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Lecture 2

Week 7 Lecture 2 GEOG 2200 2013 Notes.docx

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Carleton University
GEOG 2200
John Milton

Page1Week 7Lecture 2 The Future of Cities Is there anywhere left to go but upGEOG 2200 Fall 2012Visioning the City of the FutureHow do we see the city of the future Movies generally see tomorrows city as dark environments with towering high rise structures and vehicles that fly or a selfdriven as frightening thought is that selfparking cars already exist and several companies are testing selfdriving vehicles See Cities in Science Fiction FilmshttpwwwyoutubecomwatchvVG2IGawB9lQScience fiction provides us with a wider spectrum of future cities ranging also from dystopian visions to utopian onesIs the Compact City the City of the FutureThe challenge is to envision new form of architect design and urban planning to response the problems of limited territorial space superpopulation and the horizontal growth of the cities which has too many problems of economic environment and political sustainability But it also includes how we understand the nature of our homes our offices our urban areas Where does the private space end and the public space begin in architectural design and urban planning Where does human space end and natures space begin with the risk of perpetuating the humannature dichotomy Architecture and urban planning ideallyexist at the intersection of the real and the imaginative Urban planning involves very real technical issues associated with infrastructure but it also must consider the social the living space in which we people inhabit Urban Design Traditions Foundations or DistractionsLets take a step back first before looking at the future While human settlements throughout history are varied and complex all have some mix of public space and private space Public spaces have existed since humans have begun creating settlements some 10000 years ago Public spaces include streets sidewalks parks plazas squares and public buildings They are where people gather and interact This is where the social occurs These spaces support activities that take place in the civic realmmarkets exchange defense pageantry sports and for leisure Public spaces connect people with each other and with activities across the urban landscape Publicly shared parts of cities and towns connect the private realms and activities that occur in the home with activities that occur outside the home We move through public spaces to and from private spaces The Organic TraditionTermed as naturalistic vernacular indigenous incremental romantic picturesque the Organic Tradition reflects emerging settlements reflecting their activities and their connections largely according to natural systems water systems land contours arable lands orientation climate without any formal oversight or minimal restrictions Ancient towns on all continents followed this tradition Examples globally and in historyMedieval towns Indian towns eg old town of Mumbaigo to Google Earth or Old Delhi versus New Delhi But also first towns of European settlement Old Boston Old New York Old Quebec frontier towns of western United States and pueblos all reflect the Organic Tradition Cities like Boston New York Montreal and Quebecand so many othersfound their beginnings in the organic tradition generally defined by access in these cases river highways portsPage2Figure 1 The Medieval TownFigure 2 The Medieval Town of Brugge Such urban spaces evolved There was no real planning People were effectively left to build their own environment buildings and their activities shaped the streets and the urban area in general more than the other way around Houses and shops of various shapes and sizes using readily available materials often attached to one another defined the streets and public spaces that connected them their workplaces and shared civic spaces as long as access was provided linking private places to the public network there was no particular concern for straightness or standard widths and lengths of street blocks Even as the formalist tradition with its grid of standardized blocks and straight streets took hold of urban design the organic tradition remained The emerging cities of industry became sumps of air and pollution and the quality of urban life deteriorated through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century People who could afford too moved out of the city into the surrounding countryside While this was once the privilege of the rich the emerging middle class could now do so This process was also driven by advances in transportation technologyfirst rail systems and later the car In his process the Organic Tradition found its way from city centres to suburban One of the earliest examples of this was Olmstead and Vauxs 1857 Riverside Plan of Chicago a vision known as landscape urbanism The Riverside Plan created a neighbourhood of treelined winding streets and an undulating topography out of a treeless plain This was to become the model of later suburbanization even to this day
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