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Old November 1st, 2011, 10:56 AM   #1
vachej
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Reworking Urban Street Grids

While enormous effort has gone into re-jiggering the skyscraper,
precious little thought has been given to the configuration of
the underlying supporting streets. Present street
layout is primarily characterized by the random crooked patterns
of the Medieval urban district or the Cartesian grid pattern
of New York.

The problem is two fold. On the one hand
present street technology is incompatible with, is
unable to adequately integrate cars, and to a
certain degree, pedestrians.
On the other hand, the enormous mass of the skyscraper
overwhelm the pedestrian, destroy the previously pleasant
experience to be had in a Medieval street pattern.

So then this call for new ideas, new possibilities of street
grids which can accommodate cars, skyscrapers, and do
so while delivering a pleasant pedestrian experience.
I have been experimenting with for lack of a better term
a Froebel square pattern, a derivative of a simple Celtic
knot pattern which I think holds much promise.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...n/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...n/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...7623636131955/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...n/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...7626331581916/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...7626331581916/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...7626776152760/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...n/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...n/photostream/

Last edited by vachej; November 2nd, 2011 at 12:11 PM.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 03:43 PM   #2
Sweet Zombie Jesus
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I like regular grids. They do the job okay.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 10:08 PM   #3
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WHERE'S THE BEEF?!?! don't titillate people with new ideas and then don't show them! i want my money back!
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 02:09 AM   #4
Wunderknabe
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Quote:
precious little thought has been given to the configuration of
the underlying supporting streets.
That is, of course, wrong.

Quote:
resent street
layout is primarily characterized by the random crooked patterns
of the Medieval urban district or the Cartesian grid pattern
of New York.
That too, is too simplified. One could name countless different
Systems of street grids. Berlin is a fine example of how streetgrids
can also look using neither of the medieval structures nor the Hippodamical System.
(although some hints of both can be found)


Quote:
On the one hand
present street technology is incompatible with, is
unable to adequately integrate cars, and to a
certain degree, pedestrians.
Well, I don't think so. Detroit as a automobilized city works
very fince for cars and bad for pedestrians.
Very dense packed cities of the mediteranean areas are a
horror for car drivers.

But as I've said, there are mixtures that already exist and work fine.
Make few bigger avenues
for the main amount of automobilizied traffic and provide smaller
steets between. So, yeah, the idea of fractal-like struktures
is indeed a important aspekt of street-planning.


I understand your Idea of a street grid to be basicaly similar to the Idea of the Fused Grid,
with a hierarchic layer structure. (also interesting to read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_plan )

One problem I see in your specific pictures is, that you slow down
traffic unnecessarily. Most traffic just whats to get from point a to b
and a pleaseant experience of the street in doing so is not so important.
So I think your design misses some major axis for the main transit traffic.


In fact I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to bann more traffic to the underground
and to separate it from pedestrian/cyclists. But that is, of course, too expensive.

Last edited by Wunderknabe; November 3rd, 2011 at 02:19 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 08:17 AM   #5
vachej
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Heres a scheme for introducing the compartmentalizing effects of districts,
for bringing in a bit of spatial hierarchitization to the urban space if you like.
You could easily preserve, at a slightly higher scale, the present XY grid
strategies while embedding more defined, more gated districts within them.
The main XY streets permit efficient traffic flow. On the other hand once
traffic leaves the XY grid to enter a district, traffic velocity slows.
But this is exactly what is desired, the correct match up to traffic
and pedestrians speeds. Whats more districts serve as traffic sinks,
pulling vehicles out of the main XY grid.

At the center of each district is a cruciform garden bounded by individual 3 to 4 story
decorative masonry buildings. On the other side are the
intra-district streets. At the district corners are four squares, each composed
of four turbine configured row houses. Within theses squares are the towers.
Such a scheme distributes skyscrapers so they look out on to something other
than themselves. Furthermore it double insulates skyscrapers from the street
so that for pedestrians, the chief architectural experience is decorative individual
low rise masonry.

In this way the pedestrian is largely shielded from continuous and more fast moving
traffic as well as the overwhelming and undifferentiated mass of the modern
skyscraper. Such a scheme would then seem a worthy candidate for dealing with our
primary concerns of integrating high velocity traffic and mitigating aesthetically
overwhelming structure.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...n/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...n/photostream/

Last edited by vachej; November 5th, 2011 at 11:32 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 09:42 PM   #6
vachej
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Wunderknabe


When one gives primacy to the skyscraper and transportation the result is
something like Osaka:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/caribb/...n/photostream/

Now I think primacy should belong with the pedestrian. Where contemporary
architects have gone awry is in conceptualizing the skyscraper as singular
sculptural elements which draw pedestrians to city the way works of art
draw viewers to a museum. To the contrary, pedestrians have no wish
to OBSERVE the strangetized, alieno-futuristic towers dreamed up by architects
with some preposterous pretense to art. Pedestrians want the EXPERIENCE
of feeling contained within an organic, charming habitat:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...n/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/treehou...n/photostream/

Last edited by vachej; November 7th, 2011 at 07:39 AM.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 10:17 PM   #7
arzaranh
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ok i think that Osaka pic is tre cool - very dense, urban, vertical, and a more efficient use of space than most urban areas. it could most probably use more thought into pedestrian use, but otherwise i would say that it is a good urban fabric.
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