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Final

Finals Essay Question #4,7


Department
Geography
Course Code
GGRC33H3
Professor
Andre Sorensen
Study Guide
Final

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Short Essay Questions: 4 & 7
4. Both Jabareen (2006) and Wheeler (2003) identify urban form factors that are likely to result
in sustainable cities or regions. But we know that every place has unique problems and uniqe
experiences in solving them. Choose either Jabareen or Wheeler and discuss how well the
current plans to manage growth in the GTA conform to the urban design factors he identifies.
What are the main problems local policy-makers are trying to solve?
Note: I have chosen to use the Jabareen (2006) article to answer this question.
Thesis:
This essay will examine the urban form factors which are identified as contributing to
sustainability through the examination of factors Jabareen identifies, how these policies match up
with current plans and policies in the GTA, and lastly what problems are trying to be solved.
1. Jabareens urban form factors:
The emergence of sustainable development as a popular concept has increased
discussion of the urban form of cities. It has provoked scholars and practicioners
in different profession to seek forms of human settlements which meet the
requirements of sustainability and allow the built enviro to function in a more
contructive way.
This article identifies several design concepts related to sustainable urban form:
compact uses, sustainable transport, density, mixed land use, diversity, passive
solar design and greening.
They identify four types of sustainable urban form the neotraditional development,
urban containment, the compact city, and the eco-city.
The current urban form of contemporary cities is perceived as a source of
environmental problems.
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The approaches to sustainability have been addressed on numerous spatial scales
(1) The metropolitan levels; (2) the city level; (3) the community level; (4) the
building level (LEED ratings for condos).
Generally urban form is a composite of characteristics related to land use patterns,
transportation system, and urban design. Keving Lnych (1981) calls it thethe
spatial pattern of the large inert, permanent, physical objects of the city”.
Sustainable urban form factors:
i.Compactness: a widely accepted strategy for more sustainable urban
forms. It also refers to urban contiguity (no leapfrog), containment of
sprawl rather than reduction. Intensification is a major part achieving
compactness, including brownfield and filling in undeveloped land. It is
related to the protection of rural land; better quality of life and service
provision; less energy consumption and the ability for district heating, and
alternative transit. Many planner and scholars believe this as being key to
achieving sustainability.
ii.Sustainable transit: Transport is a big issue for sustainability debates.
The form of cities is closely related to the dominant transportation modes
through history (like the car). Sustainable urban form must be at a scale
appropriate for walking, cycling, and efficient transit. Transit services that
reflect the full social and enviro costs. Should be more efficient and
renewable transit options. Compact TOD will shorten trips and cut
motorized travel (cervero). There is an inverse relationship between urban
density and energy consumption.
iii.Density: The ratio of people or dwelling units per land. Thought of in
thresholds the number of people should be sufficient to make urban
functions viable. Can save a significant amount of energy, and as density
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increases auto ownership decreases, low density encourages car use. Some
argue that dispersed low density living patterns are better.
iv. Mixed Land Uses: general consensus among planners and scholars that
mixed land use is important. Zoning should allow compatible land uses in
proximity to each other residential, commercial, industrial, institutional
and transit. This reduces the need to travel, reduces the need for a car. It
can enhance security and renew life in many part of the city (eyes on the
street). The current built form has been unmxing uses and rigid zoning of
single uses. Mixed uses are walking friendly, decrease in vehicle trip eates
and number of vehicle hours. More walking.
v. Diversity: Jane Jacobs popularized this, lack of concentrated diversity can
put people into automobiles for all of their needs. In diverse areas people
walk Jacobs says places decline without diversity. Similar to mixed uses
but it is multidimesnial promotes a greater variety of housing types, sized,
ages, cultures and income ( a diverse social context). It contains a mix of
land uses, building types and sizes styles and rents.
vi.Passive Solar Design: Central to achieving sustainability reduce energy
demand by specific design measures. Site orientation (where the buildings
are on the site) and landscaping cam make optimum use od solar gain and
microclimatic conditions o minimize the need for space heating or colling
or buildings. Urban areas have different microclimates that nature (heat
island) built form density and type should influence airflow view of sun
and sky; street canyon the width to height ratio and orientation to
influence warming and cooling and pollution dispersal; building design to
influence heat loss and cooling; urban materials and surface finishes to
absorb heat and retain it; vegetation and water to help cooling; traffic
reduction and to reduce air noise pollution and heat discharge.
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