Cauliflower Revisited cauliflower districts the latest threat, how to act during recession?
Preliminary Thesis Plan P2 report n: Arjan Dekkers #: 4032853 e: email@example.com Msc 3 Urbanism | Graduation studio TU Delft June 2013
Colophon Cauliflower Revisited cauliflower districts the latest threat, how to act during recession? Preliminary Thesis Plan June 2013 #4032853 Name: A.J.W.G.M. (Arjan) Dekkers E-mail: A.J.W.G.M.Dekkers@student.tudelft.nl [or] E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +31641959406 Department of Urbanism Faculty of Architecture TU Delft Mentor: 1st mentor: Ir. E.H. (Egbert) Stolk [Section: Urban Landscape, Chair: Environmental Technology and Design] 2nd mentor: Ir. E.M. (Els) Bet [Section: Urban Design, Chair: Urban Design] Graduation studio mentor: Urban Regeneration Dr. Ir. P.L.M. (Paul) Stouten Cover: Cauliflower photo (by the author) Date: 02.04.2013 In support of: MSc 3 Urbanism AR3U100 - Graduation Studio: Urban Regeneration
The counter-reaction to modernist urban planning of the 1960s: the Woonerf - a pedestrian friendly ‘home-zone’. Plan by Niek de Boer, published in the periodical ‘Baksteen’ in 1972.
Fascination / Motivation The reason I started my graduation project in Urban Regeneration was a logical step for me. I personally think that the future of Urban Designers in Western Europe, will mainly be in updating derelict areas, this because there is not enough money (recession) to invest in new building sites. Demographic charts show us that the total of inhabitants in this part is stagnating and possibly even declining. Before starting my graduation project, I pondered quite some time about what my main subject could be. Crucial for finding an interesting research topic was to find a topic that could give me an edge on the other graduation students of the last years within
Geestenberg Eindhoven in the 1970s (photo by: Raimond Wouda) 4
“Urban Regeneration”. During my bachelor and master program I already focused on “brown fields”. I made some plans and ideas for former industrial areas and early post war neighbourhoods. These kind of projects are the conventional subjects for a graduation project within Urban Regeneration. Don’t get me wrong I still think that brown field development and revitalization of post war neighbourhoods are things we have to focus on in the near future. Nonetheless, cauliflower neighbourhoods are the new threat for (social) problems within our profession. The research that supports my main topic concerns the low satisfaction rate of inhabitants in cauliflower neighbourhoods.
Urban Regeneration Problem statement Research Questions Relevance Thesis reading guide Methodology
10 14 16 18 20 22
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 26 Cauliflower Neighbourhoods outside the dutch context Livability Environmental psychology Spatial Cognition SIRN Space Syntax Measuring Space
28 40 46 48 54 68 78 89
Table of Contents
Haagse Beemden 103
DESIGN PROPOSAL 115 REFLECTION 116 BIBLIOGRAPHY 117 APPENDIX 122
Urban Regeneration After post-war rebuilding, countries of Western Europe experienced a long period of economic growth. The public services and welfare benefits were improved by tax-rich governments. The Arab-Israeli war of 1973 interrupted this growth; the reason for this was the oil crisis, recession followed. These economic problems were the lead up towards more erratic growth and declining profits. Other problems were the rise of social cost and unemployment. This eventually led to the closing of factories (traditional industries), because of the changing labour structure. Table 1.1 shows the changing labour structure
Clearly visible is the decay of tradition industry and the growth of the service sector. The previous trend led up to several problems in different fields. What is Urban Regeneration? At First “urban renewal” was focused on the demand of social dwellings. In a search for lasting solution the problem definition was widened and integrated with social, economic and environmental problems. In the current “urban regeneration” process the most important challenges are housing policy privatization and sustainable development.
“Urban regeneration: Comprehensive and integrated vision and action which leads to the resolution of urban problems and which seeks to bring about a lasting improvement in the economic, physical, social and environmental condition of an area that has been subject to change” (Roberts & Sykes, 2000:17)
The resolution of urban problems requires comprehensive and integrated vision and action (Stouten, 2010). People have to be able to generate resources and wealth, i.e. households being able to improve their living quality. To achieve this, households have to be included in the functional network (production and consumption) and be able to set up links within the network (Stouten, 2010). Therefore, in Urban Regeneration one has to consider how these two goals can be achieved. The goal of lasting improvement and integrated vision involves a continuous process of refurbishment and modernisation (Stouten 2010). These processes of refurbishment and modernisation entail the integration of physical, economic, social and environmental restructuring.
The description of Urban Regeneration by Roberts & Sykes entails a (long) lasting improvement of four different areas. However, the book “Urban regeneration in Europe” by (Couch et. al 2008) only covers three themes namely: Social problems Growing urban deprivation and fracturing of traditional communities led to alienation, racial tension, crime, marital breakdown and mental illness. Physical Problems The physical infrastructure of many cities became obsolete and in need of replacement, especially in rapidly expanded cities in the late eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. Environmental problems The rising trend over the last 30 years is the need for more sustainable forms of development. Furthermore, there is growing awareness of the environmental costs of the economic competition for certain areas.
Urban Regeneration and Sustainability In Built environment (Stouten, 2013) criteria for sustainable neighbourhood renewal are listed. The “new charter of Athens” focuses much on sustainability from a one sided view namely the building process instead of the social and economic issues which can be found in neighbourhoods. Stouten (2013) concluded that the objective of urban renewal should not only be on eliminating physical deprivation, but also adapting the urban structure and building stock to meet changing conditions, new demands and new requirements. The concept of neighbourhood renewal should always be broader than improving the quality of dwellings, residential and human environment. Additional investment in spatial quality leads to a considerable lengthening of the period over which the built environment has to be written off and will make a major contribution to sustainable urban development.
Aspects of sustainable urban renewal and sustainable communities from Built Environment Vol 38 NO 4 (Stouten, 2013) 11
Urban Regeneration Urban Regeneration and the recession To give a broader view on this subject I first need to get a copy of “Steden in de steigers” unfortunately I was too late to grab a copy. This particular book gives some insight in the Dutch situation of recession we had during the 1980s. However some research can be found in literature describing the recession in the United Kingdom. “During the recession of the early 1980s, many local authorities argued for their borrowing restrictions to be relaxed and for increased government funds in order to expand their capital programme” (Turok, 1992: 361) In periods of recession and national economic underachievement urban regeneration programmes are in severe trouble. Such as described by De Groot (1992): ” In times of boom and expansion programmes can get the reflected glory and success from the wider economy. During recession, performance becomes much more difficult to demonstrate even though particular programmes can play an essential part in terms of outcomes for local people.” (De Groot, 1992: 208) The scale of the impact of economic recession on prestige project developments (and the limitations of such developments) is, however, most graphically illustrated by the financial collapse of the prestigious Canary Wharf development(and its developers Olympia and York) in May 1992 - with only 14% of the 4.6 million ft2 development occupied in September 1992 (Colenutt, 1993). As Healey et al. note: “Some of the larger and more complex projects, especially if uncompleted by 1989, are now affected by the recession. Unfulfilled schemes then come to symbolize depressed property conditions, exaggerating the slump in the same way that the hype about projects in the 1980s exaggerated the boom. (Heaey et al., 1992a: 281) Thus property-led regeneration approaches may “produce results in one place and period, but produce little result or actually impede the regeneration of local economies in other times and places” (Healey, 1992: 19).
Concluding deduction on the topic Urban Regeneration during times of economic recession: - less frivolous and exuberant excesses are realized. The financial burden of these designs is simply too high. - Real estate based urban regeneration can result in place and time specific results, but this can restrain the regeneration of local economies in the future. A funny anecdote is that most cauliflower districts are built during the previous recession period of the eighties. This fact will be further outlined in the final thesis.
Problem statement ’Bloemkoolwijken’ – (cauliflower neigbourhoods) is what they are called in the (dutch) urban design literature. The neigbourhoods which erected in the seventies until mid-eighties, they consist out of small and curvy road structures ending in cull de sacs. Viewed from above, or a map, they look like cauliflower florets. (figurre 1) Quote by Martijn Ubink ((Slager, 2008)
There are several reasons to assume that the cauliflower neighbourhoods are the next subject for urban renewal in the near future. These neighbourhoods are slowly ageing, therefore an update is necessary. In this case it is not about the quality of the building technology like in the inner city regeneration; in the cauliflower neighbourhoods the quality of the housing stock is relatively high and the building typology (single family dwellings with front and back garden) is highly sought after in the Netherlands studies have been performed on the state of the cauliflower neighbourhoods due to the decrease in inhabitant satisfaction (SEV, 2012)
Figure 1: Image created by author 14
The first signs of deterioration have already been observed in many cauliflower neighbourhoods. Examples in Den Helder, Lelystad and Groningen ten years ago show that in a relaxed housing market not only the traditional early post-war neighbourhoods deal with problems but also the cauliflower neighbourhoods. In these cities the people do not include the cauliflower neighbourhoods in their search for a new dwelling; they prefer to look for a house in a ‘VINEX-wijk’ or in a renewed early post-war neighbourhood. In this way the cauliflower neighbourhood will lose its popularity on the housing market (Ubink & Visser, 2009). In my opinion problems such as sense of direction, parking nuisance and litter can be solved spatially by intervening in the public space. The difficulty comes in resolving these problems in a time of scarcity. During times of economic recession, not all design solutions could be economically ratified. Smart choices and small scale interventions have to be made. Since there is no clear understanding how long this recession is going to last, different solution scenarios have to be created.
‘The spread of cauliflower neighbourhoods in the Netherlands’ (Van der Leur et al., 2009)
Dutch newspapers with articles concerning the deteriotian of cauliflower neighbourhoods
‘Netherlands again in recession’ on the frontpage of national newuspaper (Volkskrant ,2013) 15
Research Questions The main research question of this graduation thesis is:
What spatial strategy, could be used to improve a cauliflower neighbourhood, during recession? To get the right answers some secondary questions have been - What do the spatial problems consist of, and are they related to a created. Besides these secondary questions, I have added some misinterpretation of the theories of Lynch and Cullen? In my idea most of the spatial problems can be reduced to problems sub level questions to show my focus areas within these questions. concerning”legibility”. Ubbink and Van Der Steeg(2011) give Kevin Lynch My secondary research questions: - What is urban regeneration, what changes during recession?
This question gives a basic definition and a view on the studio in which the research takes place. Besides this it broadens the topic of urban regeneration into a context of a recession in which we currently reside.
- What did make the cauliflower neighbourhood principal rise as the new urbanism solution of the 1970’s? This question will start off with the explanation on the planning tradition off early post war neighbourhoods, and after this it will explain on what cauliflower neighbourhoods did differently. It will also search for some examples in a context outside of the Netherlands, find out which Scandinavian examples were used, and what the possible role of garden cites was.
- What are the main urban problems in the cauliflower neighbourhoods? Not every cauliflower neighbourhood has the same problems. The problems can differ because of its place in the urban network, the building period, spatial lay-out, the kind of inhabitants, the ratio between tenants and buyers etc. Some neighbourhoods are already in some kind of urban regeneration process.
and Gordon Cullen credits for the planning principles of a cauliflower neighbourhood (p.19). My assumption is that the designer of cauliflower neighbourhoods misinterpreted these principles.
- How do people orientate in public space?
This question needs to come up with an answer in how people perceive the different aspects of a (cauliflower) neighbourhood. What are the experiences when people experience space, how do they orientate and perceive space? Can the inhabitants of a complex cauliflower neighbourhood for instance draw a (lynch) map on how they travel towards the supermarket, do they rely on wayfinding or other spatial observations.
- What can be learned from Spatial Cognition, SIRN and Space Syntax that can be translated in an urban design? What are the pitfalls of these methods?
This part of the sub question tries to find ways in which the above questioned methods can aid to a better design or analyses of the area. Perhaps, space syntax or any other technique can contribute to a better cauliflower neighbourhood. All these techniques have their pros and cons regarding design and analyses, my main tasks are to sum up all these aspects.
- How can we make urban space measurable?
Urban design is usually more about aesthetics than truly quantifiable data. I want to research what is possible with truly measurable data. In which ways we can test issues of liveability within the context of cauliflower neighbourhoods
Figure 2: Image created by author
Relevance Academic Relevance The main topic in this graduation project is the question whether or not the cauliflower neighbourhoods are becoming the new problem neighbourhoods of the Netherlands. I want to proof with the help of my literature review that this is true. In this way the often neglected cauliflower neighbourhoods get a bigger place in the curriculum of Urban Regeneration. The use of space syntax, spatial cognition, isovist and other computer or mathematical aided analyse techniques is not common, certainly not in the field of Urban Regeneration. I hope to add new knowledge in this particular discipline within Urban Regeneration so that it gets more attention.
Societal Relevance At this moment Kesteren part of a bigger cauliflower neighbourhood in Breda called Haagse Beemden is already degrading/detoriating. For instance the people which have the lowest income and who want to stay in Breda, have only one place to go. That is this particular neighbourhood because of housing prices are the lowest over here. However unlike other lower class areas (volksbuurt: popular neighbourhood), there is not that much respect for the neighbourhood itself. People don’t hesitate to throw their garbage and litter in the public space right in front of their house. I think this problem is solvable by intervening in the public space or other interventions done by an Urbanist.
Screenshots taken from website: www.ad.nl [accesed on april 2nd, 2013]. ABOVE: “auliflower Neigbourhoods’ the new ghetto’s, BELOW: Pizza always cold in cauliflower neigbourhood 18
“Kesteren is a slum, it is said. It is a stain on the flourishing neighbourhood the ‘Haagse Beemden’. This bold statement is regularly fed by violent excesses.” a quote from local newspaper: BN / De Stem (2010)
Thesis reading guide The chapter concerning “methodology” is used to show the framework and methods which has been used for the thesis. After this chapter the research questions concerning “cauliflower neighbourhoods” will be answered, with special attention to the European context. Also the already on going urban regeneration processes within existing cauliflower neighbourhoods will be touched upon. The chapter “liveability” gives an introduction to some of the liveability theories and is the basis for some of the aspects in the chapter “measuring space”. In the chapter “environmental psychology” a brief introduction will be given on environmental psychology. This is done to support the next chapter “spatial cognition” in which is going too be elaborated on a lot of aspects concerning spatial cognition and its practical applicable properties for this thesis . A special example of spatial cognition will be elaborated on in a dedicated chapter “SIRN”. Followed by the chapter “space syntax”, which shows the more practical applications of “space syntax”. In the final chapter of the theoretical framework entitled “measuring space”, some of the applicable uses of liveability, spatial cognition, space syntax and other methods will be discussed. The final (partly) worked out aspect for this P2 report is a beginning in the analyses of the “Haagse Beemden”. This is according to my planning towards the P3 and P4 report.
Methodology To get the answers to my research questions I am going to use literature research and review, in this way I do not have to repeat work which has already been done by others. In this way I hope to get a better view and a more in depth background on the different subject themes. The methods I want to use are: Literature review Mapping Interviewing professionals Interviewing residents (with specific questions) Design (note: some of these aspects, did not take place before the P2 report)
Mapping a representation, usually on a flat surface, as of the features of an area of the earth or a portion of the heavens, showing them in their respective forms, sizes, and relationships according to some convention of representation. (Galton, 2006) (derived from a presentation by Van Dorst)
I want to use similar maps as Lynch used in â€œthe image of the cityâ€?. In this book he creates a direct relation between interviewing, sketch maps with his typical analysis (containing the elements: paths, edges, districts, nodes and landmarks) and a personal field analysis.
