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Ideally shaped city.

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 12:57 pm
What do you think it would look like?

I thinking it might be in concentric circles.

A center circle of business and government, surrounded by a circle of services and stores. food markets, restaurants, doctors, day care, libraries, gyms, theaters, etc.

Then, a ring of housing.
People would have to pass through the service circle to or from work in the business sector, unless of course they worked in the service circle.

We would be able to buy what we need on when passing through each day.

The next circle could be larger areas for playing fields, stadium, pools. Things that would be used regularly, but not on a daily basis. At certain points in the area between the housing and the recreational areas could be small areas of commerce, selling food, providing emergency medical care.

Past this circle, it would become agricultural, by this time the wedges that could be cut out of the circle would be quite large. Wedges for growing food, raising food animals.

The city would utilize solar power, and plantlife wherever possible, on rooftops, hanging plants, etc.

There'd be a series of spokes running from the center outwards, underground.

For manufacturing, there would be a separate sector that would have auxillary high speed transportation lines running from the housing area to outside the city where manufacturing jobs would be. Shaped like a rectangle. At area of the rectangle closest to the city could be more services. Health care, day care, food providers. This would provide those workers with the same advantage as the people going into the business sector each day would have.

I know I've left a lot of things out.

What else?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 9,282 • Replies: 82
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 01:59 pm
I should think it would be more efficient if it were a series of contiguous hexagonal blocks, forming orchard rows (if you have never seen an orchard, the trees are in a relationship that allows you to stand by one tree, and then turn through 120 degrees, and see a row of trees in every direction as you make each turn). That would be my prefernce.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 03:00 pm
@chai2,
Paris (government, planners) are presently trying to work out ways to break up the exclusionary effects of rings.. recent article in, I think, the NYT.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 03:23 pm
@ossobuco,
Every once in a while, we can agree. My general thought is that a city should be designed to promote the formation of neighborhoods, though I don't know exactly how it would be done. A Home Owners Association is not a neighborhood, by the way.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 03:33 pm
@ossobuco,
On the need to break the ring -
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/magazine/14paris-t.html?scp=7&sq=Paris&st=cse
Nicholas Ouroussff's article on new Paris planning

Not to sound dismissive, I'm just the opposite, but I don't want to spend time now on going on about my own urban design opinions, which can grow into thousands of words, and be specific as to country location and culture. Posting just to suggest, if you are interested, you check out Edmund Bacon's Design of Cities. There was at one point a tv series based on that fairly "early" book, with people like Anthony Burgess, Peter Ustinov, Germaine Greer, Glenn Gould.. and many others, talking about their cities, which I caught just a few episodes of and thought then were fabulous. Not that they are urban design experts, so much, but they were lucid re comments.
But, the book is the thing, a good starting overview.. however apparently outdated.

Contrasting and comparing Jane Jacobs (Death and Life of American Cities), William Whyte (Small urban spaces - not the whole title), and Robert Moses (famed for cutting off neighborhoods), and reading recent amalgams of their points of view... I think there is at least one article out there that deals with them as not in fatal collision.

And then the past few decades of new ideas..
it's a big subject.

There is a recent writer in the NYT that is dealing with some of these issues, Allison Arieff - both the articles and comments are interesting; sometimes the comments are more interesting than the article. (Her last recent piece was on the fate of the mall, which I havn't read yet).

0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 03:35 pm
I like old cities that just grew any which way.
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 03:35 pm
@chai2,
This is a pretty neat book, if you interested in such things....

http://www.amazon.com/City-Shaped-Patterns-Meanings-Through/dp/0821220160

Same guy wrote another about architecture thru the ages, but I've never ran across it....in my price range that is.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 03:44 pm
@2PacksAday,
That looks right up my alley, 2packs. (urban joke, not salacious)
I like Rob Krier, but have mostly read him re piazza/plaza (etc) patterns.


0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 03:45 pm
@George,
Me too, me too. But there were oft reasons, like hilltop defense and neighborhood cul de sac defense, ambush-ability, malaria, contours of the land, and so on, not in that order. So not all so much any which way. Just not the roman grid, or the sistine goosefoot. (Sixtus IV or V, I never remember.)
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 04:07 pm
@ossobuco,
On more recent ideas, there has been the new urbanism (Peter Collier, not sure of name, but he is/was not alone.) I am supposing there are new riffs on all that.

Tangent - not re whole city design, re, say, rings or hexagons.

Just for a second, I remember being back in Evanston, a fairly sturdy suburb, that two blocks away was Main Street, which had a grocery store (IGA or was it A &P or were there both) and a whole bunch of other stores, and angled parking (guessing, 30 degree, or was it 45). Probably a dimestore and pharmacy.
I saw it again when I last saw Evanston in 2006, a city much changed from 1955 when I was thirteen, and, dammit, I don't remember. I was looking fast at the buildings moving by, for the buildings, and didn't even notice the state of the stores or the parking, or did I? I'm near sure it wasn't angled parking. I think those stores had people living above, back in the fifties, no idea about now. On the famous Santa Monica Promenade (3rd St.), people did live above, as my pals did, in the seventies. (Not sure about now, either).




0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 04:09 pm
@ossobuco,
Not doing grid is not, of course, stupid, on the contrary, and a lot of cities have combined grid and contour designing.

