Landscape as Urbanism

Landscape as Urbanism

 

In the module Cities and Culture, that ran parallel with the Alternative Housing module, my group were required to read a piece of literature by Charles Waldheim. The literature was ‘Landscape as Urbanism’. In the previous semester I was required to produce a summary on the text, however in the cities and culture module we were required to produce a presentation in a group. Prior to last semester, this concept was new. The summary allowed me to understand the topic, however the presentation allowed me to really divulge into the topic and try and fully understand every aspect of it. Having to present it meant that me and my group needed to be confident on the topic, because after all, it was not only us needing to understand the topic, but the rest of the class were to hear out view on it. This is because Landscape Urbanism would be a pivotal part of the module and developing a proposal for an area in Nantes.

 

Firstly, it is important to introduce the topic. From our understanding as a group, the reading by Waldeim on landscape urbanism produced 4 key ideas that we felt were most important. They were:

 

1) Landscape as a Medium

2) Indeterminacy

3) Ecology

4) Paradigm Shift.

 

 

Landscape as a medium refers to a landscape that can respond to temporal change, transformation, adaptation and succession. There is the potential for landscape architecture to supplant design disciplines responsible for reordering urban sites. Stan Allen referred to Landscape as ‘a model for process’. A prime example for this thinking was the Parc De La Villette.

 

Indeterminacy refers to the conditions of contemporary urban culture that are rapidly and constantly transforming. Landscape urbanism is seen as an organising element. A continuous process of change and indeterminacy, hence a greater focus on process and not the ultimate product. Rem Koolhaas claimed ‘landscape is the primary element of urban order’.

 

Ecology, landscape urbanism allowed for the reordering of relationship between the ecology and infrastructure. Operational methodologies of field ecology: the studies of species as they relate to their natural environment. There is a complex interweaving of natural ecologies with the social, cultural and infrastructural layers of the contemporary city. Richard Weller referred to ‘the landscape itself… is the infrastructure of the future’.

 

Finally, the idea of a paradigm shift. It is the intellectual and cultural renewal of the landscape discipline. James Corner called for an imaginative reordering of categories in the built environment. A disciplinary realignment in which landscape supplants architectures historical role as the basic building block of urban design.

 

The four ideas that are portrayed in the reading provide a helpful understanding of landscape urbanism. After reading this literature I could really help relate the proposals to the site in Nantes and as a result I felt it helped our understanding on the whole. I hope this summary provides a snapshot and can help people in their future endeavours into landscape urbanism.

 

 

Reference: Charles Waldeim, Ladscape, Landscape as Urbanism.

Should We Retrofit Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems?

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Should We Retrofit Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems?

 

In terms of design it is easier to design sustainable urban drainage systems at the start of the development process, however there are existing neighbourhoods that could benefit from the construction of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS). What I would like to look at is how we could retrofit those existing neighbourhoods with sustainable urban drainage systems.

 

With climate change apparently taking more of an effect and there are going to be more extreme weather scenarios, areas that are susceptible to surface flooding. This has become apparent in times of heavy rainfall most recently, for example a few years ago there was a period of heavy rainfall in the north east of England. There was chaos on the roads and travel infrastructure, but in the housing estates there was extensive damage. The housing estates were not seen to be flood risks, but because of the intense heavy rainfall they fell victim to surface flooding. As a result, there needs to be consideration into retrofitting existing neighbourhoods with sustainable urban drainage systems to reduce the risk of this type of flooding.

 

Using academic literature, Macdonald and Jones (2006) use Glasgow as a case study and highlight that the increases in precipitation and the poor quality drainage has led to flooding in areas. They address the use of retrofit sustainable urban drainage and indicate that it has been a beneficial tool to reducing flooding. However, what they also make apparent is the maintenance of the SUDS, this can be an issue for land owners (Macdonald and Jones, 2006), however if it is adapted by the local authority or the highways agency, this many not be an issue. Supporting this belief is the literature by Scholz, Morgan and Pitcher (2005). They use a similar case study in Glasgow and support the idea that retrofit SUDS can help relieve the pressure on the current drainage systems (Scholz, Morgan and Pitcher, 2005).

