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Theme: The Complex City Project Period: Fall semester 2010 Project group: 2 Participants:
This project centres on the planning of urban public spaces. In the current context of urban regeneration, old industrial sites are redeveloped with the aim of creating liveable neighbourhoods. The objective is to outline an analytical framework of criteria, which can be used to evaluate plans before they are transposed into reality, hereby identifying the opportunities for liveability in public spaces, within brownfield areas. Criteria are outlined from a framework of theories and empirical experiences on urban public spaces, both concerning design and planning process. The result is a list of eight main principles and to each of them is attached a number of criteria, which represent the operationsalisation of the principle. In order to strengthen the utility of the criteria, they are confronted with a focus area in Aalborg: the brownfield site Eternitten. On the basis of this, the criteria show to be applicable, but an ongoing review is important in order to reflect the ever changing society. In general, improvements in the plans for Eternitten can be recommended, especially regarding the need for allocating resources to the planning and design of public spaces.
_____________________________ Christina Rasmussen _____________________________ Maja Busck _____________________________ Silke Skovsholt
Supervisor: Enza Lissandrello Amount of pages: 133 Amount of appendices: 2 and one CD Ended: January 7th 2011
The project is conducted from September 2010 to January 2011 by a project group at Urban Planning and Management 1st semester, Aalborg University. It is taking a point of departure in the semester theme ‘The complex city’. During the period, consultant supervision from Lector Bo Vagnby has been received. We would like to thank the following people for participating in interviews: Annette Rosenbæk and Bodil Henningsen from Aalborg Municipality, Karsten Westergaard from Søren Enggaard A/S and Finn Nygaard from Calum A/S. We are really grateful for their help, as they all have contributed with important inputs to the evaluation of our focus area. When quotes are used from Danish literature or the conducted interviews, they have been translated by the project group and marked with a *. Figures and Tables without references are made by the project group. Appendixes are to be found at the back of report. The guide and resume for the conducted interviews are to be found on the attached CD. Enjoy your reading,
Christina Rasmussen, Maja Busck and Silke Skovsholt
1 2 INTRODUCTION URBAN REGENERATION 2.1 2.2 Brownfield development The industrial footprint in Aalborg 5 7 7 9 5 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 5.1 Important theorists 31 31 34 35 40
5.1.1 Postmodern urban planning 5.2 5.3 Fundamental principles Important aspects and critical review
THE CHALLENGES OF PUBLIC SPACES 11 3.1 3.2 Liveability in public spaces Research question 14 15 15 18 7 THE DANISH CONTRIBUTIONS 7.1 Jan Gehl 53 53 55 6 PLACEMAKING 6.1 6.2 43
The use of placemaking in public spaces 46 Important aspects and critical review 50
3.2.1 Clarifications of terms 3.2.2 Illustration of the project design
METHODOLOGY 4.1 Plan evaluation
21 21 23 25 25 26 28
7.1.1 Theory and tools
4.2 Pragmatism and abduction as methodological approaches 4.3 The evaluation criteria
7.1.2 Important aspects and critical review 60 7.2 Steffen Gulmann 62 62
7.2.1 Theory and tools
4.3.1 The establishment of principles and criteria 4.3.2 Theories and empirical experiences 4.3.3 Insight provided by the interviews
7.2.2 Important aspects and critical review 65
EMPIRICAL EXPERIENCES 8.1 Experiences from urban regeneration projects 8.2 Three examples
67 69 73 74 76 78 80
10.3.2 Place identity and image 10.3.3 Perception and sense of place 10.3.4 Accessibility, mobility and proximity 10.3.5 Uses and users 10.4 Evaluation of process criteria
102 105 109 113 116 116 118 120 122
8.2.1 Papirfabrikken, Silkeborg 8.2.2 Ørestad, Copenhagen 8.2.3 Carlsberggrunden, Copenhagen 8.3 Important aspects
10.4.1 Flexibility and adaptability of plans 10.4.2 Multiple urban actors 10.4.3 Citizen involvement 10.5 Recommendations
FRAMEWORK OF CRITERIA 9.1 Development of the analytical framework 9.2 9.3 Explanation of the principles Reflections on the criteria
81 82 87 88 12 CONCLUSION 13 BIBLIOGRAPHY 131 11 APPLICABILITY OF THE CRITERIA 125
10 EVALUATION OF ETERNITTEN 10.1 10.2 10.3 Brief historical overview The regeneration project Evaluation of the design criteria
91 93 94 97 97 APPENDIX 1: GEHL’S 12 QUALITY CRITERIA APPENDIX 2: THE PLACE DIAGRAM
10.3.1 Diversity of functions, activities and people
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“Vital cities have marvelous innate abilities for understanding, communicating, contriving, and inventing what is required to combat their difficulties… Lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration, with energy enough to carry over for problems and needs outside themselves.” (Jane Jacobs) [PPS (a), 2010]
As future planners, our expertise should include an understanding of the challenges affecting the city and its public spaces, as well as the urban actors. In the current context of urban regeneration, opportunities for regaining valuable land and give it back to the city arise both on municipalities’ and politicians’ agenda, hereby bringing at stake public and private interests. In order to investigate what builds up the background for the design and planning of urban spaces, we choose to evaluate a project under development. Thereby, we will dig into the numerous challenges within city planning, thus subscribing to the semester theme, ‘The complex city’. Some questions we were interested to investigate concerned: if and how a study of theories could translate the past knowledge into something applicable in the planning of new areas today? What defines a good public space? Is it possible to plan good public spaces and can their outcome be guaranteed? To answer those questions, Eternitten awoke our interest: this large area inside the city of Aalborg, recently set free of its industrial production, is partly under construction and partly under ongoing planning, with a long time perspective. To integrate this in an evaluation, the challenges of our initial objective increase and add on to the list of questions: if and how Eternitten could be evaluated through its plans before they are transposed into reality. The site drew further our interest as ambitious visions were elaborated for the area and, hereby, displaying more challenges such as the integration of different functions and the relationships between the different investors owning the site. Finally we wanted to approach and evaluate urban planning through the public spaces. Hereby, we would like to investigate the possibility of basing the evaluation of a site as a whole, on the analysis of public spaces. This perspective might seem narrow but, in our preliminary opinion, the complexity of urban planning mainly arises in the public
