Methodology of Urban DesignRainer Mayerhofer
Methodology of Urban Design
Rainer Mayerhofer, Vienna
TU Wien - Örtliche Raumplanung, Department für Raumentwicklung,Infrastruktur- und Umweltplanung
Phone/fax numbers (format: +43-1-5033647)
: Characteristic of areas; Quality of urban design, visual criteria; image; genius loci; priorities:maintain existing high quality vs. creating new qualities
In a 3-year research program "Characteristics of Urban Design – shown on the example of Vienna" (1) featuringa wide-spread typology including rural structures, the authors not only tried to transform the typology of KevinLynch for European cities but also attempted to develop the latter by defining those criteria allowing a more orless objective evaluation of aesthetics in urban design.As you will see, there is a combination of physical criteria and social criteria, as well as quantitative criteria andqualitative criteria.This method has since been used for the analysis of towns and parts of towns (2-5), as well as for a universitystudy program for planners (6) and in Austrian planning practice. There had been only minor changes in theoriginal concept by this testing over a period of nearly 20 years.
1 Demarcation of areas with typical structure
This definition is traditionally based on functional, political and statistical units.A definition of areas from the point of view of urban design has to take account of the fact that the inhabitant hasto identify with his/her surroundings in order to be able to take an active part in the design of this environment.
1.1 Types of area
For the demarcation of areas with typical structure, some basic general criteria with a strong influence on urbandesign were selected:Direct criteria:
pattern of the city (from the map)
periods of building development
prevailing land use
classes of building heightsIndirect criteria:
history (genius loci)
1.2 Borderlines of these areas
For the demarcation of these areas the following borderlines can be derived:
borders of areas with identical characteristics
barriers like railway lines, high-traffic roads, rivers, etc.
borders of built-up area against green areas, agriculture, etc.
transition zones towards other land uses