 

To wrap up, in my opinion SUDS should be at the forefront of design but also it needs to be addressed on a retrofitting basis as well. As predictions state, we are due to get heavier and more frequent downpours, therefore there needs to be confidence in the drainage techniques in place, and the advantages SUDS bring can resolve this issue.

 

References:

 

1) Macdonald, N. and Jones, P., 2006. The inclusion of sustainable drainage systems in flood management in the post-industrial city: A case study of Glasgow. Scottish Geographical Journal, 122(3), pp. 233-246.

2) Scholz, M., Morgan, R. and Pitcher, R., 2005. Stormwater resources development and management in Glasgow: two case studies. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 62(3), pp. 263-282.

 

Feature Image:

 

http://www.fangornlandscapes.co.uk/images/suds.jpg

Improving Environmental Standards in an Urban Area

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Improving Environmental Standards in an Urban Area.

 

Urban design has seen an increase in the need for developments to give more consideration to the environment as opposed to social and economic factors being at the forefront of design (Carmona, 2009). The social, economic and environmental dimensions make up the three pillars of sustainability (Ekins, 2000). Although the aim is equality between the pillars, it is believed that ecological and environmental constraints are ‘the most fundamental measure that should be considered on sustainability’ (Modifi, Shemirani and Hodjati, 2013, pg. 290). There needs to be more emphasis on the environment, and how this is incorporated into urban design.

 

Firstly, it is important to introduce the features that make a development obtain a high environmental standard. Utilising the work by Carmona (2009) it is apparent that a ‘settlement is like a living organism’ (Carmona, 2009, pg. 53), it uses food, fuel and water, whilst releasing waste, solids and other pollution (Carmona, 2009). Therefore it is important to reduce the consumption of resources whilst also limiting the waste that is produced.

 

Resource efficiency, energy and C02 emissions can be addressed by the use of renewable energy, with various technologies available for implementation. The development of the Western Harbour in Malmo, Sweden provides a good example. Malmo introduces renewable energy sources into an urban neighbourhood. Many people believed that renewable energy, such as ‘large solar production projects, or wind energy farms, require relatively remote sites’ (Beatley, 2007, pg. 38). Whereas Malmo shows that these methods can be incorporated into urban areas.

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A lot of the time people only seem to address creating green energy, however using an example from Vauban Passivehaus in Freiburg, Germany, organic household waste is allowed to ferment anaerobically with the gas being produced used for cooking gas and the excess water being treated and returned to the water cycle (Vauban, 2013). Utilising a method like this shows that some of the waste is being used energy creation, reducing the amount going to landfill.

 

Finally, addressing water. Sustainable urban drainage systems are being used more and more in design. They can be used for reducing the potential of flooding, but they also have advantages with regards to biodiversity and water treatment. In Ruwenbos, Netherlands, they have adopted a swale like drainage called wadis, with the two-tiered system filtering out pollutants before intercepting the water (DAC, 2014). Using this method in a design can improve the site aesthetically and ecologically whilst reducing the surface run off and filtering it at the same time.

 

The above provide a brief overview of three aspects that could be incorporated into a design in order to improve the environmental standard of that development. By no means are they strict and rigid design possibilities, they just give an example to the types of techniques that are being used in various places. Therefore, if a developer aims to improve the environmental standard, there are ways and means and successful precedents of this. In my opinion methods like this should be used on any development, I feel developers sometimes stray away from this idea for cost, however in the long run it is beneficial for the environment. If only some of the methods were implemented it would have a much greater effect than having non of them at all.

 

 

1) Beatley, T., 2007. Envisioning Solar Cities: Urban Futures Powered by Sustainable Energy. Journal of Urban Technology. 14(2), pp. 31-46

 

2) Carmona, M., 2009. Sustainable urban design: principles to practice. International Journal of Sustainable Development. 12(1), pp. 48-77.