Figure 3 Overlap between interviews, sketch maps, and field analysis (Lynch, 1960)
Figure 4 The Boston image derived from street interviews (Lynch, 1960)
I want to interact with the current residents of Kesteren (part of Haagse Beemden, Breda). For instance I am curious if people can draw a map, of them travelling from their home towards the supermarket or perhaps the city centre. This can give me information in how people experience or perceive the space, which route they take, which routes they donâ€™t use. If they forget some parts of the route, if they would let their daughter cycle alone in some parts, or perhaps they dodge some parts completely, etc. Interviewing professionals I want to get in touch with the original designer of the Haagse Beemden, Breda. This is urban designer IR. L.J.M. Tummers (De Boer & Lambert, 1986). This is part of bigger analysis of the original design plans of Kesteren and Haagse Beemden. The reason I do this is to get a better grip on the current situation and ti see what has been changed or adapted in the past years. I want to get a better grip on the aspects of space syntax and spatial cognition. I want to make some interview appointments with professionals in this field of expertise. So I could use the extracted information better. SWOT analysis to get future possibilities and design scenarios. To use in the design part of the project. Design Design as problem solving The idea that design is problem solving has led to the development of phase models of the design process, in which you first define the problem, analyse it to formulate requirements and then generate solutions. You choose between these solutions with the help of your requirements, and then implement the chosen solution. This model of design has worked tremendously well, although it has also been criticised. Like any model, it highlights some aspects of design while neglecting others. Yet, it seems that as long as the design goals are explicit, clear and stable, and a set of comparable solutions can be generated, design can be treated very much like problem solving. (Dorst, 2003:15)
I want to use my design as a problem solving mixture, in which I try to systematically tackle the different problems The final design is a test of all my derived theories and research, if they all naturally fit and work in the specific spatial setting of Kesteren. Current development Currently the body of knowledge has been almost filled to my own approval. There are still parts of the research I still want to elaborate further on, this remark is also given in the specific chapter of the theoretical framework. For me the theoretical framework is something that is never complete. When I start designing and go on with analysing other questions will pop- up. They will be answered and added in the theoretical framework and visible in the P3 and P4 reports. During the summer I want to finalise the analyses of the site study this includes interviewing the inhabitants and let them draw cognitive maps (for further information see chapter â€˜spatial cognitionâ€™. I found out that the toolbox concerning strategy for urban regeneration in cauliflower neighbourhoods is already created (and can be found in the appendix), however I am sure that with my research I can add stuff into it concerning spatial cognition and the other methods which will be described in the upcoming chapters.
image edited by author (original can be found at bnsp.nl) 23
Initiating phase Theory
Preparation of literature study and thesis plan Literature Research (incl. paper review) Formulating of research questions Creating of theoretical framework
Creating of the body of knowledge Urban regeneration (during recession)
-History -Theory -Practical framework
-History -Theory -Current timeframe
Finalising the body of knowledge Thesis plan + Presentation (P2)
Liveability -Theory -Applicability in space
Site study Field research -Observations -Photos -Interview inhabitants
-Mapping -Good / B -Fearfull -SWOT -Cognitiv
Design Toolbox Strategy for regeneration in CauliďŹ‚ower Neigbourhoods (ATTEMPT) General solution to usage of
spatial cognition in urban design
Figure 5: This graph shows the used methodology
Design Design proposal
-Vison on Haagse Beemden (K
g of space Bad places l places
Supporting the Methodology Contact with proffesionals -Tutors -External review -Municipality -CauliďŹ‚ower neighbourhood designers
Orientation in space
Spatial cogniton, SIRN and Space Syntax -Theory -Applicability
Contact with other students Following (external) lectures
-TU Delft -Universities
-SWOT -Space Syntax -Nolli map -Spatial Cognition -Isovist -Morphological analyses
Final Presentation (P5)
The upcoming chapters are part of a extensive research which was conducted to answer the research questions. Some of my literature research, such as on urban regeneration is placed as an introduction part of this thesis. Since the P1 things have changed quite a bit. For now the subjects elaborated on, in my theoretical framework are: Cauliflower neighbourhoods Environmental psychology Spatial Cognition SIRN Space syntax Measuring space
Cauliflower neighbourhoods A time of renewal and change In the reconstruction period after the Second World War the lead in the spatial reorganisation of city and landscape was taken by the bureaucratic and technocratic planning departments. (Bosma & Wagenaar, 1995) This was possible by using a thorough an extensive subsidy system which included quality control regulations in a way the government could act guidingly in the fight against house famine. In the first years after the war not that many houses were built. There was a shortage of skilled labour forces, financial resources and materials. The cry for industrialised and rational building methods was loud. A technique named ‘systeembouw’ (system building) was founded, this technique ensured fast building and in high numbers. It used a (semi-)industrial building method which was far from labour-intensive. (Blom, Jansen, & van der Heiden, 2004) The rationalised production method fitted in seamlessly with modernist movement, CIAM. Their ideology of light, air and space was being translated in to a rectangular ground pattern and open parcelling with independent buildings blocks. Completely new neighbourhoods and districts were realised in high number, something that according to the many critics led to seemingly impersonal neighbourhoods, oversized road networks and big anonymous public spaces. Medium sized cities and even villages had to endure a gigantic clash of new (industrialised) dwelling types, which did not fit the local characteristics and existing housing typology (de Vletter, 2004; Ubink & van der Steeg, 2011).
In the course of the 1960s a clash arose between the straightforward views of the modernist and the changing society, the economic prosperity and the on-going plural demographics. The political and cultural renewal by the Provo, Nieuw Links and D’66 expanded in society (Roegholt, 1984). From this moment the dawn of prosperity, renewal and change began an led to an era of introspectiveness as Aaron Betsky mentions in ‘de kritise jaren 70’ (de Vletter, 2004). Positive economic growth – which lasted up until the end of the 1970s – accompanied larger expenditure possibilities. More people could pay for education or had a chance to buy a car and could even afford their own home. In the same period the Dutch labour force didn’t want to execute dirty jobs, these jobs were taken over by immigrants and the emancipation of women and the working class took flight. All the aspects of the prevailing generation were questioned: the role of the church, the importance of the environment, democracy in education, the rights of women and the empowerment of people. “The increase in population and the migration to the cities led to new and degrading forms of poverty and confinement in a filthy, often culturally sterile, noisy and degraded urbanisation; electricity and propulsion have reduced the burden of physical labour, but also the satisfaction does fade in that work; the car brings freedom of movement, but also poison in the cities and fetishism for machines” (Meadows, 1972). Already mentioned in the chapter concerning Urban Regeneration, the first oil (1973) crisis, showed the major dependency of oil. This cause led to rethinking about the depletion of natural resources, population size and environmental contamination. Because of this event all these aspects got placed on a higher level in the political agenda (Ubink & van der Steeg, 2011). New Ideals in Urbanism and Architecture In the end of the 1950s a group of young architects consisting of Aldo van Eyck, Herman Hertzberger and Jaap Bakema got the notion that there had to change something in the dominant view on planning principles of that time. This group had a common interest in the social view of architecture. The denounced the prevailing building practice in which floor plans had just a minimum amount of square meters and pledged for a more humane architecture. Contradicting towards the pragmatic vision of the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM) a more romantic view about intuition and art was drawn up. The movement these architects started is now called ‘structuralism’ a view which took the behaviour of people as a starting point and tried to promote issues as encounters in public space, privacy, human needs and individuality. Characteristic for the thought of structuralism are the
Figure 6 Critisicm on early post war neighbourhoods Image derived from (Ubbink 2011)
wide range of geometric configurations and mutual connections of units. (Ubink & van der Steeg, 2011) The Continuation of the neighbourhood idea According to the master thesis of Patricia Eenink the neighbourhood idea has some similarities with New Urbanism (Eenink, 2007). The neighbourhood idea (in dutch: wijkgedachte) was constructed after the Second World War and was based upon the encouraging of contact moments in the public space, the creation of belonging, identity, safety and stability towards the living environment. This led in the 1950s and 1960s to a social and spatial design repetition which was used as the basic fundamental unit of the neighbourhood. All these happenings described in the previous sections had their influence on architecture, urban design and planning. The basic planning thought principles of the 1960s changed towards a more political and societal thinking pattern (de Vletter, 2004). This new governmental culture was the beginning of a more flexible system of strategic planning. The so called ‘politicized sector planning’ its purpose was democratisation of participation. The focus shifted from a design perspective which was all about ‘form and function’ towards a regulation of decision-making processes, and forward-looking plans for small-scale, focusing more on the actuality of interventions. The spatial separation between living, working, recreation and labour that was propagated by the CIAM was considered too authoritarian and was therefore rejected (de Vletter, 2004).
The Dutch woonerf a splitted origin story The most characteristic part of a cauliflower neighbourhood is the ‘woonerf’. A cauliflower neighbourhood basically consists out of these ‘woonerven’. The true meaning(s) of the term will be explained in the upcoming section. In the early 1970s a new kind of urban planning principle showed up in the Netherlands entitled the “woonerf” (sometimes referred to as ‘home zones” in English). It makes it appearance in two different places almost simultaneously. It pops up in the redesigned streets of Delft and in the suburb ‘Emmerhout’ in Emmen according to Nio et al. in ‘Studie Woonerven. Focus op kwaliteiten” (2009) two origin stories can be told. The focus in the redesign in Delft has an origin in nostalgia towards the lost common activities on the streets due to increased traffic. The new neighbourhood in Emmen however focuses on the fashionable modern urban planning principle which embraces ‘new collectivism’. From the beginning the term ‘woonerf’ has a twofold meaning, as an expression of progress, but also nostalgia for the past. Niek de Boer (who used the term woonerf for the first time in 1965) wanted the street in a residential area to be the territory for the pedestrian. According to de Boer the street has a social meaning; the street is a place where you meet people, a kind of common room and space in which you can communicate. The street is the core of the community (de Boer, 1996). Inspiration for his woonerven principle de Boer got from cityplanner Walter Schwagenscheidt and the traffic engineer Colin Buchanan. The residential paths in Angelslo in Emmen are based upon ‘Radburn’ parcellation (pedestrian walkways and small clustered dwellings). In Emmerhout the woonerf is composed and shaped with the aid of ‘culs-de-sac’, and arranged as pedestrian areas with parking lots. The woonerf areas with low-rise buildings were connected with the slow traffic routes between the different amenities. The route consists of a series of small squares that were always designed in way which made them unique (interior, pavement, etc.). The different traffic flows consisting of cars and pedestrian traffic were separated. The ideal of de Boer’s woonerf was a place where human encounters could flourish (Nio, 2010). In the words of the Vletter (2004) Emmerhout is an example of a kind of ‘relaxed functionalism’.
Figure 7 a typical ‘woonerf’ sign. Image derived from: https://www.veiligverkeernederland.nl/faq_erf
Figure 8: The Urban Design plan of â€œEmmerhoutâ€?, Emmen, picture taken from (Wagenaar, 2011)
Delft is the second cradle of the woonerf, here a graduate student of Niek de Boer. His name Joost Vahl, gave a different interpretation to the woonerf. According to Vahl woonerven are residential isles, where the dominant car traffic exerts influence on the quality of life. Therefore the hierarchical traffic network and the distinction between different transport modalities is dropped (Neeskens, Versteijlen, & Kropman, 1982). In the case of Delft the mixture of playing kids and car drivers is seen as the essence of the woonerf. (Nio, 2010) According to Aaron Betsky in Vletter (2004) the woonerf principle gives small groups of dwellings a core, and kept the car which in the 1970s got a negative image out of the neighbourhood. And an addition advantage was that kids got a place to play (Nio, 2010; Ubink & van der Steeg, 2011). Prominently in the design of the woonerf was the desire to create a community with a very characteristic form, on which is going to be elaborated further on in this document. A remarkable thought is exhibited in Vletter (2004) where it states that the woonerf is merely a (re)discovery of the classical garden city by Ebenezer Howard in the way that it focusses on creating small scale environments in a much bigger context. The revaluation of the street Using the various interpretations and elaborations of the ‘woonerf’, one may wonder whether if there was a common goal behind the design. At least there was common endeavour and that was the revitalization of the neighbourhood life that had been impoverished by the march of the car (Nio, 2010). At the same time the traffic engineer lost his prominent position, in the linear design of the early post war neighbourhoods all the streets could be drawn by a single person. Also Ubbink et al. (2011) explained that the car intrusion in the early post war neighbourhoods was to decisive, the streets became wide, shabby and unhomely. This off course in resemblance to the work of Niek de Boer (1965). A quote by de Boer, about past times “there was traffic, but it was so little and so benign that they met in the street, on summer evenings they sat outside, a craftsman could put his business on the sidewalk on the street in front of his and could actually work there.” (de Boer, 1996)
Perception aspects in the design of cauliflower neighbourhoods In the beginning of the 1970s perceptual aspects of urban design and architecture became more fashionable. This was happening according to the design theories of Kevin Lynch and Gordon Cullen. Lynch distinguished different elements in a city which could make the cityscape more legible (a more in depth elaboration on this aspect will be given in the chapter ‘spatial cognition’. According to Ubink et al. (2011) the theories of Lynch initiated qualitative notions such as route design, shelter and variety were given a more prominent role in urbanism. Gordon Cullen was one of the first who gave ‘image’ and ‘atmosphere ‘ a bigger cut in the design process. He introduced the term ‘serial vision’ which can be interpreted as when a person starts walking from one place to a random other place, he will see a street or other kind of object. But as one takes a corner, the viewport changes and this viewpoint can change again because of interfering trees or looming houses. ‘The significance of all this is that although the pedestrian walks through the town at a uniform speed, the scenery of towns is often revealed in a series of jerks or revelations ‘cited from Cullen (1961) page 11. With the constant change of images and vistas, surprise can be created and the pedestrian or cyclist can be made more curious about what is happening next. Aldo van Eyck introduced a couple of oxymoron’s such as ‘organized Kasbah’ and ‘labyrinthic clarity’(van Gastel, 2006). Accoring to him the tension between these opposites should lead op to numerous variants in the design of contrast and opposites between private and public space, open and closed, crowded and quiet, green and brick, meeting and avoiding, society and individuals.
Figure 9: An exert from the concise townscape by Gorden Cullen 1961)
The spatial appearance of these new ideals As already mentioned in the section describing the origin story of the dutch ‘woonerf’, there was not one correct or single viewpoint on the precise spatial appearance. There were different approaches, however the design philosophy the designers of the cauliflower neighbourhoods had in common was their aversion against the early post war neighbourhoods. They preached for random encounters between inhabitants, and were strongly opposed towards monotonous repetition but loved variation, they were against uniformity and simplicity but pro pluriformity and complexity, no predictability but rather surprise, not high-rise but low-rise (de Vletter, 2004; Eenink, 2007; Ubink & van der Steeg, 2011). A much used colour combination consisted of the nowadays detested combination of: brown, orange and purple.” de Vletter (2004)
The change in physical appearance was best seen in the scale of the new dwellings. The new ideals were resorted back towards the human scale, in the previous era the focus had been on functionality and efficiency of the living environment rather to put emphasize on the actual user. The ‘woonerven’ structure was deliberately shaped for a cosy environment. A living environment with protection and stability in a rapidly changing society (Witsen, 2006). This small scale structure of the woonerven would led to more encounters and social contacts, which would end the anonymity in the early post-war neighbourhoods, this would have its appearance in traffic save havens where it was safe strolling. The houses are diverse spatially and socially, in fact they are built for different population groups and income categories (Sanders, 1999). The classical work of Jane Jacobs (1961) was used as an inspiration but could not fit directly in the cauliflower neighbourhood design principle. The difficulty came with the fact that the sociological theories about the city sometimes were at right angles with the suburban ‘woonerven’ (Nio, 2010). According to de Vletter (2004) architects mainly designed brick dwellings with sloped roofs and inside an inscrutable map. Remarkable in these neighbourhoods are the diffuse transitions between public and private space, erratic and irregular parcelling forms and different height within an urban block (Ubink & Visser, 2009). The ‘woonerf was an important instrument to give the usually large assignment for newly developed neighbourhoods and districts, a more humane and small character This versatility allowed the application of the ‘woonerf’ in the seventies booming.
