Commentary

A number of major lessons for urban design have been learnt about special districts and zoning from the experience of New York, Philadelphia, and other cities (Lai, 1988; Vossman, 2002). The first lesson is that the image and character of a place should be identified based on an empirical analysis based on community values (Stamps, 1994). The second is that top-down decisions without political and civic commitment are likely to lead nowhere - indeed 'most people do not want what architects want' (Michleson, 1968). The third is that design controls must be enforceable; legislation must precede or accompany the development of regulations. The potential problem with incentive zoning is that it can soon become urban design by negotiable zoning control. It is open to mismanagement and corruption as property developers seek ways to achieve additional benefits for themselves if they are to provide public benefits. Clear channels of legal and administrative action must thus be established.

There was a much broader lesson too. The urban design task is to create salubrious environments for life, to upgrade the behavioural opportunities for people, and to enhance their self-images (to lift their spirits) through environmental improvements. Zoning districts and zoning modifications may create opportunities for achieving these ends but in many instances the zoning tools that are legally available to urban designers are, by themselves, not strong enough. BIDs, a gentle and more inclusive approach to urban upgrading, may achieve more. A high-quality public realm can be good for business.

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.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment