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ALISON GRITTNER

architecture/writing/research


[AG _ 2]


What’s Inside:

9 VICTORIA MXKENGE [writing] [research]

8 STREET SANCTUARY [architecture]

CROCHET REFUGE [architecture]

GAZING TOWER TEA HOUSE [architecture]

SUBURBAN HAVELI [architecture] [research]

3 a. grittner

an ethnographic case study exploring gender, shelter, & design

13 15

[AG _ 3]


Suburban Haveli [MArch Studio 5]

PROBLEM: Calgary has the same land footprint as Manhattan, New York, with an eighth of the population. Suburban sprawl consisting of single family dwellings is consuming Calgary. This typology fails to meet the socio-economic needs of its inhabitants. GOAL: Densify Calgary by identifying and transforming unused fallow land in Calgary’s suburbs, infilling with culturally appropriate communities and dwellings.

SITE CREATION PROCESS: Convert alley to road and road to site. Existing homes reduce from double to single road access.

fallow typology redundant vehicular access, minmum 10m set-back, residential or residential/ commercial context. amount of this fallow typology within Calgary’s city limits: _510 acres density implications: _ + 51,000 new units _ +127,500 population

fallow typology locations in NE Calgary

intervention site

roadway redundancies are eliminated, creating the 14 acre site highlighted in green.

[AG _ 4]


RESEARCH DRIVEN DESIGN

PARTI: PRIVATE/PUBLIC/ COLLECTION

COMMUNITY DESIGN pedestrian focus _narrowed vehicular corridors _4.5m pedestrian routes _400m walking radius _65 m blocks _frequent crossings _sidewalk culture _integrate existing sidewalks green focus private _internal courtyards public _central green collector _vehicular buffer _community integration _community garden _play

lower income

visible minority majority

minimal education

Indian and Pakistani immigrants

_culturally appropriate (jali) _public/semi-private/private transitions _line-of-sight separation _courtyard-focused _multi-generational _multi-family _assembly driven by social composition

25% single parents

multigenerational households

Martindale

Castlerige

Taradale

Falconridge

In ReDesigning the American Dream, Dolores Hayden writes: “Cities and housing have been designed to satisfy a nation of white, young, nuclear families, with father as breadwinner, mother as housewife, and children reared to emulate these limited roles.... A nation of homes tied to the mid-nineteenth-century ideal of seperate spheres for women and men was something fanatical Victorian moralists only dreamed about ....[today] only a tiny percentage of American families include a male breadwinner, a nonemployed housewife, and children under eighteen.” Hayden’s critique is supported by a social analysis of the four neighbourhoods intersecting at 64th Ave. and Falconridge Drive NE. The composition and needs of the population are deeply disconnected from the design of the built environment. The majority of households do not fit into the nuclear family framework that drive the design of Calgary’s suburbs. Community interventions and designs must address the needs of the contemporary community, providing alternatives to the Victorian single-family model dissected by Hayden.

zoning

+ 6.1 + 7.4

- 3.0

- 6.2 + 27.5 + 16.7 + 34.3

+ 42.6

Average Household - 18.7 + 6.1 Income Median = $67,238 - 8.7

+ 3.3 + 7.0

+ 27.6

+ 38.9 + 29.6

+ 20.2

+ 4.5 + 3.9

Single Detached Private Dwellings Median = 57.8%

Family Living Arrangement Median = 81.6%

+ 13.9 + 0.3

Immigrant Popula- + 30.0 + 29.1 tion Born in India + 35.8 Median = 10.4%

Low Income Households Median = 14.2%

Visible Minority Population Median = 23.7%

+ 7.4 + 23.0 + 13.9 +14.6

Immigrant Population Median = 24.8%

+ 10.5

Calgary Median

+ 11.9 No Certificate, Diploma or Degree + 5.7 Median = 18.1% + 13.7

+ 4.5

Speak Neither Eng- +2.4 lish nor French + 5.1 + 5.1 Median = 2.1%

- 4.6 - 0.1 - 2.8

+ 5.6

Single Parent Families Median = 23.5%

- 34.0 - 26.6 - 26.4

- 25.2

Alone Living Arrangement Median = 55.4%

+ 7.5 + 19.5

+ 7.7 + 26.9

Relatives Living Arrangement Median = 14.4%

+ 7.4

+ 6.1

+ 3.3 + 7.0

Family Living Arrangement Median = 81.6%

+ 4.5 + 3.9

Low Income Households Median = 14.2%

Calgary Median

+ 13.9 + 0.3

courtyard dwellings public nodes retail/amenities/residential mix higher density residential public collection

