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2017

Design Guide for a Compact City Focusing on the North African Region

Author: Maryam Saad [UG] As part of CEG3099 Individual Project


Table of Contents Introduction

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1. Governance

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4. Integration of Land use and Mass Transit

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5. Density

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1.1 Regulating body and policies

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1.2 Land acquisition

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6. Open Space

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7. Education, Awareness and Social development

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8. Key Elements’ summary

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References

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Figure References

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2. Mobility network and system 2.1 Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) 2.2 BRT stations and modal integration

3. Land use 3.1 Self-sufficient mixed – use facilities

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3.2 Monolith facilities and urban sprawl

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Author: Maryam Saad [UG] As part of CEG3099 Individual Project


DESIGN GUIDE: COMPACT CITY IN NORTH AFRICA

Introduction This document is intended to guide the user on how to apply relevant compaction policy instruments in the North African region. These compaction methods have been compiled from

1. Governance 1.1 Regulating body and policies

several case studies, where they have been assessed in relevance to the region’s context. The guide focuses mainly on governance, transport, land-use and social aspects.

1.2 Land acquisition

It is recommended that a national level regulatory institution that is responsible for the masterplanning is established independent of political associations, to ensure the continuity of policies and regulations. This prevents the variation of strategy due to national authorities changing, and thereby ensuring highly standardised, cohesive as well as adaptive urban designs.

In terms of land acquisition, which commonly tends to pose problems when planning wide-spread projects, it’s in the best interest of the developer to own all the land it wishes to invest. However, if that is not attainable, public-private partnerships (PPPs) is another feasible option, where a private developer agrees to carry out a project under an agreement scheme with the local planning authority (OECD, 2012).

On a more local level, increased autonomy and power is suggested to be granted to regional or metropolitan authority (Scoffham et al., 1996), under the overarching supervision of the national planning institution. This will help speed up processes and would allow more customised solutions and budget allocations to meet the needs of the area.

The PPP scheme is also beneficial in the case where the authority cannot financially afford the required land or the investment fees where it either agrees to conditional leasing to private developers or lets the developer procure it and it manages the project (OECD, 2012). Either way the most important factor to be emphasised on is that control needs to be maintained by authorities, to ensure the complying with policies and standards.

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DESIGN GUIDE: COMPACT CITY IN NORTH AFRICA

2. Mobility network and system 2.1 Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) Due to most regional countries’ lack of economic capability and financial resources, it is suggested to implement a Bus Rapid Transit System model (Rabinovitch, 1992) [Fig. 1] along with a widespread orthogonal bus network to realise full coverage and easy, speedy access around the city (UEAB, 2012) as shown in [Fig.2 and 3]. The bus hierarchy system may include: -

Main express buses on exclusive free-flowing lanes for fast access from and to opposite city ends Inter-district buses which are used internally as well as feeder system to main express services.

[Fig.2] - Map showing Barcelona’s ‘East-West’ bus services

Regarding this mode of transport’s sustainability, efficient fuelled biomass buses are considered the most suitable choice for economic and environmental convenience (Lindau et al., 2010). Additionally, the system is ideal for easy adaption, which is needed to keep up with the areas rapid urbanisation, because of easy and fast construction (Lindau et al, 2010).

[Fig.3] - Map showing Barcelona’s ‘North-South’ bus services

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[Fig.1] - An example of the first BRT system implemented in Curitiba


DESIGN GUIDE: COMPACT CITY IN NORTH AFRICA

2.2 BRT stations and modal integration For easy transfer within the system accessible, well-equipped stations need to be accounted for. Weather-proof designs are recommended to avoid losing customers during the extremely hot summer season. The system is easily integrated with other modes of transport which can stimulate intermodal mobility promoting lower energy intensive lifestyles and travel patterns. It is obviously very easily integrated with modes such as cycling, where bike shelters can be provided at stations and transfer hubs. Since buses’ infrastructural requirements are very limited and they can stop everywhere their incorporation at any other transport mode’s hub such metro or rail stations is simple.

[Fig.4] - An example of a BRT Station Design for Cebu, Philippines

3. Land use 3.1 Self-sufficient mixed – use facilities On a ‘superblock’ scale (UEAB, 2012), dual- or mixed-use facilities, for example leisure or retail services mixed with residential, are an optimal solution for many metropolitan problems offering convenience. On a neighbourhood or a node (Ananthakrishnan, 1998), selfsufficiency in terms of health, education and other services amenities as well as offices is crucial. This spreads local job opportunities fairly even around the city for greater accessibility. Policies that may be used for the implementation may include mixeduse requirements and amenity bonus programmes for developers as a regulatory and a fiscal tool, respectively (OECD, 2012).