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spaces, given that they have a great responsibility in connecting urban functions and making the area an attractive place to stay and live in. Those mentioned aspects, among many others, have shaped the patchwork of interests we wanted to investigate through this project. We have considered it as an opportunity to combine these aspects and achieve an insight in the complex field of the planning of public spaces. With the twist of public spaces in newly planned areas (especially here in brownfield regeneration areas), we aim to produce a nuanced view on how theories and empirical experiences can be used in planning today. We had our minds set on trying to provide a tool, which could avoid misleading decisions and designs, such as those mentioned in the case of Ørestad, which often is referred to as a failure in terms of public spaces. The acknowledgement that public spaces for everyone might result in spaces for no one seems thus a cornerstone in this discussion and a hint for our further investigations. In the same idea, we perceive urban planning as an ongoing task, both in the shaping of its theoretical background and in the handling of urban issues, thereby adjusting to the ever changing society. In that matter, we tried to grasp the panel of polemical concerns at stake such as the topic of target groups and final users, ownerships and the collaboration between public and private stakeholders. In order to integrate adequately those issues, it seems important to point out the evaluation of the site, to be essential at different stages and scales. The initial aim was to work on a ‘middle level’ where it should be possible to easily extend our results to a general discussion and transpose them in other urban regeneration contexts. Subsequently, our aim was to operationalise the theories and empirical experiences and we found it thus necessary to take a further look into the closer scale of design. The structure of the project follows in a sense the successive interest points and issues we aimed to investigate, starting by exploring the general trend and issues within urban regeneration and leading to the more specific challenges of urban spaces today. We will then formulate our research question, which will be the benchmark of this project.
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2 URBAN REGENERATION
As stated in the introduction, the project aims for a study of public spaces within the existing urban context, with a special interest in new development sites where planning happens almost from bare ground. The sheet is though not totally blank since those sites often have a past of importance for the city. Therefore, the term urban brownfield development, in opposition to urban greenfield development – usually linked with urban expansion and urban sprawl – is at speak and will be clarified in the context of urban regeneration, through the next paragraphs.
2.1 Brownfield development
Table 2.1 depicts the evolution of the term ‘urban regeneration’. All the terms in the table below describe more or less the same, i.e. a focus on how and where to develop and build further on the existing city.
Table 2.1: Origins and evolution of the term urban regeneration [based on Ananian, 2009].
Evolution of the term Reconstruction
Description 1950’ (after World War II) Replacement of central districts and masterplan for the development of the urban fringe 1960’ Regional focus of planning and emphasis on the social and economical aspects (added to the physical planning) 1970’ Connection between local and regional planning and focus back on the central parts of the city 1980’ Economic focus of the planning policies and use of partnerships 1990’-2000’ Strategic approach with focus on regional development and encompassing landscape and environment aspects
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Through the project, we will mainly study brownfield development and urban regeneration. We have come across the term ‘renewal’ as well: we consider the term ‘regeneration’ to be broader. In our understanding, renewal would be applied when only a smaller area or a few buildings are concerned. The term ‘brownfield’ is comprehended in urban regeneration and refers to abandoned industrial sites. The initial meaning included the fact that those sites were highly polluted, either by chemicals or by waste products. Later, the term has expanded to all sites within the existing city, e.g. encompassing the city’s waterfront. In the historical perspective, it is possible to identify several tendencies behind the brownfield development: among others, the need for housing, resulting from the demographic growth, the attractiveness and status of the central location, and related economical and social benefits (e.g. synergy of the function mixture, proximity to the historical centre, proximity to the CBD and to main transportation nodes). The delocalisation of industrial production and businesses, mainly to Eastern Europe or Asia, represents an opportunity for recover the inner parts of the city. Subsequently, the previously stated tendencies are supported by incentives and the political agenda, i.e. cleanup actions within the city, provision of housing and environmental legislations [Grover, 2010]. Currently, we see it as a general tendency that urban regeneration, and therewith brownfield development, line up with other focuses in order to promote the city and make it attractive on different levels. For the citizens, the municipalities prioritise the upgrading and realisation of public spaces, responding to modern lifestyles. On the regional and national level, the municipalities compete for the economic attractiveness in order to attract firms, and sustain economic and demographic growth. The debate around sustainability enhances strategies of densification, and therewith, encouraging building the city upon itself, using as much as possible the available lands inside the city. This is often carried out with a focus on the positive effect on environment and climate (both local and global). Additionally, the upgrading and regeneration of brownfield areas contributes to social sustainability, e.g. through provision of new housing areas. In general, the brownfield regeneration could be linked to the marketing and branding of the city as social, economical and environmental active. In the case of Aalborg, the brownfield sites are among other things used for the relocation of educational institutions, expressing hereby its desire to turn the historical industrial city into a modern knowledge city of regional influence.
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2.2 The industrial footprint in Aalborg
Aalborg’s image has always been linked to its heavy industrial past. The many production sites have now been moved or are moving, leaving the city with empty lands to be developed (e.g. Eternitten, Godsbanearealet and Østre Havn – see Figure 2.1). Aalborg is now a university city, hosting both students and researchers. Firms have seen the opportunity of collaboration with this knowledge-stimulating environment as a catalyst for their expansion and branding on the national and international scene. Aalborg needs thus to keep on promoting itself as a knowledge city, both toward the possible interested firms moving to town, and toward the students and the youth coming to study in Aalborg. The strategy can be roughly depicted in attracting and keeping both firms and students in order to assure the city’s status on the national and international scene (external viewpoint by competition with other cities) and its own economic growth.