Falconridge Taradale Castlerige

density current: 4.5 units/acre projected: 109 units/acre courtyard: 56406 m2/ 714 units mix: 17698 m2/224units high density: 46593 m2/589 units

Martindale

[AG _ 5]


+ UNIT PLACEMENT

e/w

Through Vehicles

Pedestrian Corridors Private

Private

Through Vehicles

s/n

social unit placement _minumum 5mX5m _one exterior wall minimum _direct solar exposure _1m maximum overhang

Parking Public Green Pedestrian Corridors

sunpath frames _units must fit within sunpath frame dictated by specific site location

Private Pedestrian Corridors Public Green Parking

Public Green

Private

Public Green

privacy screen _7m streetside height minimum _3.5m promenade side height minimum _3.5M interstitial haveli side _porosity varies depending upon privacy requirements of interior program

Private Pedestrian Corridors

Through Vehicles

standard site section

two bedroom 75 m2

studio 32 m2

one bedroom 46 m2

three bedroom 90 m2

communal 20 m2

courtyard 74 m2

starting grid base _ 16m X 18m base _7m X 7.5m central courtyard _single story on south side _entrance corridor maximum 1.2m width

n/s

= CUSTOMIZED ASSEMBLAGE

Public Green

+ SOLAR ORIENTATION

Private

+ PRIVACY SCREEN (JALI)

Public Green

ARCHITECTURAL STRATEGY / RULES FOR ASSEMBLY SOCIAL UNITS + COURTYARD

[AG _ 6]


potential internal configuration

schematic plans 1

multi bedroom studio one bedroom

2

2

courtyard communal kitchen roof

3

2

1

1

section 1

section 2

[AG _ 7]


promenade between exisiting homes and new haveli courtyard assemblies

before after

[AG _ 8]


“To gaze implies more than to look at - it signifies a psychological relationship of power, in which the gazer is superior to the object of the gaze.” - Schroeder, 1998

approach: the tea house as a beacon, an object of the tea consumer’s gaze

gaze to landscape

Gazing Tower Tea House

gaze to tea making

[MArch Studio 2]

“The existential task of architecture is to relate us to time as much as to space...” - Pallasmaa, 1998 Edworthy Park in NW Calgary is a site layered in colonization. The escarpment was used as a Plains Indian buffalo jump abandoned with European settlement, when the area was turned into a sandstone quarry that was instrumental in providing the materials to build the City of Calgary. Currently, the park is used by Calgarians for outdoor recreational pursuits. Acknowledging the colonial history of both the site and tea, the Gazing Tower strives to tell these stories spatially by embodying the colonial gaze. Linking past and present, this intervention controls and masks the gaze of the tea consumer around the spectacle of tea house, tea making, tea serving, tea drinking, and landscape.

n/s section

[AG _ 9]


Crochet Refuge [MArch Studio 6]

Above the CBD of Adelaide, Australia, a second-tier city is built. Story The God’s Gardeners - a religious group brought into being in Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood - are waiting for an apocalyptal pandemic predicted in their gospel. Vegetarian eco-warriors, the God’s Gardeners are fortifying, fortressing, and scavenging. Crochet Refuge provides the Gardeners with a self-subsisting, elevated garrison to wait out the impending annihilation. Theory “New structures can be injected. Complete in themselves, they do not fit exactly into the voids, but exists as spaces within spaces, making no attempt to reconcile the gaps between what is new and old, between two radically different systems of spatial order and thought.” - Lebbeus Woods

analog form creation digital transformation

[AG _ 10]


Reality The studio’s intention was to create an analog, handcrafted form and translate it into the digital sphere, generating an occupiable second-tier structure for the city of Adelaide, Australia. Although fantastical, Crochet Refuge explores possibilities for new modes of building within already dense city centres. Skyscrapers are the traditional solution to increase density on a small land footprint; a second-tier environment like Crochet Refuge offers an alternative form that makes use of existing structures and the space between buildings. Crochet Refuge is a dome structure that covers and integrates into a pre-existing large urban area, connecting into already existing structures. The large perforations in the second-tier building allow sunlight and rain to connect with the urban environment below, while the elevated landscape provides agricultural opportunities, as well as the potential for rainwater and solar energy collection. This design could be integrated into the landscape of any urban environment.