 

3) DAC (Danish Architect Centre), 2014. Enshede: Rainwater as a Resource. [online] Available at: <http://www.dac.dk/en/dac-cities/sustainable-cities/all-cases/water/enschede-rainwater-as-a-resource/?bbredirect=true> [Accessed 18 March 2015]

 

4) Ekins, P. 2000. Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: The Prospects for Green Growth, London: Routledge.

 

5) Modifi Shemirani, S.M., and Hodjati, V., 2013. Comparative evaluation of principles of urban design and sustainable development. Advances in Environmental Geography, 7(1), pp. 288-300.

 

6) Vauban, 2013. An Introduction to the Vauban District. [online] Available at: <http://vauban.de/en/topics/history> [Accessed 18 March 2015]

 

Image:

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Feature Image: https://www.thesleuthjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/5.jpg

Cohousing Text Summary – ‘An Old Idea: A Contemporary Approach’

Here is my summary of the choosing text – An Old Idea: A Contemporary Approach.

It is quite a long summary, however, due to the detail and important aspects that it covers and the potential usefulness that it holds for our design in Hexham, I felt it was appropriate to try and include all of these. So here it is:

 

Cohousing blog post.

 

An Old Idea: A Contemporary Approach

 

It is believed that cohousing is not a new concept. In the past it is apparent that many villages or communities were very tightly woven and they often did things together. This ranged from building community facilities to growing crops and celebrating the harvest. Many of these aspects can be seen in the more contemporary features of cohousing communities. In the modern co-housing communities there are many different professions, people will live in close proximity, however they may work away from this area. This does not stop people from living together in fact it can help if anything, a doctor could help a child who has been injured or a plumber could help with leaks. In order for this to work in a community, it is about the residents being comfortable to ask for the help of their fellow co-housing residents.

 

Over time co-housing has had to change and adapt to different elements such as society and technological advancements. In the past co-housing had to relate to zoning, however now with the push towards mixed-use neighbourhoods, the zoning had to accommodated various changes. Therefore in some cohousing communities there are retail, business and social space. People can live and work here without the need to specifically work at home or travel distances to work.

 

Cohousing can come in a range of shapes, sizes, ownership and design however in the literature it is identified that there are six common characteristics:

 

  • Participatory Process – residents are involved in the planned and design process. As a result of the willingness to live here, the drive to get it completed is strong. Residents can often link with a private developer, however the residents themselves make the major decisions. In addition, the majority of homes are often sold or rented before the development is even built. Even though there is a proven success with cohousing, developers do not seek to build down this route. Residents have a will to commit their time and energy to projects because they strive to be part of this more satisfying living environment. There is an on going process of people participating in the development and even with the challenges it faces, the reward comes from the experience. The community feel is apparent when residents work together to achieve their goals. The difficulties in the planning stage, in turn actually makes the bonds between residents stronger.

 

  • Designs that facilitate community – design encourages a strong community feel. Certain features are designed in a way so that community interaction is paramount. For example, parking at the periphery of the site allowing the majority of the site to be pedestrian only and provide safety for children. Location of the common house to a more primary route, for example on the way home so people are more likely to pop in. Children areas located in a site where the community can self-police it for safety. Physical design is key to enhance the social interactions and atmosphere. Without thoughtful considerations into the design, certain opportunities can be missed.

 

  • Extensive common facilities – common areas are the heart of the community. The common house provides a space for community meals, interaction, games and classes etc. In addition there are areas for laundry and cooking facilities. It is essential for community life and acts as an extension to private areas. The common house is just one aspect; there may be other common facilities around the site. Common facilities remove the need for individual houses to have individual resources; it is about sharing what the community has. If several houses share the cost of something expensive, that expensive resource becomes more affordable and benefits more residents. In addition, storage space is greatly reduced by the use of sharing. High functioning cohousing communities see about 250-400 hours of common house use a week. As the site develops, certain features may be converted to meet the changing needs of people.

