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Wonderful Exploration in Neighbourhood Relationship

What is the most suitbale neighbourhood in our living environment?

He Yihan

Author’s introduction

About the Professor Ali Madanipour’s lecture, I think we can get huge information about the neighbourhood, which we have so many cases from different cities in different countries. Also, we can get some knowledges about some famous scholar’s thesis in urban design. Before introducing the neighbourhood, we should ask ourselves: What is our own experience of life in a neighbourhood?



What is neighbourhood in real life?

I remembered that when I was young, I always lived in the village, people lived very closed in their self-built house. We have a good relationship with each other. When it comes to Spring Festival(Chinese New Year), children is the happiest group in our village because we can play the fireworks, playing interesting games in outside, even we can stay up until 2:00 am in the next day. So I can feel that village is the best neighbourhood unit I’ve seen. In village, we have shops, restaurants. There is a grocery market nearby which very convenient if we want to buy something. People live in the village are comfortable, especially the scale relationship. So this is a neighbourhood in my first impression, and it’s a good neighbourhood as well.

Yihan He, Produced by himself in Photoshop, Located in Hometown, BianZhuang Village, Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China


Back to Ali’s lecture, what should we notice in principles of neighbourhood design? There are distinctiveness, centrality, size, density, composition of people, composition of activities and process of making and managing. About the distinctive, it reminds me of the first lesson in TCP8052, we read articles about Graden Cities of Tomorrow which is written by Ebenezer Howards. He added a “Garden City” theory. It indicates a distinctive neighbourhood and these are all interrelated in urban space. Garden city could build a new well-ordered city which has a new neighbourhood relationship.

If we research land economy and spatial structures, there is a theory called Central Place. There is a big tower in the center of the city which could be a landmark in this city. People want to arrive there to do something like working, shopping. So we can find that there is always a big market inside the building. It can attract people to get there. As a result, this is also a relationship of neighbourhood in a city.

Next question: what kind of the scale relationship is suitable when we live in the center of the city? There is a case from Australia which explains the walking time in the centre of the city. The first size is 400 meters’ walking. We need to take only 5 minutes to get anywhere we want. And the second size is about 10 minutes’ walking which has a 800 meters’ distance. These two kinds of scale is the most suitable and comfortable feeling when take a walk in the city.

Copyright by Ali Madanipour’s Powerpoint: Neighbourhood design.pdf: Principles and Practice of Urban Design (MAUD) – TCP8090 (


Of course, different scale relationships decide sense of space experience. But there are still many kinds of elements affecting the urban space, such as density. According to this picture below, I prefer the third one: the medium rise. Because I believe that the enriched community form can build more valuable space form, even it can lead to the correct social value.

Copyright by Ali Madanipour’s Powerpoint: Neighbourhood design.pdf: Principles and Practice of Urban Design (MAUD) – TCP8090 (


Currency and Challenges

For recent years, with the development of industrial revolution, plus science and technology, we sacrifice many public spaces and make use of these space for building car roads and metros. Indeed, it is more convenient than before because people can drive in replace of walking and bicycling. They won’t stop in every junction within per minute. However, it will lose many lively humanistic atmosphere, including street view. Losing it means losing the meaning of life gradually. So we need to retrieve lively neighbourgood.




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