[AG _ 11]


programatic zones worship/production / education: worship garden music bowl classrooms wool spinning apothecary repair workshops storage/warehouses

structural components

dwelling/gardening: sorting/distribition hub: worship, gathering, and gardening animal husbandry

dwelling/gardening zone plan

circulation

interior circulation (cycle and pedestrian) community services and storage dwelling and gardening pods

[AG _ 12]


dwelling/gardening section

[AG _ 13]


Street Sanctuary: Non-denominational Church [MArch Studio 3]

spatial fluidity Residential

Commercial

Homeless Shelter

O

YWCA

O

Parking

O

O

Bow Valley College

O

parti model

The site chosen for this studio has long been a locus for activity just off the southern bank of the Bow River. The site’s legacy is storied: a traditional activity ground for Plains Indian groups, a hub for Fort Calgary, a hotel for new immigrants building the railway, and eventually a crime-ridden pub and boarding house. Situated in the east side of Calgary’s downtown, the site occupies the space between new high rise condos, Calgary’s drop-in centre (where up to 1,100 homeless individuals take shelter each night), Calgary’s corporate core, and one of the busiest traffic routes into the downtown. This state of layered occupations and uses drove the parti model: a lucite frame woven with separate threads. The weaving and layering of the threads on the frame create space – translated into the sanctuary of the church. The church’s spatial strategy is to include the varying user group who occupy the neighbourhood through a fluid sanctuary space that bleeds out onto the streetscape, an inclusive ministry for all.

n/s

n/s elevation

n/s section

n/s

[AG _ 14]


floor plan key sanctuary multi-purpose HVAC nursery learning centre classrooms kitchen eating Area WC counselling

f

e/w

e/w

a

c

b

e

d

b

second floor

e/w elevation

f g h i j

h

g

i

first floor

j

a b c d e

j

third floor

e/w section

[AG _ 15]


MArch Thesis Housing is universal human right , yet women across the globe are mired in a crisis of shelter, as the unique challenges of lower incomes, less stable employment, and greater childcare responsibilities compromise their ability to obtain shelter compared to male counterparts. The Victoria Mxenge ethnographic Case Study explores the lived experiences of a women’s group from the Khayetlisha Township in Cape Town, South Africa. The Victoria Mxenge women built their own homes and community, challenging seemingly immutable conditions of gender and economic oppression with group action. Combining interviews, photography, participant observation, field notes, and spatial analysis, this qualitative Case Study richly describes the transformative effects of collectivity, revealing themes and strategies surrounding women and shelter. Collective action, combined with a safe space for group rituals to occur, facilitates strength and empowerment. Social alliances support individual women and help them achieve personal goals. The intimate connection between individual women and their homes further fosters a sense of community and individual place within the world. Together, these themes and strategies reveal possible directions for a female-housing framework - steeped in collectivity - that other marginalized groups of women can utilize to transform their everyday lives.

The Victoria Mxenge: An Ethnographic Case Study an ethnographic case studyGender exploring gender, shelter, & design Exploring , Shelter , & Design

a. grittner [AG _ 16]


context / cape town region

Cape Town

Victoria Mxenge community elements roadways footpaths community structures

Cap eF la ts

housing

Victoria Mxenge

[AG _ 17]


&&! ""

&!

(! ""

!! $

= themes and strategies surrounding women and shelter

“My bedroom is my most , +$"" % + "%& important place ...+I get  #"$&!&# "%& my dreams from that room  #"$&!&%# & + and it’s dreams Ifrom and where do that my room plans. When I’m &.%)$ " +#!% sitting there, I sit up in ... It is When I’m sitting there, I sit where, always pray there, and up in my bed, take a piece of got dreams paper, say nowthere, I must everything do a, from that room ...� &%)+&%% my main, my most important #&%)$)+% pray there, and got dreams there, everything from that $"" -

"&(&+ %'$%#

%% !&"!

