“The suburb is now merely a place to reach out to the scattered components of social existence. A man works in one place, sleeps in another, shops somewhere else, finds companionship wherever he can, and cares about none of these places” (Oldenburg, 1989)
“All the buildings crowded right to the street … My grandfather had his shirt-making workshop and office on the second floor …. There were lots of places to eat … and sideshows … There were people, streetcars and so many different activities… I loved it” Alan B. jacobs Market Street in San Francisco 1937
The iconic Greek village is a perfect example of an entropic urban environment
TOLEDO, SPAIN Toledo exhibits little if any order
TOLEDO, SPAIN A closer look reveals order at a smaller scale
PLACE DE L’ÉTOILE An entropic approach to facilitate complex vehicle movement
Black Death Colonial Cities Industrial Revolution Rome Falls Mass- Produced Cars 0 1000 2000
THEBES, EGYPT An ordered city developed over time by the likes of Priest-Kings and inhabited from 3,200BC. Egyptian cities of this era focussed on a planning order to enable a recognition of hierarchy.
CH’ANG -AN Developed progressively over 3,000 years as the capital for 12 Chinese dynasties. Highly ordered following a regimented grid pattern.
HERCULANEUM Originally founded by the Samnite tribes in the 6th century BC becomes a Roman Town in 89 BC.
TRIPOLI, LIBYA Originally a Phoenician city Tripoli has existing for more than 2,700 years and has been occupied by various conquering powers
SANA’A YEMEN A fortified city occupied for more than 2,500 years exhibits entropic characteristics
The Roman Empire collapses and is unable to defend its network of cities
BOLOGNA Occupation of Roman cities occurs by people with less skill and education as they expand the cities beyond the protective walls
FLORENCE Clear recognition of the original gridded city
MOSCOW The original defensive walls define the city like ‘growth rings’. The entropic arrangement however is maintained between the major arteries.
PRAGUE IN THE MIDDLE AGES Almost completely destroyed by fire and later raised to prevent floods gave the opportunity to order the city – but the entropic form remained
Capitoline Hill - Rome Often cited as the first example of urban design when Michelangelo was asked to bring order to this space
Le Courbusier’s concept of the super block with high-rise towers sets the tone for City development for the rest of the twentieth century and beyond
The great suburban dream in the 1950s based on a rigid grid where houses have little diversity and the motor vehicle has priority over pedestrians
More contemporary suburban layout with curved streets but no sole, little diversity and the car still rules.
Black Death Colonial Cities Industrial Revolution Rome Falls Mass- Produced Cars 1600-1700s 1350 1830 1920 410 0 1000 2000 Mono-centric Poly-centric Mono-centric Priest-King and Emperors Community Leaders and Guilds Prince-Rulers Developers
Camillo Site Sitte was concerned about the withdrawal of people from public places. He began to explore the artistic principles of urban planning and design in an effort to find ways of creating better people-focussed urban environments. The following slides depict his principles for streets, using medieval towns and cities as examples.
The ideal street must form an enclosed unit. The more one’s impressions are confined within it the more perfect will be the tableau. One feels at ease in a space where the gaze cannot be lost in infinity.
The winding character of streets keeps sealing off perspective views while offering the eye a new aspect at every turn.
When two streets approach each other at an oblique angle they should be squared up by slightly turning one to meet the other at right angles.
Avoid intersecting several streets at the same point by curving the line of one street to meet at a spot where no other road opens.
When there is no practical or sound reason to insert a curve in a street, an infinite perspective can be broken by displacing the axis or by breaking it.
In long streets an arch over the street can be used to break the infinite perspective. This is also a very useful device to prevent wind from sweeping the ground.
Streets can be made more interesting by breaking parallelism of the street’s sides with devices such as a slight change in alignment on one side or by giving a concavity of both sides.
Side streets should be narrow and infrequent to avoid breaking the continuity of the primary street.
Streets should follow the natural character and respect existing terrain.
Camillo Sitte’s observations about the artistic principles of city planning is seen demonstrated here in this plan for Darmstadt in 1890 by Friedrich Puetzer
POUNDBURY, DORSET A contemporary implementation of Sitte’s principles Needs to be so much more than ‘architecture and built form’