Experiments in housing construction In 1968, Minister Schut introduced ‘experimental housing’ which advocated a greater account for small scale and higher differentiation of individual housing. There were special subsidies set to develop new ideas for dwelling layout, construction methods, building materials, housing typology and allotment form. In the late 1970s a bigger emphasis was put upon higher density, integration into the original context and a greater degree of flexibility in the layout of the dwelling. (de Vletter, 2004; Ubink & van der Steeg, 2011) One of the most famous projects is de Kasbah by Piet Blom situated in Hengelo. Its extraordinary shape and parcelling are remarkable in the design. The dwellings are lifted above surface level, in this way a ‘urban roof’ appears. On street level the space is open and public. In the middle of the Kasbah a green square is left open, as a centre for social meetings. Piet Blom remarks very proudly ‘nowadays, you’ll be surprised what a lot of chaos you can built with government funds’ (van Heuvel, 1976). The ‘Vlekkenplan’, a change of institution In the 1950s and 1960s it was common to accurately determine objects and constraints in a zoning plan (in Dutch: bestemmingsplan). In the passing of the sixties however the planning institution had a feeling they were shackled (Ubink & van der Steeg, 2011). In the upcoming century more flexibility was needed to cope with the changing circumstances. This led up to a more global zoning plan in which not every outline and constraint was drawn perfectly, but a more loosely and vaguely area, resembling a stain (in Dutch: vlek) was determined. Only the most necessary was included such as the main infrastructure, building density and degree of amenities (de Vletter, 2004). In some occasions the atmosphere which was pursued was supported by elementary drawings and perspectives. However the precise interpretation of zoning elements and function was still indistinct, in this way various architects could elaborate and envision their ideas. (Westrik & Büchi, 1989)
Figure 10. An example of one of the experiments in housing construction: The Kasbah (Hengelo) by Piet Blom. Image derived from: http://www.kasbah.nu/ index.php?page=geschiedenis
An expansionary building policy The commitment of the government determined the size and location of many cauliflower neighbourhoods. This was happening to reduce the prevailing housing shortage. For an increasing portion the construction of dwellings was mainly realised by private parties and housing associations. The beginning of the 1970s mark the period in which, in absolute terms most newly built homes completed. Its height was in 1973 were 150,000 new homes were completed. As can be seen in the Figure 11 the government did not built all these houses by itself, but through the aid of extensive subsidy schemes and premiums they tried to boost it. They also, used a sophisticated system of premiums, in an attempt to convince and reach all layers of society to buy their own homes. The second oil crisis (1979) was a major turnaround in the housing. The economic recession that followed resulted in a decline in consumer confidence and a crisis in the housing market. Until the crisis, the share of the private sector increased gradually see Figure 12. In 1979 it was still 33% of total of the new constructed houses. The crisis resulted in an undesirable loss, which was caught by subsidized housing. The increase in mortgage interest rates took historic height (13%), combined with falling selling prices, uncertain income prospects, high unemployment caused the demand for owner-occupied homes plummeted (Planbureau, 1982). A large and surplus of acquired but only partly prepared site work threatened the local governments, unsalable homes were converted for rental purposes on a large scale. Setbacks in the land development were partly of coped by the central government with additional location subsidies. To ensure continuity in the building sector, the number of subsidized housing went up to unprecedented levels. In 1983, only 6% of housing production was executed without governmental premiums and subsidies. (Ubink & van der Steeg, 2011) Criticism on the cauliflower neighbourhood and the abrupt ending As already explained in the section about the expansionary building policy, there was a lot of money circulation in all kinds of subsidies. In 1978 the Ministry of VROM paid about 1.5 billion euro on subsidies commitments. In 1982 the Ministry of VROM came under enormous pressure because this amount had been increased to three times in less than five years. Rents and subsidies increased, while little
is being provided in terms of the budget of the consumer and government (Ubink & van der Steeg, 2011). To reduce the growth of spending, cuts were necessary. The measures consisted of: smaller subsidized construction programs, changes in the level of support and the maximum amount in allowable construction costs were reduced. The government wanted less grandstanding and frivolous building standards and preferred a more basic design. This because it increased the construction cost unnecessary. Secretary of State Brokx pleaded in the late 1970s about designers: “(...) keep them from exaggeration on the design part, and make sure that they will use a large degree of cost awareness in the design of social housing” (Steemers, 1978). The call for austerity from politics coincided with criticism from the architectural world. The pursuit for unmotivated variation according to Wytze Patijn (1977) resulted in a ‘new monotony’. Patijn (1977) also expressed doubts regarding the fashionable social objectives of the period: ‘regarding the stimulation of social contact by means of building, many designers can be said to suffer from an encounter syndrome, In many plans it is assumed that everyone should be able to meet everyone, without the desirability of these encounters being a point of discussion’. Some critic by the architects van Gameren & Mooij (2010). “Insufficient attention was paid to how use may have been conditioned by the size, form and layout of the ‘woonerf’ with planting, play equipment, seating places and parking solutions, or the transition from private to collective space. (…)The secret of successful cauliflower neighbourhoods lay in good organisation of the area of tension between the private and public domains via a transition zone, the size and layout of the ‘woonerf’ itself and careful management.” Nearly 40 years after their construction, cauliflower neighbourhoods had to undergo some social changes. The amount of families with children is declining and the number of one- and two-person households and elderly increases. A process that is pretty common in the Netherlands nowadays because of the ageing process it is in. Nowadays cauliflower neighbourhoods attract a wide variety of residents with different lifestyles. The population is more heterogeneous in terms of ethnicity and origin. Shockingly fact is that new residents also have a lower average income: the cauliflower neighbourhoods became the domain of the lower middle class (van der Steeg, Ubink, Winsemius, & van Wijk, 2006). Van Gameren and Mooij (2010) think that the social changes in cauliflower neighbourhoods will unwrap differently than in
Fig. 11 Housing construction for the client 1947-1985 from (Ubbink & van der Steeg (2011)
Fig. 12 Housing construction according the financing category during 1947 -1995 derived from (Ubbink & van der Steeg (2011)
The client unsubsidised premium housing (premiewoningen) housing law dwellings (woningwetwoningen)
Financing category private sector housing association pblic sector
the early post-war neighbourhoods: the private and collective spaces have a different relationship. Where collective cleaning of porches was an issue on early post-war estates, changes in the cauliflower neighbourhood culture began with tear down of n the ‘woonerf’ itself by lack of maintenance, high property boundaries and alterations to front garden layout.
Analyses of the neighbourhood approaches, A Threefold cumulative problem In the nine researched neighbourhoods a deterioration pattern is visible, in which the spatial structure and the social deprivation reinforce each other. This pattern can be explained by the following three points:
It is necessary to point out the opportunities and threats for each type of interpretation of the cauliflower neighbourhood. According to Giesen et al. (2008) there is a difference between cauliflower neighbourhoods from the 1970s and those of the 1980s. The parts of the cauliflower neighbourhoods of the seventies are attractively priced, have a suburban character, starting homes and are a viable alternative for the more expensive VINEX locations (VINEX is an acronym for the ‘Vierde nota over de Ruimtelijke Ordening Extra’). Cauliflower neigbourhoods constructed in the 1980s after the crisis of 1979 are much more sober, compared to their counterparts of the seventies.
Technical wear: (parts of) both the housing and the environment have reached the end of their lifespan. This is especially true in neighbourhoods built in the eighties, where due to the housing crisis cutbacks are made. The constructible quality of these houses is often poor and the planting of fast growing plants thirty-five years later often gives these environments a rundown impression.
‘The task of reassessing the ‘woonerf’ should include a new definition of the relationship between private and collective space. Forms of contemporary collectivity can provide starting points for obtaining a new view of ‘woonerf’ layout and self-management’ (van Gameren & Mooij, 2010)
How to make cauliflower neighbourhoods future-proof This complete section is based upon the research conducted by Uyterlinde & Oude Ophuis (2012) commissioned by SEV. The main research question of this research was: “What mix of interventions, could make a cauliflower neighbourhood flourish in the upcoming decennia?” (interpretation by author, original dutch research question: “Met welke mix van ingrepen kan een bloemkoolwijk de komende decennia vooruit?”). The authors admit that in the sample size (total of 9 neighbourhoods) of this research is not ideal they focused on areas which were already showing serious problems. These problems could be in social (social disadvantage, liveability) and in terms of physical quality. In the approach method of these problems, there are large differences between the neighbourhoods examined in terms of design, scale, and spatial and social context. Also the epoch, and thus the political-ideological constellation including the district to tackle came into being, varies widely.
Social wear: the cauliflower neighbourhood that once was the representation of the human scale, does not longer fit the requirements of the current consumer. This is evident in the declining rent ability of social housing and the lagging performance of the private stock. Socio-economic stagnation: many neighbourhoods exerted early in their existence a priming action on vulnerable groups. A combination of factors - including the remoteness and the reduced rent for the vacant threat - was the basis for this. After interviewing inhabitants, it shows that in the investigated areas there are (hidden) social problems such as debt, social isolation, domestic violence and parenting issues. Figure 13 shows the nine neighbourhood approaches shown in schematic way along two axes. The horizontal axis refers to the types of measures: social, physical or a combination. The vertical axis refers to the purpose of the measures: preventive (focused on prevention), or a curative approach (focusing on troubleshooting). In many studies on cauliflower neighbourhoods the term ‘prevention’ is key (Ubink & van der Steeg, 2011; van Gameren & Mooij, 2010). Compared with pre-and post-war neighbourhoods, the problems in the neighbourhoods are relatively ‘mild’, making a preventive approach sufficient. However, Figure xx shows that the approach in the surveyed areas was predominantly curative in nature.
Preventive Figure 13. The different approaches to cauliflower neighbourhood renewal
Because the neighbourhoods which were researched had already problems - for cauliflower neighbourhood standardsâ€™ prevention was not sufficient: some problems had to be solved very specifically. The approach was therefore often a fairly largescale renovation, consisting of both physical and social measures. In the nine neighbourhoods a wide variety of instruments is used. These could be organised into five clusters: environment, housing stock, population composition, social climate and amenities. Within each cluster specific issues or problems were manifested, which led to the development of specific instrument and tools. This table can be found in the appendix. Success factors in restructuring cauliflower neighbourhoods Restructuring and physical renewal of the housing stock has a positive effect on the rent ability, value development and social cohesion. This applies in particular when the physical renewal is associated with control or differentiation of the population composition. This measure is a very costly investments and hardly feasible in the current economic climate. Improve the physical environment (gray and green) exerts a positive influence on the quality of life and the trust residents have in the future of the neighbourhood. It works better when a renewal plan has been developed in consultation with residents
and when the process is guided by intensive management. Sale of formerly rental apartments does not seem to have the same effect as in conventional neighbourhoods. Practice shows that owner-occupiers are insufficiently in maintaining the physical quality of their home on par, and the participation grade on initiatives for private housing improvement is low. Social interventions require consistency and continuity. First of all curative social interventions aimed at maintaining and controlling nuisance prove effectively, to ensure a basic level of quality of life. Interventions aimed at meeting, bonding and social cohesion have a positive influence on the perception of residents (more mutual involvement, more trust in the neighbourhood) and interventions aimed at identifying hidden problems at individual or household level contribute to a social rise residents. Tackling the â€˜mildâ€™ problems in cauliflower neighbourhoods is a tedious exercise: sustainable physical and social management is essential to maximize the value they contribute to the development of real estate and the quality of life social cohesion and security. (van Gameren & Mooij, 2010)
Alstensgatan, Bromma, Stockholm, Sweden (Bing Maps, 2013) edit by author 40
CAULIFLOWER NEIGHBOURHOODS OUTSIDE THE DUTCH CONTEXT 41
Cauliflower neighbourhoods and its ‘When urban designer Niek de Boer in the 1960s coined the term ‘woonerf’, he linked his new residential universally recognised concept: the erf (literally yard which resonated in the collective consciousness as around a freestanding house or the versatile extern farmyard. Thus, even in its name, this urban planning evoked nostalgic impressions of village life, where activities could take place outdoors and on the street perspective, the woonerf can be seen as a typical Dutch development’ (van Gameren & Mooij, 2010). Conversely, it cannot be viewed in isolation from previous earlier international developments, there are obvious precedents such as Ebenezer Howard’s ideas about garden cities, Garden Cities of Tomorrow (1902) and its examples in the UK and USA. In the wake of these earlier developments, from the beginning of the twentieth century Scandinavia built remarkable neighbourhoods with a strong resemblance to the cauliflower neighbourhoods. For instance it also focusses on a strong spatial and communal character. When the Dutch needed to rebuilt their country, and where aiming towards large scale residential areas consisting of collective green and communal facilities the Scandinavian neighbourhoods
were an example for Dutch designers (van Gameren & Mooij, 2010). A frequently cited source of inspiration for the Dutch woonerf is the new town Radburn (1929) in Fair Lawn, New Jersey (USA). Radburn was designed with the use of the car in the back of the mind (Radburn, A town for the Motor Age), but in a way that would not dominate the environment. The detached houses are clustered around culs-de-sac, with a private parking spot in front of each house. However this is differently interpreted in Radburn, they consider this front the backside of their home and focus on the other side which is free of cars, pedestrian friendly and dominated by green. The local amenities can all be reached without crossing a road. (Bostock, 2012). For a more in depth view about the architecture building regulation nowadays visit: http://www. radburn.org/residents/guide2003.pdf In Scandinavia the focus was on historical patterns. A common characteristic is the erasure of the distinction between the front and back of the house. Puu-Käpylä is a garden suburb of Helsinki with wooden buildings. (van Gameren & Mooij, 2010) It was originally built as the Olympic village for the 1952 Summer Olympics, and one of the first examples in Finland of the garden city movement.
Figure 13. Aerial view on ‘Radburn, Fair Lawn, New Jersey, USA (Bing Maps, 2013)
Figure 14. Aerial view on ‘Puu-Käpylä, Helsinki, Finland’ (Bing Maps, 2013)
Figure 15 Aerial view on ‘Frilufts staden, Malmö, Sweden’ (Bing Maps, 2013)
A more recent interpretation of this model, even incorporating some of the American influences, is the Frilufts staden neighbourhood in Malmö (1948) designed by Erik Bülow-Hube. In this particular example, the open space – including lawns, pathways, and green - on both side of the houses are of exactly the same quality. Except
for the main route dividing the neighbourhood cars are directly left outside of the immediate vicinity. Terraced housing and green buffer zones alternate each other, and every other house is faced towards opposing green spaces (Malmö stad, 2013).
Figure 16 Aerial view on ‘Punch Croft, New Ash Green, UK’, image derived from: https://maps.google.com/
In Punch Croft, New Ash Green in the United Kingdom also a separation between parking and green zones has been created (1967), but with much greater variation and combination: the culs-de-sac branch into smaller plazas, some open and others surrounded by garages. They are enclosed in the housing clusters. The position of these garages has a far less connection in this way houses on the edge could also have garages. An intricate structure of pathways knits the housing clusters, green zones and parking plazas together (van Gameren & Mooij, 2010). The houses on the periphery tend to face outwards and those in the centre of the Zone have their prospect at the back of the house, through relatively small, semi-enclosed gardens. Every house has an open prospect either at the back or front (Oakley & Ellard, 2013).