Figure 2.1: Examples of brownfield sites in Aalborg [inspiration from Aalborg Kommune (a), 2010]. Page 9 / 133
In its Urban regeneration strategy, Aalborg Municipality states that “the regeneration [of Eternitten] is a pivot in the general transformation of Aalborg from industry city to a modern regional centre” *1 [Aalborg Kommune et al., 2006, p. 2]. The many current projects, taking departure in old industrial or harbour sites, are the reflection of this willingness to present Aalborg as a dynamic and expanding city. This is of course sustained by the economical and political need to incite real estate and developing firm to invest in the grounds. Eternitten will be used later in the project as an example of brownfield development. The factory on the site was closed down in 2005, and the area has two private investors involved in its development. The regeneration plans have recently been approved by the Municipality and the old factory has been demolished and the excavation for the new buildings and infrastructure has started. We will dig further into the area’s history and planning status in Chapter 10.
* Means that the quote is translated from Danish.
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3 THE CHALLENGES OF PUBLIC SPACES
The objective of this chapter is to clarify some important challenges2 related to the planning of public spaces and to specify the purpose of public spaces. Furthermore the chapter contains a specific research question that will be the benchmark of this project, and a clarification of specific terms used in the question. This chapter leads on to the methodological chapter, in which the methodology behind relevant tools is explained and discussed. The planning of public spaces in new urban areas contains a range of challenges in the process from vision to use. The aim is here to give an overview of some of these aspects, which together shape the complexity of public spaces. The following reflections and examples are mainly based on our educational background. The challenges important to mention here are, besides their relevance in the planning of public spaces, also relevant when discussing challenges in a broader regeneration context. A general issue to have in mind is the influence of the physical environment and how it shapes and affects the social environment, by setting the frames in which people live their lives. A challenge which is highly relevant in brownfield areas is the limit of empty building sites in the city. Such issue, coupled with the attractiveness and high value of land in the centre, makes it difficult to decide how much land developers should invest in the public spaces, as other purposes can lead to a great income for the public and private developers. In relation to this, the use of old industrial sites in a regeneration process might imply the challenge of developing a polluted ground. This includes an ethical perspective in the decision-making: how to exploit the polluted land in respect of its identity. In this matter, the awareness of the discourse in the surrounding society and the branding of the area can have a major impact on the process, e.g. if the public doubt the validity of the developers’ judgement and force politicians to react. Another aspect related to the value of the land is the high speculation on strategically located sites, which risks leading to social inequalities. Challenges related to target groups lay both in the design and process aspects of planning. It can be difficult to identify the target groups, but it should be stated that the planning of public spaces should take a point of departure in the users of the area, as they are the ones going to stay and live there, and appreciate whether the spaces are meaning2
The terms challenge, problem and issue are seen as deeply interrelated and are therefore not strictly separated in the text. Page 11 / 133
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ful and attractive. A general discussion is if spaces should be planned for all target groups (and if they can), or if some spaces should attract certain users (and if some social groups then will be excluded). Therefore, the question includes the important perspective of social responsibility, as it is also important to create spaces where overlooked groups are welcome as well, meaning hereby that people with different income, culture and ethnicity find attractive public spaces near their residence. Elaborating on the complexity of the process and its challenges, a point of departure can be taken in the involvement of multiple stakeholders. Many stakeholders will need to cooperate through the process. Their different objectives might lead to a longer and more complex process; this includes also public participation. But it is crucial to state that a process with few stakeholders and no public participation often does not lead to a more successful outcome. In the discussion of stakeholders and power, the relationships between the public and private institutions are crucial to identify. These relationships are usually the context to a majority of the decisions and reflect the complexity of private land and public goals. In the regeneration of brownfield areas, a special challenge is to get the public involved in the planning process. If the area has not had residences previously, no citizens might feel responsible or interested in the development of the area. Additionally, it is complex to define what the best way of activating the citizens is, as it is often the same population groups, who participate in the discussions. Another challenge is the importance of evaluating the plans; the ability to adjust the plans and the possibility for re-designing the spaces as society changes. The concept of SLOAP (spaces left over after planning) points out how important this is, as many good planning intentions are not being achieved and maintained after the realisation of plans have taken place. Up till now, some challenges have been mentioned to clarify that planning of public spaces is a very complex matter. One aspect to keep in mind, when planning public spaces, is to plan them before planning the buildings and functions in the area. This can be perceived as a quite controversial and idealistic approach as it is not the tradition in planning today, where functions are defined first, then the designing of buildings and in the end the public spaces are designed to fit into the area. Regarding the planning stage, Matthew Carmona has in one of his books investigated the management dimension in public space3, and his collection of theories and graphs can help to identify the dynamics of the challenges that
M. Carmona et al., 2008. Public Space – The Management dimension.
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can be investigated, taking their point of departure in the stakeholders. Figure 3.1 shows what he defines as generic problems and pressures, which can occur when planning does not succeed.
Figure 3.1: Generic problems and pressures [Carmona et al., 2008, p. 97].
In the figure, Carmona points out four problems: lack of coordination, lack of resources, poor use of regulatory powers and low priority to maintenance. The challenges in overcoming these problems lie mainly on the municipality level, and they will be used as inspiration further on in the project.
