Saturday, 16 October 2010

Compact City

The origamic architecture (pop up) was to show the idea of compact cities in (usually) Asian cities. Compact city was a type of urban design theory based on the reaction towards urban sprawl.

Urban sprawl's central idea is based on suburbs that are located at the fringe of cities and the cost per area are generally higher and due to the distance out of the city it also means that most people would travel into the cities for work or leisure by car which means increase pollution.

Compact cities on the other hand emphasizes on transit-oriented development with transportation nodes located every 200-400m (bus,train or tram stops). However, most compact city means that buildings are build higher rather than horizontally.

UN has a 'compact city program' which uses the Melbourne model. Apart from it being an urban design strategy, it is also a strategy for better social,economic and politics for the people. This is mainly based on the comparison to an urban sprawl's effects. Most development outside of cities are generally cheaper, which attracts lower-middle class families therefore the difference in social order between those in and out of city areas are higher. Opportunities then, become more scarce for those who live out of the city - thus creating influx into cities for work or social reasons.

The 2 origamic architecture with left being Singapore and right, Melbourne shows a difference between the density and planning. Although Singapore is a compact city due to shortage of land, my personal experience being in Singapore is not as enjoyable as being in Melbourne. Singapore's planning has made the city somewhat sterile - as the CBD (central business district) being the only area which is lively and that means several rows of streets host work+play and during festivities, Singapore's underground walkways require 'traffic-controllers' which are akin to having traffic police in cars; but for human. This experience can be somewhat claustrophobic and also unpleasant.

Melbourne is spread out and consists of streets with more variety and mix uses - which I have personally found to agree with Kevin Lynch's 'Image of the city' in which he mentions about the the 7 key elements of good city. Melbourne seems then, appropriate to be a world city model for 'compact cities'.

1 comment:

  1. I think you should take another picture to make our models look better !