IN RESPONSE TO “DESIGNING THE REGION IS DESIGNING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD” BY PETER CALTHORPE & WILLIAM FULTON
By Harvé Dhillon
It is evident more than ever, as we critique developments predominantly of large housing estates for example the Aylesbury Housing Estate in Walworth, Southwark that the need to be sustainable may not always have been considered. According to Calthorpe and Fulton our cities are designed against failed principles including mass production, causing a loss of balance, segregation of land uses through specialisation and profoundly a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
In order to create sustainable environments three essential principles were proposed by the authors including human scale, diversity and conservation. The definition of human scale varies with use. Certain administrative buildings become architectural statements rather than respecting their context and integrating with the streetscape and conversely, large shopping centres are continuously being constructed like Westfield, London, furthermore the efficiency of such projects are questionable.
Nevertheless, when designing these are important but there are yet so many other fundamental issues which need to be regarded such as the need to encourage public transport and the potential for urban design to create adaptable buildings which can integrate green technologies. In the present situation, the ability for urban design to contribute to sustainable cities can vary vastly through simple but effective principles such as mix use developments and higher densities the Greenwich Millennium Village being one such example.