In Ålstensgatan (Sweden) the houses were staggerd in this way the plots created a sheltered space in front and/or on the backside of the house. This space can be equipped at its discretion, and in this way creates a more gradual transition between private and public space. Understandably this was done in Scandinavia which has a rich tradition of collective residential environments. Dwellings which lacked private outside space could benefit from this solution of the staggered housing principle to create a protected transitioned area. Another example of serrated dwellings can be found in Klampenborg, Denmark. The little neighbourhood is designed in 1946 by Arne Jacobsen.
Figure 17 Aerial view on ‘Ålstensgatan, Bromma (Stockholm), Sweden’ (Bing Maps, 2013) In 1932 Paul Hedqvist designed both sides of the Ålstensgatan (road) parallel strips functioning like ‘sawtooth’ dwellings..
Figure 18 Aerial view on ‘Bellevuekrogen, Klampenborg (Copenhagen), Denmark’ (Bing Maps, 2013)
Liveability .The Dutch term “Leefbaarheid” can be translated to English in two kind of ways with “quality of live” or “liveability”. The quality of life refers to the general well-being of individuals and societies. Liveability refers to the fact of something is fit or pleasant to live in; habitable: said of a city, house, room, etc. (derived from: http://www.yourdictionary.com/livability)
To translate some of the Dutch texts better I use combinations of both terminologies. The term “leefbaarheid” is actually a judgement about the quality of the relationship between man and environment which can be viewed from different perspectives (van Dorst, 2005)(Van Dorst, 2005, p.461). Three major aspects that were explained by Van Dorst were perceived, presumed and apparent liveability which can be found in his book “Een duurzame leefbare woonomgeving: fysieke voorwaarden voor privacyregulering” (2005). They differ in the degree to which the individual and environment relate to each other (see figure 19)
- The perceived quality of life emphasizes the valuation of an individual for his / her living environment. - Conversely, the assumed liveability only emphasizes the extent to which the environment complies with the wishes of the human being. - Apparent liveability is a combination of the above perspectives. It emphasizes the extent and quality in which humans and environment match. Liveability is a rather subjective concept in which, everyone has their own idea about the meaning and interpretation. Over the years, among others Blokland (2008), Gehl (1987) and Jacobs (1961) made statements about what is needed for a liveable environment and how the quality of life can be improved and optimised. In addition to addressing physical factors within the public space, there are other conditions that contribute to the quality of life within a neighbourhood. In her book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” Jacobs (1961) already mentioned that a busy street life contributed to the way the neighbourhood was perceived as liveable. The presence of people on the streets, believed to be a basic quality of life within a neigbourhood. According to Gehl (1987), in “Life between buildings: Using Public Space”, vibrant cities are towns where people interact. This will stimulate and attract more people because they are rich in different experiences. Cities where nothing takes place are boring according to Gehl (2010) These cities remain dull and unused despite the attractive appearance of the physical environment.
Figure 19. Relation between environment and human, at different forms of liveability (Van Dorst, 2005)
Gehl (1987, p.23) emphasizes that “people go, where people are.” As Jacobs pointed out in 1961, the presence of people in a room will make others feel attracted. One wonders what is going on and because of that participates in which the liveability of a neighbourhood benefits from. No event is the same as the previous or the next event, when it comes down to people interacting with each other according to Gehl (1987).
Facilitating intentional and unintentional encounters according to Blokland (2008) is essential for interaction within a neighbourhood. Sight lines towards the recreational areas are important because if people do not see a space according to Gehl 1987) people will not use it. According to (Blokland, 2009) Blokland (2009) and Jacobs (1961) people should also have enough variety in and around the selected recreational places, both in function and form, in this way they remain stimulated and active. Conditions for a better liveability in a neighbourhood Conclusions on this specific topic are that the main conditions of a liveable environment are the presence of people, a busy and varied street life and the presence of public space. To realise these spatial conditions elements and various design variables are used (Blokland, 2009; Gehl, 1987; Jacobs, 1961): - The presence of sight lines to and from the most important places in the built environment ensures that the areas are visible and there is a greater chance that they will use it. - By ensuring that there is enough variation in use and function, the built environment facilitates to the needs of different users. In this way more people will be present. In the chapter â€œMeasuring spaceâ€? examples of other techniques will be given to put some of these ideas in a more measurable context.
Environmental Psychology To get answers on my research questions involving spatial cognition, first an introduction on the field of environmental psychology will be given. This is necessary because spatial cognition has many founding fathers. One of them is deducted from environmental psychology. That is why some deepening knowledge about the origin of environmental psychology is in this thesis. Environmental cognition is part of environmental psychology. What is environmental psychology? As with most areas of psychology it is easier to list what environmental psychologists do than to define the field, “and we certainly could define the field as ‘what environmental psychologists do”(Proshansky, Ittelson, & Rivlin, 1970). Over the past few decades, experts defining the field have attempted to emphasize the influence of the environment on people as well as the influence of people on the environment. They have also emphasized these influences in built and, more recently natural environments, with a focus on the larger scale rather than on specific individual components of environments. According to Bell et al. (2001) this definition is appropriately brief and encompassing: Environmental psychology is the study of the molar relationships between behavior and experience and the built and natural environments
Characteristics of environmental psychology There are two primary distinctions between environmental psychology and other fields of psychology: 1. The perspective it takes in studying its subject and matter; 2. The kinds of problems or settings that are selected for the s tudy The first and foremost among these characteristics is an emphasis on studying environment – behaviour relationships as a unit, rather than separating them into supposedly distinct and selfcontained components. A second assumption in environmental psychology is that environment – behaviour relationships are really interrelations: The environment influences and constrains behaviour (example: affordances), but behaviour also leads to changes in the environment (example: pollution). Thirdly environmental psychology is less likely to draw sharp distinctions between applied and basic research than other areas in psychology. A fourth characteristic is that environmental psychology is part of an interdisciplinary and international field of study of environment and behaviour, with its emphasis on the perception of a whole scene, is relevant to the work of landscape architects, urban planners, builders and others in related fields (Bell, et al., 2001)
48Figure 20. Perception: is the processing of the sensory information encountered in daily live
Environmental Perception Historically, psychologists have made a distinction between two processes that gather and interpret environmental stimulation. The term sensation has been applied to the relatively straightforward activity of human sensory systems in reacting to simple stimuli such as an individual sound or flash of light. The noticing of distinctive buildings, miraculous landscapes or shabby trash is (probably) based upon the observing of a plurality of photons stimulating individual receptor cells in your eyes. Although sensation is obviously important, the center of attention will be on perception, a term that is applied to the more complicated processing, integration, and interpretation of complex, often meaningful stimuli those we encounter in daily life (Bell, et al., 2001).
Perception is viewed as not merely dealing with information about the environment, but at the same time yielding information about what the possibilities are as far as human purposes are concerned. â€“ Stephen Kaplan (1988)
Without any movement by an individual we cannot change our viewpoint on the environment and thus activate our full perceptual spectrum, therefore movement through space is needed to stimulate perceptual processes. â€œWe bring expectations, experiences, values, and goals to an environment. The environment provides us with information, and we perceive it through activityâ€? cited from page 59 (Bell, et al., 2001). Part of this activity is exploring the environment to be able to navigate in the future.
Bell et al. (2001) states that perception involves experience and memory and therefore it implies that cognitive processes are involved. In the next chapter of this thesis there will be additional elaboration in this specific theme. Bell et al. continuous on in pointing out that environmental perception includes both an assessment of what is in a scene and an evaluation whether or not it is a good or bad element. So in our perception we always create a judgment. Environments are rich in stimuli; in fact, the environment contains more information than we can comprehend at once, see figure 20.
Perspectives on environmental perception Classical object perception studies have been executed by Kaplan and Kaplan (1982), they studied on the patterns of sensation, on which we distinguished objects which we were already familiar with. However this was not directly applicable in everyday life, because nowadays things have become more complicated, due to the fact that we not only have to recognize an object but we also have to detect them in a three dimensional space. This because we have to get a grip in how far, fast and of what kind of importance these objects are to us (Kaplan, 1982). All these elements together make it a very complex task combining all these different stimuli in a real world situation. The most powerful cue for depth to the human perception is the linear perspective. “Not until the 1400s did artists discover the depth-producing convention that lines are parallel in a landscape will converge as they grow farther away” page 60 (Bell, et al., 2001). Forced perspective is an appealing three dimensional application of the same principle, examples can be found in highrise buildings which are becoming gradually smaller until the top. For instance the “Burj Khalifa” these visual illusions make the buildings appear even higher. As been written in the previous introduction chapter, the most important characteristic of environmental psychology is the desire to study environmental-behaviour relationships as holistic units rather than stimulating them into smaller component stimuli and components. If for instance people are asked to grade pictures of neighbourhoods, on their specific level of physical appeal. We cannot exclude the fact that members of the survey group dislike some kind of street furniture or some kind of weather conditions. Should we include other modalities like smell and sound, this perhaps sounds absurd. But if you really want to know what makes a neighbourhood in all its complexity attractive. A molar (larger) analysis seems necessary. In the field of environmental perception the individual or single aspect is not of big influence, a more holistic view of combined personal and individual stimuli that ultimately forms the experienced environmental unit. Although the patterns of mutual influence are complex, presumably the total system is a construction of these interactions but still separable parts (Altman & Rogoff, 1987).
The accent on a holistic, global response resembles to the work of the creators of the Gestalt Psychology. The Gestalt Psychology ignores the concept that human perception can be reduced to progressively smaller and smaller basic units. Alternatively they conclude that the whole is unlike a simple sum of the whole of its constituent parts (Wertheimer, 1967). We may assume that everybody knows that motion pictures are made up out of endless stills. And every following still during a movie is followed by another, this builds up a complete animated sequence. Its impact however can best be understood as a moving whole. A cityscape is therefore also more than just an array of light particles. Shape and movie frames are examples of what Gestalt psychologists called emergent properties
Figure 21. (Cambridge, 2009) and adapted by author Top left: do you see 8 different lines or 4 pairs? Top right: do you see letters or a pattern “X”s and “0”s? Down left: do you see a continuous line or dots? Down right: do you see two closed circles, one in front of the other?
According to Lang (1987) Gestalt psychology has had a disproportionate influence on architects and other design professionals and Gestalt psychology is the most influential theory of perception on designers in the 20th century.
Nativism versus Learning One of the biggest controversies in psychology concerns the degree in which human perception comes to us fairly automatically (nativism) versus the view that perception is highly dependent on learning through direct observation (empiricism). In psychology this controversy often focuses on nature and nurture in human behavior (Bell, et al., 2001). Explained in a more popular fashion it is a clash between Brunswick and Gibson. Brunswick Probabilism Everything you perceive in the environment is probalistic, it contains a random variable. The probability of what you perceive fluctuates based upon experience. Some (information) cues are more important cues than other cues, and therefore have a greater change to be perceived. This is what we like to call cue utilization. Independent of these environmental elements (cues) we have an objective perceptual use this is called ecological validity. If the value that user assigns to a cue matches the ecological validity therefore depends on the experience of the user and the context in which the behaviour occurs. This is where users differ, this is called functional validity. This theory is summarised in “Brunswik’s lens model”
Main differences - Brunswik sees perception as a probability influenced by individual differences within the user. - Gibson looks for the essence of perception in the environment itself, and suggests that interpretation of the user is not necessary. Main agreements: • Both looking at perception from daily practice. • Both use a holistic vision. • Both use environment-behavior relationships.
Figure 22 Brunswik’s Lens Model
Gibson’s ecological perception The user responds to the meaning and structure of stimuli that already exist in the outside world. Therefore the focus is on the properties and characteristics of the stimuli themselves (e.g. hardness). These properties and attributes are called invariant functional properties. Perception of the properties of stimuli is direct and holistic; it is not impeded by a separate interpretation process. Organisms actively explore the invariant functional properties for their own use. These uses are called affordances. It involves perception of existing possibilities: ecological perception. Why ecological, because it is species dependent. A set of affordances in use by an organism is called an ecological niche.
Figure 23 A study done on â€˜affordancesâ€™ by Egbert Stol (1st mentor) The differnt kind of seating options are apointed in their direct context in this way a division can be made in the affordability to sit A) nice chairs in a crowded shopping street B) a staircase, not the most comfortable place, but no one will interupt you. C) it is suitable to sit on, but you are not allowed.
Habituation and the perception of change The differences between two stimuli in a particular dimension are only observed in the case of a certain threshold increment (increase or decrease). This threshold increment value is always a fixed proportion with respect to the size of the original stimuli (Sommer, 1972). This is the so called Weber-Fechner function from psychophysics.
The perception of change can lead to 1. Habituation; the response to a constant stimulus intensity is becoming weaker in other words senses are less sensitive – no energy cost. 2. Adaptation; adapting behavior to cope with the change – energy cost.
The Weber-Fechner function psychophysics applied in economics: An increase of 1 to 2 euro is perceived greater than an increase from 1,000,000,001 to 1,000,000,002 euros.
Our Education System Figure 24 a joke on affordances
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ― Albert Einstein
Spatial cognition What is Cognition? Cognition is ambiguous, in the way that people in affiliated topics and processes use it in another way. In this chapter I’ll mainly use cognition as interpreted in Gardner’s (1987)book The Mind’s New Science: A history of the cognitive revolution. In this book Gardner describes the history of cognitive science as an interdisciplinary research domain that emerged in the mid-1950s when researchers in several fields began to develop theories of mind based on complex representations and computational procedures (Juval Portugali, 2011). In the words of Gardner, the interdisciplinary field of study conducted by cognition experts involves the study of the mind and intelligence embrace philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics and anthropology; however, as we shall see below, the studies about cities and urbanism should not be neglected in this part of science. Cognitive science – a brief introduction Cognitive science originated as said in the mid-1950 as a rebellion against the paradigm of behaviourism that dominated the study of cognition and behaviour in the first half of the 20th century. This rebellion led to a new paradigm about the relations between environment, mind and behaviour – the information processing approach – that nowadays in retrospect is called also classical cognitivism. In the continuum of this text I will further elaborate on the concept of the cognitive map (Tolman, 1948). The cognitive map played a huge role in the connecting of the science of cognition to the study and science of cities. According to Portugali (2011), the classical work of Lynch (1960), was not based upon the work of Tolman however this catalysed the emergence of of a specialized research domain on the interface between cognitive science and the study of cities termed ‘environmental cognition’, spatial behavior or ‘cognitive geography’. Since this classical origin studies conducted by Tolman (1948) and Lynch (1960), time went on and science created different perspectives on the matter, on which is going to be elaborated first. The Black Box The black box is used a lot to describe the model of behaviourism, mainly because of Skinner (1953) where he suggest that animal and human behaviour can be fully interpreted by means of the relation between stimulus and response (S-R). This theory also advocates that the various phenomena concerning the functioning of the mind (e.g., perception, imagination, thinking, emotions) cannot be part of scientific examination because according to Skinner they are not observable. Behaviourism claims that the mind with its many faculties, while very interesting, is simply not
needed in order to explain behaviour. Therefore the mind can be seen as a black box. Further research about stimulus – response (R-S) relations have been conducted by Pavlov’s (1927) classical conditioning, his research is amongst the most classical work, which supports this view. Classical Cognitivism As noticed earlier, the classical cognitivism was an open rebellion against the black box thinking of the preceding intumescence on behaviourism. Three men and their respective research were influential for this movement. Alain Turing (1936), Noam Chomsky (1957) and the already briefly mentioned Edward Tolman (1948). “Turing, for his influential contribution to computer science, and concepts such as ‘algorithm’ and ‘computation’ that have become metaphors for the very process of cognition and cognitive science. Chomsky for demonstrating that the BB model of the mind cannot explain linguistic behavior; and finally, Tolman who in a set of experiments showed that the BB models fails also in the case of animals’ and humans’ way-finding behavior: in order to explain rats’ and humans’ way-finding behavior, a cognitive map must first be created and internally represented in the BB.” (Juval Portugali, 2011). The revolution it provoked led up to what we nowadays call classical cognitivism. Cognition, according to this view is essentially the manipulation of symbols on the hardware of the brain. These symbols are essentially static entities – internal representations of the external extended environment (Juval Portugali, 2011). Embodied Cognition The term of embodied cognition (Varela, Thompson, & Rosch, 1991) acts more like an collective noun, as it encompasses a lot of research done in the period after the 1970s (which can be found in Portugali Cognition, Complexity and the City (2011, p. 115)). According to this view, cognition is embodied in the sense that mind and body are not independent from each other but form a single integrated cognitive system, and in the sense that many cognitive capabilities are derived from the bodily experiences in the environment. In the previous chapter there was already a mentioning of the theory created by Gibson (1979) involving the aspect of affordances, it emphasizes on the relation between mind, body and environment in a ground breaking way. It suggest that the mind/brain of organisms do not perceive the environment objectively as it is, but rather the bodily “action possibilities” it affords to that kind of organism. It further suggests that a lot of perception is implemented by practically acting on the environment or on elements in it (Juval Portugali, 2011).
