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CONTEXTUALIZATION OF URBAN DESIGN & COMMUNITY

ARCHITECTURE
Until the 1970s, urban designers had taken little account of the needs of people with
disabilities. At that time, disabled people began to form movements demanding recognition of
their potential contribution if social obstacles were removed. Disabled people challenged the
'medical model' of disability which saw physical and mental problems as an individual 'tragedy'
and people with disabilities as 'brave' for enduring them. They proposed instead a 'social model'
which said that barriers to disabled people result from the design of the built environment and
attitudes of able-bodied people. 'Access Groups' were established composed of people with
disabilities who audited their local areas, checked planning applications and made
representations for improvements. The new profession of 'access officer' was established
around that time to produce guidelines based on the recommendations of access groups and to
oversee adaptations to existing buildings as well as to check on the accessibility of new
proposals. The Urban Designers continues to raise awareness and enforce action on disability
issues in the urban environment.

INTRODUCTION TO URBAN DESIGN & COMMUNITY PLANNING

URBAN DESIGN
Urban design is concerned with the arrangement, appearance and function of our suburbs,
towns and cities. It is both a process and an outcome of creating localities in which people live,
engage with each other, and engage with the physical place around them.
Urban design involves many different disciplines including planning, development, architecture,
landscape architecture, engineering, economics, law and finance, among others.
Urban design operates at many scales, from the macro scale of the urban structure (planning,
zoning, transport and infrastructure networks) to the micro scale of street furniture and lighting.
When fully integrated into policy and planning systems, urban design can be used to inform land
use planning, infrastructure, built form and even the socio-demographic mix of a place.
Urban design can significantly influence the economic, environmental, social and cultural
outcomes of a place:
Urban design can influence the economic success and socio-economic composition of
a localitywhether it encourages local businesses and entrepreneurship; whether it
attracts people to live there; whether the costs of housing and travel are affordable; and
whether access to job opportunities, facilities and services are equitable.
Urban design determines the physical scale, space and ambience of a place and
establishes the built and natural forms within which individual buildings and infrastructure
are sited. As such, it affects the balance between natural ecosystems and built
environments,and their sustainability outcomes.
Urban design can influence health and the social and cultural impacts of a locality:
how people interact with each other, how they move around, and how they use a place.
Although urban design is often delivered as a specific project, it is in fact a long-term process
that continues to evolve over time. It is this layering of building and infrastructure types, natural
ecosystems, communities and cultures that gives places their unique characteristics and
identities.

COMMUNITY PLANNING

is a forward planning process, which identifies human and material resources and puts in place
potential response system. It involves active participation from the people residing in that locality
in making decision about the implementation of processes, programmed and projects, which
affect them. In other words, a community plan is a list of activities a neighbourhood, community
or a group of people agree to follow to prevent loss of life, livelihoods and property in case of
warning or a disaster. The Plan identifies in advance action to be taken by individuals, in the
community so that each one knows what to do when a warning is received or when a disaster
strikes. The major thrust is to address possible scenario of an event and focus on the impact
the humanitarian operations.
URBAN DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Urban design is about creating places of beauty and distinct identity. It draws together the
desires of the community and key place-making principles from the fields of planning,
architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, transportation planning, and developmental
economics.
The urban design principles outlined below will be an important reference in the preparation and
review of plans for new development and redevelopment within the town.
Principle Rationale
Connections Establish strong
connections
High quality and well-planned public places
(including enhanced pedestrian and bicycle
networks, as well as streets and interconnected
public spaces)promote accessibility and support a
high level of social and cultural activity.
Enclosure Enclose public spaces to
promote a sense of
security and comfort.
Well defined public spaces designed with the
human scale in mind should encourage activity and
promote opportunities for social interaction while
making inhabitants feel safe and comfortable.
Durable Design durable spaces
that will stand the test of
time
Design that creates streets, buildings and places
that will handle a variety of uses over time will
continue to be destinations despite changing

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
economic and social circumstances.
Adaptable Create places that can
adapt to changing
conditions in a long-term.
Places that are flexible enough to deal with changes
in use, lifestyle, and demography will contribute to
long-term community sustainability.
Nature Design with nature Working with the sites natural features- climate,
landform and landscape will help minimize energy
use and lessen the impact on and build connections
to the environment.
Identity Reinforce local
development patterns of
small store frontages to
further community
identity.
Beautiful, distinctive, and contextually appropriate
places where people can live and work will foster a
strong sense of community, social equity, cohesion,
integration, and identity.
Urban Structure How its place is put together and how its parts
relate to each other.
Urban Typology, Density and Sustainability Spatial types and morphologies related to
intensity of use, consumption of resources and
production and maintenance of viable
communities.
Accessibility Providing for ease, safety and choice when
moving to and through places.
Legibility and way finding Helping people to find their way around and
understand how a place works.
Animation Designing places to stimulate public activity
Function and fit Shaping places to support their varied spaces
Complementary mixed uses Locating activities to allow constructive
interaction between them
Character and meaning Recognizing and valuing the differences
between one place and another
Order and Incident Balancing consistency and variety in the urban
environment in the interests of appreciating
both.
Continuity and Change Locating people in time and place, including
respect for heritage and support for







contemporary culture.
Civil Society Making places when people are free to
encounter each other as civic equals, an
important component in building social capital.