Streets

The perceived quality of a city is very much dependent on the quality of its streets. Their character depends on the lengths of their blocks, their cross sections (the widths of their roadbeds and sidewalks, the nature of the abutting building setbacks and heights, the frequency of entrances to buildings, the presence or absence of shop windows, etc.). The quality is also affected by the nature and speed of vehicular traffic passing along them, how car parking is arranged, the nature of the ground floor uses of the buildings that line them, and their paving and street furniture. This knowledge is only slowly seeping into design action.

Jane Jacobs described the relationship between the nature of street blocks and the character of city precincts (J. Jacobs, 1961). Allan Jacobs has identified and described a number of 'great streets' of various types around the world (A. Jacobs, 1993). His book along with others (e.g. Southworth and Ben-Joseph, 1997) has focused attention on their importance as elements of urban design. During 2002 a conference on Great Asian Streets was held in Singapore (Low Boon Liang, 2002) This conference was particularly important because in the recent mega-projects in the Asia-Pacific region the establishment of the quality of streets has been seen to be the purview of the traffic engineer. The primary goal has been to allow vehicles to be driven as rapidly as possible. The ambient quality for pedestrians has been neglected.

Much recent urban design has focused on the nature of city streets in strong reaction to the Modernists turning their backs on them. Many urban design schemes nowadays contain guidelines for how the buildings that form streets must meet them, building uses and setbacks (if any), in much the same way as written for the boulevards of Haussmann's Paris 150 years ago. The large-scale all-of-a-piece urban developments, such as Seaside in Florida and Poundbury in England, designed under the banner of the New Urbanism, are being controlled in this manner. The concern here is not, however, with such designs but with the landscape architecture of a street.

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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