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3.1 Liveability in public spaces
The former paragraphs have briefly touched a few challenges in planning public spaces. To be able to solve these challenges in a successful way, it is necessary to outline the overall aim with public spaces. In this project, the concern is to achieve liveability, which is a quite broad and subjective term, as it cannot be analysed by simple quantitative measurements. In order to understand the term, this paragraph will try to narrow down its meaning. The liveability of spaces is a very abstract matter to discuss and many used adjectives are referring to a same idea: liveable, convivial, people-friendly and attractive among others. It is not always clear though if it refers to a space bustling with activity (e.g. Francis Tibbalds)4 or simply a well-functioning space, where users feel safe and at ease. What is certain is that it refers to a space used by people. Henry Shaftoe characterises convivial spaces as “open, public locations (usually squares or piazzas) where citizens can gather, linger or wander through” [Shaftoe, 2008, p. 4]. Some argue that every urban space should be convivial and busy; other would rather see liveability as an ensemble of spaces, where some host the lively activities and other allow the user a peaceful moment on his journey, meaning that, when there is space for both, liveability can be achieved. Shaftoe also points out that liveability deals with appropriation of the public realm by the individuals using its spaces: “many convivial places seem to have grown organically through an accumulation of adaptations and additions” [Shaftoe, 2008, p. 6]. It is relevant to keep in mind that different stakeholders perceive terms diverse. When we asked what the municipal project manager for the site of Eternitten, Annette Rosenbæk (Aalborg Municipality) associated with the term liveability, she said; “something about creating city environments which are good for people to live in” * [Rosenbæk, 2010]5. Hereby we can assume that; the Municipality does not use the term in their daily work, it might be a fuzzy term, which is hard to relate to specific elements and that the term concerns planning for the citizens. In order to use the term in the project, it seems relevant to stress our understanding of the term. By shaping a theoretical framework of how to plan and design public spaces, we adapt the thoughts of the chosen theories to the success criteria for spaces. In this paragraph we adapt for instance the thoughts of Shaftoe and additionally state the point that liveability is about timing of urban activities. It is not enough with mixed-use environments; they should
[Tibbalds, 2004, p. 23]. See Chapter 4 for description of the interview.
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also be varying over the twenty-four hours of the day and the seven days of the week. This discussion leads on to the research question, in which it is pointed out that liveability is the aim of public spaces.
3.2 Research question
In order to indentify the aim and content of this project, the research question below will be the benchmark, which all chapters are related to. How can a framework of theories and empirical experiences on urban public spaces outline criteria for evaluation of plans, in order to identify the opportunities for liveability in public spaces, within brownfield areas? In order to strengthen the utility of the criteria, they will be confronted with a case study in Aalborg. This question is the centre of our analysis, and therefore it is relevant to highlight and clarify some important terms. Besides the terms ‘brownfield areas’ and ‘liveability’, which have already been explained, it is here interesting to take a look at the terms ‘public space’, ‘plans’ and ‘theory’. Other central terms and aspects as ‘framework of theories and empirical experiences’, ‘outline criteria’, ‘evaluation’ and ‘confronted with a case study’ are related to the methodology of the project and will be deepened in Chapter 4. 3.2.1 Clarifications of terms Space is closely related to the word place and they are often used as substitutes; but since they can have different meanings, it is relevant to reflect on the dichotomy of the terms. We have chosen to use the term ‘space’, as it is, in our perception, broader than the term place, which might only refer to specific locations6. We understand spaces as an allencompassing term, reaching further than the built environment. In this project, we will examine public spaces as being the latent space between buildings, acknowledging the importance of the buildings’ impacts on spaces and people. Space is more than a container of human activities: it does not determine them, but it can be a frame for enhancing
“Place is a unique and special location in space notable for the fact that regular activities of human beings occur there” [Pacione, 2005, p. 25]. Page 15 / 133
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them. And according to Michael Pacione, space exerts a powerful influence on human interactions [Pacione, 2005, p. 25]. The notion of configuration is here at interest; this refers to how spaces are organised within the city fabric and influences their quality and ability for social interactions. In an urban context, the configuration is “the ensemble of spatial figures and built surroundings which contribute to its understanding and to the revealing of its basic structure”7 [Vanderstraeten, 2001, p. 29]. The configuration of space contributes to the image of a place and helps producing references within the place (e.g. landmarks)8. It could be argued that, in some cases, it would be relevant do detail the different categories of space in an urban context, but since it is not the centre of this project, we will just give some examples of how public spaces might be categorised. It should be noticed that, since the terms are interrelated, it can be helpful to use different words to describe the same term.
Term Public space Description “Public space (broadly defined) relates to all those parts of the built and natural environment, public and private, internal and external, urban and rural, where the public have free, although not necessarily unrestricted, access” [Carmona et. al., 2008, p. 4]. It is in particular related to ownership and accessibility, and spaces can be divided in private, semipublic or public spaces. Public spaces may be owned by private landowners. Another interpretation of the term public space is the polished space, reflecting a supposedly harmonious image of the public realm, where any citizen should feel free to go (free accessibility) [Meyer et al., 2006, pp.14-17]9. Both physical and mental, tangible and abstract, merging commercial life, social life, cultural life
7 8 9
Translated from French. This is linked with notions of mental mapping and imageability, which will be developed further in Chapter 5.
Han Meyer distinguishes a transformation from the open space to the public space in a historic perspective. Open space is the non-planned latent space between the individual built entities, going from one facade to another. In order to summarise it roughly, the open space is for the citizens and the public space is for the image of the city [Meyer et el., 2006, pp. 14-17].