Makes me want to check out San Francisco planning. (Memories of a few a2kers in a taxi with the russian driver and jjorge talking russian poetry and the driver sending us flying for fun. Greaaaaaat ride.)
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 04:31 pm
@ossobuco,
mmm, on hexagons, or hexagon-like, we have Lucca, a city I'm fond of in four days, but with a lengthy history: I was happy as a clam in the walled city, walking probably every street, but this is the centro, and a centro that is unusually inaccessible. Walls there for a reason.

or is it the centro? I don't know enough about regular business Lucca to guess, but if I had to, I'd guess not. (would be interested). I couldn't begin to guess on what old Lucca has do with anyone else in the surrounding city, how intense or not.

Obviously, you and chai don't mean such inaccessibility with your rings or hexagons, but this is an occasion when design can shut out.
Given we don't have hordes coming at our cities, why have these sort of walls?

I remember a class about whether design changes human behavior, with much reference to chrisopher alexander and others. The conclusion being that human behavior exists ahead of design. But it can affect what we react to..
http://www.roomslatorre.com/images/map_1024X768.jpg

(not my map, nor my drawing on it)
ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 04:46 pm
@ossobuco,
I meant, of course, metaphoric walls.

Which..

brings up zoning, nearly always a sore subject.


0 Replies
 
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 04:54 pm
If we are talking about a city built "from scratch," I would be inclined to forget about high rise office buildings and government buildings filled with workers in cubicles. That notion is going to disappear, perhaps in our lifetime.
JohnboyTown would consist, regardless of the shape, of neighborhoods where folks could live, work and shop. Lots of folks and lots of green space between them where the schools and cultural stuff would be.
Cars? Cars in the city? Why? Rather, an above ground and efficient transportation system.
And then there would be a "no sprawl" zone.

Have I managed to offend everyone's sensibility about urban planning?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 05:00 pm
@roger,
Nods. Mostly. But traffic divisions rule in a lot of cities, at least that I know of, and rule for good reason (er, time to airport, etc.) I'd've liked to see that rule status modified, in Los Angeles. Me, I see neighborhoods as losing to traffic flex for a long time passing). But I also get traffic flow as a concept.
There's an article in the LA Times today about the gumball that is west LA re traffic, my home town, and I did all the maneuvers in the article long before the writer. It focuses on a soccer mom or two, but does reflect the giant gumball.

This is all skirting the transporation question. LA doomed the red cars and so a hundred years of transportation stupidity started.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 06:17 pm
@realjohnboy,
realjohnboy wrote:

If we are talking about a city built "from scratch," I would be inclined to forget about high rise office buildings and government buildings filled with workers in cubicles. That notion is going to disappear, perhaps in our lifetime.
JohnboyTown would consist, regardless of the shape, of neighborhoods where folks could live, work and shop. Lots of folks and lots of green space between them where the schools and cultural stuff would be.
Cars? Cars in the city? Why? Rather, an above ground and efficient transportation system.
And then there would be a "no sprawl" zone.

Have I managed to offend everyone's sensibility about urban planning?


Yes, I was talking about building a hypothetical city from scratch.

When I talk about the business gov't section being in the middle, I didn't automatically envision cubicle-ville.

Building from scratch there could be plenty of natural light, glass (tinted and untinted) staggered layers and stuff. I don't know anything about architecture, so I don't know how to describe what I'm seeing.

I was thinking that having the housing area in a ring would make it LESS exclusionary, again, if you're building from scratch. The housing ring would be wide. Again, I'm no math expert, so I don't know how wide a circle would have to be to house let's say between 1 and 2 million people. If it got over a mile wide, I think you'd have to have "dots" of service centers. So no one would need to go more than a mile to buy necessities. If all the housing were in a ring, you could alternate higher cost housing next to lower, next to middle. Would this perhaps be a crime deterent? Now, poorer, high crime areas are isolated in distinct areas of the city, and the rich in other distinct areas. Making mingling mandatory would cause the law abiding want to set up more neighborhood watches, and most of the middle and poorer certainly would join forces to feel safer. Where would the criminals go if different socio-economic people worked together?

There is the problem of growth of the population. The city center would keep getting further away. Even if we build up.

Set, was this what you were talking about?

Where the center 7 cells would start out as the city center, and cells of various uses encirle it?
Yeah, as the population grows, more city center cells could form on the outskirts.
But then it would be cutting into already existing recreational/agricultural cells.

http://www.thelighthouseforeducation.co.uk/solveit/images/hexagon.gif
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 06:36 pm
@chai2,
Chai, have you ever heard of a guy named Robert Owen or New Harmony IN...if not you might give him a look.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 06:45 pm
@chai2,
L'enfants layout of the original DC ity was layed out with respect to the Geographic North of that day. Since the outer rim of the city was then layed out a century later, we have those weird wacky angles where streets meet about 11 degrees from the original. A circular city would have a similar problem becasue as the city grows, each of the compartments youve mentioned will grow in turn. (More coomercial, more govt, more residential).

There was a hotel in Columbus Ohio called the Christopher Columbus Inn. I stayed there in the 80s doing some work in the area. EVERY damn room was shaped like a piece of a cheese wheel and there was an incredible amount of wasted space. The hotel was torn down by 1990 because it was a dismal failure .

RINGS are only good for statics not dynamics, ause all you can do is repeat the rings somewhere else and you wont interconnect ring to ring
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 06:57 pm
@farmerman,
L'enfant was a residual of Sixtus (IV or V, I don't care which).
I won't say I'm a fan of any of them, but I get their thoughts.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 07:04 pm
@ossobuco,
Whatever , but do you see how discombobulated DC is? Try running up Connecticutt Ave without running into a subway re route or a bigass roundabout or two. (THeres another one out near Chevy Chase)
 

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