Urban interventions: Part B
Collective analysis of the design aspects of the public realms leads to proactive spaces that increase the quality of spaces.
- Takebacks on Le Corbusier, A contemporary city, in The City Reader
- Takebacks on Jacobs, A. & D. Appleyard, Toward an urban design manifesto, in The City reader
1a. The design of the contemporary city:
Le Corbusier is one of the pioneers in the modernist movement which is also widely known as an international style in architecture. One of the notable works “The Contemporary City” has been taken from his work “The City of tomorrow and its planning”.
The Contemporary city was designed to inhabit about 3 million people and was designed to be densely packed having all the amenities within the same premises. Ideal site conditions must be leveled without any undulations for easier transportation and a sewer network.
Figure 1: Easy accessibility (10 minute walk) to utilize public spaces
b. Principles to design the city:
The citizens of this city would be of mixed typologies such as Urban, Suburban, Business owners, etc. This concept was quite the contrary to FL Wright’s “Broadacre city”. The open spaces were considered as the lungs, which were in the periphery of these structures. His main intention was to reduce commutation and thereby have no traffic issues, and an increase in open spaces. The ground floor of the building would comprise a delicate network of roads leading to desired directions. The city would typically have twenty-four skyscrapers and in these skyscrapers, we would find markets, businesses, schools, hospitals, etc. on different levels of the same structure.
c. Built to unbuilt areas with the open space ratios:
The rest of the inhabitants would be located in the Garden City. According to him, the layout of this city should have been geometrical with a certain set of mathematics in place. This would solve numerous problems faced in the urban scenario. The ratio between the open spaces and the build had to be considered in such a manner that the open spaces would have a major percentage.
The contemporary city was designed with an approach where traffic control systems barely existed. Terraces and open parks on the pedestal on which the skyscrapers lay. Integrated sewers and drainage network. A shared sense of community with patches of forests.
2a. Introduction to the reality of urban life in the Predominant cities:
Allan Jacobs and Donald Appleyard are shocked by the innumerable examples of Los Angeles, New York, London, and other large cities that Mike Davis, David Harvey, and Ali Madanipour focus on the hazardous and dangerous urban life that makes it polluted and noisy, and how the fortress buildings with windowless facade contribute to the problem. They describe and emphasize mainly the urban environment that needs to be designed. The intent is to create urban communities to sustain great densities in the overall urban vitality. Alan Jacobs spent time in Europe and South America during summers to arrive at similar observations as Camillo Sitte. These were closely related to Kevin Lynch with his philosophies and ideas that strongly influenced their works.
Figure 3 and 4:
b. Urban city manifesto- Some of the principles that remake the city space:
They formulated a new manifesto for urban design against the principles of CIAM (International congress of modern architecture). It was a public declaration to lay out basic principles to establish a healthy, humane, and beautiful urban environment for the inhabitants. It must encompass the social economic and political phenomena. The solution to these highly dense urban environments popularly known as slums with detrimental social living must be replaced by demolishing unsanitary housing, introducing green tribunals, and constructing a new high rise. Residential areas could be detached from the work establishments, keeping the identifying feature in terms of all the sensory features one feels in an urban environment.
c. Comparison with the deteriorated urban conditions:
They address the key issues of modern urban designs are inhumane living conditions, lack of control in the neighborhood, destruction of heritage places, lack of identity, inequality, and rootless professionalism. Key solutions to these issues create a safe comfortable and livable space, retaining the sense of identity and heritage value, highly inclusive environments with a strong regional identity, encouraging public participation in a well-thought-out community space, and lastly acknowledging the issues faced by the residents.
Figure 8: Urban furniture for different age groups that acts as a dynamic element in public realms.