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Examples of typologies
in a whole of processes (Lefebre) [Juul Frost Arkitekter, 2009, p. 29]. a) The large (e.g. the square), the long (e.g. the main street), the small (e.g. the corner), the green (e.g. the park), the necessary (e.g. the parking lot) and the open (the landscape) [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, pp. 27-31]. b) Neglected, lost, 24-hour, invaded, exclusionary, space and age, reclaimed, consumption space, privatised, segregated, domestic, virtual, invented, manufactured, scary, homogenised [Carmona, et. al., 2008, pp. 43-64]. c) The classical urban space (e.g. city parks), gaps in the open city (e.g. parking place and school yards), mobility spaces (e.g. bus stations and bike lanes), surplus areas (e.g. areas near infrastructure), temporary city spaces (e.g. marked places) and urban spaces in the open landscape (e.g. golf yards) [Juul Frost Arkitekter, 2008, pp. 42-43].
This table illustrates that urban spaces can be categorised and classified in many ways and that public spaces can have different characteristics. Many have tried to give a definition of space and place and their attributes. Nevertheless, the use of the terms space and place differs in the literature, according to the preferences of the authors, and we have to stay aware of that matter. Further on in the project the term ‘public space’ will be used, but we will use the word place, when it is part of a common terminology, e.g. the concept of place identity. Additionally it should be noticed that this project concerns outdoor public spaces, which allow opportunities for people to use the space and interact with others. The term plan can have several meanings. Hereby, we would like to clarify how we understand and use the term. In the research question, the plans refer to the documents – visions and plans – the municipality and private investors have established for a specific area. Keeping the red line from vision to urban reality is a difficult task; the plans play the role of guidelines through the planning process. There are as well different perceptions of the term theory, which are connected to the different disciplines in theories of science. It seems though more helpful here to have a broad definition. A theory can be seen as a system of ideas with the purpose of describing or explaining something: a problem, a phenomenon, a situation or an activity (or many). In addition to this, a theory can be understood as a claim or a set of claims that describe or explain a part of the world [Nørreklit and Adolphsen, 1995, p. 112 and Oxford English Dictionary, 2010 and Arler, 2008]. An important characPage 17 / 133
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teristic of theories is that they are propounded and accepted. Furthermore, a theory can be seen as an instrument to collect, organise and generalise scientific knowledge, for example by explaining the relation between variables [Oxford English Dictionary and Levin-Rozalis, 2000, p. 416]. The theories used in this project will not be characterised according to different definitions of a theory. Indeed, we see no need to constrain the concept of theory, but rather to have a theoretical spectrum covering a wide field, from the loose and fragmented pieces of knowledge to wellformulated and systematic theories. 3.2.2 Illustration of the project design Figure 3.2 illustrates the design of our project and can be seen as the synergy between the research question and the methodology of the project. The circle defines the projects context to be the field of urban brownfield development. The triangle illustrates how the focus is being narrowed down through the process. The important breaking point in the project is at the dotted line, where the criteria have been extracted and will be tested on Eternitten. The figure can be criticised for being simple and not reflecting the parts in the project in their true dimensions but, even though, it can help to create an overview of the aim and structure of the project.
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Figure 3.2: Graphical presentation of the project design.
Having defined the research question, we will proceed with describing the methodology for the project and expose the tools and elements we will use, on the basis of what we know from the previous chapters. The theories of science will help us here in pointing out which approaches are most adequate for answering the research question.
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This chapter contains methodological considerations and descriptions of the approaches and methods used to answer the research question. The main concerns are the evaluation of plans, the pragmatic approach, abduction and the formation of criteria for evaluation.
4.1 Plan evaluation
As stated in the previous chapter, the aim of the project is to evaluate plans for regeneration of brownfield areas, with a special focus on liveability in public spaces. For that purpose, the site and project on Eternitten, in Aalborg, were chosen as an example to carry out our evaluation and test our criteria. The establishment of evaluation criteria will rely on a theoretical and empirical background, we gather along the project (see Figure 4.1).
Theoretical framework and empirical experiences
Formation of criteria (analytical framework)
Figure 4.1: The overall approach in the project. Page 21 / 133
The issues for this evaluation are related to the risk of underlying interpretation in the various choices we have made along the way. The choice of the object of our evaluation, at the very beginning of the project period, might influence the establishment of the evaluation criteria. Furthermore, we have interviewed some of the public actors, visited the site and interviewed two private actors. Referring back to the relativistic “Good evaluation requires that we take view of the scientist being part of society and its system, this insight is relevant feelings and beliefs into account justified, but to what extend can we allow ourselves to be value-laden? The because these mark the attachments that phrase in the box gives us a hint to Charles Hoch’s viewpoint. Evaluation is somehow about confronting theories, models or hypotheses with reality. If we look at evaluation as a discipline within research, it “applies social science and related inquiry methods for the systematic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and outcomes of change efforts to inform judgments about goal attainment, improve program effectiveness, identify costs and benefits, and/or inform future decisions” [Patton, 2003]. In the case of urban planning, the outcomes are particular important because of their consequences, effects and side-effects on society. When looking at urban planning, plans are tools used to integrate the many interests of different urban actors. The planner uses “results from social science study as a basis for prediction of likely outcomes of strategies and policy measures” [Næss, 2010, p. 25]. Consequently, the evaluation of plans can be a matter of predictiveness, an analysis of the effects and consequences of something, which is not existing yet. How can then we evaluate plans? And what is the outcome of such an evaluation? Michael Patton suggests that, where the initial summative evaluation assesses the outcome and impact of a plan and thereby is judgment-oriented, the formative evaluation is improvement-oriented. Patton also mentions the knowledge-generating evaluation as increasing knowledge through the theoretical use of results [Patton, 2003]. We can hereby define the plan evaluation as oriented towards improvements within the urban planning project, where the implementation of conclusions should be applied directly in the project from which plans are evaluated and not wait until the project is completed. But in order to do so, we need to make a judgement of the current stage and orientation of the project. Furthermore, in an effort for continual improvement, iteration between formative and summative evaluations sustains the ongoing process of building up knowledge within the urban planning field, with benefits for related topics such as economics and social integration and health.
bind purpose and experience” [Hoch, 2002, p. 70].
