ground in the optimistic belief that a newly-born industrial production once applied to Architecture would be able to produce a better and more affordable standard of living for many people. This social approach was deeply engaged in the political dialogue with a grow-Lately I noticed a blooming production of toolboxes7 ing post-war country in need of progress. A famous example of this design philosophy wasand oversized metropolitan strategies as main subjects of the light switch that Castiglioni designed in 1968 for VLM, which he used to call “his littleour graduating students in the Urbanism master track. secret”, because this easily missed piece of inexpensive hardware was for him the ultimate anonymous design typology that improved the quality of life in millions of European apart-Sadly few of them choose to develop a project, I mean, ments.a design project well-articulated at different scales 7 Toolboxes are catalogues of standardized rules for urban (re)development and a methodol-of interventions, from strategic planning to convinc- ogy to apply strategic design. At first I thought that the reason 8 I say ‘most of’ as we can see a clear difference in design knowledge and skills between MSc students who were previously trained as architects (abroad) and students coming from ourwhy this happens is that there is not enough interest in own Bachelor, especially at the intermediate scale. I thought 9 In this well-known book Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design forthat the notion of urban form is outdated, as it’s all about teaching and learning in the professions (1987), Donald Schön argues that professional edu- cation should be centered on enhancing the practitioner’s ability for “reflection-in-action”,planning processes. that is “ learning by doing and developing the ability for continued learning and problem However, talking and working with our students, solving throughout the professional’s career”.I realized that design knowledge is what is missing at Referencesspecific scales, not their interest. Most urbanism stu- Busquets, J. (2000) Urbanism at the turn of the century. BNSP, The Fifth Van Eesteren/Vandents8 lack indeed not only design knowledge, but also Lohuizen lecture 2000, Amsterdam, pp. 3–20basic design skills to be able to work at the intermediate Calabrese, LM (2006). Urban eyes; het stedelijk project en de stedenbouwkundige dienst.scale. That’s why, when it’s time to choose a graduation Stedebouw & Ruimtelijke Ordening, 04 (2006), 1-5theme or Lab, they mostly go for a toolbox instead of for Claessens, F., & van Velzen, E., (2006). De Actualiteit van het Stedelijk Project. Stedebouw & Ruimtelijke Ordening, 4, 32-37a strategic project. One explanation to this – in my view De Sola Morales, M. (1989) Another modern tradition. From the break of 1930 to the mod-- embarrassing situation is ‘what you teach is what you ern urban project. In: Lotus, No. 62, pp. 6–32get’. Is it a matter of curriculum structure and content? De Sola Morales, M. (1987) La secunda historia del proyecto urbano. In: Urbanismo Revista,It might be. On the other hand, it’s also a matter of offer No. 5, pp. 21–40and demand. Students should learn to firmly ask for Koolhaas, R. (1994) “What Ever Happened to Urbanism?”, in S,M,L,XL, OMA, (with Bruce Mau), The Monicelli Press, New York, 1995, pp. 959/971.what they need to become professionals who are capa- Meyer, H., Hermans, W., & Westrik, J., (1998). Stedebouw onder Nieuwe Voorwaarden:ble of seeing the city from multiple viewpoints and who Stedelijke Transformaties in Amsterdam, Rotterdam en Den Haag. In Bekkering, H.,relish working with interdisciplinary teams. et. al, Stedelijke Transformaties: Actuele opgaven in de stad en de rol van de stedebouwkundige discipline, Delft, Delft University Press, 73-93 Rossi, A., (1966). L’Architettura della Città, Padua, Marsilo.From our (teachers) side, we should reflect upon our Salet, W., (2006). Framing Strategic Urban Projects. In Salet, W., & Gualini, E. (eds.),choices as educator. In my view, the present curriculum Framing Strategic Urban Projects: Learning from Current Experiences in Europeanchooses for a vision of urbanism as a pure process, where Urban Regions, Oxon, Routledge, 3-20. 7
  8. 8. The fundamentals of Urban Design and the permanent ‘crisis’ Han MeyerIn the previous Atlantis issue we interviewed Prof. Dr. to budget cuts, because as a department Urbanism hasVanstiphout on the new chair Design as Politics. For this grown a lot, having more professors than Architecture,Urban Form issue we approached Prof. Han Meyer much to their dismay. Which seems off: when comparingof the chair of Urban Design, theory and methods. This the number of Master students, Urbanism has only a frac-chair focuses on Urban Form, how urban form in the tion of that at Architecture. We can argue why this is notNetherlands is perceived, influenced and taught and how so surprising, especially in the past much more researchit can be designed and transformed in actual practice. was carried out at Urbanism and we are not only here forHan Meyer explains the background of the