â€œSince it is an instinctive and continuous habit of the body to relate itself to the environment, this sense of position cannot be ignored; it becomes a factor in the design of the environmentâ€? (page 12) (Cullen) 1961 Townscape
Figure 25 Top: The BB model of behaviorism. Center: The model of classical cognitivism. Bottom: Embodied cognition (Portugali, 2011)
Cognitive geography According to Montello (2009) “Cognitive geography is the study of cognition, primarily human cognition, about space, place, and environment. Cognition is knowledge and knowing by sentient entities, including humans, nonhuman animals, and artificially intelligent machines. Cognitive structures and processes include those of sensation, perception, thinking, learning, memory, attention, imagination, conceptualization, language, and reasoning and problem solving. Some of these structures and processes are consciously accessible, potentially available to awareness; others are nonconscious, outside of awareness. Cognition is functionally and experientially intertwined with affect, motivation, and behaviour. Our beliefs and knowledge influence, and are influenced by, what we feel and what we do.” Cognitive geography started as a part of the behavioural approach in human geography; therefore it shares a big part of the philosophical character of behavioural geography. The behavioural approach beliefs that we can understand much about human geography by studying it at the disaggregate level of analysis – at the level of the individual person. Montello (2009) states that even before the rise of ‘cognition’ within the discipline of behavioural approach, there were attempts to study human geography at a disaggregated level. But according to Montello this naturally led to a presumption that a person’s believes and knowledge about the world, assumes on what certain individuals do or eventually will do. This is a key assumption in the discipline of cognitive geography derived from its genesis within the behavioural approach. People act the way they do because of what they think is true, this of course to a certain extent. In the international encyclopedia of human geography, Montello (2009) declares that cognitive geography differs from other approaches to human geography, such as environmental geography, social physics, classical economic geography, and various forms of critical geography. He comes up with four points of deviation.
1. The most distinctive characteristic “An appropriate level of analysis is disaggregate. The individual person is an informative unit of analysis (disaggregate or microscopic level) over and above the social or spatial group aggregate or macroscopic level).” However in disaggregate analysis there is room for possible variation of individuals and it doesn’t assume this variation is completely random, but it follows a certain rule set. 2. “Behavior is based on subjective or perceived reality. Affect and behavior are based directly on subjective, or perceived, realities (plural because of individual variation). Behavior is based only indirectly and approximately on objective reality.” Sometimes the information retrieved from the brain differs greatly from the actual observation, this because of the fact internal mental structures are sometimes stored with help from the conscious awareness. 3. “Human–environment relations are dynamic and bidirectional.” Human–environment relations are bidirectional, insofar as the actions and cognitions of individuals both cause, and are caused by physical and social environments. Furthermore, these relations are dynamic, constantly emerging and subsiding, though remaining relatively stable over sufficient time periods to justify scientific study. Furthermore Montello (2009) states that humans are active gatherers and processors of information, not simply passive recipients. This is in line with what Portugali and Haken elaborate on in Cognition, Complexity and the City (2011) and also the previous work of Gibson’s affordances (1979) and Lynch’s theory on legibility’s (1960) 4. The mind emerges from brain and nervous system, in a body that is in a physical and social world. Cognitive geographers acknowledge that the mind cannot function without the aid of the brain and the rest of the nervous system. “Cognitive geographers do not equate mind with brain; mind does emerge from brain, but it also emerges from the human body, existing in a social and physical world. That is, mind is embodied and situated.” “Cognitive geographers could once be criticized for treating mind too individualistically, they increasingly recognize that mind emerges and functions within a social and cultural context.” Also on this point work of Embodied Cognition is quoted.
Cognitive Maps The subject of cognitive mapping has not only interested environmental and cognitive psychologists but also research in a wide array of scientific fields in geography, anthropology and of course environmental planning and (urban) design, Bell et al. (2001) concludes that for him: Cognitive maps are a very personal representation of the familiar environment that we all experience. More views on what cognitive maps really are will follow in the upcoming chapter. The more scientists learn about how our brains construct cognitive maps of space, the more we may learn about how to design those spaces. (Badger, 2013)
Some subsequent milestones are Okeef and Nadel’s (1978)”in which they establish the fact that the part of the brain known as hippocampus is of special importance in various cognitive tasks associated with space such as spatial behaviour, navigation, wayfinding and the like. An interesting notion in their book is the socalled place cells originally described by O’Keefe and Dostrovsky (1971). These are neurons in the hippocampus that become activated and fire in high rates when the animal gets close to the cells’ place field, that is, the specific locations in the environment that correspond to the place cells.” (Juval Portugali, 2011) Further research can be found in a presentation by Neil Burgess at TED (Burgess, 2011) and a Youtube clip by Fabian Kloosterman (2010).
History of cognitive mapping If we look back at the history of cognitive maps (CM), then we find out that is not a really new idea (cf. Trowbridge 1913 //Endnote). However most of the study on what we nowadays consider CM the ancestor of cognitive mapping can be found in the work of Tolman (1948) in Cognitive Maps in Rats and Men, he executed a set of experiments on lab rats in 1930s and 1940s, and in this way he showed that animals and humans have the capability to contruct in their minds a representation of the external extended environment they experience (see figure 26)
Figure 27 The hippocampus, helps with cognitive mapping author: Shawn Fu (unknown date)
Besides the familiar work about the hippocampus, recent discoveries are made an have yet to be published in Science magazine. However on what we can read about this new research is that it again involves rats and place cells and embodied cognition, but this time in a virtual reality environment and rats placed upon a spherical treadmill. Figure 26 Tolman’s maze experiment. First, the rats were placed at A when B was the goal (food). Second, the rats learned several times to run to B to get the food. In doing so, they would have to turn right to get to point B. Third, the rats were placed at point C. Now, if the rats turned right and went to point D, then they were not using cognitive maps; however, Tolman found they turned left and went to section B thus proving the use of cognitive maps (Portugali, 2011)
Cognitive Mapping The term cognitive map suggests a metaphorical similarity between geographic knowledge and cartographic maps. This metaphor is apt insofar as both cognitive and cartographic maps are representations, contain spatial and nonspatial information (Montello, 2009) A cognitive or a mental map is a personal representation of an environment. It embodies the personal interaction, of a human and its environment in a simplified way. As every person is unique also a human and its way of perception and interpretation of space is unique, and in this way has a personal ‘cognitive map’. Often this map is a simplified version of the reality and a personal focus area of the creator his/her perception. In the most renown and classical work of Lynch (1960) entitled The Image of the City, he gives his viewpoint on which things shape people’s images of an environment and what the aspects are which make a city legible. According to his theory the answer consists out of five elements: landmarks, nodes, paths, districts
Figure 28 Image by author
and edges. With legibility he means one particular visual quality: the apparent clarity (cognisibility) or “legibility” of the city. The easier each of the earlier named elements can be recognised and identified the more legible a city is.(Bell, et al., 2001; Haken & Portugali, 2003; Lynch, 1960; Montello, 2009; Juval Portugali, 2011) Paths are shared travel corridors such as streets, walkways, or riverways. Edges are limiting or enclosing features that tend to be a linear but are not functioning as paths, such as a seashore or wall. Notice that in some instances one person’s path (the trail line of commuter train) may be another person’s edge (if the rail line divides a town). Districts are larger spaces of cognitive maps that have some common character such as the historical parts or a central business district, find in many cities. Nodes are major points where paths are terminated or broken, such as a downtown square, a traffic circle, or the interchange of two converging motorways. Finally, landmarks are distinctive features that people use for reference points. Usually landmarks are visible from some distance, as in the case of the Eiffel tower or a tall building in a city (Lynch, 1960).
Not only Lynch (1960) and Montello (2009) are mentioning or determine in which way city or environments can be perceived also Gibson’s (1979) claims that different elements in the environment afford different activities to different animals. For example that a terrain is thus walkable and a tree is climbable (for a cat, but not for a dog), a chair in a room or a rock in the field are seatable for an adult human. These properties of the terrain, the tree and rock that afford certain activities are called affordances by Gibson. “Lynch’s five elements and Gibson’s affordances refer, as one can see, to the geometrical appearance of elements in the environment or the city. Subsequent studies (Appleyard, 1969, 1970; Golledge & Spector, 1978) indicate, however, that there are other elements - symbolic, cultural, personal, etc. -that afford remembering and orientation and as such, also participate in making cities legible.” (Haken & Portugali, 2003)
Figure 29 visual explanation of the five elements of Lynch (Haken & Portugali, 2003)
These include pavements, benches, streets, lights, telephone booths, bus stops, undergound/ Metro/ S-band/ Subway, signs, trees and also moving elements such as buses, trams, trains, etc. Thus one can talkabout a typical London bus or underground station and so on.
Buildings are among the most redundant and repetitive of the urban elements. And despite the fact that they are not all identical, they still form categories to the extent that one often speaks of a typical Parisian building or a typical Tel-Avivian residential house.
Here we refer to a conﬁguration of buildings, ‘‘urban furniture’’, roads, etc. that togetherform a scene typical to a certain city.
New York, for example, is typiﬁed by its ‘iron grid’ road network, while the Old City of erusalem by its winding streets and alleys. In both cases one might ﬁnd it difﬁcult to recognize one street from the other, but the general character of all streets is easily recognized and remembered.
The ﬁve elements suggested by Lynch provide a good example here. Their uniqueness and prominence in the city result from being geometrically and thus visually different from their environment.
Here we refer, on the one hand, to geometrically unique elements that have become a symbol of their city. Eiffel Tower in Paris has become a symbol of its city (but not Tokyo Tower which is a ‘‘copy’’ of its Parisian brother), the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty have become symbols of New York, while the Corcovado with the Statue of Christ the Redeemer, the symbol of Rio de Janeiro. On the other hand, complexes such as Westminister with its Big Ben in London, the Arc de Victoire in Paris and the Copa Cabana in Rio de Janeiro, have become a symbol of their cities despite the fact that geometrically and visually they are rather common and not very distinguished.
This sub-class refers to elements such as the Balcone di Guilietta in Verona, the Via Dolorosa in the Old City of Jerusalem, that we’ve mentioned above, or the Synagogue of Prague that is associated with the story about the Golom of Prague. What makes these places signiﬁcant urban artifacts is the legend associated with them.
Figure 30 original by (Haken & Portugali, 2003) edited by Author. A division on artefacts
Kinds of Cognitive maps It is rather strange that there is not one clearly definition for the term cognitive map. The reason for this lies in the fact that for instance O’Keef and Nadel (1978) are merely interested in the previously mentioned place cells. And cognitive geographers such as Montello(2009) the CM is just a metaphor for internally represented information about the external extended environment. Portugali (2011) in chapter 6 of his book Cognition, Complexity and the City, comes to a list of six different kinds of cognitive maps based upon the different viewpoint men can have about “the image of A city”, some of them are directly deducted from the different viewpoints within cognitive science. • Classical cities; result of classical ontology of classical cognitivism • Embodied cities; a more pragmatist ontology based on embodied cognition • SIRN cities; like an embodied city, but a larger focus on the interaction process between out- and inside world • Autobiographic cites; based upon autobiographic memory, strongly influenced by time • Prospective cites; these images of cities are more focused upon possible future outcomes and in this way influence the contemporary CM • C- vs. S-cities; each person has an images of specific city (s-city) these can be beneficial when entering a new city in general (c-city), the knowledge acquired in the s-city can be retrieved from the memory to behave successfully in a c-city.
Figure 31 Idealised examples of sequential (top) versus spatial cognitive map (bottom)
According to the book, Environmental Psychology, Cognitive maps are drawn in different forms and scale levels. Bell et al. (2001) comes up with 2 kinds namely; (1) maps which have been drawn with elements which one might encounter sequentially in travelling from one place to another, such as paths so called sequential maps. (2) Maps that emphasize on spatial organisation such as landmarks or districts, spatial maps.
Errors and difficulties in comparing cognitive maps Cognitive maps are rough approximations rather than perfect representations of the physical environment. There are several sources which give indications on the errors that occur frequently (Appleyard, 1970; Byrne, 1979; Downs & Stea, 1973; Stevens & Coupe, 1978; Tversky, 1981, 1992). First, cognitive maps tend to be incomplete, often minor paths and details are left out. Secondly distortion occurs by placing things to close together or aligning them improperly, also know as distortion due to hierarchical organization (Stevens & Coupe, 1978). Most errors in CM occur at street intersections, for instance streets that intersect at the wrong angle, or distortion due to rotation(Tversky, 1981, 1992). Thirdly familiar or liked areas in CM, are usually drawn in bigger scale compared to the rest of the city (Milgram & Jodelet, 1977). A fourth type of error involves augmentation, or the addition of features to a map that are not there. Appleyard’s Venezuelan study (1970) provides a classic example of these augmentations. A European engineer included a nonexistent railroad line in his sketch map because experience led
him to predict a rail connection between a steel mill and a mining port. In this instance, the engineer’s experience led him to infer a logical, but nonexistent, map component (inferential structuring). Drawing sketch maps requires participants to take a perspective that takes them in the air above the terrain, a perspective they are unlikely to have ever experienced. It is likely that participants vary in drawing ability or their ability to take hypothetical perspectives. Not surprisingly, different drawings by individuals of cognitive mapping arrive at different results (Kitchin, 1996). Classically when people are asked to draw a CM they receive a blank sheet of paper. This method seems unbiased in tapping the resident mental image of a spatial environment, but the scale and orientation the person chooses for his or her map, making comparison across individuals problematic. Portugali (2011) shows a more visual approach, in a way that he brings in an example which shows the deceitfulness of the human brain to the extent that it fails to recognise the offered pattern. Famous examples of this are the Muller – Lyer illusion and checker shadow illusion
Figure 32 adapted images from (Müller-Lyer, 1889) Top: The Müller-Lyer illusion devised by him in 1889. Viewers invariably “see” that the lower line is longer than the upper one; yet the two are identical in their length. Bottom: The Checker-shadow illusion. The squares marked A and B are the same shade of gray, yet they appear different (left). By joining the squares marked A and B with two vertical stripes of the same shade of gray, it becomes apparent that both squares are the same.