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4.2 Pragmatism and abduction as methodological approaches
An epistemological dualism is usually identified within the theories of science, rationalism and empiricism. Also, two possible paradigms are highlighted by Charles Hoch in his article Evaluating plans pragmatically: the rational analysis and the pragmatic reasoning [Hoch, 2002, p. 53]. About rational analysis, Hoch highlights the danger of strict methodological practice, when planners face the socio-political context: the claim of objectivity and precision might become boundaries for meaning and continuity within the planning process. Hoch claims for a more experience-based evaluation of plans, which also seems the most pertinent to our project [Hoch, 2002, p. 59 and Blaikie, 2003]. The pragmatic tradition, initiated by Charles Sander Peirce10, offers convenient contributions to validate the theories and models about social systems, which inconsistency is associated with the pace of evolution of human society and an increasing interdisciplinarity within the field of urban planning. In terms of evaluation, pragmatism suggests for inquiry, by means of craft, feeling, intuition, experience, and so forth, as constituting a set of tools, prerequisites and background knowledge to cope with a particular problem. Referring to Hoch’s quote (see box above), abstractions and rationales should only be used in order to clarify some aspects of planning but then should be put back into the socio-political context, and that theory is interrelated with practice in the production of knowledge [Hoch, 2002, pp. 54-55]. Different reasons can be identified for ascribing a pragmatic approach in our project among other things the objective of evaluating liveability, the stage in which we wish to conduct the evaluation and testing the criteria on the site Eternitten. Evaluating liveability: We consider a rational methodology not to be suitable for evaluating the qualitative aspects of liveability, as it relies on facts and quantitative measurements. Regarding the stage of the planning process: The purpose is to supply planners with criteria, which can be integrated in an early stage of the process, in order to implement the result of the evaluation into the planning project and to serve the final outcome of the same project. The pragmatic approach seem to be flexible: the explanatory hypothesis can be formed, tested and verified within the same project. The process of evaluation can be shortened and subdivided in formative evaluations, which then will form a good background for summative evaluation.
Charles Sander Peirce (1839-1914), American philosopher, mathematician and scientist [De Cuypere and Willems, 2006]. Page 23 / 133
Regarding the choice of testing our criteria on Eternitten: Eternitten is used as a case study; hereby we mean a practical example, which allow us to test our criteria. The consideration of applying and testing the gathered information links our approach quite immediately to a pragmatic one. “Practical experience illuminates the value of hypotheses (...) Case studies provide contexts in which to identify details of institutional development, distinctive features, commonalities across cases, and so on, all through the careful examination of existing reality” [Jacobs, 2009].
The abductive approach The pragmatic reasoning lies upon the use of abduction, defined as “reasoning that is neither deductive nor inductive but involves inferences from effects to causes” [Locke, 2009]. This approach allows creativity and inventiveness to support the establishment of new explanatory hypothesis, or according to Peirce, “to generate new concepts” [Locke, 2009]. “The focus of pragmatists on the real effects [and side-effects] positions the scientific experiment at a focal point, rather than observation or speculation” * [Langergaard et al., 2006, p. 109]. This underlines the importance of testing our hypothesis and, in the case our criteria, in order to test their applicability. In the next section, we will describe how our methodology fits into the abductive approach and what advantages there are granted to the project. Considering the planning of new urban areas and their public spaces, we already had background experiences, about how those spaces should be in order to achieve liveability. We had some idea about the socio-spatial characteristics of public spaces and the parameters influencing their liveability. This “innate and accumulated experience” [Botin, 2008] has guided our first hint to the kind of data and literature that have our attention. Hence we have build up a background of theories concerning liveable spaces and empirical experiences from newly planned urban areas in the Danish context. Qualitative interviews should expose hidden facts or information, which will complete the picture from which we draw our criteria. When we refer to our criteria, we compare them to pragmatic hypothesises formulated in order to answer our questions around liveability of public spaces and urban actors. By confronting the criteria with the plans of Eternitten and the diverging interests of the various urban actors, adaptations to unknown or misjudged aspects might be necessary. True to Peirce’s idea of “parsimonious search for the best and simplest explanation for a phenomenon through survey of the likely causes, with errors corrected by additional iterations” [Jacobs, 2009], we investigate and clarify some aspects of urban planning processes, with result in our contribution to recommendations and criteria, which should meet as many interests as possible. By ascribing to an abductive approach, we keep the door open for continuous improvement of those criteria. We refer hereby to the principle of iteration described previously.
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4.3 The evaluation criteria
This section aims for specifications about how we use theories, empirical experiences and interviews to formulate our principles and criteria. Figure 4.2 shows the relation between the principles and criteria.
Figure 4.2: Graphical presentation of principles and criteria.