chair and the sake of the Master students, but for a larger audience.the profession in light of the Dutch context. He gives his Either way, we will have to shrink down, which will probablyviews on the relation between Architecture and Urban- mean that when De Hoog leaves, we lose that niche in theism and provides insight into his education and research. regional scale. There might be other ways to get this back,The main line running through the interview is that the but I can’t say too much about that at the moment.’absence of a strong common sense on the fundamentalsof the discipline is an important reason that Urbanism in ‘Not only is it hard to translate “Stedenbouwkundingitself has never been a self-evident discipline and finds Ontwerpen” linguistically, but also because what we callitself permanently in crisis. That is why the core-business Urban Design in the Netherlands hardly exists abroad. In aof the chair is focused on the research, teaching and lot of other countries there is actually a very strong sepa-publishing of the fundamentals of urbanism. We con- ration between Urban Design which is the specific designclude the interview with a list of books that are a source of the urban projects, and what is immediately calledof inspiration to Han Meyer. Urban Planning, mainly focusing on zoning and operating on a more abstract level related to Urban Economy. TheBACKGROUND OF THE CHAIR idea that you can make a design for a very large area that‘To explain what the chair of Urban Design stands for, I includes a street plan, a worked out allotment plan, andfirst need to dwell upon the name Urban Design. This is even includes guidelines for building heights, form andimportant because for as long as I have been with the chair size of the buildings with their programmatic layout, that iswe have had the discussion on how to translate Stedebou- actually typically Dutch.’wkundig Ontwerpen into English. The essential idea in thelate 80’s was that Urban Design is a field that has to deal ‘The development of this Dutch discipline has everythingwith both theoretical and methodological aspects and for to do with the development of the Dutch territory, whichthat you need a core chair, which is the chair that I cur- as a delta could only be made inhabitable by approach-rently hold. Aside from that two more chairs are required ing it very systematically. Systematic in the sense of anto cover the more specific niches. Henco Bekkerings chair, immediate spatial and technical division, something whichStadsontwerp, is called Urban Design with the idea that it emerged already in the 15th and 16th century and muchfocuses mainly on the lower scale in relation to Architec- stronger here than in other countries. This is also theture and the urban project. The larger regional scale is cov- reason our discipline has at least as much overlap withered by the chair which is held by Maurits de Hoog.’ Civil Engineering as with Architecture. In other countries you see that Urban Design is actually an enlarged form of‘This idea is still relevant. However it has to be revised due Architecture, because there Urban Design originated from8
  9. 9. the Architecture faculty. It is pretty much the largest scale rything that has to do with it, something we don’t reallythat Architecture can handle, and when it gets bigger you teach anymore. Students who are graduating now andend up in Geography and Spatial Economy. come across traffic design assignments still have to dis- Here in Delft it emerged not only from Architecture, but cover very basic aspects like dimensions of roads, turningalso strongly from the Civil Engineering faculty. From those circles for parking, etc. These are basic skills that studentstwo niches something emerged in the 20-30s that was should already be equipped with. I think there should becalled Urbanism and Urban Design. This particular histori- a very clear distinction between the fundamental aspectscal development needs to be explained abroad as to what and a cloud of other aspects that are interesting and canwe mean here by Urban Design. It is very difficult to put be added. Perhaps we should work on that more andjust one title on your business card. restore that balance. In terms of education this distinction At a given moment we thought of Urban Compositions is not always clear, especially in a situation where everyoneas a term because it explains partially that it’s about spatial finds they have something important to say, and in whichcompositions, about spatial form and about structure. Then we are perhaps too democratic and liberal by giving eve-again, lately I am more inclined to just say Urban Design; ryone their say.’perhaps it is better to say Urbanism. I’ll leave the exacttranslation up to you.’ BACKGROUND AND CRISIS ‘A lot of things are changing and to be honest I think‘In the last twenty or thirty years, research in Urbanism urbanism is permanently in crisis, which is actually quitewas for an important part comprised of Spatial Planning logical. You have to realize that urbanism has never reallyresearch, so the influence and occasional dominance of been self-evident, both as a discipline here at the school,what is normal in Anglo-Saxon countries is something that as to how the discipline emerged in the Netherlands. Inwe did not entirely escape from. We from the urban design the period when the BNS (Union of Dutch Urbanists)angle also did research of course, but did not have such a was founded and the large cities started to get their ownlong tradition in the publishing and making of articles and planning departments, there was an enormous discussionthe like. Therefore the bulk of this came from the Spatial going on, and there were many doubters concerning thePlanning corner. If you go back even further, before the sense of special organizations on urban design and urbanmiddle of the 20th century and partly during the fifties, planning. Currently, a large change is taking place in thethen you do see that the profession contained all sorts of Netherlands concerning the tradition of project basedaspects from Civil Engineering, but also a lot of things typi- development, a process which entails the development ofcal for the University of Wageningen, like soil studies and neighborhoods all the way through to completion of thevegetation studies. Those courses were all part of the cur- last dwelling. This tradition was built up predominantly inriculum, but disappeared over time. When I studied here in the 20th century, culminating in the 80 — 90s with thethe seventies we still had a course on site preparation, but VINEX developments. With the help of the crisis this tradi-when I came back twenty years later it had disappeared.’ tion is now coming to an end. It’s essential to say ‘with the help of’ because arguments against this approach to theFOCUS OF THE CHAIR profession have existed for long, but are being taken much‘One of our main projects now is called “de Kern van de more serious now. They have everything to do with pleasStedenbouw”, or “the essence of urbanism”, in which we Carel Weeber held twenty years ago for more freedom toask ourselves what the fundamentals of our profession small private initiative, and calls for more flexibility in theare and in what ways this is relevant for now and for the urban economy and culture. Conditions should be createdfuture. What we basically state is that an important aspect that allow all sorts of developments to flourish, rather thanof the essence is knowledge of the more technical aspects fix everything now, pouring the plan into a casting mold.of the profession, and the ability to deal with specialists In our book series on the kern van de stedenbouw, onefrom different technical specializations. This way you don’t of the important messages we try to convey is that for abecome completely dependent on the demands of the civil very long time Dutch Urbanism consisted of an approachengineering experts which might be difficult to translate in which a very strong spatial form is designed, but withininto the urban plan. With some basic knowledge you can which there are still a lot of possibilities for private initiative.provide both rebuttal to and a better integration of these So the post war period in which the approach of strictdemands. The same goes for traffic engineering and eve- planning and the management and control of the overall" be honest I think urbanism is permanently in crisis" 9
  10. 10. shape of very large areas came into vogue is actually a it a) is realised, and b) also functions well…’sort of intermezzo if you look at the longer term. That’swhy it’s very relevant to look at this tradition again in the ‘I happened to read an article recently in de Groenecoming period, not to copy all sorts of old forms but to Amsterdammer, in which IJburg was enormously patron-learn from certain principles, to rearrange these to be used ized. They interviewed residents stating ‘it’s boring, there’sin the 21st century.’ nothing to do on the streets, it’s empty, there are street kids terrorizing the place’. I think the case of IJburg was aARCHITECTURE VS URBANISM clever move by the municipality of Amsterdam in order to‘I think that by definition architects are interested in the meet the very high residential demand of people to live incity, and that they have always tried to intervene and even Amsterdam and moreover I think the urban design is oneclaim parts of the terrain of Urbanism. That issue is as old of the best examples of recent urban design in the Nether-as the difference between Architecture and Urbanism. But lands. However every new neighbourhood just needs timein principle an architect designs buildings whereas the to become a real part of the city. First there is the wholeessence of Urbanism is to design conditions for the place- building process, which in the case of the harbour islandment of buildings in such a manner that it also benefits the IJburg actually went quite fast: it took only fifteen yearscommunity as a whole, instead of just the private owners from the first design to construction. But to allow this dis-of buildings. My predecessor Jan Heeling explained this trict to develop itself into a living part of the city severalvery clearly