Figure 33 “Relativity” (Escher, 1953) another example of our deceiving eyes and brains when it comes to the interpretation of space.
Studies have shown that the more familiar people are with an environment, the more accurate and detailed the maps become (Appleyard, 1970; Lindberg & Gärling, 1982).
Wayfinding One of the most profoundly troubling experiences we can face is being lost. In such an instance, our human capabilities of information processing and storage have deserted us. Being truly lost may be a relative rare phenomenon, but newcomers commonly experience the stress and anxiety that accompany disorientation in both building and natural environments (Hunt, 1984). Navigation may be understood to consist of the two broad components of locomotion and wayfinding. Locomotion is the coordinated movement part of navigation, wherein we walk or drive while maintaining a directional heading, avoiding barriers, and so on. Locomotion is coordinated to the local surrounds – the environment that is directly accessible to one’s sensory and motor systems. (Montello, 2009) Wayfinding is the efficient goal-directed planning and decisionmaking part of navigation; it guides the locomoting person to a destination. It includes planning for travel and decision making during travel, including route choice and orientation to nonperceptible features, an example of this kind of action plan will be given further on. Wayfinding is coordinated to the distal environment – the environment that is not directly accessible to one’s sensory and motor systems but is accessed via internal or external knowledge, such as that found in cognitive or cartographic maps.
Passini (1984) suggests that wayfinding might best be viewed as sequence of problem-solving tasks that require a certain amount of stored environmental information. Gärling et al. (1986) has adopted a concept of action plan in the science of wayfinding, as he links stored environmental information and wayfinding behaviour. An example will follow next. Imagine that you had a sleepover at a friend’s house, and asked you to do the next morning shopping for the breakfast. First we determine our current location. Should you then get food at your normal shop or in supermarket close by? Assuming that you picked the one close by . The second step requires the new target destination to be localised. The third step will be about choosing the route between your current location and the supermarket. Finally, you must make a choice of travel mode, depending on factors such as the distance to the destination and the availability of transportation. Like cognitive maps, action plans for wayfinding often reveal spatial asymmetries. For example, many people use one route travelling from work, school, or home and a different route for the return journey. This will briefly be explained in the chapter “spatial cognition”, people like to travel in straight lines (Bill Hillier, 1996b)
C B D
E A Figure 34 the solid line indicates the routes a person has travelled between five landmarks. If he or she has developed a survey map it wil also be possible to take a previously untraveled shortcut indictaed by the dashed line (shortcut)
Orientation is an essential component of navigation. Geographic orientation is knowing where you are on the Earthâ€™s surface and the heading to your destination. Orientation and disorientation are always relative to some reference system, whether based on oneâ€™s body, on external landmarks, or on macroscopic properties of the Earth or the surrounding environment, such as magnetic north or the alignment of a visible mountain chain. As people navigate, they typically update their orientation. This can be done according to one of two broad classes of mechanisms, or a combination thereof. Landmark-based updating (piloting, position fixing) is based on recognizing external features like landmarks. Dead reckoning updating (path integration, inertial navigation) involves updating by calculating or inferring a new location/ heading based on knowledge about movement speed and direction from a known starting point, without recognition of specific features.
SIRN synergetic inter-representation network
Composition by: Author different street patterns throughout the world 69
SIRN SIRN is an abbreviation for “synergetic inter-representation network”. SIRN suggests seeing the cognitive system as a complex self-organizing system (Haken & Portugali, 1996). As frequently stated in the chapter about spatial cognition, the mind represents images internally; for instance to imagine a route and in this way externally represent the environment. According to (Haken & Portugali, 2003) the brain does not only does this with computation, but also by means of self-organization. They even notion that everything outside the cognitive system is either made out of nature-made elements or out of artefacts. In this way external representation are, by definition, artefacts. “The notion of SIRN is a composition of inter-representation networks (IRN)—an approach to cognitive mapping proposed by Portugali (1996) and ‘Synergetics’, which is Haken’s (1983) theory of self-organizing systems. The basic proposition of ‘Synergetics’
is that the brain and the cognitive system are self-organizing systems.” (Haken & Portugali, 2003) The synergetic paradigm of pattern recognition by means of associative memory is relevant. For instance a generic and abstract street pattern is shown (to an urban design student) of an old city center is shown, while it is being observed the brains starts working and it tries to find out if it can recognize it. Using a large database of patterns stored in the memory. In Haken and Portugali (1996) they compiled a general SIRN model which they derived three prototypes of sub models indicating to three principal cognitive contexts. For now the focus will lay down on the distinction of the first prototype of the intrapersonal submodel because it can be implemented in urban design (Stolk & Portugali, 2012).
Figure 35 The intrapersonal SIRN model (Adapted from Portugali 2009) author: Egbert Stolk (Top) illustrates graphically the general SIRN model with respect to an imaginary designer: In the process of design the designer is constantly subject to two forms of information streams: internal information that comes from the designer’s mind/brain (i.e. internal representations constructed in the mind/brain) and external information that is afforded by the externally represented environment. The interaction between these two forms of information input gives rise to competition between alternative decision rules “that ends when one or a few decision rules ‘win/s’”. The winning rule(s) is/are the order parameter(s) that enslave(s) the system (i.e. the designer’s mind). The emerging order parameter governs an external output, which in the case of a design process is the designer’s decision, behaviour and action, and an internal output, which is an information feedback loop back to the designer’s mind/ brain) “. (Stolk & Portugali, 2012)
Shannon’s information Shannonian information is not related to any meaning. Concepts, such as meaningful or meaningless, purposeful, etc. are not present in it. However the information density can be appointed (Haken & Portugali, 2003). The theory behind Gestalts psychology is already explained in chapter xxx . By using and applying shannonian information, prove can be found that good Gestalts are redundant and contains little information
is not because of their geometry and external appearance, but the meaning attached to them – their semantic appearance. (Haken & Portugali, 2003) A year later Portugali comes back at this specific issue and while conversation with Haken they come up with a third kind of information: Pragmatic information (J. Portugali, 2004) Pragmatic information “While semantic information refers to the meaning conveyed by a message or object, pragmatic information refers to the action it affords, in other words, to its action-related meaning. For example, the semantic information conveyed by a certain object in the environment might be that it is a rock, a tree, a river, a road, etc., while the pragmatic information afforded by these objects is that the rock is seatable (or not), the tree is climable (or not), the river is swimmable and crossable (or not), the road is drivable, walkable, seatable (or not) and so on. Pragmatic information is intimately related to Gibson’s (1979) notion of affordance” (J. Portugali, 2004)
Figure 36 (left) a pattern with 1 meaning, it can only be perceived in one way (right) the pattern has the same spatial distribution but can be interpreted and perceived in three different ways. The element on the right has therefore a higher grade in Shannonian information. (Haken & Portugali, 2003)
An important conclusion has been done by Zadbrodsky & Algom (1994) looking at theory of Garner (1974): ‘information is a function not of what the stimulus is, but rather of what it might have been’. This, according to Zabrodsky and Algom (1994) is the major contribution of information theory to psychology. It means that in perceiving a shape, one perceives not only the observed form, but also the potential or extra/alternative information enfolded in it. (Haken & Portugali, 2003) Semantic information Semantic information is the opposite of shannonian information and refers to the meaning conveyed by a representation as perceived by a specific receiver. The process of pattern recognition of a cityscape, is a typical example here: one sees a shape (a prominent landmark) as well as the meaning it conveys (the tower of a holy Gothic cathedral). A dichotomy can be made if we make a distinction between Shannonian and semantic information. Referring to the five elements of Lynch as ‘geometrical urban elements’. And the nongeometrical elements as ‘semantic urban elements’. Of course each of these elements has a geometrical shape but the reason this last group become landmarks, paths, edges, districts and nodes 71
Figure 37 Different configurations and categorizations of buildings convey different quantities of Shannonian information (i) . (Haken & Portugali, 2003)
In Siena the tower at the Piazza del Campo is the single most outspoken element in the area and therefore acts as landmarks that indicates the center of the town (low shannonian information value). In San Gimignano the towers are used as symbol of wealth by rivaling families. However since the do not have a particular distinction between them, none of them serve as a landmark (low shannonian information value). The third example is the skyline of Shanghai and constitutes out of several landmarks with a clear distinction (high shannonian information value). These variations in Shannion information value not only appear in the different kind of ways buildings can be differentiated but also in the way street patterns and other conditions can be defined such as, rivers, seashores, squares or mountains. For instance grid street patterns contain very little Shannion information, and therefore very little information can be obtained by looking at a street map of this kind. In other words, high symmetry bears little information (Haken & Portugali, 2003; Stolk & Portugali, 2012). Often the streets breaking up this symmetry help orientating. When all streets are different from another, the information is high, but memorizing this becomes difficult. This will be further elaborated in figure 40 which is created by the author
Figure 38 (top) view on Piazzo del Campo, Sienna, Italy. (Bing Maps, 2013) (middle) view on San Gimignano, Italy (Together Tuscany, 2013) (bottom) view on skyline of shanghai (Stanford University, 2012)
Figure 39 example of different configurations and categorizations of streets convey different quantities of Shannonian information. (Haken & Portugali, 2003)
San Francisco - outer Sunset
Los Angeles - Downtown
Barcelona - Paseo de Gracia
New York - Lower Manhattan
Tokio - Nihonbashi
Los Angeles - San Fernando Valley
0 250 500
Shannonian information in street patterns created by Dekkers (2013) Figure 40
‘Legibility’ of street pattern with use of map
amount of Shannonian information
monotony repetition boredom
max. ‘milieu juste’ surprise
to much chaos overload
In 1954, Kevin Lynch wrote: ‘A city is the characteris¬tic physical and social unit of civilization. It possesses size, density, grain, outline and pattern.’ His discus¬sion of these elements predates the Cornell School and their use of the figureground, but his discussion of grain and pattern are often casually associated with them. In fact, in this article, only his definition of pattern allies with the Cornell School, physically based inter¬pretation of the urban fabric. Lynch defined grain of the city as ‘the texture of its functional differentiation’ and in his examples referred to occupational and class organizations of the physical pattern. Nevertheless, it is the physical interpretation of grain as the size of blocks, buildings, and streets and their resulting pattern that is the implied definition in use today. Kevin Lynch, ‘The Form of Cities’, Scientific American, vol. 100, no. 4 (1954), pp. 1 & 11.
In ‘A city is not a tree’ by Christopher Alexander (1965), he makes a distinction between natural cities and artificial cities. According to this distinction cities like Sienna, Liverpool and Kyoto are natural cities, because they have arisen more or less spontaneously over many, many years. Cities alike the British new towns and Dutch cauliflower neighbourhoods should be considered artificial cities.
He even mentions these artificial cities as entirely unsuccessful. Christopher Alexander’s article from 1965, “A city is not a tree”, claims that the tree (or centralized, hierarchical) structure is simplistic, limited and limiting when applied to city planning. Alexander argues that our current needs embody a higher level of complexity than the tree structure permits. He proposes a three dimensional ‘semilattice’ network (not unlike the distributed system above) which allows for multiple overlapping to occur, as well as provides non-hierarchical means of connectivity. the mind works; because they cannot encompass the complexity of a semi-lattice in any convenient mental form; because the mind has an overwhelming predisposition to see trees wherever it looks and cannot escape the tree conception? (Alexander 1965, p. 397)
And while Christopher Alexander (1965) elaborates about the necessity of overlapping systems to make activities possible on the streets in residential areas the opposite happened in the cauliflower neighbourhoods (Nio, 2010)
Figure 41 distinction between a tree structure (right) and a semi-lattice structure (left) according to Alexander (1965)
SPACE SYNTAX 79
Space syntax (for now) The exact theory behind space syntax is not that relevant to my research. The explanation of theory which is given in this chapter about space syntax will be short and compact. The focus therefore will be on the practical applicable aspect of space syntax. What is Space Syntax and what can be done with it Space syntax is a compilation of theories and techniques which can be used to analyse spatial configurations. The founders are Bill Hillier and Juliene Hanson and colleagues at the Bartlett, University College London. This happened in the late 1970s, originally as a tool to simulate the social effects of architectural design. In the words of Bill Hillier himself about space syntax: “For the most part, it has been developed on the basis of hereand-now data which is, or can be, pretty complete. You can relate spatial configuration to where people are, how they move, how they adapt and decorate space, and how they talk about it. “ Bill Hillier (2008) (...) Architectural and urban design, both in their formal and spatial aspects, are seen as fundamentally configurational in that the way the parts are put together to form the whole is more important than any of the parts taken in isolation. (...) Quote from (Bill Hillier, 1996b)
The network of space is the largest existing element in the city. It is what holds it all together. Space has an architecture that consists out of certain geometry and a topology that has a certain pattern of connections. Space syntax analyses the spatial relations between each spatial segment and all the other relations in this network. Within space syntax three key discoveries can be derived:
Key discovery #1 spatial lay-out shapes urban movement The spatial structure of the street network is generally the primary determinant of movement. Movement is the lifeblood of the city and creates the dense patterns of human contact that are its raison d’etre.(Stoner & Parham, 2011) Space syntax makes it possible to do calculations within the physical space. One of the things which can be calculated with space syntax is movement potentials of certain areas. They are measured in two ways, reflecting the fact that every trip involves a begin point and an end point. To do this calculation first a destination is picked from an origin. Deciding where to go, this is what experts like to call the “to-movement” of the trip. (Mathematicians call it closeness). The other key property of space is called “through-movement”. This is done by selecting the spaces to pass through on the way to the destination: selecting the route to get there (Mathematicians call it between-ness). (Sarma, 2006) Research shows that 60-80% of movement flows are due to the structure of the network, measured by spatial accessibility. More accessible places get more movement. This does not mean that space determines individual movement. It means that human movement follows predictable patterns. (Stoner & Parham, 2011) Key discovery #2 spatial accessibility shapes land use As cities evolve, land uses exploit spatial accessibility. Movementsensitive land uses locate on movement-rich streets. Less movement-sensitive uses locate around the corner. In this way, historic cities organise themselves, mixing land uses in a natural way that people understand intuitively. (Bill Hillier, 1999; Major, Stonor, & Penn, 1998; Stoner & Parham, 2011)
Key discovery #3 space influences urban performance
Figure 43 pace syntax shows that spatial layouts have powerful, social, economic & environmental properties that can be measured objectively. (Bill Hillier, 1996a)
The view of Hillier (1996a) get supported by a quote by Stoner et al. (2011) â€œSpatial layout is a critical aspect of design that influences human behaviour. (...) Space Syntax provides an objective means of measuring and forecasting spatial layout impacts.â€?
Basic examples of space syntax technique Two different spatial lay-outs adapted from Hillier (1996b)
Two different graphs
Figure 44 If we assume one is entering the boxes from outside (c) then in the left example we can walk from every room in the box to the other and outside. The right box only allows an exit and/or entrance to (b) through (a)
Graphs are diagrams of relations between spaces. They describe differences between spatial layouts in an objective way.
Figure 45 (top left) normal street pattern, (bottom left) inverted image (nolly map), (top right) a network whose connections are driven by the geometry of buildings (and other â€˜obstructionsâ€™), (bottom right) The graph measures bring to light spatial properties that emerge from the structure as a whole rather than from local connections.
