How to make cities for people?

4 01 2011

by Ha mh. Thai

Broadway, Union Square, New York

Broadway, Union Square, New York

“… the city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo”

Desmond Morris: The Human Zoo

Obviously, urban areas are created by people and for people. They do not exist for cars or buildings. But day by day, human being is smaller and smaller in its own cities. Many buildings dominate places and turn their backs to the streets; many developments are gated. They say ‘Sod off… Go away’ to people instead of ‘Come in… Welcome’. At the same time that private realm has flourished with an emphasis on privacy and personal comfort, there has been a corresponding declining of public realm. Public realm is becoming an SEP (Someone Else’s Problem – Douglas Adams). Hence, the need to care about an urban environment for human has never been greater. However, how can we encourage market forces and free enterprises gives equal concern to both private and public realm?




One response

5 01 2011

I like the aspect that is being touched here about how the population is governing urban spaces, rather than the built fabric which includes architecture, public realm and the people.
Its quite interesting that this is a major problem especially in developing countries which all these factors are overlooked for economic might.
On the contrary there are enumerous projects and research that is going into resolving such senarios which is quite essential for the future of any urban area.
One can refer to what Kevin Lynch and Camilo Sitte said in their papers about legibility, which in the current day is being lost.
I can also see a paradox here where it says that human being need to take care of the environment, where as they are the ones creating such scenarios.

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