for the first time in his inaugural speech: the more decades will be necessary.’distinction between architecture and urbanism is directlyrelated to the distinction between private and public. ‘On a very general note I think it is very important for cities The hard part is that you have two things to consider. If a that they retain sufficient critical mass, to prevent whatproject is being executed and buildings are realized within is happening now in American cities like Detroit. Detroita couple of years, the short-term interests in an urban plan obviously is a very radical example, but then again thisare often about the connection of these buildings to the decay permanently threatens a city like Rotterdam. Whenpublic space. At the same time you have to consider the the critical mass of the population declines below a cer-long term. What will happen in and to those buildings? The tain threshold limit, it directly affects the retail sector, cin-program can change over time and become something emas, health centres, hospital, etc. The city will then entercompletely different in ten to twenty years, on the other a downward spiral, for instance in large parts of Americanhand even whole buildings can be replaced. But once an cities there is simply nothing to do. The collective inter-urban plan has been designed it is much harder to change, est of a community is very directly related to maintainingso before you actually can start talking about the trans- a critical mass in a city, and that can only be maintained byformation of an urban area a lot of time has passed. The keeping the city attractive. This is a very direct challengeimportant thing with an urban design is that it has to con- for urban design: to ensure that the whole does not falltain a high degree of durability, in the sense that it has to apart and if possible, to condense it.’last long and should be able to absorb all kinds of changes.’ EDUCATION AND RESEARCH‘Related to that, in one of the first lectures of the urban ‘Lately Im more involved in the graduation studio Delta Inter-fundamentals I state: if you want to become famous, you’d ventions, which is more about the relation between urbanbetter not become an urban designer. Because for most design and the very large task of the delta programme howpeople a building is very recognisable, but the fact that to control the delta. When you add up all of the componentsthere is an urban design is often taken for granted. ‘Yes, of the delta programme a huge spatial transformation of theof course there are streets and the buildings are in a row Netherlands is not unlikely, but you have to take care that– or not.’ That those things have been thought out, that it won’t turn into something horrible. The main question is:people carefully drew it all is not so obvious. But when how can you be on top of that, guide the process and usethere is suddenly a very strange or special building pop- this transformation to your advantage. Let’s embed waterping up, the reaction is much more clear and the building is management and flood protection in such a way that we aredirectly associated with the name of the architect. To sum left with better pieces of city and up Urbanism has to face two aspects that are not always In my research there are actually two main lines, whicheasy. The first is this lack of recognition and the second is are related to one another. The first is about the essenceits long term character. With a bit of luck, a building is com- of urbanism, focusing on how our profession really devel-pleted within a few years and the architect sees the result oped and what the meaning of that is for the future. A veryof his work. Concerning the urban design however, before important part of that is the Dutch situation, which at the10
  11. 11. same time is the second line. Over time our profession has down.’ As Hurricane Katrina passed through the Gulfalways been intertwined, how can you exploit that inter- Coast region, New Orleans’ federal flood protectionconnectedness in the future, taking into account that we failed: 80% of the city flooded. ‘There is this doublehave had to build our cities in a marshy delta and also have assignment: how to make a clever new water manage-to keep developing them in the future. That last part, the ment system and how to get the city back, inhabited byforward-looking research is actually the most important, and functioning for its citizens. This is a very honourablewhich I try to develop together with a number of PhD stu- task, but just as important is that this task gets properlydents. We would like to combine the layer approach (often addressed here in the Netherlands. We are thereforeused as a pictogram but forgotten shortly thereafter) with working on a project commissioned by NWO, which isa scenario approach: to investigate what developments in the Dutch organization for scientific research, to developthe long term are both possible and conceivable in climate a methodology for integral planning and design in theand spatial change and how those two should be interwo- South-Western delta, the area between Rotterdam andven. On that level of scale it is vital to develop a robust Antwerp. This is necessary because we observe that thenew spatial structure which at the same time allows great specialized sector-approach still reigns in our nation’sflexibility in its use. Combined with the small-scale oppor- spatial policy. There are nature people, water people, porttunities of city and surrounding (water) landscape this is people, safety people, urban planners, and so on. In thisactually the central theme the graduation studio Delta specialization trend it is increasingly difficult to develop aInterventions tries to address.’ kind of integrated approach for a spatial area like a delta.’ Since this integration is one of the fundamental aspects‘As a consortium named Dutch Dialogues comprised of of Urbanism, you could say that this too adds up to theurbanists, civil engineers and engineering and design importance of reconsidering the fundamentals of Urban-firms from practice, we were asked to help reconstruct ism as an answer to those who state that the discipline isa large part of New Orleans, which is still largely torn in a crisis. (JB & JW) SELECTED READINGS Melanie Mitchell – Complexity theory, a opposed to the artificial manipulation of the guided tour landscape – the first wins.’ ‘Our visiting professor Juval Portugali Edmund Bacon – Design of Cities researches self-organization in relation to complexity theory, which is a very important ‘In the sixties a bulk of meaningful literature theme for our discipline. In this book the with high importance today was written by author describes the complexity that rises in authors such as Jane Jacobs, Christopher all scientific disciplines from the mid twenties Alexander and Kevin Lynch. In my view, century until the turn of the century where Edmund Bacon belongs to this list with they all come to a stop and reflect upon their his Design of Cities. In this book Bacon as evolution. An inspiring read.’ head of the Urban Development department in Philadelphia is confronted with migrat- David Biggs – Quagmire, Nation-building ing citizens away from the city center and and Nature in the Mekong Delta infrastructural monsters. To come up with a new plan he travels through time to create a ‘A book in which the Mekong delta is the fascinating systematic research-by-design. subject and the way it is incorporated This belongs to the mandatory list of must- into Vietnams everyday life and the way it reads for any urbanist. Moreover, I often served as a defense mechanism against the show this book to students to show how you oppressors. The interwoven relationship of can translate a theme into a drawing in the the Vietnamese and their landscape could most convincing way.’ not be overcome by attacking nations. This is a strong metaphor for the strength of the landscape and the reconciliation with it as 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. Farmin zhang qinyi (EMU)Paris 2030 / shaping the city with open space european postgraduate master in urbanism (EMU) Studio: Frontiers (MSc4 Thesis) Tutors : Bernardo Secchi, Daan Zandbelt & Henco Bekkering Location: Paris, FR/Hongkong, P.R.C Type: Regional Planning Size: 2,500 sq km (XL) Project farmin is located in Paris based on a parallel comparison with Hongkong. The name is derived from farmax, maximized density, where farmin stands for minimized density. farmin is about using open space as a backbone of urban and infrastructural development. Open space is used in different ways as centralities, con- nections and interfaces in all levels from territory, district to neighborhood. Nevertheless open space functions as a structuring city layer that connects with the urban enve- lope and the green rhythm of Paris throughout all levels. Two concepts are developed: A 2-km city and a 15-km city. These describe the city forms by both the distance from the city centre to the xl open space and the distance between different urban compositions such as cbd, single family housing and social housing. These city forms which are defined by open space can consequently have an impact on society. Socially diversed climates can be achieved from a city form that provides all kinds of open space everywhere, especially those xl ones. The concept is to interpret the ecologic principles into an urban version and use this to guide the organization and design of the open spaces. Project farmin is both flexibile and specific. It is flexible in the sense that it addresses several strategic key con- cepts which are illustrated through designs in different scales, rather than build up a fixed master plan for con- struction. At the same time it introduces a clear syntax of the open space focusing on connectivity and accessibil- ity. The open space is no longer like a field with free- standing high rises, as in Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin, but embraced by its users and providing them with collec- tive yet distinguisable identity. 13