Mandisa / my home, my self

!(')" !

%% !&"!

&"$ ""

interviews + cognitive mapping + photography + participant observation + field notes + spatial analysis

$""

“Do you know why I say I I say I “Do you know why want passage to my bedroom want passage my bedat the back? One dayto when Iroom pass away, I don’t want at the back?myOne day "/!&&$"!& & '%&" when I pass away, straight there where I sleep,I don’t where I have dreams, where want my coffin at the front.

)+%($+&!& Itis why must go straight there I do my bedroom right && +"/! '%& I have where I sleep, where go straight down, through my dreams .. [My coffin] must "'%& '%&#%%"&$ go straight rooms but go todown, that mainthrough $"" &! ""'&! my house ... it must pass stand in front of each room other rooms but go to that "! +)+"'&main room ... then I go out and stand in front of each room [on my way out].�

a model for fem

Mandisa / sanctuary

[AG _ 18]


W riting S context / ample entering the VMX thesis excerpt chapter 4 - themes and strategies Take the N2 freeway east out of downtown Cape Town. Shiny homes and large green yards fade into crammed-together brown and grey rusted shacks. BMWs and Toyotas morph into vehicles of indistinguishable origin, rusted, unable to maintain the freeway’s 120 kilometre per hour speed limit. Rakkis - local taxi vans packed with people - take over the fast lane. Fifteen kilometres down the freeway the exit for Duinefontein Road south shifts travellers into a distinctly different urban morphology than the international style of Cape Town’s central business district. Cars decrease in frequency and groups of pedestrians and street side merchants perch on the roadside, watching for the next Rakki heading in their direction. Black and Coloured townships lie on either side of Duinefontein Road, kept separate from each other by vehicular infrastructure years after the (legal) end of apartheid. If you are any colour but Black you will become an increasing spectacle the further south you travel, nonBlacks avoid coming this deep into the townships. Five kilometres down Duinefontein Road, just south of where it meets Landsdowne Road, sits the Victoria Mxenge community. Flanked to the north and the west with six lane roads and primarily surrounded by a swathe of informal housing that stretches for kilometres in all directions, the Victoria Mxenge community resembles a typical North American suburb filled with single family homes, green front lawns, and controlled access. Aerial photographs illustrate the vast difference in built typology. The grey community centre sits at the centre of the community, two stories high and visible from outside on Landsdowne and Duinefonteine Roads. The community’s roads are paved and lined with street lamps and electrical poles, but areas seem unfinished with construction materials sitting on dirt in between houses and pavement. At the entrance to the Victoria Mxenge is a creche, and a traffic guard helps children cross Landsdowne road in the mornings and afternoons on their way to school in Gugulethu. Covered stalls along the Landsdowne road provide a protected place for women to sell market goods and generate income. A towering and faded sign next to the stalls, in-between the first row of Victoria Mxenge houses and Landsdowne road, announces “Construction: The Victoria Mxenge Housing Project”.

The following analysis is based upon my time in Victoria Mxenge, where I experienced the social practices and morphology of the community, mapped the neighbourhood and houses, and spoke with women concerning their experiences building and living within their community. Except when footnoted, direct quotations are from recorded and transcribed male-housing initiatives interviews with Victoria Mxenge residents, all information and data is from my fieldwork unless otherwise indicated. a Victoria Mxenge woman’s experience of shelter Stitching together the fabric of the Victoria Mxenge community is the intricate webbing of the individual Victoria Mxenge women and their homes. The personal relationship linking each woman to her home and the community is an important factor that contributes to the overall success of the project. Examining in detail a middle-aged Xhosa woman and long term Victoria Mxenge resident’s relationship to the home she designed, built, and inhabits, offers insight into some of the“social constellations” that compose the community, manifesting

