The Segregation and Integration of Activities and People

Many of the generic ideas of the Modernists, when applied, have had disappointing results. Logical on paper, particularly at the beginning of the twentieth century in dealing with the industrial city, the segregation of uses tends to create dull environments. The dullness also arises from the simplicity of layouts and architectural forms heralded as part of the 'new machine age'. Pruitt-Igoe and Holford's Paternoster Square were reputedly dull physical environments. The response has been to advocate mixed-use environments.

The questions today and for the future are: 'What do we mean by mixed-uses?' 'How mixed should mixed-uses be?' And 'Are we talking about mixed-uses everywhere?' While areas of cities devoted to only one building type in terms of activities can be dull, the City or Canary Wharf in London and the Wall Street area of New York (see Figure 11.5), while deserted during the weekend, do hum during the working day. The argument against such single-use commercial areas is that they create inefficiencies in the use of transportation facilities. The argument against large single-use residential areas, whether they are single family detached homes or monolithic blocks of apartments, is that they provide poor educative environments for young children and adolescents have nothing to do. Teenagers are thus tempted to engage in antisocial behaviour for excitement. Yet few people want to live in constantly active places. Thus questions arise about what makes a good mix of experiences for children and how does one translate such a position into built form? What makes a lively business area? Maybe an efficient (and pleasant) business area is indeed one that empties after hours. There are other similar issues.

How integrated and segregated should the uses along streets be? The evidence from what are generally regarded as 'great streets' is that they should have a unity of uses and setback on both sides (see A. Jacobs, 1993). The rule of thumb is to make blocks (i.e. both sides of a street) have the same uses (e.g. single family detached homes or retail shop fronts). In doing so the potential for the development of 'face-block' communities is created provided the streets are not heavily trafficked. How use-segregated should individual buildings be? In Berlin 20% of commercial buildings should be residential to provide for the natural surveillance

Figure 11.5 The Wall street area, New York in 2003.

of streets as hoped for in Pariser Platz (see Chapter 8). Answers to questions about the mix of uses depend on the objectives being sought in a project.

A number of politicians and designers are worried about the social stratification of society. Social-planning policies sought to make Pruitt-Igoe racially integrated. Singapore has a policy to make all residential areas house the different ethnic groups of the state in proportion to their representation in the total population. The goal is to avoid any area being stigmatized on racial grounds. How much should we strive to integrate or segregate people by ethnicity, culture or economic status? The answer is to let the market dictate people's choices. Will, however, the market provide choices? These questions are not urban design ones, but the affor-dances of different layouts and facilities can guide public policy decisions.

The effort to impose a behavioural norm through design and social legislation has been found to be wanting. The best way to avoid conflict seems to be to design for micro-segregation with macro-integration. What this means is that sub-areas should be designed with one population in mind while larger areas cater for the whole variety of people living within them. The layout of Aranya Township does that (see Chapter 10). Who should dictate such policies? In democratic societies people make choices for themselves. Urban patterns and building types can be designed to afford the needs of different household types and ways of life but it cannot dictate them. People make choices for themselves, provided they have the means to do so. Thus it is the poor and powerless who have to make do with what is left. It is their needs that require special attention.

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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