  14. 14. Problem: open space structures the city EMU (European Postgraduate Master inThe size and distribution of open space can define the character of a metropoli- Urbanism) is a joint program offered bytan area. The xl open spaces are almost all located on the outskirts of Paris, the four European universities: UPC in Bar-city is therefore shaped as a circle with a heart and a periphery. In Hong Kong, celona, Spain; TU Delft in The Nether-however, those xl open spaces are located parallel with the city, which shapes lands; KU Leuven in Belgium; and IUAVthe city in a linear way. in Venice, Italy. All four universities are inclined to link their didactic topics toHypothesis: open space and social segregation their direct cultural environment with itsOpen spaces are magnets. The individualising way of living makes large open traditions and contemporary challenges.spaces attractive areas, large open spaces located in the outskirts polarize the That leads in Barcelona to small scale ur-city. Can a more porous and isotropic city in the term of open space, in which ban transformations and territorial trans-the whole city has sufficient and equal accessibility to all kinds of open space, formations of culutral landscapes.Wherehelp to form a more mixed and stable society? in Venice cultural heritage and the ‘città diffusa’ are central topics, students in Leu-Concept: HKs in Paris ven work on the mid-sized European cityHK’s 2-km-city condition leads to a more sustainable and integrated society. and deltas facing climate change. Even-Can we insert large open spaces with a nature and suburb-like condition in tually Delft’s focus is on the (Randstad’s)Paris in order to provide opportunities for alternative ways of living? Can we metropolisation and delta condition. Thefinally have a metropolis with a Paris city center, and tiny HKs around it? A postgraduate master course is a design-new Paris 2030? oriented program, which focuses on strat- egies and design for cities and territories.Project: Patches + Linear City The aim of the program is to produceFirst of all, big patches of open space are defined out of the brown fields. The highly qualified, university-trained urbanleftovers are used in two ways: some of them are organized as borders of those designers, physical planners and research-patches as an interface to enhance the communication and movement across the ers ( Atlantis askedborders. The remainings are organized into corridors to connect all the patches. Daan Zandbelt to pick a recent project ofAs a result, the project could be re-defined as patches and a linear city. EMU to demonstrate.14
  15. 15. Paris Hong KongOpen space shapes the city 10 km 5 0 suburbia périphérique CBD centre 15 km Paris current + PARIS: 15 km city 15 km 0 HK: 2 km city 0 bay 0 2 km centre 1 luxury housing Paris 2030 2 km suburbia 2 kmHypothesis: open space and social segregation Concept: HKs in Paris = + [ + ] Project = Patches + Linear City 15
  16. 16. Measuring urban formmeta berghauser pontFor many, the notion of ‘measuring urban form’ will sound disturbing.Urban form is about visual images of cities, experiences, feelings, memoriesof place, thoughts and intellectual constructs anchored in the realm of thearts and the humanities. Anne Vernez Moudon however gives in the paperUrbanism by numbers (2009) a good argument to study the urban environ-ment quantitatively as it offers urban designers the opportunity to practicetheir art with its due precision. Urban density is one of the measures that is used frequently in urban designpractice, but is also questioned by many as it relates poorly to urban form (Alex-ander 1993, Forsyth 2003). The use of a concept with such a large “warningdisclaimer” is disturbing. The Spacematrix method has contributed to a clari-fication of the existing Babel-like confusion in the terminology currently being Figure 1. Spacematrix with floor space in-used by urban planners working with urban density. The most important con- dex (fsi) on the y-axis, ground space indextribution of the Spacematrix method is, besides a clear definition of density, that (gsi) on the x-axis, and network densitydensity can be related to urban form and other performances and that urban (n) on the z-axis (Berghauser Pont andform is thus measurable. Haupt 2010).SpacematrixSpacematrix defines density as a multi variable phenomenon and makes a cor-relation between density and the built mass (urban form). Spacematrix uses thefollowing measures: floor space index (fsi), ground space index (gsi), and net-work density (n). fsi reflects the building intensity independently of the pro-grammatic composition; gsi, or coverage, demonstrates the relationship betweenbuilt and non-built space; and the density of the network, N, refers to the con-centration of networks in an area. Measures such as open space radio (osr) orspaciousness, the average number of floors or layers (l) and the size of the urbanblocks (w) can be derived from these three main measures. These three mainmeasures are represented in a three-dimensional diagram, the Spacematrix(figure 1). Separate projections of the Spacematrix are in the present contextnecessary due to limitations in data management and representation (and thuscommunication) of the results (see for instance the fsi-gsi plane in figure 3).Figure 2 shows three examples on how different an area can look like with one Figure 2. Three different types of urbanand the same density of 75 dwelling per hectare. When applying Spacematrix for areas with 75 dwellings per hectare (fromdescribing the density of these three examples we get a more accurate descrip- left to right, 1-3, see position in Spacema-tion. In all cases the fsi is the same (based on mono-functional areas and 100 m2 trix in Figure 3).1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 33 3 316