[AG _ 19]


e

its unique spatial make-up. The following description and analysis of Mandisa’s experience with shelter illuminate the social construction of space. Advancing Lefebvre‘s position that social relations produce the spatial, the social relationships that weave through the Victoria Mxenge are crucial elements in understanding the community process. The relationships between the women, their families, their work, their outside communities, all play an integral role in the process, and thus the success, of the community. Mandisa’s narrative reveals themes of sanctuary, the interconnection between self and home, and fulfilling the practical gender needs of a South African Xhosa woman. The five rooms of Mandisa’s home (dining/living room, kitchen, sitting room, bedroom, and storage room) open off a central hallway. Whoever comes in the front door can see straight down to the back of the house. The exterior walls of the house are built with larger bricks, while the interior walls are composed of smaller blocks coloured a golden brown, still visible on one living room wall. Mandisa’s home has electricity but lacks running water, the bathroom is just outside her home as is the communal water source. All homes in the first phase of the Victoria Mxenge building project have running water, but Mandisa lives just south down the connecting dirt road in phase two, where plastic blue outhouses perch behind each home. A beige plastic tub in her kitchen acts as a sink. Each window in Mandisa’s house is covered with curtains that provide visual privacy, although her door stands wide open when she is at home. The dining room, living room, and bedroom furniture verge towards a Baroque style, combining ornate wood and fabric. Every surface in Mandisa’s home is polished and gleaming, from the furniture to the floors. let me tell you a story Mandisa moved into her home as soon as the walls were framed, before it had doors and a roof. Growing up in Gugulethu, the township just north across the road from where Victoria Mxenge now sits, she moved out of her parents’ home and into a shack when she hit adulthood. She worked at a restaurant before her mother’s friend helped her find a job in Claremont, a white suburb to the west, caring for disabled children. With twelve hour working days and a long bus commute, Mandisa leaves her home by 6:15 every morning, returning home over fourteen hours later, with just enough time to press her uniform for the next day before retiring to bed for the night. Her job involves caring for severely mentally and physically disabled young women; working with a team of four other women she attends to the physical needs of the women in her ward. Working at this facility was so sad emotionally that she spent her first weeks crying at night, although she never thought of quitting. For eleven years she worked full-time while living in a crowded shared shack before saving and building her home in the Victoria Mxenge. After working in this facility for twenty-four years she plans to retire next year, taking life easy and resting in her home. After joining the Victoria Mxenge group it took Mandisa one year to save the money for her home. Under South Africa’s Domestic Workers Act, the minimum monthly wage for those who care for the sick, aged, or disabled in urban areas is R1340.95, the equivalent of approximately 176 Canadian Dollars1. In January 1999 Mandisa began to build her home; it took three weeks to construct and she has lived in it for the past thirteen years. Her twenty-two year old son helped her dig the holes for the foundation and they poured the concrete slab together, along with the other Victoria Mxenge community members. Pouring the foundation was the most physically demanding part of building her home. The basic construction and finishing of Mandisa’s home is long complete but she continues to plan: “So when I’m finished here - I’m not yet finished here,

[AG _ 20]


because of my dreams I’m not yet finished - I am going to start another building here, to open the kitchen and open that room that is not yet finished next to the bathroom.... At the back of this room there will be the ensuite. A bath with a door. I’ve still got many dreams, I think by next year I will be finished inside.”

context / park at community centre

Each time I visit her home, Mandisa points out the improvements she plans to make: replacing the broken tile on the front step, fixing the exterior finishing, expanding her kitchen, and furnishing the storage room. Between my trips to Cape Town the furniture in her home is rearranged, the optimal living arrangement under constant exploration. These plans, dreams, and belief that they will be achieved, are a sharp juxtaposition to the hastily constructed and crowded informal housing that lies just to the west across Duinefontein Road. my home, my self The interior of Mandisa’s house is meticulously maintained, everything is kept in perfect order; she asserts that her house is a reflection of herself: “that is why they say what kind of a person I am because I don’t want a dirty place.” Here Mandisa indicates that her perception of self is intermixed with the state of her house; her house reflects what type of person she is to her community. Designing her home required careful consideration of Mandisa’s top priorities. Watching other houses designed and built in the community allowed her to reflect on her own desires: “I did dream about it, I was just standing and looking at the other people’s houses, thinking I don’t want my house made like that. I see things that are happening that I don’t want in my house.” When it came time to design and build her own home, Mandisa had specific ideas concerning her home’s form, tailoring its design and layout to meet her specific needs. The daily routine of her life was not the top design priority, instead, deeply help spiritual beliefs guided the process. Morphologically a basic, five room rectangle, Mandisa’s design for her house is deeply intertwined with her spiritual beliefs. The most important design decision for Mandisa was locating her bedroom – what she deems as the most important space in her home – at the end of a central hallway: “Do you know why I say I want passage to my bedroom at the back? One day when I pass away, I don’t want my coffin at the front. It must go straight there where I sleep, where I have dreams, where I always ... everything. That is why I do my bedroom right at the back. [My coffin] must go straight down, through my house... it must pass other ooms but go to that main room... then I go out and stand in front of each room [on my way out]. That is why I say to you, I don’t want my coffin ... in front, it must go there, go in the back. That is right.” Mandisa’s words reveal extensive interconnections between her spiritual life, designing her shelter, dwelling in her home, and her imagination surrounding death. Her expectation that she will die in her bedroom and that her body will be carried out of her home, connecting with each room of her house on its last journey, indicates a powerful connection to place. Here, designing and dwelling are related to life’s thresholds. In her daily meanderings up and down her hallway, Mandisa treads the path she created for her body to exit the world, connecting her to larger networks of faith and religion as well as her own mortality.