[Fig.5] - An example of mixed use facilities designed for Seattle, US `

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DESIGN GUIDE: COMPACT CITY IN NORTH AFRICA

3.2 Monolith facilities and urban sprawl Monolith use areas in the city could include waterfront recreational and leisure facilities are suggested, especially in countries in the region with high tourism, because they have proven to be quite popular with tourists. On the other hand, activities that require larger facilities with mono-functionality, such as airports large sports venues are better transferred to ‘satellite-cities-within-cities’ (Velegrinis et al., 2015). Also, when industries such as manufacturing and trade are concentrated in one area in the outskirts of the city, its efficiency and productivity are increased (Burgess, 2004). However, this decentralisation needs to be controlled carefully and restricted to certain purposes since it could lead to urban sprawl.

[Fig.6] – Large scale industrial development outside of Melbourne, Australia

Tools to regulate urban sprawl, to keep the city sustainable, include land-use policies regarding the use and supply of industrial land as well as urban growth and containment boundaries. The latter is strongly recommended to be reviewed regularly because it has been proven to vary depending on a city’s growth rate (OECD, 2012). Other reasons for regulating urban sprawl involve the protection and promotion of farm use and agricultural activities and environmental preservation which are equally important.

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DESIGN GUIDE: COMPACT CITY IN NORTH AFRICA

4. Integration of Land use and Mass Transit The integration of land use and transport system design is crucial for effectual compaction. The transport strategy is supposed to focus improving mass transit systems encouraging walking and cycling. Therefore, the streets and the infrastructure are suggested to be designed according the prototype seen in [Fig. 7] (UEAB, 2012), whose objective is to dampen the increasing rates of car users (Burgess, 2004) and to promote a more sustainable mobility system.

There two implementation scales at this stage: First one is local accessibility, where streets are designed to be citizenoriented with pedestrians and cyclists as primary priority. This model together with the mixed-use facilities this approach lead to shorter and more pleasant travel distances, making people less dependent on transport modes. On a regional scale, developments and settlements need to be located along policy specified major transport corridors. This will easily support the compliance of 10-minute walk rule from any house to the closest transport hub (Scoffham et al., 1996). Also, quick and direct provincial transport connections to the suburban mono-functional developments need to be guaranteed to facilitate accessibility and ensure

[Fig.7] – A demonstration of the Superblock concept in Barcelona, Spain [Fig.8] – An aerial view of the Superblocks in Barcelona, Spain `

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DESIGN GUIDE: COMPACT CITY IN NORTH AFRICA

5. Density

6. Open Space

To gain the highest compaction benefits, densities should be the highest, closest to transport facilities along the entire corridor and decline as accessibility to the transport network becomes less as shown in [Fig.9] (Rabinovitch, 1992).

Since the Superblock plan limits the accessibility of cars (UEAB, 2012), there is more available space for communal integration and increased recreational activities, which increase the community’s commercial and business profit.

Total floor Minimum density requirements for developers are recommended to ensure the implementation of the requirement.

To make the internal pedestrian streets more user-friendly it is suggested to cover them in grass for better air quality, more open space amenities and improving environmental quality. Additionally, greenery and vegetation help mellow the region’s heat, especially during the summer months (OECD, 2012).

However, to mitigate problems that arise due to higher densities, authorities need to ensure that adequate infrastructure and amenities are provided when higher densities are approved. It is recommended to enforce amenity bonus programmes for developers as a fiscal incentive, in which developers help build public amenities as part of their project (OECD, 2012).

Emphasis needs to be put on how the lively, user-friendly streets enhance the society’s well-being and life quality.

[Fig.9] – A cross-sectional view of density distribution in Curitiba, Brazil [Fig.10] – Shows an open space with street lounging in Vancouver, Canada `

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DESIGN GUIDE: COMPACT CITY IN NORTH AFRICA

7. Education, Awareness and Social development As most of region’s governments are still trying to meet its growing populations basic needs varying between health care, education and housing along with eradicating poverty, the plan of a new sustainable city could be a solution for these challenges. The aim is to create an environment where living sustainably is cheaper and of higher quality. To establish this, setting and applying minimum standards for improved levels of amenities affordable housing and open spaces is an essential step.

Nevertheless, the shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t solely rely on the infrastructure, compaction and urban form. Measures need be taken to break people’s materialistic ‘old habits and convictions’ and change their lifestyles to more eco-friendly ones (Hillman, 1996). Education and awareness-raising about the serious implications of disregarding the environment are the way to go along with the promotion of the use of more sustainable transport modes. Since walking and cycling are the most affordable modes of mobility, they should be considered the primary option especially benefiting societies in developing countries with limited financial resources. Also, when practiced in clean and pleasant environments these activities have great health benefits. The main target should be the younger, upcoming generation therefore schools’ and universities’ incentive programmes and well-equipped facilities on their campuses are suggested to endorse cycling.