  17. 17. per dwelling), but the gsi in the left case is relatively high. rounded by large open spaces (marked as a circle named In the middle case, gsi is medium, whereas in the right “F”). In particular post-war housing areas inspired by Le case the gsi is low (Berghauser Pont, Haupt 2010). Corbusier’s La Ville Radieuse design principles belong to Figure 3 shows the position of the three examples in the this category. Conversely, urban areas with a high gsi but fsi-gsi plane of the Spacematrix diagram. Besides fsi on low fsi (marked as a circle named “C”) tend to be low rise the y-axis and gsi on the x-axis, the measures osr and l are row houses with small gardens, but also industrial areas included as gradients that fan out over the diagram. osr cluster here. The multi-variable definition of density describes the spaciousness (or pressure on the non-built makes it thus possible to quantitatively describe the dif- space), and l represents the average number of storeys. ferent urban environments. Although the examples have one and the same fsi, their position in the Spacematrix is different due to the differ- These types of urban environment do not have rigid bor- ences in gsi, osr and l. ders, but slowly transform from one to another. What is most important to understand is that the conditions The diagram in figure 4 shows, based on empirical sam- set by density very much influence the performance of132 Chapter 4 ples from various locations in the Netherlands, and Berlin a built environment. It is suggested that performance- (Germany) and Barcelona (Spain), where different types based descriptions of urban fabrics could become more of urban environments are located in the Spacema- URBAN FABRIC TYPES important than the traditional image- or activity-based trix. The environments with both a high fsi and gsi are descriptions. Instead of naming low-rise block types or An urban fabric type can be viewed as consisting of a specific combination of, on the one hand, a network type (defined by N, buildings dominated by perimeter areas with mid-rise b, and T) which describes the basic layout of the ground high-rise strip types, the fabric type could be described planblocks. These areas are marked the other hand the building type (defined and the accompanying series of islands, and on as a circle with the letter and prescribed solely by its Spacematrix density and the by FSI, GSI, OSR and L), which describes the infill of the islands. “E”. Conversely, urban areas with both low fsi and gsi The amount of network needed to access the islands is incorporated in the density figures performance characteristics embedded in this density. on the scale of the island and the urban fabric. The difference betweenof low rise (marked as a circle named “A”) tend to consist island and fabric Performances that are discussed in the book Spacematrix. density is an indicator of the amount of network space (T ) needed to access the islands. single houses with large gardens. Areas with a high fsi In order to grasp the consequences of adding network to the islands, the nine archetypes f Space, Density and Urban (Berghauser Pont and Haupt that but low gsi earlier are positioned again in thehigh-rise but this time adding the were discussed tend to be areas with Spacemate, buildings sur- 2010) are parking, daylight access and urbanity. density calculations on the level of the fabric (Figure 22). The GSI and FSI values on the scale of the fabric are all lower than on the scale of the island because of the added tare space. Many more performances of urban fabrics could and But the different building types still retain unique positions in the diagram, and, when all other should be researched and related to density in the same Dutch samples are included, the clusters can again be 8 discerned to represent the different 3.0 FSI building types (Figure 23). L 13 12 11 10 9 7 6 5 manner, contributing to a better underpinning of urban 2.5 plans and designs. OSR L 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 4.5 FSI 2.0 4.0 1.5 0.25 Instead of creating images, urban professionals will then 3.5 OSR 3.0 1.0 0.35 be more involved with defining the conditions under 2.5 3 2 1 0.50 0,10 0.75 which specific qualities are most likely to be realized. 