What Is Community Design, Anyway?. Claudia P érez Méndez #95528043. Community Design. Is the art of making sustainable living places that both thrive and adapt to people’s needs for shelter, livelihood, commerce, recreation, and social order.
What Is Community Design, Anyway?
Claudia Pérez Méndez #95528043
In the Spanish towns, communities had self sustaining defensive outpost, often required people to live in close proximity within walled enclosure agricultural fields around the perimeter, they are known as the “Laws of the Indies Town”’.
The Law of Indies is a community containing a grid of streets with rectangular plazas, at its center. Houses a shops lined opposite sides of the plaza with the church standing at one end and government buildings at the other, agricultural fields and common pasture provided sustenance.
The English settlers of the Northeast had a similar architecture type. As colonial towns the regular street grid was introduced by William Penn in the design for Philadelphia 1683, he designed a new pattern for town design that could sustain growth.
Land of ordinance 1978 was established the uniform size for townships of six square miles. New ideas such as beautiful movement were inspired by 1893 and the Garden city by Ebenezer Howard’s 1898.
During the last half century the art of city planning was replaced by a preoccupation with parcel plan reviews that focus on the detail rather than on how to accommodate growth effectively to make better places to live.
Kevyn Lynch’s image of the city suggested components for successful communities, paths, edges, districts, nodes and landmarks as elements that give form to cities.
1. Paths: or corridors of movement, are the predominant form-giving element within a community and include walkways, streets, transit lines, canals, railroads and interstate highways. They are lifelines along which the majority of activities takes place. In true communities there are networks of paths for automobiles, pedestrians, bicyclist, mass transit and wildlife. Terms such as boulevard, avenue, street, close, alley and lane connote a street design to disperse traffic evenly as possible.
In conventional suburban environment, paths are primarily designed for the automobile and seldom favor the pedestrian. They are referred to by cul-de-sac, local streets, collector and arterial.
2. Edges: are linear elements that are the boundaries between two kinds of districts, are also transitions between two elements. They are lively, positive places or shared open spaces. They could be paths such as landscaped boulevards, or they could be creeks, farmlands, or forest.
In the suburban environment there are few recognizable edges. This is one of the reasons suburbia is referred to as sprawl. Suburban edges are less perceptible, tend to characterized by a change in land use, signaled by landscape buffers, privacy fences, and walls.
3. District: are areas that can be entered. Buildings or structures within a district share certain recognizable commonalities and characteristics. Distinct scale, texture, and structural elements to degree that they are easily perceived as a place. People use districts to help them mentally organize the layout of a city or town, such as waterfronts, warehousing area, downtown financial center.
In suburbia, there are no districts in the traditional sense, there is zoning but that can’t be really appreciated unless you have a zoning map.
4.Nodes:are specific points in a community that have a name, place or recognition value. They serve as the center or core of a district or found at the transition points between districts. An important characteristic of nodes is that they are usually thematic in nature.
In suburbia there are few if any nodes, maybe the intersection of two 8 lane divided boulevards, or shopping malls are nodes of a sort, but they suffer from real sense of place.
5. Landmarks: are very similar to nodes, but are usually perceived as a single element, either structural or natural. Usually they take form of great public spaces, artwork or significant building, they evoke a feeling of familiarity with a particular area, ex: the Eiffel tower.
In suburbia, landmarks are mundane visual reference points used to give directions.
Good communities, like good cities, will posses the same physical elements, in suburbia many of these elements are absent or are at least practically imperceptible. In the past these five elements were used through trail and error to create the memorable human places of habitation throughout the world.
In order to create better communities, we must recognize are the methods with which the viewer defines and orients himself within a given space, also we must be aware that a well-designed space must by definition exhibit the same principles of design that any true work of art exhibits, primarily harmony, gradation, contrast and unity.
Axial design, hierarchy, transition elements, dominant features, and sense of enclosure are elements to create successful community.
1. Axial Design: is a strong visual and very powerful space articulator and usually tends to overpower the other organizing elements, it is linear in nature and is used to establish order. Whether is used in a symmetrical or asymmetrical way they must successfully employ movement, function, and visual perception.
2. Hierarchy: or the gradation of design features, utilizing a variety of sizes of spaces or outdoor rooms creates not only variety in the landscape, but helps the designer clearly delineate the more important rooms from the minor support areas. Its employed in reducing a grandly scaled space to a more comfortable human scale and vice versa.
3. Transitional elements: Join adjacent spaces. Exterior spaces can be seemingly endless and filled with a tremendous variety of objects, structures and landscapes, however they can be softened or blended by the use of transition elements. Transitions are overlap areas that exhibit characteristics of both or all the spaces that meet in a certain location. Repetition of design element, similar sizing, coloring of architectural features, landscape material, paving pattern are examples of transitional elements.