[AG _ 21]


Urban Design Theory: Manifesto

bodies are on the street to maintain the normalizing loop of surveillance. Safe, crime free environments, will allow for social inclusion.

I am an invisible man ... I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fibre and liquids -- and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people Urban design can also promote social equity by facilitating contact between diverse socio-economic groups. Casual refuse to see me. public contact in urban spaces like sidewalks and plazas is a form of exposure therapy that allows for easy social contact -- Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man between diverse individuals. Jacobs argues that casual contact between individuals facilitates integration: “It is possible to be on excellent sidewalk terms with people who are very different from oneself, and even, as time passes, on familiar Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man navigates American society obscured and ignored due public terms with them.”4 Casual social contact on a sidewalk is less threatening and allows for individuals to mix who to race, his experience emblematic of marginalized populations around the world; urban live otherwise separate lives. The Vancouver neighbourhoods of Davie Village and the Downtown East Side illustrate the design is uniquely positioned address the social exclusion experienced by the Invisible Man integrative power of casual public contact discussed by Jacobs. Both districts possess large concentrations of marginalized and operate as an anti-oppressive practice. Urban design is not a panacea for the social populations; Davie Village has a large gay population and the Downtown East Side is a locus for the homeless and associated injustices of the world – constructed as they are from centuries of economic, social, and problems of crime, substance abuse, and prostitution. A stroll through both of these neighbourhoods exposes individuals political forces – but it can be an instrumental force in facilitating social equity by exposing to socially marginalized populations that they may fear or harbour prejudice against. Innocuous sidewalk contact allows a injustice and unveiling the invisible. Anti-oppressive urban design provides a stage to display gradual exposure between disparate populations, acceptance and tolerance and eventually integration can emerge from and acknowledge social inequity, minimizes spacial exclusion, and facilitates integration. A the repeated exposure. It would be difficult for an individual to repeatedly visit Davie Village and retain homophobic views; significant barrier preventing urban design from facilitating social equity is the hegemonic the gay community becomes normalized through exposure, and notions of “they” are transformed into individuals one chats capitalist structure. with on the street. Similarly, personal encounters transform the Downtown East Side homeless from criminal interlopers to disenfranchised individuals with complex problems. Madanipour asserts that social exclusion is caused by a lack of social The historical record contains examples of urban design operating as a powerful integration.5 Thus, Urban design must create urban spaces that allow for public congregation and casual contact, which in social tool that enforces entrenched social and cultural practices, primarily in a socially turn will facilitate integration and decrease social exclusion. exclusionary manner. Urban design in North America has attempted to control the “other” by rendering race and poverty invisible, Ellison’s Invisible Man is a literary exploration of Another critical way that urban design must encourage social equity is by placing a spotlight on inequity, forcing North America’s quest to obfuscate minorities. The North American built environment has participants in, and perpetrators of, oppression to acknowledge injustice. Marshall Berman’s “The Family of Eyes” operated as a pair of blinders, maintaining social separation between the privileged wealthy demonstrates urban design’s powerful role in exposing the economic class differences of nineteenth century Paris. (white) and undesirable poor (other). Spatial manipulations rendered unsavoury elements Haussmann’s creation of grand boulevards and destruction of working class neighbourhoods forced the wealthy to confront of North American society invisible: careful placement of doors and windows hid Black urban poverty.6 The class confrontation resulting from Haussmann’s urban design did not eradicate poverty or generate a slave labour from the view of antebellum plantation houses, separate entrances denied the social justice movement (although