4.3.1 The establishment of principles and criteria When selecting our principles and criteria, we have to be aware of two aspects. Firstly, we have to make sure that the reason for our choice itself is coherent with our pragmatic methodology, hereby formulating operational criteria. Secondly, we have to realise the innate subjectivity of our choice and, therefore, illustrate it clearly. According to the pragmatic criterion, a theory is valid if it is useful in practice. In pragmatism, knowledge and science are seen as parts of reality, and not just representations of reality. Utility is seen as the most important validation clause. An inherent problem is the difficulty to define utility and the suspected impossibility to set up a clear criterion [Adolphsen, 2000, pp. 74-75 and Langergaard et al., 2006, pp. 116-117]. In addition to the pragmatic criterion, correspondence, consistence and coherence are also indicators of validity and truth [Adolphsen, 2000, p. 73]. The clause of correspondence implies that there is correspondence between theories and reality. According to some disciplines, it is not possible to investigate this: for instance, empiricists believe that we can only test the correspondence between theories and empirical experiences (not reality). Correspondence is an external clause for truth, while consistence and coherence are internal. The former is referring to the internal logic of the theory and the latter to the correlation with the existing framework of theories. It can be argued that the criterion of coherence can lead to wrong conclusions, if the framework of existing theories is false. Therefore, it is important to also investigate correspondence with reality [Langergaard et al., 2006, pp. 88-92 and Adolphsen, 2000, p. 74]. Although it is difficult to set up validation
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clauses, truth can still be an ideal for scientific theories. There is an ongoing process where theories will always be exposed to discussion, modification or rejection. Pure objectivity, defined as value-neutral relation between subject and object, is difficult to meet considering that we are dealing with social systems and predicting uncertain future. The planner as part of society stands in a delicate position of gliding over in subjectivity when choosing the criteria for evaluation. Even though those criteria might be extracted through careful analysis, the interpretation and conclusion parts are inevitably tinted. Nonetheless, taken from the pragmatic point of view, this so-called perceptual judgement does not interfere with a correct production of knowledge, since pragmatists believe it to be through active interpretation of actions [Langergaard et al., 2006, pp. 109-111]. Furthermore, the formative character of the evaluation suggests that a qualitative approach might be preferred and more relevant than quantitative measurements, which are limited and difficult (if not impossible) to collect, because of the non-built state of the project. Given the innate subjectivity of the field, transparency in our use of methods should ensure a scientific production of knowledge [Chalmers, 1995, pp. 181-182]. 4.3.2 Theories and empirical experiences We are conducting a modification of theories, where we combine aspects from different theories to create a patchwork. This approach is needed when there is no single theory that covers all aspects of interests [Ankersborg and Boolsen, 2007, pp. 63-64]. In this process it is important to leave out elements of less relevance for the specific problem; this can be a critical and subjective process. The basis for selection of theories and aspects of theories will be presented in more detail in Chapter 5. The combination of different theories will strengthen the analysis, but awareness of the consequences is required according to validity, e.g. when taking something away from its context. The choice of theories (and the relevant elements of these) is of great importance, and it can be argued that the early focus on the site Eternitten can have influenced the choice in a problematic way. But since we want to create general criteria, we have chosen to work with modification of several theories and the generation of criteria should arise from the content of these theories. The early focus on a specific site is in line with the first phase in the abductive approach, where an idea arises from facts (and not from theory).
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We could have chosen to only work with one theory or theorist (e.g. the Danish architect Jan Gehl). This would allow us to go more in depth with the analysis of his work and avoid the difficult selection of theories, but it would not give the same insight in the range of theoretical contributions. When working with one single theory, the coherence with the existing framework of theories might be missing and, thereby, the work and conclusions might seem isolated. We have thus chosen to create a framework of theories both to strengthen the analysis and conclusions and to meet our own learning objectives. We acknowledge that it is impossible to make a list of criteria useful in every planning situation, thus some criteria will be more weighted than others in the context of a specific project. This is in line with the pragmatic approach to planning, where every situation is regarded as unique and complex. It can be argued that the pragmatic approach includes a normative element, in the sense that theories are seen as useful tools that should be guiding planning actions [Lawrence, 2000, pp. 611-612 and Ankersborg and Boolsen, 2007, p. 61]. The theoretical background has been given more attention and weight than the empirical experiences, as the theories represent the main basis for our criteria establishment. Then again it is important to keep in mind that those theories are essentially experience-based. The empirical experiences, gathered through the study of previous planning examples, complete the theory-based knowledge. Two main reasons can be detected for using empirical experiences: 1. They give us the extra turn on urban brownfield development projects. 2. They respond to the pragmatic approach of contextualising hypotheses, and thereby strengthening the interaction between theory and practice. The choice of other newly planned urban areas in the Danish context has been made on basis of similarity selection criteria to our example, Eternitten. Intentionally, we aim for both good and bad planning examples, in order to preserve the current and future projects from the past failures and emphasise the good practice. In that sense, the examples of those former projects build on the existing knowledge with new useful and tested aspects and, thereby, support the iterative process of knowledge production within the urban planning field.
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4.3.3 Insight provided by the interviews We have conducted interviews with four stakeholders from the public and private sector, having interests at play on the site of Eternitten, which have provided us with a better understanding of the complexity and challenges in an urban regeneration process. Three interviews were carried out with two employees from Aalborg Municipality and two were conducted with two representatives from the private land owners. The purpose of conducting the interviews was both to discuss overall principles for planning urban public spaces and to get some insight in the specific project on Eternitten. The interviews were carried out with inspiration from Conducting Research in Human Geography, Chapter 7 in Kitchen and Tate, 2000. The first external contact was with the municipal project manager of Eternitten, Annette Rosenbæk. We had a guided tour on the site of Eternitten, which gave us an insight in the area and the current status of the project. We had prepared some questions beforehand and the conversation with A. Rosenbæk revealed many interesting perspectives and dilemmas to be used in our further work. In December, we had a follow-up interview with her, where the stage in our project enabled us to ask concrete questions about the plans. In November, we conducted an interview with architect Bodil Henningsen from Aalborg Municipality. She is not directly connected to the planning of Eternitten but is project manager of other brownfield and public space projects in Aalborg. In relation to the private stakeholders, we conducted an interview with Karsten Westergaard, project manager for Eternitten at the real estate and developing company Søren Enggaard A/S, who owns the majority of the land. This important interview gave us an insight in the work and interests of the company. Finally, we had the opportunity for a short interview with a second private stakeholder, Finn Nygaard, project manager for Eternitten at the real estate and developing company Calum A/S. The two last
Conducted interviews 5th of October Guided tour at Eternitten with Annette Rosenbæk, urban planner. Project manager at Eternitten, Aalborg Municipality 12th of November Bodil Henningsen, architect. Project manager for urban regeneration projects, Aalborg Municipality 2nd of December Karsten Westergaard, civil engineer. Project manager at Eternitten, S. Enggaard A/S. 8th of December Annette Rosenbæk (follow up interview). 10th of December Finn Nygaard. Project manager at Eternitten, Calum A/S.