 

  • Complete resident management – residents manage the community themselves. Major decisions are made at common meetings. Responsibilities are often divided between the residents, so each contributes to the site. Outside entities cannot be blamed for issues within the cohousing if the residents do their own duties, therefore all responsibility lies within the cohousing residents. Some residents may contribute more to others and attend more meetings, but apart from the basic management, you can put in as much as you want to.

 

  • Non-Hierarchal Structure – community share the responsibilities. The community do not depend on one person to make all the decisions. It is possible for certain people to contribute to the management, but they only do so if they feel that they benefit in a way.

 

  • Separate income sources – residents have their own primary incomes, they do not rely on the retail or businesses to generate income. They all pay a monthly fees and membership fees.

 

All of these six characteristics essentially create the definition of co housing. They are all individual aspects, however they are not unique, they all merge together to contribute to the 21st century living. The factors make cohousing a unique entity. Each cohousing community will be different, but all have similar underlying aspects.

 

Cohousing communities can vary in size, the average cohousing site has between 15 to 35 households. Communities that have less than 6 households are more like when people share a house or apartment and living in smaller numbers can be harder due to the lack of sharing of duties. Each member is required to complete certain tasks compared to being divided up. The literature highlights that ‘The Danes’ believe that a cohousing community should not have more than 50 adults, due to the varying differences in opinions. The Danes have a better history of creating cohousing communities than that of the Americans, therefore their views are more influential. 51 or more adults challenge the spirit of community housing, but less than 20 and the social aspects are challenged. `The location of cohousing sites are limited to affordable and available land. Many of the cohousing sites have a rural feel, however, many of the residents commute to nearby towns or city to work. Some are located in inner cities.

 

Key design characteristics of cohousing are providing a car-free living environment and suffice places for social interaction on various scales. Within the walkways there should be places and nodes (such as picnic tables) where people can stop and interact with one another, they are located every 5 to 9 houses. With regards to climate, the cohousing can have certain features to allow for optimum social interaction, such as covered walkways. In the hotter climates, trees, providing shade from the sun. Within the houses the orientation of rooms is key, the kitchen often faces out to the common side of the house so people can see one another, where as the private areas are often facing another direction.

 

Cohousing provides both environmental and economic advantages as well as the social ones already highlighted. Firstly, environmental, it is apparent that residents use less energy, own fewer cars and drive less than people who do not live in cohousing. Therefore, it is clear this is very advantageous for the environment. The sharing of resources also aids the environment, as households do not own one of everything. Even down to the transportation of goods reduces the energy required. In addition, cohousing buildings are often produced to a high environmental standard to help with efficiency. Secondly, economic, a smaller home compared to an average family home is cheaper to maintain. Residents can limit their expenses. Due to efficient homes, there are cheaper household bills. Less driving means less fuel costs.

 

With regards to financing, there are different financing models. Many of the earlier schemes started with a homeowners association, however some are now private bank financing or through non-profit organisations. They believe the best way to fund the community is to find the easiest way. To finish, there are many priorities that the cohousing residents have. Residents can start out with certain priorities, but over time they can change. Each project has been created from different options, learning from past projects, the residents themselves create the high quality cohousing communities; the residents make it a high quality place.

 

An Old Idea: A contemporary Approach (book chapter), Creating Co-housing, McCamant, Durrett 2011

 

Reflection on the Blog Activity

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The first session was an introduction for the blog. This session was a new experience for me. Unlike people I know, blogging was a task I had never been faced with. As the first session progressed my understanding for what was required of the blog became clearer, although there were still areas I was unsure of. Following on from this, it became apparent that the physical design and aesthetic features of the blog were down to the class and myself. In addition, to finalise and choose how we wanted the blog to look we had to decide this in our own meetings that would run through the semester discussing other points with the blog. At the end of the session we had to decide who was to chair and who was to take minutes in the text meeting, so to get the ball rolling I took the decision to chair it. This was going to be a challenging task due to my lack of understanding of blogging, however I felt it would be a valuable exercise.

