With the development of urbanization, more and more people choose to move into the city while accelerated the growth of urban area. Moreover, the growing of the population of citizen also increasing the pressures of sustainable development for environment and cities. Therefore, the urban design will play a more and more significant role in the future. According to the evolution of urban design, urbanity is considered frequently in the current urban planning. Besides an increasing number ofpeopleandauthorities beginning to recognized the importance of urbandesign for urban construction after 1990. (Madanipour,2006). On the whole, urbanity is mainly reflected in two aspects, in which one of point is that the tangible social construction, such as urban infrastructure and local environment, the other one is the invisible experiences, such as individual feeling for different place and culture, even the lifestyle of city (lee, 2010).
In addition, in my opinion, I think that urbanity also is the reflection of the quality of urban life, in which the different demand of people be met and a better living environment will be provide in the city. In other words, the different cities had the different experience of urbanity, because the urban design are related with the particular context of these cities. Therefore, in this essay, I would like to introduce the Addington as one of the neighbourhood in Christchurch, and based on this site to analysis how to improve the urbanity in urban design.
Choice of urban neighborhood
Addington, one of Christchurch’s first suburbs was born as a railway town on the periphery of the southern Town Belt, now Moorhouse Avenue which located to the south west, approximately 2.5 kilometers from the city core. Addington is an inner city suburb with a mix of medium to low density housing, retail, business parks, and light industrial properties. In this place, Lincoln Road, which is bisects the residential and industrial quarters, while is the city’s primary connection with the southwestern suburbs of Hillmorton,Hoon Hay and Halswell.
Therefore, in this case study, I just chose the east part of Addington from the Lincoln road to the Antigua St. In this area, has an existing green space for community, several retails along street, and lower density in residential area. In addition, according to figure 1, this area also close to the business park which had more officers work in those modern building, and due to the high traffic cause that place still unattractive and less human traffic.
Activity— street life
Activity is an important factor of street to determine the city developed in good way or not. And multiplefunctions of street as a important element to attract more people move in this place. On the other hand, people prefer to walk along the horizontallyshort short street with diverse design elements (Montgomery, 1998). From the picture 2 on the left side, Lincoln road is a busy minor arterial road, main link to south-west Christchurch. It carries 20,000 cars per day that easily cause congestion problem when after work (statistic New Zealand, 2013), and whole street lack distinct edges that with poor street environment. In addition, the area in blue square in the left, the narrow footpaths are provided on both sides of the street, which are barriers to pedestrian movement, because the heavy traffic volume, lack of formalized crossing points and poor street amenity.
The point of to improve the pedestrian friendliness, proximity, public transit are important for the experience of urbanity (Scheeider, 1990). For Lincoln road I suggest that broaden the traffic way and promote the utilization of other road. Moreover, I consider that planting vegetation along the footpaths, providing for more street furniture to increase the amenity of the pedestrian walk. In addition well-designed midblock crosswalks are highly visible to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians; reduce walking distance; and contribute to pedestrian convenience.
On the other hand, I advise to add a public cycling system and bus routes which to encourage more people use public transport and reduce the dependence of privacy cars to remit the traffic congestion.
Legibility is a key part of image in urban design, and Lynch (1960) says that “imageability is influenced by a city’s legibility: the degree to which the different elements of the city (defined as paths, edges, districts, nodes and landmarks) are organized into a coherent and recognizable pattern”. However, the two sides of the Lincoln Road, we hard to find the visible landmarks for people to define this place. In addition, from the diagram 3 we could easily see that several historic buildings, but all of them just hide in the community and lack of the link with each others. As a result, these historic place have been forgotten gradually, meanwhile the whole Addington could be lose their own character in the future.
In order to improve the legibility of a city, the good way is to enhance a cohesive constitute the relationship between components in urban design (Sternberg2000). Moreover, in other words, the legibility of a city by the different parts of the path, which is formed by the legibility edge node and landmark (Lynch,1960). According to increasing the identity of Addinton, I avoid to add some open space to connection between each historic buildings and created some landmarks with local culture, because by those method people could be easily to understand the history of this place and also provide some attraction for visitors.
The experience of urbanity should consist of “a wide offering of different living forms and multi-functionality and mixed uses” (Scheeider, 1990, cited in Lees, 2010). In addition, the public space with more people could enhances the security of street, because this place under the control of public surveillance(Montgomery,1998). According to the diagram 4 shows the the yellow area as a small shopping mall which had a long enter way with large car park. Moreover, in this area, there are some retails was behind in the front shops, and formed “dark corner” that will cause the safety issue in the evening. At the same time, due to lack of the suitable footpath and the monitoring of public, so there is hard to found pedestrians to walkingaroundthisstreet after 19 clock.
For the yellow area, I suggest to change the form of this shopping mall and to create new buildings with special appearance. Moreover, I also advise to increasing the density of this place by change the exiting residential house which around commercial center, because with the population increased more and more people could as potential watcher to insure the safety of the street.
Possibility in the future
Producers, regulators and users are important group in the process of urban design. Firstly, from the producer’s perspective, urban design support the development of the whole economic system. Moreover, from the regulator’s perspective, urban design useful to help the government to improve the competition of city, and develop strategies to achieved the sustainable development of city. In addition, from the user’s perspective, urban design enhances the symbolic value of a place and meet the needs of different people in the city (Madanipour, 2006).
In this case study, different groups will be influenced by different interventions. For producer group, the construction companies are the mainly beneficiaries, because the transform of the street and create new retails provide more opportunities to increasing their economic benefits. On the other hand, in this neighbors, the group of user area mainly the residents, customer, commercial tenant and some staff who work in new business park. Through intervention about to add landmark and promote the walkable environment in main street, more customer and pedestrian will be attracted to here and promote the local economy, such as the chineses restaurants, co-coffee and other shops. However, with the increasing of customers numbers will produce the problem of noise to influence on theresidentslivinginthearea. On the other hand, I think the regulators are government in Christchurch, because all intervention be combined in urban design which provide a wonder place for people living, traveling and working. And if the city with good urbanity will improve the economy and their own competitiveness.
According to Schneider (1990) says that urbanity support by several features and criteria which had relationship with the environment of city, and compact or concentrated development brings people closer to the spaces where they live; work and play. Therefore, Christchurch as a popular tourismcity, but due to the serious damage from earthquake cause a large amount of house be destroy, which promote the inner suburb growing.
In my opinion, I think Addington has the potential to become desirable places to live, because some modern office be built in businesszone that provide jobs for young people when the population increased. In addition, many great restaurant and retails located on Lincoln road that convenient for people live. And several historic buildings and green spaces in the residential area,which provide an open space for people meeting and conversation.Moreover, mixed use of function will bring jobs, people and investment to Addington. Church square and cemetery will become the important place of local history for community activities.
In the future, we could reduce reliance onpersonal motor vehicles,andcreate acohesive neighbourhood whereresidentslive,work and play. A unique blend of office, residential, creative workspace and retails will create a dynamic synergy from early morning to late and night. These use will be in turn organized around a series of public amenities that will provide an inviting environment. In addition, add outdoor landscaped plaza linked by all green spaces will create opportunities for people to do more exercise and reduce the independence on privacy cars.
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