4. Dominant features: creates contrast. This focal point gives a place a purpose, otherwise the space is empty and unfulfilled, gives a space a reason for existing in so creates a unity within the space, a sense of whole.
5. Sense of enclosure: is perhaps the most important feature that results in the design of community spaces. Formed by careful manipulation of the ground plane, the overhead plane and the vertical or wall plane, enclosure can be created to fit the use or activity desired and thus establish the scale of the space. There is a direct relationship between the height of the vertical elements and the horizontal distance between them that must be respected in creating a functional yet comfortable space.
The critical spatial components are circulation, open space, and structures. They are the primary aspects of spatial design that are manipulated by the designer to create ordered, contextual and unique realms for human activity.
1.Circulation: allows movement and mobility, enriching a static space, overemphasis of this spatial use can eliminate the diversity on functional spaces.
2. Open space: the most fundamental part in quality design, it should never be considered as a leftover, the viewer must perceive open space as a part of a larger composition, one that heightens the relationship of the other
elements in that composition. The quality of an open space is further reinforces if the heights of the buildings enclosing it do not vary by more than 25%.
3. Structures: the manufactured forms in which we live, work, shop and play, are the destinations of our daily activities. Richly detailed architecture creates texture and is therefore more successful at holding space than are monochromatic, slick, single-plane walls. Interest, in the form of shadows, reveal lines, and tactile surfaces.
Learning How to put It all together
Rethinking circulation patterns can greatly enhance movement of people and vehicles. Most suburban development occurs on a project-by project basis employing a minimum number of access points to the local collector streets, with few if any street adjacent properties. Usually, commercial zoning and end up filling the gaps between residential entry and the primary intersections. The result is heavy traffic on all of the local collector streets.
A: individual residential sites are developed at different times and usually possess their own identity entrance.
B: normally, only indirect street ties between residential area occur.
C: commercial development occurs at the major intersections and creeps into those areas between and in front of the residential areas.
D: practically all off-site traffic is directed to the local collector streets.
Purposes for cities redesigning suburban centers:
A: If minibeltways are provided around the primary intersections, local traffic can be siphoned off the major collector intersections.
B: Residential collectors system allows access to the primary intersections and the commercial concentrations without utilizing the major collectors.
C: Additional local traffic entering the minibeltway from the residential collector enhances land values for commercial in the area.
D: With the residential collector in place, fewer travel lanes are needed in the major collectors, thus reducing construction costs
Commercial, offices, apartments, townhouses, and medium and low density housing can all occur in a confined area and be served by a continuous, interconnected street network. A logical, orderly progession of land uses can coexist without the normal zoning Band-Aids of setbacks, landscaping, and fences. Instead, streets and alleys serve as transitional elements.
to posses a true street address. Whether they
are housing, commercial, or office, buildings
must be thought of as being part of a continuous
street edge, a vertical wall that contains the
street and encloses the space.
A: Apartment/condo street oriented townhouses.
B: Rear parking provides secure resident parking.
C: Street oriented 3500-6000 square foot single family lots.
D: Single family lots.
E: Traffic circle or diamond.
F: Multiple access points from thorough road.
G: Gradual transition of housing options.
H: Stormwater retention areas.
I: Recreation/visual amenities.
Need to increase the general understanding of the impact of scale and texture of a building on its streetscape. Each building plays an important role in creating interesting and enjoyable spaces. Monolithic walls and slick, glass skinned structures from the adjacent sidewalk appear cold, aloof and fortresslike.
Buildings that celebrate textural changes by showing detail, that utilize more common and familiar materials, create human-scaled structures that can easily be perceived and comprehend.
Project consist of 745 units.
Includes a Montessori school.
There is a 50 slip marina.
Mixed use town center, high end condominiums.
Streets and blocks frame views of the Mississippi river and the Memphis skyline.
Radial boulevards orient the neighborhood to the river.
Wetlands preservation area running trough the center.
Multifamily apartments are located at each end of the neighborhood and sited along the streets and sidewalks.
Parking is located at the rear of the buildings in interior courts and is screened.
The goal of the Harbor Town was to seamlessly integrate widely diverse housing types, styles and prices ranges into a traditional neighborhood development of the 1920’s Memphis neighborhoods.
The goal of the project was to create a regional vision that makes clear distinctions between town and country and include a plan for connected infrastructure for hikers, cyclists and equestrians.
The plan identifies a new market position for the region, focusing on ecotourism and sustainability.
Opportunities to create tourist-supportive and attractions.
Emphasis in revitalizing historic towns.
Relationship between existing towns and nature will be strengthened.
Each town should have a detailed design plan rejecting conventional suburban sprawl and following a pattern of traditional neighborhood development.
Each town should have a signature entry portal that makes it distinct and memorable.