 

Following on from this at the next session, it took a lot of input and teamwork to try and reach a final design for the blog. This included features such as font, layout, headings, text and images. As the session concluded we had a came to an initial idea of how it may look and that would form the foundations of the blog site. The next blog meetings were all about finalising this and ironing out bugs that the site had, to produce a fully functioning blog site that included all the features that we wanted.

 

The above provided the background for how I thought the blog process went and how it was influenced, now I will discuss the actual participation in the blogging and inputs etc. Reading other users blog posts provided me with a greater understanding of how other people interpret various topics. With the course being comprised of many different cultures, I find it very interesting to learn about other colleagues’ backgrounds. This can be through the various blogs as the initial posts and biography allowed for an introduction to the blog. In addition the blog posts themselves show how different backgrounds see different topics.

 

Reiterating my previous point about having never blogged before, this new style of learning was very different to what I was used to. During my degree I had written many essays, but in my opinion blogging was totally different. Even though they both require academic support, a blog is a short input. This is compared to a long worded essay, a blog post provides short and concise inputs which are very straight to the point. This is something that I find quite useful as it reduces unnecessary text. Furthermore, the short inputs allow for many topics to be discussed, something that an essay may not have the potential to do. Therefore covering many topics helps aid the understanding of various fields.

 

 

Finally, I feel that this semester has set the groundwork for blogging in the following semesters. The writing style and inputs required have came clearer and I feel that this will be reflected in my following work.

 

Reference:

 

Feature Image: http://www.comofazer.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/como-fazer-um-blog.jpg

 

Realising the economic viability and effectiveness of a design.

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The overarching theme that always comes into mind when determining a design for an area is the economic viability and effectiveness of the proposal. Throughout various lectures, in particular the economics lecture, it was reiterated that a design and proposal has to be believable. In my opinion, to fully understand what is needed in the area is going out and speaking to local people. They will know exactly what they would like. Sometimes this is not what we as designers have in mind, however their knowledge can help adapt a design to meet their needs and having a compromise between our design and what they need. By incorporating this knowledge into a design, it can achieve a base plan. However, there are issues that need to be overcome, in order for the design to be economically viable certain factors need to be overcome.

 

Following from the lecture by Aiden Oswell (6/10/2014), he made it apparent that understanding the economics of a design can help is understand the worth of things and the economic analysis focuses on value. If the design does not meet the community needs, not economically viably and does not represent value, the final development will not be a success. The success of a development is apparent in the work by Vandell and Lane (1989), they highlight that the design needs to be sound so that it can be viable. Furthermore, they say that a good design will reduce vacancies, because if a development is always vacant it is a failure. This relates back to the engagement with the community, if a design and development does not meet their needs, is not within the price range, the development will be vacant.

 

The economic effectiveness and viability is something that had to be thought about within our South Shields project. It is possible to come up with the wildest and best looking design, but if it is not economically viable it will be a bad design. It needs to be realistic and actually have the potential to work in a place like South Shields. If the design that has been proposed costs to use, how much does it cost? Will it be within the price range for residents? Will it be something people are willing to spend money on? All of these factors need to be taken into consideration.

 

To conclude, using the lecture from Aiden Oswell and the literature within this text, it is clear that a good design needs to have a large emphasis on economics. It also needs to meet the residents’ needs. If the needs are met and the economics are sound, then that provides good foundations for the rest of the design to be finalised and for a development to be a success that provides value.

 

References:

1) Oswell, A., 2014. Economics and Effective Urban Design. TCP: 8090 / 8091 Principles and Practice of Urban Design. [Lecture] 30/10/2104.

2) Vandell, K. D., and Lane, J. S., 1989. The Economics of Architecture and Urban Design: Some Preliminary Findings. Institute of Business and Economic Research. UC Berkeley: Fisher Centre for Real Estate and Urban Economics. Available at: <http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/4gt3951f> [Accessed 4th December 2014]

 

Feature Image: http://ptqguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/PIC-Blog-1-Whats-your-budget.png

Are streets safe at night if there is no car movement?

