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Study on the Theory and Method of Contemporary Urban Place Making

Author: ChengShiDan
Tutor: ZhangXingGuo
School: Chongqing University
Course: Architectural Design and Theory
Keywords: Place Making Urban Design Sense of Place Public Realm Place System
CLC: TU984
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 1450
Quote: 13
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The contemporary Chinese city which under the dual pushes of urbanization and globalization is taking a huge change. But with urban scale extends and quick improvement of infrastructure, it brings a series of new city problems. such as the city identity lost, context discontinuousness, disorder space spread, walking environmental depravation and the space meaning weaken etc., as a result, the culture of city which has been formed thousand years ago and it’s physical environment are basically eroded .Urban civilization faces an unprecedented crisis which substantially is the urban places that people depend on to live deteriorate. Our modern city provides little sense of direction and ownership feeling, in contrary it gradually become an unmeaningful abstract space, thus it can’t produce any place feeling. Therefore, to reconstruct or recover meaningful place is an important path to maintain and develop city special features, mold and promote city environment quality, and this is also a basic target of contemporary urban design.According to this, this dissertation takes contemporary theories and methods of the urban place making as research topic. It begins from the concept of place and non-place, and then makes an investigation to many predicaments of contemporary city, hopes to build up a concept for“place making”, then study the place making practices in history. On this foundation, we analyzed its theories core, operation mechanism, and we also discussed the operation system of place making and the approach to start a plan of place making in city. Lastly, provided the case study of Wuhan’place making. this research, different with some scholars put the emphases on the operation process of urban design in recent years , pay more attention to the essential contents of urban design, for another word, what conditions can urban design provides to make an attractive, characteristic place . In concrete, this dissertation tries to elaborate influence factors in the case of successful city places, how it transform an unmeaningful, abstract space to a human place that is filled with meaning, emotion and experience. Essentially, the mission of urban design is to give abstract space with human nature. This dissertation also pays attention to urban design processes which are the place making policy, execution system and integrate strategy.The research conclusion as follows:(1) The concepts of place and non-place can help people to understand the crisis of identity lost and environment predicament in our cities. Modernism and globalization obliterate city’s difference in time and space, making our city full with monotonous, homogeneous, boring, standard and unauthentic“places”. It destroys people’s emotion attachment to place. So our city give no sense of place for people, all cities become the same which we usually called "thousand cities one face".(2) "Place making" is based on people’s essential need. Making a place means to provide an environment that people can depend on, realize his "reside" in the world. This aim needs various effort of society. Urban design is an important way to make place, it mainly provide people a appropriate condition to promote the formation and development of urban public realm, at the same time it also emphasize people‘s mental, physiology, spirit and vision need, making the space become an attractive, characteristic distinctness and meaningful place.(3) A high quality urban place can bring people sense of place, promote integration of activity, image and form. From the view of urban design, a successful urban place needs public realm as core, mix-used as the basis, friendly walking environment as the main body, urban context as the important condition, good landscape quality as the guarantee. Each condition exert an aggressive influence on the sense of place , when all of them can be full of expression, a vigorous and attractive urban place is there.(4) Place making concerns entire city environment but not only project it self, because the former associate with all social activities. It concerns making special and sustainable place, rather than quickly construction and operate a standard program. The place unit is the minimum unit of place making, the place system is the highest aim of place making. Urban place making is going to keep attention on the place system, begin from the place unit, integrate multipurpose, create new public realm, at last give community with a characteristic identity. Fundamentality, in such place system, a city’s special features is true, sustainable and meaningful.(5) Place making not only can bring enjoying of seeing and spirit, but also combine physical space, economic vitality and cultural vitality together.(6) The contemporary urban design is to rebuild friendly relationship between human being and environment, its motive comes from economy, society, culture and environment. It emphasizes values such as humanities, special features, process and authenticity.(7) The successful place needs to adequately understand the development form and the decision condition, many factors influence and decide the process or type of place making. In contemporary society, the successful urban place is rarely occurred accidental, it depends on different participant’s attitude to urban public realm in one development program, and ability of equilibrium between public benefits and private benefits; The designer of development project and local government needs abundant imagination to give back nice conditions for making place; Development plan and urban design guideline provide a clear and continuous frame for place making, include development control and design control; Judging possibilities under economy and market conditions. Above all, the most important is to integrate all of these factors together(8) Place making needs to be provided or defined a fitting city district which, then, will be developed as a public realm that the walkers can experience personally. There are four modes for choice, which are enhancing mode, catalyst mode, medium mode, regeneration mode.Chinese urban design should come out its own way. First, establishing the vision for place making of city; Secondly, Drawing up an urban design system policy; Thirdly, providing the guarantee mechanism of policy implementation; The fourth, raising the practice level of urban design; The fifth, building up the cooperation atmosphere of place making.

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CLC: > Industrial Technology > Building Science > Regional planning, urban and rural planning > City planning
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