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KATARXIS N°2

And Again New Urbanism

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Orenco Station, Portland, Oregon
Central Park
 
by Michael Mehaffy and Kenneth E. Grimes

Orenco Station, Portland 

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Orenco Station, Portland, Oregon
Town Center at Lunch
 
by Michael Mehaffy and Kenneth E. Grimes
 
Buildings by Bob Boileau (FFA Architects)
Landscaping by Mike Zilis and David Aulnes (Walker Macy)

The Master Plan

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New European Quarters, Luxembourg (1978)
Aerial View of Existing City and New Quarters
 
by Leon Krier

"The masterplan is to the construction of a city what the constitution is to the life of a nation. It is much more than a specialised technical instrument and is the expression of an ethical and artistic vision. The masterplan represents the legislative form of such a vision; it is the geometric expression and the necessary complement of the law.
 
To guarantee its efficiency, the masterplan must have the rudimentary simplicity of moral precepts. It is divided into five parts:
 
1. A plan of the city, defining the size and form of its urban quarters and parks, the network of major avenues and boulevards.
 
2. A plan of each quarter, defining the network of streets, squares and blocks.
 
3. The form of individual plots on each urban block: number, shape, and function of floors that can be built by plot.
 
4. The architectural code describing materials, technical configurations, proportions for external building elements (walls, roofs, windows, doors, porticoes and porches, garden walls, chimneys) and all built elements that are visible from public spaces.
 
5. A code for public spaces, defining the materials, configurations, techniques and designs for paving, street furniture, signage, lighting and planting.
 
The aim of the codes is to improve the quality of normal, regular and inevitable building, to create a "conventional" architecture of quality and encourage the routine realisation of utilitarian buildings by way of long-established traditional building types, to reserve architectural expression and artistic rhetoric for the construction of public buildings and the embellishment of public spaces.
 
Thus, the masterplan has to ensure not only the harmonising of often divergent interests but also the expression of the natural differences between private and public architecture. It is from this dialectic that the profound character of places one day worthy of the title 'historic centre' will spring."
 
 
Leon Krier
 
"Choice or Fate"
 
(Andreas Papadakis Publisher, Windsor 1998) 

Beijing, China

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New Urban Master Plan, Beijing, China
 
by  The Hok Planning Group
 
(Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum)

New Urbanism in China

"Many people think that New Urbanism is defined by traditional North American practices.
 
 However the presented  masterplan is based on the exploration of Chinese historical and social settlement patterns: 
 
It offers a viable alternative to current and conventional development practices based on international models discarding local traditions and cultural values articulated in the built environment.
 
The traditional compound system, as established by the Chinese cultural heritage, is the kernel of this plan's philosophy.
 
 The proposal is not specifically and exclusively arguing for traditional buildings:
 
  It envisions, - a modern city, and, -  modern construction methods, as well as, -  living expectations and contemporary comfort - ,  to be layered with traditional patterns:
Patterns transmitted from over thousands of years of China's history of the built environment.
 
A traditional grid is the base for the layering of these historic patterns which will also support the design of lots, blocks, super blocks and neighborhood structures.
 
The implied master plan architecture takes into account traditions of the place and acknowledges local character and authenticity.
 
 
Oscar Machado 

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Axionometric View of Beijing Master Plan
 
by The  Hok Planning Group 
 
(Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum)

Sidon, Lebanon

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The Reconstruction of Sidon, Lebanon (1997)
( Upper Square)
 
The Prince of Wales's Urban Design Task Force
 
by Samir Younés

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The Reconstruction of Sidon, Lebanon (1997)
(Lower Square and Corniche)
 
The Prince of Wales's Urban Design Task Force
 
by Samir Younés

Port Mirabay

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Port Mirabay, Seafront Commercial Facades, Tampa, Florida
 
by Cooper Johnson Smith Inc.

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 Aerial View of Mirabay Port, Tampa, Florida
 
by Cooper Johnson Smith Inc.

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Mirabay Club at Port Mirabay, Tampa, Florida
 
by Cooper Johnson Smith Inc.

Venta-Berri, San Sebastian

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New Urban Quarters of Venta-Berri, San Sebastian, Spain
 
 Street Vista towards the Central Square (1990)
 
by Léon and Rob Krier

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Model of New Quarters of Venta-Berri, San Sebastian
 
by Léon and Rob Krier
 
 

"Good Urbanism is New Urbanism"
 
Doug Kelbaugh 

Marbella, La Habana

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New Quarters of Marbella (1999)
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
 
by Duany & Plater-Zyberk with Julio Cesar Perez

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Housing Types in Marbella, Cuba
 
1998 Michael B. Morrissey
 
(All rights reserved. Used with permission)

New Urbanism should not be understood as a revival of historic cities, but as a revival of principles which govern the building of good cities: new and contemporary cities which aspire to the beauty, comfort and permanence of historical cities.
 
Even so Venice, Florence, Rome, Siena or Savannah, Charleston, La Habana, San Juan, etc. might be inspiring precedents to many New Urban projects, the intention is not to replicate any of them, but to celebrate them as a durable inspiration and accept them as models of excellence of continuous actuality and of timeless operationality.  

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Aerial View of Urban Quarter in Poundbury, Dorchester
 
by Léon Krier

New Urban Links

 
"New Urbanists want to leave the world a better place than they found it. That's why they insist on leaving their ivory towers and going out to engage the world."
 
 
John Massengale

From the Introductory Address by John Massengale at the First Council of the CNU in Charleston, S.C. (2001)
 
To read full text please click the link below:

NU Redux: Good, Better, Best

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Horace Williams Master Plan, North Precinct
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
 
by ASG Architects and Planners
(Ayers, Saint & Gross)

Horace Williams Master Plan 

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Horace Williams Master Plan, Town Center
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
 
by ASG Architects and Planners

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Horace Williams Master Plan, Commercial Street
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
 
by ASG Architects and Planners