0.5 2.0 1.00 1.5 Figure 22. In the Harvard Design Magazine reader Urban Plan- 0.0 Nine archetypecal 0,15 samples ning Today such a conditional approach to planning is 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 GSI 0.60 1.0 in the 0,25 0.5 0,35 0,50 described when it defines the future role of governments Spacemate diagram 0.0 on the scale of Figure 3. The relationship0.30 0.00 0.10 0.20 between gsi, fsi, osr and l in Spacematrix 0.40 0.50 0.60 0.70 GSI 0.80 as establishing intelligent and flexible guidelines, or the island and the (positions rise point to Figure 2) (Berghauser Pont andhigh rise point low 1-3 refer mid rise point Haupt 2010). fabric. incentives (Saunders 2006). These guidelines should not low rise strip mid rise strip high rise strip island low rise block mid rise block high rise block prescribe solutions or particular built forms, but should fabric define principles or performance criteria that leave the L 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 FSI 3,5 OSR designer free to be creative in solving design problems 3,0 0,15 (Punter 2007). 2,5 2,0 1,5 E 0,25 The performance of the built landscape 1,0 F D 0,35 There is among many researchers and professionals a con- C 0,5 , B 0,50 , 0,75 sensus that compact settlements are more sustainable than 1,00 A 0,0 sprawl, and that denser cities, be it with high rise or with Figure 23. 0,00 0,10 0,20 0,30 0,40 0,50 GSI 0,60 Building compact mid-rise solutions, will somehow halt an unsus- types in A point type, low rise D street type, mid rise the Spacemate B street type, low rise E block type, mid rise tainable increase of consumption of transport, energy and diagram on the C block type, low rise F hybrid point/street type, high rise resources (Newman and Kenworthy 1999; Jenks 2000). scale of the fabric. Newman and Kenworthy demonstrated that in low- Figure 4. The various types of urban areas (scale: urban fabric) in the density cities in North America energy consumption per FSI-GSI plane of the Spacematrix (Berghauser Pont and Haupt 2010). inhabitant for transport is far higher than the same energy 17
  18. 18. used by Europeans, and even more so when compared to very high-densitycities in Japan (see figure 5). North Americans are almost totally dependent onthe private car, while the Japanese in general cluster in higher densities and areable to sustain a more efficient public transport network. However, denser urban environments do not automatically mean less trans-port and energy consumption. Distances between homes and places of work,regulations and fiscal policies probably have far greater impacts on car use thanthe mere physical layout of cities and regions (Neuman 2005). If the argument isturned around, though, one has to admit that dense settlements are a necessaryprerequisite if we are to aspire to a radical cut in car and lorry transportation.Only dense settlements offer feasible circumstances for the large investmentsneeded for a more energy-efficient and environmentally responsible movementof goods and people. Such settlements are also the only environments that canbe successful when it comes to healthy and sustainable modes of transportation, Figure 5. Urban density and transport-such as walking and cycling. related energy consumption. Accessibility Radiuses Figure 6. Difference between Accessibility 500-1000 density of blocks, mixed- Radiuses 2500 use to mono-functional 500-1000 5000m (Berghauser Pont and Mash- 2500 5000m hoodi 2011). Figure 7. Accessible areas of a block are unique. They cover 500, 1000, 2500, and 5000m distance from the block and [ [ Meters are dependent on network 0 1.125 2.250 4.500 configuration (Berghauser Meters 0 1.125 2.250 4.500 Pont and Mashhoodi 2011).Based on these findings, we can conclude that fsi plays a than 2,4 ha, residential density should be more than 54distinctive role in predicting energy consumption related units per hectare, and distance to the closest grocery storeto transport. In what sense the other density measures are should be less than 440 meter. The finding that less thanof importance, and thus urban form on the micro scale, is 440 meter could “make or break” an environmental sup-unknown. In other words, does it matter whether density port to walking was maybe the most powerful lesson thatis realized through arose from these quantitative analyses.i) high and spacious developments versus Based on results of a study in Rotterdam by Berghauser2) low and compact developments with similar high Pont and Mashhoodi (2011) concerning mixed-use envi- densities. ronments, we can conclude that fsi in mixed blocks is significantly higher than in mono-functional blocks.Walkability research done by Moudon et al. (2006) shows The fsi is 27% higher in the mixed blocks than in thethat besides residential density, also block size, presence mono-functional blocks.of proximate grocery stores, restaurants, and retail facili- When considering all the mixed blocks the share ofties are strongly associated with walkability. The find- floor area used for commercial services such as shopsings of this research show that quantitative thresholds, and restaurants show the highest difference with thein this case to support walkable neighborhoods, need to mono-functional blocks, followed by the share of culturalbe defined with great precision: blocks should be smaller function, social services, offices and industries. In other18