Authors/Contributors

Baxter Hankin

Document Type

Thesis, Senior

Degree

B. ARCH

Date

Spring 2020

Keywords

reconnection, neighborhood design, jane jacobs, strong towns, walkable city

Language

English

Disciplines

Architecture

Description/Abstract

THIS THESIS ARGUES IN FAVOR OF WALKABILITY AT THE SCALE OF THE CITY, NEIGHBORHOOD, BLOCK, STREET, SPACE, BUILDING, AND DETAIL. WALKABILITY IS A CONDITION THAT ALLOWS FOR INTERESTING AND USEFUL WALKS ON A DAILY BASIS. THIS IS CREATED FROM A MIX OF STRATEGIC, PLANNED CIVIC CONDITIONS, AND AN URBAN FABRIC OF UNPLANNED, FINE-GRAINED, BOTTOM-UP DEVELOPMENTS. THE WALKABLE CITY IS NECESSARY IN TERMS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE, SUSTAINABILITY, AND CONNECTIVITY. THE INTERESTING ASPECT OF THE WALK IS DETERMINED BY PARALLAX AND THE PICTURESQUE. PARALLAX IS THE “DISPLACEMENT OF THE APPARENT POSITION OF A BODY DUE TO A CHANGE OF POSITION OF THE OBSERVER,” AS DEFINED BY YVE-ALAIN BOIS1. THIS IS BEST EXPERIENCED WITH SPATIAL ENCLOSURE AND IRREGULARITY, OBJECTS OF IDENTIFIABILITY, AND AN OCCURRENCE AT BOTH THE SCALE OF THE SPACE AND THE DETAIL. THE PICTURESQUE IS AN AESTHETIC CREATED BY PERCEPTIBLE INFLECTION, VARIATION, AND IRREGULARITY, THAT REFERENCE HUMAN SCALE AND HUMAN IMPERFECTION THROUGH MOVEMENT, DISTANCE, AND FRAMED VIEWS. THIS OPERATES BEST THROUGH UNIQUE AND IRREGULAR URBAN COMPOSITIONS AT MULTIPLE SCALES FROM THE SPACE TO THE DETAIL. BOTH PARALLAX AND THE PICTURESQUE IMPROVE WALKABILITY BY CREATING URBAN EXPERIENCES OF INTEREST THAT DRAW PEOPLE THROUGH SPACE, IN A DELICATE BALANCE BETWEEN IRREGULARITY AND COHESION. THESE FACTORS, IN COMBINATION WITH MORE PRACTICAL CONCERNS OF PHYSICALLY WALKABLE INFRASTRUCTURE, DENSE MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT, SOCIOECONOMIC EQUITY, AND BUILDING UPON EXTANT LOCAL IDENTITY, CREATE WALKABILITY. THESE THEORIES TAKE INSPIRATION PRIMARILY FROM THE PICTURESQUE OF JOHN SOANE AND ROBERT VENTURI, THE PARALLAX OF YVES-ALAIN BOIS, THE IMAGEABILITY OF KEVIN LYNCH AND LÉON KRIER, THE SEQUENCE OF GORDON CULLEN, THE STREETSCAPES OF ALLAN JACOBS, AND THE GENERAL URBAN PRINCIPLES OF JEFF SPECK AND CHARLES MAROHN. THIS THESIS BLENDS THESE IDEAS TOGETHER INTO A NEW, MORE COMPREHENSIVE THEORY OF PICTURESQUE WALKABLE URBANISM.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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