Allofapiece Urban Design

Many urban redevelopment projects and suburban developments are so large in size that single developers and their backers are incapable of financing them single-handedly. In other cases land holding patterns are so fragmented that having a single developer tackling all the sites in a coordinated manner is legally or administratively impossible. In these cases, a consulting team develops one illustrative three-dimensional design (or master plan or concept plan) of the whole development. The pieces of the scheme are then parcelled out to different developers and their design professionals to finance and design. The scheme illustrated in Figure 2.5 has potentially over 30 sub-developments within it. Difficulties in financing so many projects often mean that the construction period can extend

into three or four decades. Devised in 1989, by the year 2000 only the projects designated as 20 and 22 of the example had been built. In such projects the major developer, public or private, may build the overall infrastructure, or alternatively all the sub-developers may have to provide those components that relate to their own schemes or contribute to the cost of having them built.

Once the conceptual design devised by the master planner is accepted, a programme and set of guidelines is developed for each block that is to be built by a sub-developer (see Figure 8.1 for the example of the Dallas Arts District). Some design review and overall development and construction management procedures then have to be created to administer the whole development along with the process for managing the project when it has been completed. In some cases a single review committee presides over all the developments in a city; in other cases the review committee is appointed to oversee a single project. The problems in implementation, either in financing projects or in meeting the goals of a project as assessed by its clients or a review board, often lead to the redesign of the master plan. The end result may be vastly different from that originally envisaged (e.g. see Battery Park City, or Charles Center, or Potsdamer Platz; all described in Chapter 8).

The all-of-a-piece design process follows a set of steps approximating that shown in Figure 2.6. A prime developer, public or private, initiates the project through the acquisition of land and then decides on what to build (or vice versa) given either a local market demand and/or some assumption as to what is in the public interest. Some private developers may forgo profit to pursue public interest goals but, in general, it is a public agency that sets the public interest agenda for a project. It is the property developer, public or private, who hires the urban designer, an individual or a team, to produce a conceptual design and to develop the design brief. In democratic societies this process benefits from and is buffeted by a whole set of public and private interests.

To ensure that the intention of the master plan is not lost, each sub-development has to be built in accordance with a set of guidelines. Sometimes these guidelines

Entrepreneurs/ Property Developers

PERCEPTION OF A DEVELOPER

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OPPORTUNITY ON BOARD t

Programming

DEVELOPMENT

I Lay Public Design Professionals

THE CURRENT SITUATION t

EFFECTS

AND ^- Analysis 4

SIDE EFFECTS

- Public Agencies

PERCEPTION OF A DEVELOPER

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OPPORTUNITY ON BOARD t

Programming

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CALL FOR

SITE DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN POSSIBLITIES

- ADMINISTRATION^- CONSTRUCTION <f

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SCHEMES FOR EACH

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Figure 2.6 The major steps in an all-of-a-piece urban design.

- ADMINISTRATION^- CONSTRUCTION <f

Enough?

Supervision

CALL FOR

SITE DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN POSSIBLITIES

SCHEMES FOR EACH

COMPONENT

Figure 2.6 The major steps in an all-of-a-piece urban design.

Figure 2.7 Battery Park City, New York as seen from South Cove in 2003.

are generic to the whole development and sometimes they are applied to each site to be developed. One of the best-known examples of an all-of-a-piece urban design scheme is Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan, New York (see Figure 2.7). Dating back to the early 1960s the project was all but completed in 2004. A number of illustrative site designs for the project were developed under different political and economic conditions over a period of almost 30 years. Finally, what is generally, but by no means universally, regarded as a fine urban precinct has resulted from the work of several developers and their architects. What is important is that the guidelines are adopted legally as public policy. In New York's World Trade Center site development proposal they do not seem to have been (see Chapter 8).

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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