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Throughout city centres there are pedestrian only streets, however on a night do they feel as safe as they do during the daytime? The reason I ask this is on a night streets with cars on them are going to be busier with more people than that of a pedestrian only street. Therefore, does that alter yourarticle-2264917-170836C7000005DC-570_470x423 sense of safety if there is very little activity on a street? During the daytime on Northumberland Street in Newcastle,  pedestrians can move freely on the street without care. There are plenty of other pedestrians at the same time, subsequently safety is quite high. However, on a night, when the shops shut, the street can have a feeling of a ghost town, as a result, I would feel the street has lost a sense of safety and can become very daunting with the lack of activity.

 

Compare this to Grey Street in Newcastle, this street has cars on during the daytime and on nighttime, it also has a lot of pedestrian movement for a street with some shops, cafes and restaurants. Therefore, the street can feel somewhat safer on nighttime, because the services are not shut, there is still movement and people on the streets. With reference to academic literature, Jacobs (1961) relates to hgreyster experiences within a city and highlights that if a street does not have other people using it and is just quiet then fear can creep in and crime can become apparent (Jacobs, 1961). This idea is something that is portrayed from the Urban Task Force (1999), it is made apparent that active frontages and other pedestrian movement can improve the safety of the street (Urban Task Force 1999). Following on from this, it leads to my design idea.

A solution to this issue is to design pedestrian only streets that have the capabilities of car movement after a certain time in the evening, when the streets are not crowed and cars can pass safely. As a result, during the night when pedestrian movement is low, car movement can add to this sense of ‘eyes on the street’, it can improve the sense of safety. The psychological aspects of having other people on the street can be very beneficial, people feel more at ease, apparent from the literature in the previous paragraph. In my opinion, when walking around the streets of Newcastle on a night, I will always choose a busy street over a quiet pedestrian only one, even if the route is longer. However with a shared use during the night, can this what were pedestrian only streets feel psychologically safer? My answer is yes, they can.

 

References:

1) Jacobs, J., 1961. The Uses of Sidewalk: Safety, in: Le Gates, T. R., and Stout, R., 5th ed. 2001. The City Reader. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 518 – 529.

2) The Urban Task Force, 1999. Designing the Urban Environment. Towards an Urban Renaissance. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 49 – 85.

Images:

Feature Image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EUTggbe5I3o/T5WQYsNEBnI/AAAAAAAAC3E/fFCAs7eXd_4/s1600/SS300.jpg

In Text Images: 1) Northumberland Street -http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/01/19/article-2264917-170836C7000005DC-570_470x423.jpg

2) Grey Street – https://www.gateshead.gov.uk/TyneWearLieutenancy/Images/greyst.jpg

 

 

Urban Agriculture to improve deprived areas? or Urban Agriculture to have food security?

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Image: http://www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/food-security.jpg

As part of our module in semester 1, our assignment was to look at South Shields and implement urban agricultural schemes to overcome problems that the town faced. Using various case studies and innovative methods we were to create an overall design to implement urban agriculture into the town and surrounding areas. To solve overarching issues that an area has is one way that urban agriculture can be used, but should this be at the forefront of reasons to introduce urban agriculture? With the forever increasing world population, should urban agriculture be specifically aimed at problematic locations? Or should ensuring food security and an urban food network be of the upmost important?

 

South Shields faces high levels of deprivation, varying from health to education to employment, urban agriculture can be seen as a method of alleviating those deprivations. Garnet (2000) highlights the benefits that urban agriculture can have for people, by using London as a case study, Garnet (2000) states that people who grow their own produce ‘enjoy better physical and mental health’ (Garnet, 2000, pg. 484) and by having an allotment, it allows for people to ‘get away from the stresses of life’ (Garnet, 2000, pg. 484). From this it is evident that urban agriculture can have the potential to reduce deprivation and improve quality of life. London is not the only place to experience this, in Chicago the Urban canopy works with schools and local people to improve health, employment and nutrition in the surrounding area.