[Fig.11] – A picture of a pedestrian area in Barcelona, Spain `

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DESIGN GUIDE: COMPACT CITY IN NORTH AFRICA

8. Key Elements’ summary

1. Set clear compact city goals 2. Encourage dense mixed use development

3. Enhance diversity and quality of life 4. Promote Social and Behavioural Changes

5. Minimise undesirable negative effects `

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• Create an overarching national framework that contains compaction policies • Grant cities autonomy to enable them to customise the policy instruments according to context

• Impose minimum density requirements as regulatory tool • Require mixed-use facilities • Establish an integrated mobility network and land use design

• Promote integrated land-use and mobility network design • Increase the match between residents and local amenities and job oppotunities • Encourage a 'citizen oriented' design of public space

• Raise awareness and educate about more 'sustainable' lifestyles • Promote a walking and cycling environment

• Counter traffic congestion and overcrowding • Encourage high-quality urban design to decreased 'preceived' density • Promote increased vegetation in built-up areas

[Fig.12] – Reproduced after (OECD, 2012, Figure 5.2 showing key policy strategies and sub-categories for the compact city, pp.172)


DESIGN GUIDE: COMPACT CITY IN NORTH AFRICA

References

Figure References

Ananthakrishnan, M. (1998) The Urban Social Patterns of Navi Mumbai, India. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

[Cover photo] Available at: http://www.yellowkorner.com/us-en/p/compact-city/9813.html (Accessed: 7/05/2017).

Burgess, R. (2004) 'The Compact City Debate: A Global Perspective', in Compact Cities: Sustainable Urban Forms for Developing Countries. Taylor & Francis e-Library edn. Spon Press an imprint of Taylor and Francis Group, pp. 9-24. Lindau, L.A., Hidalgo, D. and Facchini, D. (2010) 'Curitiba, the cradle of bus rapid transit', Built Environment, 36(3), pp. 274-282. OECD (2012) Compact City Policies. OECD Publishing. Available at: /content/book/9789264167865-en http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264167865-en (Accessed: 25/02/2017). Rabinovitch, J. (1992) 'Curitiba: towards sustainable urban development', Environment and Urbanization, 4(2), pp. 62-73. Scoffham, E. and Vale, B. (1996) 'How compact is Sustainable – How Sustainable is Compact? ', in The Compact City: A Sustainable Urban Form? Oxford, Great Britain: Spon Press an imprint of Taylor and Francis Group, pp. 66-73. UEAB, Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona (2012) BCNecologia. Available at: http://www.bcnecologia.net/en (Accessed: 5/4/2017).

[Figure 1] Available at: http://thecityfix.com/blog/new-road-safety-design-guidelines-forindian-brts/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-road-safety-designguidelines-for-indian-brts (Accessed: 6/05/2017). [Figures 2 and 3] Available at: http://www.bcnecologia.net/en/projects/detailed-analysiscertain-bus-lines-under-proposed-new-red-orthogonal (Accessed: 7/05/2017). [Figure 4] Available at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cebu_BRT_Bus_Station_Design.jpg (Accessed: 13/05/2017). [Figure 5] Available at: https://www.djc.com/news/re/12024308.html (Accessed: 7/05/2017). [Figure 6] Available at: https://www.realcommercial.com.au/news/developers-chasemelbourne-industrial-land (Accessed: 13/05/2017). [Figure 7] Available at: http://www.bcnecologia.net/en/projects/dissemination-urbanmobility-plan-barcelona-2013-2018-and-advice-monitoring-actions (Accessed: 8/05/2017). [Figure 8] Available at: http://suitelife.com/blog/barcelona-real-estate/pedestrian-friendlysuperblocks-of-barcelona/ (Accessed: 15/05/2017). [Figure 9] Available at: http://ascelibrary.org/doi/full/10.1061/(ASCE)UP.19435444.0000107?mobileUi=0 (Accessed: 8/05/2017). [Figure 10] Available at: http://inhabitat.com/urban-reef-encourages-summertime-streetlounging-in-vancouver/urban-reef-viva-vancouver-6 (Accessed: 15/05/2017). [Figure 11] Available at: http://newsroom.rumbo.es/barcelona-semana-santa-2017/ (Accessed: 15/05/2017).

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Compact City for North Africa  
Compact City for North Africa  
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