31 Mart 2008 Pazartesi

Cityshape: communicating and evaluating community design

UD 514 5th week Submission

Murat Cevikayak


To help counteract the view that community design decisions are merely expressions of subjective opinion, this paper presents a framework or taxonomy for community planners and designers to use to help citizens understand an evaluate community designs. Utilizing commonly understood words, the taxonomy is grounded in research on basic human needs and on a broad range of concepts from the literature and practice of urban design, urban planning, the building arts, and the visual arts. This article includes an evaluation guide, which provides a coherent, versatile framework for analyzing community design issues. This guide is intended as a diagnostic tool to elicit creative community response and to facilitate more informed discussions.

Although community or urban design plays an essential role in guiding development and enhancing the quality of our built environment, this social art has only recently emerged as a distinct discipline, and definitions of its specific substance, role, and language are still evolving. Opinions differ considerably among both professionals and academics not only about the field's component elements, but also about its relationship to urban planning and the building arts - architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering.

Some assume shortsightedly that community design is nothing more than the arrangement (or rearrangement) of various architectural forms to suit land use regulations. Others focus more insightfully on decoding the interplay among complementary and competing environmental and social forces. Because of involving many different voices speaking in seemingly different languages about complex, dynamic process of community design, Greene presented the taxanomy to resolve the confusion. He describes four basic principles: function, order, identity and appeal.

- Function requires that the design work effectively for the convenience and comfort of all its users

- Order assures that users can become oriented to the environment and understand it.

- Identity denotes a visual image of the environment that reflects special or unique qualities.

- Appeal characterizes a design that gives pleasure to its users over time.

By using these principles Greene describes community design evaluation guide for proposals or site evaluation. Evaluation guide relates the principles, qualities and guidelines of community design to elements of environment. By five point check-off rating system scheme allows the various evaluations to be easily organized and compared.

To sum up, Sherwin Greene makes a transparent, value free taxanomy in terms of understandable by everyone. By describing the evaluation guide, he makes a method of evaluating ideas that often difficult to verbalize. Although he never avoids the parts of subjectivity in this process, he tries to get a general language for citizens and all dicipleners to understand the community design. The process of community design is interdiciplinary and includes citizens because of these seperated parts he gives importance to general communication ehile evaluating the projects to help for easy perception.

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