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That is one aspect of urban agriculture the other side I would like to look at is whether food security should be the main reason behind urban agriculture. Obviously the trickle down effects of urban agriculture will be that of the previous paragraph, but should urban agriculture be implemented for the main reason of food security? With the world population now over 7 billion, food within urban areas needs to be readily available. Badami and Ramankutty (2014) highlight that food security is key in urban areas, ensuring people have readily available fruit and vegetables that meet their daily needs. However, they also relate to the positives of having urban agriculture and food available, saying that it can reduce poverty, allowing for cheap food and improve health (Badami and Ramankutty, 2014). Therefore there is always a relation to the full benefits of urban agriculture.

 

To conclude, I believe that food should be available to everyone, no one should be deprived of this. In order to determine the areas that need it most, I believe it should be pointed towards the more deprived areas. By doing this, the deprived areas can provide food for themselves and also sell it to the places that need it. Food security should be at the forefront, because everyone should have access to food, but determining the places to produce food should be aimed at the lesser areas to help improve them. There should be a clear relationship between the two.

 

References:

1) Badami, M. G., and Ramkutty, N. 2014. Urban Agriculture and Food Security: A critique based on an assessment of urban land constraints. Global Food Security. Ppp. 1-8.

2) Garnet, T. 2000. Urban Agriculture in London: rethinking our food economy, in: Bakker, N., Dubbeling, M., Gundel, S., Sabel-Koschella, U., and Zeeuw, H. de., 2000. Growing cities, growing food: urban agriculture on the policy agenda. A reader on Urban Agriculture. Feldafing: Deutsche Stifung fur international Entwicklung (DSE), pp. 477-500.

Feature Image: http://www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/food-security.jpg

Blog Image: http://www.theurbancanopy.org/2012/08/27/september-already/img_0199/

The Role Of The Community In Design

Community Participation

(Image: Wates, 2013)

When creating a design for a new development in a local area it is a necessity to have various inputs from the community and local people. The inputs they can contribute with relate to many things, they can include: Local knowledge and community requirements. In addition, there is the major requirement of community participation in the design process. Once a development is completed it is the community and local people that are going to use it, therefore, if the development is not something that meets their needs and requirements it will be destined to become a failure. Using the literature by McCarthy (2007) he makes it apparent that if a development does not include the community, the trickle down effects that it may have will not benefit the local people. In fact the effects will be of a negative nature as opposed to positive (McCarthy, 2007). Therefore consultation and involvement with the community is key.

 

Another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration is the information and communication that takes places with the local community. If designers are not in constant contact and involvement with the community, the community may feel that the development is going to be something that will destroy the community. However, if the designer is in communication at every step of the design process a bond can be created and the community become more trusting and understanding of what the designer wants to achieve. In addition there is the improvement of moral, achieved from this teamwork.

 

The introduction of community planning events can help aid the relationship between the planners and designers with the local community. Wates (2013) highlights that there are many more benefits of community involvement than first believed. The community have the opportunity to share their ideas and bring a fresh new thinking to the table, something that may not have been possible in previous developments. In the case of the Aylesham Masterplan, some 83% of the community were involved in the development of a masterplan (Wates, 2013). As a result of the success that this involvement achieved, the masterplan was subsequently inputted into the local plan and used by private developers in order to meet the needs of the area.

 

Final word, community involvement and local knowledge should be at the forefront and the very beginning of any design. It can hold secret and key information that some designers will not have access to. The success of development can also be reliant on community involvement, so ensuring the participation of the community is key.

References:

1) McCarthy, J., 2007. Partnership, Collaborative Planning and Urban Regeneration. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

2) Wates, N., 2013. The Community Planning Event Manual How to use Collaborative Planning and Urban Design Events to Improve your Environment. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd.

Image:

1) Wates, N., 2013. The Community Planning Event Manual How to use Collaborative Planning and Urban Design Events to Improve your Environment. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd.


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