Micro scale All the given examples were focused on the macro scale, the last few years however a lot of research has been conducted on the micro scale (Ben Hillier & Sahbaz, 2005; A Van Nes, 2005), most of these research was focused on subjects such as burglary and safety. A short description of the foundings in these studies: Segment connectivity, which relates to access and indicates the number of possible escape routes from any given segment, was arrived at by counting the number of connections of each street segment. This is also a way to quantify the difference between grid-like and tree-like street layouts (Hillier & Sahbaz 2005) The following private-public spatial relationships were taken into account: o The topological depth between private and public spaces; o The density of building entrances; o The amount of constitutedness of streets by building entrances; o Street function; o Dwelling types; o The degree of territoriality of the street; o The street form, in order to describe the mode of transport suitable for the street as well as the spatial possibilities for a perpetratorâ€™s escape; o The extent of inter-visibility between a street and its neighbouring houses. The degree of territoriality of the different street segments was taken into account. Although this was a rather subjective variable, it was usually easy to feel that the degree of territoriality of public streets was low, whilst that of semi-private back alleys was high. Semi-public back alleys were more difficult to classify. Hence, they were considered to have a medium degree of territoriality. In line with Shu (2000) â€œstreet form was categorised as being either: a vehicular thoroughfare, a vehicular cul-de-sac, a pedestrianised street, a cul-de-sac driveway, a through footpath, a cul-de-sac front footpaths or a cul-de-sac back alley. Figure 46 (top) what is the easiest route from A to B? (middle) shows the shortest path/leat metric distrance (bottom) simplest path, least angle change
People intend to choose (figure 46) bottom path more often. Because of this people who intend to open a shop, are likely to buy buildings along these kinds of routes.
The extent of inter-visibility among neighbouring houses was measured by counting the number of doors visible from the door to each house, divided by the total number of houses in each street segment. The same procedure was done with respect to the number of windows and parking lots visible from dwellings. As it turned out, there was a strong correlation between inter-visibility from windows and the distribution of burglaries on a street.
As theories of Jacobs (1961) and Gehl (1987) show, many entrances and windows facing a street is one formula to ensure urban liveliness. The challenge is to quantify these kinds of spatial relationships. Only then it will be possible to gain a genuine understanding on the spatial conditions for vital street life and urban safety (Akkelies Van Nes & L贸pez, 2007).
Figure 47 How the topological depth from entrances (top) and degree of constitutedness (bottom) is calculated (Akkelies Van Nes & L贸pez, 2007)
Figure 48 Diagrammatic principles on the relationship inter-visibility and density of entrances (Akkelies Van Nes & L贸pez, 2007)
Figure 49 the different way of acces of the dwelling and the topological depth combined (A Van Nes, 2005)
A brief conclusion Space syntax maps visualise: The topological distance measures direction change The geometrical distance measures angular choice The metric distance measures absolute distance
fewest turn path least angle change path shortest route
For my P3 and P4 document , the focus will be in making the part about spacy syntax more theoretically based with aspects such as isovist derivation. The information given in this chapter for now is enough to use the basics of space syntax in my research concerning cauliflower neighbourhoods.
MEASURING SPACE 89
Measuring space One of my main doubts as an urban designer is the focus we put upon the ethical part of design. In my opinion our design education should at least has some courses in making design quantifiable. That is exactly what is going to be pursued in this chapter. Below two supportive quotes: ‘Measuring’ space is necessary to secure urban designers a better position in practice. Other players, like traffic planners and property developers, often have sharply defined measures. Even the most obvious observations, like openness & diversity, are rarely quantified. There is also a tendency of the focus being more on efficiency and process measurement, rather than on outcome quality (Carmona, 2003)
“It is envisaged that with current increases in computational power new algorithms might allow a deeper understanding of urban texture, based on the full exploration of its metric and topological properties. This would contribute to answer the fascinating question …: what is the influence of urban configuration on social life?” (Ratti, 2004)
Measuring the unmeasureable Not that many studies have been elaborating on the aspect of quantifying urban design. A study by Ewing and Handy (2009) is very complete. It focused on perceptual qualities and the difficulty to measure these qualities in a objective way Perceptual qualities adaptability ambiguity centrality clarity coherence compatibility comfort complementarity complexity continuity contrast deﬂection depth
distinctiveness diversity dominance enclosure expectancy focality formality human scale identiﬁability imageability intelligibility interest intimacy
intricacy legibility linkage meaning mystery naturalness novelty openness ornateness prospect refuge regularity rhythm
richness sensuousness singularity spaciousness territoriality texture transparency unity upkeep variety visibility vividness
Some of these aspects are in the work of Lynch (1960) for example ‘imagebility’, Lynch defines imageability as a quality of a physical environment that evokes a strong image in an observer: “It is that shape, color, or arrangement which facilitates the making of vividly identified, powerfully structured, highly useful mental images of the environment”. A highly imageable city is well formed, contains distinct parts, and is instantly recognizable to anyone who has visited or lived there. It plays to the innate human ability to detect and remember patterns. It is one whose elements are easily identifiable and grouped into an overall pattern. (Ewing & Handy, 2009) Ewing and Handy put ‘imageability’ in a scheme and try to make it quantifiable this can be found in figure 50
Urban design quality
Signiﬁcant physical features
people (#) proportion of historic buildings courtyards/plazas/parks (#) outdoor dining (y/n) buildings with non-rectangular silhouettes (#) noise level (rating) major landscape features (#) buildings with identiﬁers (#)
0.0239 0.970 0.414 0.644 0.0795 -0.183 0.722 0.111
0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.036 0.045 0.049 0.083
proportion street wall—same side proportion street wall—opposite side proportion sky across long sight lines (#) proportion sky ahead
0.716 0.940 -2.193 -0.308 -1.418
0.001 0.002 0.021 0.035 0.055
long sight lines (#) all street furniture and other street items (#) proportion ﬁrst ﬂoor with windows building height—same side small planters (#) urban designer (y/n)
-0.744 0.0364 1.099 -0.00304 0.0496 0.382
0.000 0.000 0.000 0.033 0.047 0.066
proportion ﬁrst ﬂoor with windows proportion active uses proportion street wall—same side
1.219 0.533 0.666
0.002 0.004 0.011
people (#) buildings (#) dominant building colours (#) accent colours (#) outdoor dining (y/n) public art (#)
0.0268 0.0510 0.177 0.108 0.367 0.272
0.000 0.008 0.031 0.043 0.045 0.066
Notes: Models of imageability, human scale and complexity were re-estimated since the publication of the ﬁnal report (Ewing et al., 2005b), which accounts for the minor differences in variables and coefﬁcient values. Figure 50 the quantifiability of space, by Ewing and Handy (2009)
Theorist and their thoughts on good (public) space As we have seen spatial impacts are measurable to a certain extent. But what do different theorist consider good public space.
There has been research done by the field of environmental psychology, showing people having clear preferences for certain environments. (Kaplan 1987, Canter, 1977)
Stephen Kaplan Kaplan is a theorist who is interested in evolutionary psychology and environments that support reasonable behaviour. His research focuses on cognitive maps and the structure of knowledge. One of his expertiseâ€™s lies in public participation.
In my opinion the almost simplistic approach of Kaplan and his framework work perfectly to judge space. Nowadays with all the computer aided design possibilities beautiful renders of birds eye perspectives are created. In this way the true atmosphere of a place gets neglected. If we for instance look back at the skyline of Shanghai (fig. xx) we see clearly a nice view of all these buildings. What we cannot see from this distance or perspective is the city network and its integration of public space. Below a quote from an old dutch urban design book
Kaplan did create a framework and this provides us with a guide to verify the significance of aesthetics in human behaviour and experience (Kaplan, 1987). He believes that there is a relationship between cognition on the one hand, and preference or aesthetics on the other. From his framework four factors were derived: coherence, complexity, legibility and mystery. An area surrounded by buildings of the same height, materials, symmetry or another resemblance brings coherence into the image. Nevertheless, a certain degree of complexity is also needed in the streetscape, as this gives us new information and stimulates our senses. The space also need to be legible enough to give us a sense of orientation, and mysterious enough to draw you into the area. Another important necessity for the appreciation of a place is nature. People prefer places where there are plants and trees to see, as these natural elements are indicators that the area supports human life (Kaplan, 1995). A mix of these factors brings optimal complexity in the streetscape. This can mean that even though a place can score high on certain elements, it still is not an aesthetically pleasing area to be. A place with a prefect mixture of all factors has enough stimuli to satisfy our explorative character, and satisfy our need for comprehension as well.
Figure 51 the Theory of Kaplain image by author
Ware inderdaad het aspect uit een vliegtuig van overwegend .belang, dan zou dit bovendien een ontzaglijke beperking, dat is een verarming beteekenen van de aesthetische bemoeiĂŻngen van den stedebouwer, omdat deze dan ten slotte niet meer zouden omvatten dan het samen stellen van een pleizierige mozaĂŻek waartoe de kaleidoscoop, voor een kwartje gekocht op de kennis, hem een eindelooze variatie van de fraaiste motieven aan de hand zou doen. (Pet, 1943) (English) Is the view from a plane of prevalent importance? Then this would have an immense restriction, which is a significant impoverishment, to the aesthetic efforts of the urban planner, because it would mean less than the compelling of a nice mosaic. On which a kaleidoscope, bought for a penny, could give him also an endless variety of the finest motives. (Pet, 1943)
John Montgomery Montgomery is an urban planner, economist, author and managing director of Urban Cultures Limited. His company is dedicated in urban and cultural planning and urban design. Urban regeneration, master planning, urban design and cultural development, urban and regional economics is the specialisation of the company. The philosophy of is “to improve the quality of life and environment in towns and cities, and to secure improved competitiveness for urban and city-region economies” (Montgomery, 2013) In his paper “Making a city: Urbanity, vitality and urban design” Montgomery (1998) argues that a city is a phenomenon of structured complexity. A city must have a balance of logical order and a clear city form. A city needs also places where people can stay to have interactions with each other. Such activities in the city are very important, it characterize a place or even the city by itself (Montgomery, 1998). The theorist Punter generated a model where he divided three components to a ‘perfect’ place: activity, physical settings and meaning or imageability. Montgomery used this model of Punter by using the components and added preconditions and principles to create successful urban places. His main elements are activity, image and form what is eventually leads to 12 preconditions. With those 12 conditions you can generate a successful place according to Montgomery: Condition 1: Development intensity. Condition 2: Mixed use. Condition 3: Fine grain Condition 4: Adaptability. Condition 5: Human scale. Condition 6: City blocks and permeability. Condition 7: Streets: contact, visibility and horizontal grain. Condition 8: Public realm. Condition 9: Movement. Condition 10: Green space and water space. Condition 11: Landmarks, visual stimulation and attention to detail. Condition 12: Architectural style as image.
The previous list is elaborating on places. But he also has a view on the city, he has a very similar idea about city vitality as Jacobs and Lynch, but differs a little in the vocabulary and system. He mentions 25 conditions for making a city vital. 1) Activity a) Generating pedestrian flows and vitality b) Seeding people attractors c) Achieving a diversity of primary and secondary uses d) Developing a density of population e) Varying opening hours and stimulating the evening economy f) Promoting street life and people-watching g) Growing a fine-grained economy 2) Image a) Legibility b) Imageability c) Symbolism and memory d) Psychological access e) Receptivity f) Knowledgeability 3) Form a) Achieving development intensity (density) b) Zoning for mixed use c) Building for a fine grain d) Adaptability of the built stock e) Human scale f) City blocks and permeability g) Streets: contact, visibility and horizontal grain i) The public realm quality j) Ease of movement by different modes k) Green space and water space l) Landmarks, visual stimulation and attention to detail m) Architectural style as image
Jan Gehl Gehl collects his information by observing public spaces. He uses direct observations, time-lapse photography and spatial mapping to understand how people use public space, and how the qualities of that space might infect behaviour (Gehl, 1987) To create a physical environment that is pleasant for the user, Gehl says in his paper “Three types of outdoor activities” that there should be three kind of activity going on in the public space; necessary, optional and resultant. The necessary activities are more or less required in everyday life. They cannot be avoided and take place during the whole year. They are less independent of the exterior environment. The second are optional activities. These are the activities that take place because people choose them to do, like taking a walk when they feel like doing it. They take place when the exterior environment is inviting and the weather conditions are good. Social activities are the last condition. These are activities that depend on other people that are present. These activities can occur spontaneously as a reaction on people moving together in the same space. In a pleasant exterior environment these activities are more likely to happen. See figure 52 So the exterior environment is important for the activities that will take place. In his book ‘Life between buildings’ Gehl (1987) describes the urban qualities that are important for the use of a space. To reach a good urban quality the protection must be high, the space must be inviting and should be delighted. Gehl distinguishes different pointers which should be good and strong
to achieve this. To achieve protection the traffic conditions must be safe, the crime should be low – this can be ensured by a high grade of security and good lightning of the space-, and there must be protection for all kind of weather conditions. To make the space inviting, there should be place for different kinds of uses; walking, standing and sitting. With again like Jacobs (1961) mentions ‘eyes on the street’ and with a mind-set that people make feel that they are sheltered. Public space needs to provide these activities with the right amount and at the right place in the physical environment. For example standing in public space or crowded areas should be hosted on the sides of the street, so people can stand with their back against the buildings, and facing possible dangers. A public space should also ensure interaction between people on a visual, audio and verbal way to enhance social life. To achieve delight, the scale is important; a public space for people should be designed on a human scale. The climate must be taken into account and should be used in a positive way. If for instance there is a square with some direct sunlight, do not build on this side but open it up for people. The last point of ‘delight’ concerns the aesthetics of the place. It must be pleasant, which means that the right senses must be stimulated, when they are on a place where they can watch other people. Spaces are more inviting if they host walking, standing opportunities and sitting places. The distinction between those uses can be made more distinct with the aid of pavement.
Factors to create a good city environment Lively city a) Invite people to walk, bike and stay in city space b) Social and cultural opportunities in public space, optional activities Safe city a) Cohesive urban structure with short walking distances b) Attractive public spaces c) Variation of functions d) Eyes on the street from surrounding buildings 94
Sustainable city a) Large part of transport is ‘ green mobility’ (by foot, bike or public transport) b) Safe and comfortable walking and cycling to and from public transport c) Good public transport and public space Healthy city a) Integrated bicycle and pedestrian networks in the city for public health increase
Figure 52 by author
Figure 53 by author
Isovists As we already can read in this thesis plan, most of the studies within the urban environment are generally studied in the light of safety, economical aspects, traffic, lines of sight and advertising (Stolk & van Bilsen, 2007). Following this, visibility lines or lines of sight can be captured with isovist analyses. These isovist analyses can be used to justify design decisions and to measure space (Stolk & van Bilsen, 2007) After some research Tandy (1967) turns out to be the author of the term ‘isovist’. He presents isovists as a method of `taking away from the (landscape) site a permanent record of what would otherwise be dependent on either memory or upon an unwieldy number of annotated photographs’
According to Stolk and van Bilsen (2007) the research conducted before 2007 was mainly on 2D ground maps analysing, further research has been done by Stolk and van Bilsen (2007), they opt for 3D isovists “The region of space, an isovist encompasses, has a volume, an outer boundary area and other geometrical characteristics. In a small room, with curtains closed, our isovist’s volume is small. Out in the open field, however, our isovist’s volume is enormous, solely bounded by the ground, horizon and sky. “(Stolk & van Bilsen, 2007) An example of the difference between 2D and 3D analyses is shown on the right page (figure 55)
Fig. 54 of isovist adapted by author, original from (Turner, Doxa, O’sullivan, & Penn, 2001)
“An isovist is a Euclidian, geometrical representation of space (a region), as can be seen from one observation point (see figures 1 and 2) bounded by occluding surfaces. The first to have proposed the concept of an isovist as a basis for physical characteristics of the built environment was Benedikt (1979)” (Stolk & van Bilsen, 2007)
During a meeting with Egbert Stolk (2013) he explained to me, that when you can combine all these different layers in a certain way. A bigger encompassing solution for certain problems can be found. For instance when layering the different images things as the sight on creepy alleys or other places which can lead up to criminal activity could pop-up. It difficulty lies in the use of right properties and interpreting accordingly.
