16 Mart 2008 Pazar

3 Theories of Urban Spatial Design

Urban design theories try to figure out how and why a city is composed and according to which effects they are organized. Although these topics need different understanding and work strategy, they need to studied together to form a rational practice.

One of the theories for the urban spatial design issue is the figure-ground theory. It defines the physical spaces of a city as a solid void pattern. The building masses as the solids, which forms the exterior space with both its shape and its exterior facade as we can see in the map of Rome, And according to Aalvar Aalto, relating the building with their suurounding is important in the case of forming positive voids, where people tend to use that space more densely. By this Sussana Torre describes the relation of voids and solids as the sequences between open spaces to more closed spaces which also can be varied in different shapes.

One another theory which effects the organizational relations in the city is the linkage theory. As understood from the name, this theory is intented to identify the relations between the spaces in more pathwise way. The aim is to be understood as a tryout to make effective areas of the city linked /related according to provisioned paths. This results with the order and control within the city.

The final theory is the “Place theory”. Although there can not be seen any physical understanding in this theory firstly, as it mentions the difference between space and place concepts in the name of contexual meanings which relates more cultural and sociological understanding inside. This theory defines the concept of the physical form of the city from the users eye. As the qualities and properties of the spaces were given dominantly by the humans who composed those spaces, the technique in pointing the idea behind it will surely relate to both sociological and psyhcological entities. For example, ecological approach depends on the intrinsic qualities of local which Mcharg defined, mental map studies in the city to declare the basic idea of users about the city as Lynch defined, Cullen’s definition about the sequences in the city that includes three dimesion and plans to explain the change and relations within the city, and as Appleyard defined in “Livable streets project” , city is modified, contextualized and developed by the citizens in the streets.

Murat Çevikayak - 152002001

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