perhaps a connection exists between Haussmann’s urban re-design and the revolutionary presence of Blacks in the urban American landscape, and Indian reservations kept Aboriginal 1871 Paris commune ?) but it did expose the social and economic inequities of industrialization. A hidden problem cannot be populations out of sight across Canada and the US. Contemporary spatial exclusion and treated or addressed. Berman demonstrates the profound effect of facilitating exposure between classes in his exploration stratification is a continuation of these practices. Urban design must transform traditional of Beaudelaire’s lovers and the conflict they experience after encountering the working classes. A lovers’ idyllic afternoon practices, replacing spatially exclusive practices with ones that strive for inclusion. is ruined by the mere visual confrontation with the poor.7 It is reasonable to expect that a more extensive interaction would facilitate even greater agitation and awareness. In “Underground and Overhead,” Trevor Boddy argues against the “spatial Urban design may inadvertently create socially exclusive spaces by creating spaces apartheid” created by elevated pedestrian walkways, asserting that the street is one of the few places left in contemporary prone to criminal activity. In “Social Exclusion and Space”, Ali Madanipour asserts that society where individuals encounter other ethnicities and economic classes.8 Boddy contends that the elevated pedestrian crime is an exclusionary force, creating fear and preventing individuals from using particular walkways leave downtown Calgary to the homeless, unemployed, and drifters: the undesirables.9 Calgary’s plus-15 makes spaces.1 Urban design must create spaces that deter crime, and as a result foster social it easier for social inequity to exist as it drapes an invisible cloak over the less desirable elements produced by our social inclusion. Urbanist Jane Jacobs’ “eyes on the street” argument is one method urban and economic systems, and make it easier for social injustice to continue. Urban design must ensure the built environment design can implement to decrease incidents of crime and increase safety.2 As Jacobs exposes – instead of conceals - social inequities. illustrates, interpersonal surveillance is a critical element in decreasing crime and creating safe neighbourhoods. Criminal activity is less likely to occur in populated places, or on Urban design must render injustice visible by providing an urban platform or stage. Lewis Mumford writes that: “The highly visible streets. Urban design must ensure sidewalks are visible, easily accessible, city ... [is] a theatre of social action... It is in the city ... that man’s more purposive activities are focused, and worked out, and surrounded by buildings with a variety of programs that populate the streetscape through conflicting and co-operating personalities, events, groups, into more significant culminations.” 10 The power of the throughout the day and night. Jacobs’ ideas concerning safety echo Michel Fouacult’s work urban stage as a vehicle for revealing the invisible is demonstrated in Buenos Aires’ Plaza de Mayo, where past injustices are on surveillance, who wrote that the disciplinary power of surveillance is “both absolutely represented and remembered in the urban landscape. Every Monday the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo gather to remember indiscreet, since by its very principle it leaves no zone of shade and constantly supervises their children, desaparecidos, who were “disappeared” by the Argentine military in the 1970s and 1980s. Since Buenos the very individuals who are entrusted with the task of supervising; and absolutely ‘discreet’, Aires was founded the site of the Plaza de Mayo has operated as a political and economic focus point. The Mothers of the for it functions permanently and largely in silence” 3 In a neighbourhood, individuals surveil Plaza de Mayo co-opted the location to render injustice visible, occupying and transforming a symbolically important urban and are surveyed, participating in an infinity loop of surveillance that normalizes behaviour space to expose the military regime’s activities. 11 Buenos Aires’ urban design provides a stage for this display of protest and deters crime. Urban design can create a crime resistant urban fabric by encouraging and remembrance, which would not be possible if a large space was not strategically located in front of the government’s density and implementing integrative zoning, which in turn will ensure that enough eyes and Casa Rosada.

[AG _ 22]


Alison Grittner algrittner@gmail.com 403.837.3444

[AG _ 23]


Alison Grittner's Portfolio