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Copenhagen Puts Edges at Heart of Planning

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Toby
Toby  
12/9/2013 5:47:23 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Edge Zoning changes
@Rich:  What I meant was that the brutalist concrete architecture of the Barbican is actually now deemed a badge of merit when it comes to the desirability of living space there. The falts are highly sought after and not just because of the central loaction. Actually the concrete has an interesting finish that makes it look like raw stone from a quarry.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/6/2013 3:23:30 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Encouraging eye contact
That's an interesting idea about schools... I can't really imagine that here except maybe in really progressive environments, or with smaller, private schools. Otherwise, on the whole, I think schools are becoming more closed off to the outside world and strangers -- for obvious, understandable reasons.

richheap
richheap  
12/5/2013 5:42:12 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Edge Zoning changes
@Toby: Retro-fashionable? Not sure about that, but they are part of our architectural heritage -- for better or worse.

Toby
Toby  
12/4/2013 10:50:41 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Edge Zoning changes
@Rich: Yes but interestingly a walk on the concrete paths of the Barbican is actually a reminder of how retro-fasionable those walkways are now, particularly in that location.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
12/4/2013 8:06:11 AM
User Rank Blogger
Inviting ambiance
Very cool concept, Rich. It's interesting how these smaller details can have such a outsized impact.

I can see how this could work even in colder climes, where putting chairs and tables on the street is not going to work when the snow arrives. But coffee shops with big glass windows would look inviting. 

Much of the architecture in Barcelona's city center follows the model of apartment buildings with shops on the ground floor. So there's always something interesting going on at street level. This is less the case out in the burbs, but new construction still holds somewhat to that pattern.

richheap
richheap  
12/4/2013 4:36:43 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Edge Zoning changes
I think it has been a conscious move, Toby. I hope that some of lessons about good design have been learnt and that developers have moved away from the one-revolutionary-but-now-dangerous concrete walkways of 1960s and 1970s housing and commercial schemes.

That said, I'm sure the way we're designing schemes is storing up other problems for the future. We just don't know what they are yet.

richheap
richheap  
12/4/2013 4:31:48 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Encouraging eye contact
@Nicole: Tina was also talking about how this is used with schools, so pupils can look out at people on the pavement and people outside can look in. The idea is to encourage interaction and improve safety. I'm not sure what would happen if a school proposed this approach in the UK or US.

richheap
richheap  
12/4/2013 4:29:57 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Building community
Thanks Mary. Yes, I find the idea really exciting. I don't know what that says about me!

Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney  
12/3/2013 11:13:15 PM
User Rank Blogger
Disconnect, exposed
This whole disconnect between building designers and designers of the adjacent public spaces is not to be underestimated or given short shrift. In sun-drenched LA, there are so few outdoor spaces that really work or pull people in to linger, congregate, and enjoy their communities. Farmer's markets get shoved into parking lots. Parks and squares are incredibly rare. City planners were clearly in cahoots with developers, and now we get to live in the asphalt and concrete jungles that are their legacy.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
12/3/2013 1:59:40 PM
User Rank Staff
Encouraging eye contact
"Copenhagen is also using the planning system to encourage eye contact. 'You can use that as a way of creating community in the city.' For example, there's a stipulation that external walls be 75% glass at the ground floor level, so people can see in and out."

That's really interesting. I never thought about how eye contact could be encouraged by design, but this makes a lot of sense. I'm trying to think of establishments where external glass walls are used, and thus far I can only come up with coffee shops and bagel stores in New York... some restaurants, too. That makes sense, since dining out is a social event. But I need to pay attention to see if this method is deployed elsewhere.

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