Fig. 55 derived from the appendix of (Stolk & van Bilsen, 2007) and the original description 1 A human in a 2D environment, seen from above. The projections of the buildings onthe ground are used. 2 A human in a 3D environment. In our research we take on the human-environment perspective. Other people, for example, are therefore part of the environment. 3 The classical T-shaped building inside a square wall in 2D (see Batty 2001). The T-shape can illustrate some basic concepts from visibility analysis, such as visible area, visible perimeter, occlusion, radials. The average radial length is shown.
4 The 2D-visibility analysis can also be applied to an urban model. The average radial length (an indicator for openness) of a graduation design (Stolk 2006) for the centre of Almere (Neth.) is shown. Dimensions 1 km x 1 km.
Implementation of measuring in thesis analyses How to implement all this knowledge in the aid of the final design? A lot of thought has been done by the author on how to do this. I could write down all the derived aspects from the complete research. However some of them might not be applicable in the specific cauliflower neighbourhood situation. Therefore only a brief summary will be given. I am planning to use the work of van Nes (2007) about constituded and unconstituded streets (described in the chapter: ‘space syntax’. Depthmap a space syntax software programm shall be used to further investigate the spatial potentials in the area for both pedestrian movement and car movement with the aid of a ‘through movement analyses’ . The work of Kaplan in which he gives value judgement on spaces shall be executed. During the summer “holiday” the planning is to let inhabitants of the Haagse Beemden create cognitive maps this could either be sequential or spatial maps (as described in the chapter: ‘spatial cognition’. Before I will allow myself to investigate this matter, first I need to get a better grip on the Haagse Beemden itself, Therefore some introducing analyses have been made by me, which can be found in the next chapter. In the time between P2 and P3 I would like to create a 3D model which can be elaborate on Kaplans (1987) coherence and data which can be obtained with 3D isovist analyses. During the design part of the graduation project, I want check my design interventions with Isovist. Perhaps it is possible to calculate which dwelling or component of a dwelling should be demolished to create new vistas which could possibly open up the area and bring positive effects. In my opinion there are a lot more opportunities like searching and calculating which dwelling or component of a building should be demolished to create new vistas which could possibly open up the area and bring positive effects.
Image created by author 100
The location of the “Haagse Beemden” in the urban network of Breda 102
Haagse Beemden The “Haagse Beemden” is the northwestern urban expansion of the city of Breda and covers almost the entire area between Breda, Prinsenbeek and Terheijden. The first plan consisted of about 1525 hectares of development, of which about 650 hectares was intended for building purposes. The other grounds were regarded as a rural “park-like” countryside.
The boundaries of the planning area are very clear. In the west lies the A16 and the railway which connects Breda and Rotterdam. It has a very good connection with this railroad because of the train station Breda – Prinsenbeek. In the north and east, the area is bounded by the river Mark. The southern edge is marked by the main ring road on the north side of breda. The Haagse Beemden is a large composite cauliflower neighbourhood. It contains a big agricultural landscape, which penetrates deeply into the neighbourhood. It has been designed with the “mold and countermould” design principle. According to de Boer and Lambert (1986) the area can not be concieved as a uniform neighbourhood. It shows itself as a series of neighbourhoods, which are situated around country estates (Burgstaller and IJzerhek) and grouped farmlands. The houses are mainly conducted as low-rise, the housing density differs by area varies and is between 25 and 35 dwellings per hectare. A chain of neighborhoods winds itself along a wide central road, which merges two points on the northern ring road. Further explanations about the urban design of the Haagse Beemden will follow, and will be shown during the presentation. The Haagse Beemden is made up out of smaller neighbourhoods, on which is going to be elaborated next. Unfortunately, I did not succeed to add the studys about constitudenss and inter-visibilty
Fig. 56 the Global integration of the “Haagse Beemden”
Fig. 57 A 3 step analysis of the “Haagse Beemden”
Level of Interpretation
The Visual Array
Three Dimensional Space
area 1.920 km^2: 6.402 inhabitants per km^2
1920 dwellings, 4715 inhabitants, WOZ 189.000
1940 households avg family size: 2.4
avg. incom 13.400 per household avg. income 19.200 per recipient
private and parallel parking total cars 1.950 1.0 per household
Tennis and Football club, Shopping mall â€œheksenwielâ€?, 1 kindergarten, 1 secondary school
Level of Interpretation
The Visual Array
Three Dimensional Space
area 0.45 km^2: 7.710 inhabitants per km^2
1295 dwellings, 3455 inhabitants, WOZ 201.000
1320 households avg family size: 2.6
avg. incom 13.400 per household avg. income 20.400 per recipient
parallel parking total cars 1.445,
2 primary schools, 1 kindergarten, medical center, kroeten
1.1 per household
Level of Interpretation
The Visual Array
Three Dimensional Space
area 0.79 km^2: 6.242 inhabitants per km^2
2.065 dwellings, 4.945 inhabitants, WOZ 181.000
2165 households avg family size: 2.3
avg. incom 12.900 per household avg. income 17.600 per recipient
parallel parking total cars 2.200
Tennis and Football club, Shopping mall â€œheksenwielâ€?, 1 kindergarten, 1 secondary school
1.0 per household
Level of Interpretation
The Visual Array
Three Dimensional Space
area 0.740 km^2: 6.402 inhabitants per km^2
1920 dwellings, 4715 inhabitants, WOZ 189.000
1940 households avg family size: 2.4
avg. incom 13.400 per household avg. income 19.200 per recipient
private and parallel parking total cars 1.950 1.0 per household
Tennis and Football club, Shopping mall â€œheksenwielâ€?, 1 kindergarten, 1 secondary school
Level of Interpretation
The Visual Array
Three Dimensional Space
area 0.77 km^2: 5.178 inhabitants per km^2
1645 dwellings, 3.965 inhabitants, WOZ 155.000
1710 households avg family size: 2.3
avg. incom 11.400 per household avg. income 16.400 per recipient
parallel parking total cars 1.615
1.0 per household
Level of Interpretation
The Visual Array
Three Dimensional Space
area 0.87 km^2: 5.137 inhabitants per km^2
1770 dwellings, 4.470 inhabitants, WOZ 179.000
1800 households avg family size: 2.5
avg. incom 12.900 per household avg. income 18.100 per recipient
parallel parking total cars 2.055
1.1 per household
Level of Interpretation
The Visual Array
Three Dimensional Space
area 0.92 km^2: 3.431 inhabitants per km^2
1.235 dwellings, 3.170 inhabitants, WOZ 187.000
1.265 households avg family size: 2.5
avg. incom 12.900 per household avg. income 19.100 per recipient
parallel parking total cars 1.380
1.1 per household
Level of Interpretation
The Visual Array
Three Dimensional Space
area 0.45 km^2: 7.710 inhabitants per km^2
1295 dwellings, 3455 inhabitants, WOZ 201.000
1320 households avg family size: 2.6
avg. incom 13.400 per household avg. income 20.400 per recipient
parallel parking total cars 1.445,
2 primary schools, 1 kindergarten, medical center, kroeten
1.1 per household
Level of Interpretation
The Visual Array
Three Dimensional Space
area 0.92 km^2: 3.431 inhabitants per km^2
1.235 dwellings, 3.170 inhabitants, WOZ 187.000
1.265 households avg family size: 2.5
avg. incom 12.900 per household avg. income 19.100 per recipient
parking at 90 angle total cars 1.380 1.1 per household
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Appendix Review Paper - Abstrac t
Cauliflower neighbourhoods and garden cities friends with benefits, or not? A literature review paper about the commonalities and differences between garden cities and cauliflower neighbourhoods
Arjan Dekkers 4032853 email@example.com Delft University of Technology, Department of Urbanism Theory of Urbanism - AR3U022 April 5th 2013 Key words – cauliflower neighbourhoods; bloemkoolwijken; garden cities, ebenezer howard; comparative study; planning principles Abstract - Cauliflower neighbourhoods (Dutch: Bloemkoolwijken) and garden cities are maybe not the most obvious urban planning principles to be compared. However in the author’s opinion they show enough resemblance to be comparable. The concluding results of this literature review will be used to give the graduation project of the author a wider overview in the context of cauliflower neighbourhoods which is his main graduation theme. Cauliflower neighbourhoods are a typical Dutch phenomena and on first sight nothing seems wrong. Until research by “SEV” (Uyterlinde & Oude Ophuis, 2012) showed that the grade of liveability according to inhabitant research of cauliflower neighbourhoods, is amongst the lowest in all of the different kind of neighbourhoods in the Netherlands. The first signs of deterioration have already been recorded in Den Helder, Lelystad and Groningen over ten years ago. The results show that in a relaxed housing market not only the traditional early post-war neighbourhoods deal with problems but also the cauliflower neighbourhoods. In these cities the people do not include the cauliflower neighbourhoods in their search for a new dwelling; they prefer to look for a house in a ‘VINEX-wijk’ or in a renewed early post-war neighbourhood. In this way the cauliflower neighbourhood will lose its popularity on the housing market (Ubbink & van der Steeg, 2011). According to inhabitants of a cauliflower neighbourhood in Alkmaar there is degradation. Residents park their cars in their front yards. More important is the fact that there is a presence of drug dealing and people trying to break into houses. Finally a lot of spatial problems exist such as shabby green and cars cornering with high velocity. (Thie, 2008). Some of these problems are already dealt within garden cities. Therefore a relation between these kinds of urban planning principals could be made. The first research objective is to find the commonalities and differences between cauliflower neighbourhoods and garden cities. In this way an adequate reflection could be created how these urban design principals are related. In response the second objective is to filter out garden city views on urban design principals to attack the social wear and socio-economic stagnation existing in cauliflower neighbourhoods (Uyterlinde & Oude Ophuis, 2012). The outcome of this research will be a comparison study between garden cities and cauliflower neighbourhoods. In this way both the positive and negative aspects could be compared, and in this way will aid towards the design for the graduation project of the author.
Bloemkoolwijken toekomstbestendig maken
Tabel 2 Knelpunten, oplossingsrichtingen en instrumenten Knelpunt Onoverzichtelijke, kronkelige stedenbouwkundige opzet werkt verrommeling, verval en gevoelens van onveiligheid in de hand en het ontbreken van heldere zichtlijnen en de onduidelijke relatie tussen openbaar en privé leidt tot desoriëntatie. Dit maakt de woonomgeving kwetsbaar voor verloedering van groen en grijs.
Oplossingsrichting Herstructurering woonerfmilieu
Versterking relatie tussen privé en openbaar
Bestrijding verloedering woonomgeving
Matige bouwtechnische kwaliteit van de woningvoorraad, deels door gebruik van inferieure materialen en deels door beperkt of achterstallig onderhoud.
Kwaliteitsverbetering corporatiebezit Verkoop van corporatiebezit
Kwaliteitsverbetering particuliere voorraad Menging van woningtypes en microniveau leidt tot botsende leefstijlen. Daarnaast leidt de eenzijdige woningvoorraad (met sociale huurwoningen en relatief goedkope koopwoningen) tot concentraties van kwetsbare en kansarme groepen.
Instrument x Transformatie woonerf tot traditioneel straatprofiel x Sloop van woningen ten gunste van licht, lucht en ruimte x Sloop en/of verplaatsen bergingen en aanleg voortuinen of pergola’s x Plaatsen uniforme erfafscheidingen x Afsluiten portieken ter verhoging van sociale veiligheid x Vernieuwen bestrating erven x Verlagen parkeerdruk door toevoegen parkeerplaatsen x Herinrichten/versoberen groenstructuur met onderhoudsvriendelijk groen x Handhaven, saneren en reinigen woonomgeving x Stimuleren/faciliteren bewonersinzet onderhoud fysieke woonomgeving x Projectmatige renovatie en energiesprong corporatiebezit x Verkoop corporatiewoningen aan zittende huurders of bij mutatie x Verkoop corporatiewoningen na renovatie x Intensief benaderen particulieren ten behoeve van woningverbetering x Differentiatie door realisatie duurdere koopwoningen en woningen voor bijzondere doelgroepen x Samenvoegen een- en tweekamerwoningen (HAT-eenheden) tot driekamerwoningen x Toewijzen woning op basis van wijkbinding, inkomen en opleiding of leefstijl x Screenen en restrictief toewijzen ter voorkoming van ruimtelijke concentraties van kansarmoede x Toewijzen woning gekoppeld aan inspanningsverplichting ten aanzien van de woonomgeving x Intakegesprekken met nieuwe huurders
Vervolg tabel 2 Knelpunt
Sociaal-economische stagnatie in (delen van) wijken leidt tot afnemende betrokkenheid, dalend vertrouwen in de buurt en toename van gevoelens van onveiligheid, overlast en normoverschrijdend gedrag. Op het niveau van huishoudens/ individuen is sprake van achterstandsproblematiek.
Versterken van de sociale samenhang
x x x
Stimuleren van sociale stijging
Dreigende verschraling van buurtvoorzieningen c.q. mismatch tussen vraag en aanbod, door perifere ligging, schaalvergroting en sociaaleconomische stagnatie.
Versterking sociaalmaatschappelijke voorzieningen
x Versterking winkelstructuur
Samenhangend programma sociale ontmoetingsactiviteiten Stimuleren van buurtnetwerken Faciliteren van bewonersinitiatief Lik-op-stuk-bestrijden van woonoverlast en overlast in de publieke ruimte Signaleren en doorverwijzen via probleemgeoriënteerd huisbezoek Signaleren en doorverwijzen via huisbezoek bij woningrenovatie Buurtgericht sociaal activeren Ontwikkelen van multifunctionele accommodatie of brede school (clustering) Toevoegen of vernieuwen individuele voorzieningen Upgraden of vernieuwen buurtwinkelcentrum
Conclusies Fysiek onderscheidend, sociaal bekend terrein De evaluatie van negen bloemkoolwijkaanpakken wijst uit dat deze wijken vanwege hun kenmerkende stedenbouwkundige opzet – de hovenstructuur, onduidelijke overgangen tussen openbaar en privé, vermengen van woningtypes op microniveau et cetera – ruimtelijk om nieuwe oplossingen vragen. De evaluatie laat zien welke oplossingen hiervoor in verschillende wijken zijn gevonden. In sociaal opzicht zijn de bloemkoolwijken deels bekend terrein: de geconstateerde problemen zijn immers dezelfde als in voor- en naoorlogse stadswijken, maar de schaal en de intensiteit is anders. Hoewel dus kan worden voortgebouwd op bestaande interventies om deze problematiek op te sporen en aan te pakken, is wat betreft invulling en uitvoering maatwerk nodig in het woonerfmilieu. Wat is er bereikt in de onderzochte bloemkoolwijken? De meeste onderzoekswijken bevonden zich vóór de aanpak (laag) in de middenmoot. Hoewel zich in statistieken (waardeontwikkeling, leefbaarheid en veiligheid) nauwelijks spectaculaire verbeteringen aftekenen, heeft de aanpak in de onderzochte wijken wel geleid tot stabilisatie. Veel ernstige problemen zijn structureel opgelost en de wijken zijn behoed voor verder afglijden. Daarmee is de eerste SEV-doelstelling voor het bloemkoolwijkenprogramma (nipt) behaald: een positieve ombuiging ten aanzien van veiligheid, leefbaarheid en waardeontwikkeling.