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interviews had an interesting effect on our pre-understandings regarding private developing firms; in the sense that F. Nygaard presented us some quite different viewpoints than K. Westergaard (this will be visible in the evaluation of Eternitten in Chapter 10). The following paragraphs contain a description of how we conducted the interviews. Before every interview, we searched for information about the interviewee’s background, work and functions (if the information was accessible) and the company or department the person was part of. On the basis of this, we prepared an interview guide with questions arranged under different topics; these are to be found in Appendix 3-7 on the CD. In the beginning of every interview, we made a short presentation of our project, main interests and our objectives for conducting the interview. After this, we had some clarifying questions about the interviewee’s background and functions. We took the point of departure in a prepared interview guide, the main topics and questions to facilitate the discussion and keep the overview and focus. Thereby, the interview guide was used as a structuring tool, but it was adjusted along the way, e.g. if some questions were relevant to discuss earlier than expected. There was room for posing new questions that emerged through the discussions and to leave out questions if the interviewee did not have qualifications or time to answer them. On the basic of the described characteristics, we regard the interviews as being semi structured. We have chosen qualitative interviews in order to acquire both factual information about the project and get an insight in the interests and incentives that drive the different stakeholders. The interviews were carried out in person, thus we were able to pick up expressions and reactions and allow the interview to be flexible. Two group members functioned in turn as interviewers and supplemented each other, while the last person took notes. Most interviews were recorded in agreement with the interviewee to document the information and make the references more precise. In Appendix 3-7 you find a full summary in Danish of each interview. There are some important considerations linked to the making and interpreting of qualitative interviews. The project group might have had a pre-understanding of the functions and interests of the interviewees, which can have influenced the formation of the interview guides. In the process of interpreting the interviews, these preunderstandings have been reviewed. In addition to this, the interviewee might also have had a conception of the project group, which affected their answers, and maybe they had interests in making a special appearance. Because the interviewees are stakeholders with interests at play on the site of Eternitten, the information gathered from the interviews
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can be considered strongly value-laden. This is though an advantage for the project, regarding our focus on the role and weight of the different urban actors: where the conflicting interests arise, appears an opportunity for hypotheses on how to deal with diverging interests. We have been careful not to let the interviewees colour our inquiry – especially at the first guided tour, which was conducted rather early in the project period. Although the interviews are embedded in the specific project of Eternitten, the criteria for evaluation have been outlined from theories and empirical experiences, on basis of secondary data. This separation is important, and because we have been aware of this during the process, we claim that the interviews have not distorted our focus or methodological approach.
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5 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
In the research question, it becomes clear that theories are a central part of this project. In this chapter, the theories will be presented and important aspects will be outlined. As described in Chapter 4, we are modifying existing theories and creating a framework, thereby strengthening the theoretical background for the formation of criteria. We have extracted the parts of the theories dealing with planning and design of public spaces. The choice of theories is based on their applicability (operationalisation and focus on tools). Firstly, we will introduce the fundamental theorists, who have contributed to the field and shaped the understanding of public spaces today. In the next chapter, we will introduce the concept of ‘placemaking’ and, hereafter, the work of two more recent Danish theorists. Thereby, we bring the debate up to date and give attention to the Danish context. These three chapters will constitute the theoretical framework.
5.1 Important theorists
We have examined a range of authors in order to achieve an understanding of the main principles that underline the planning of public spaces. They are represented in Table 5.1. All of them have, in some way or another, contributed to shape the current understanding and planning of public spaces, since their principles are still in use and newer authors draw on their work. As this is a selection of authors, other relevant contributions might have been left out. It is important to note that some of the authors write about other aspects of urban planning than urban public spaces, but we will primarily present their theories about public spaces. The purpose is to create an overview rather than a thorough analysis of the major works of the authors. The two Danish authors in the table will, as mentioned, be treated separately in Chapter 7.
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THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Table 5.1: Important authors. The references used are mainly the authors reference work, otherwise it is indicated in a footnote. The background authors AUTHOR K. Lynch (1918-1984) The image of the city 1960 USA Architect and urbanist11 Empirical research Imageability and legibility of the city J. Jacobs (1916-2006) The Death and Life of Great American Cities 1961 USA/CA Economist, writer and activist Empirical and reflective research12 Community based approach, neighbourhoods G. Cullen (1914-1994) Townscape W. Whyte (1917-1999) The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces 1980 USA Urbanist and journalist Empirical research Human behaviour in urban settings, city dynamics, street life H. Lefebvre (1901-1991) The Production of Space 1974 F Urban sociologist, philosopher and geographer C. Alexander (1936-) A Pattern Language
REFERENCE WORK 1ST EDITION NATIONALITY FIELD OF ACTIVITY APPROACH TO RESEARCH
1961 UK Architect and urbanist -
1977 UK Architect and mathemathist Empirical research13 Living cities and architecture
FOCUS ASPECTS (KEYWORDS)
Optics on a city, place in a city, content of a city
Rhythm analysis, theory of moments, everyday life14
An urbanist is here understood as “a specialist in the study and planning of cities” [Farlex, 2010]. [PPS (a), 2010]. 13 [PPS (b), 2010]. 14 [Juul Frost Arkitekter, 2009, pp. 28-33]. Page 32 / 133
LIVEABLE PUBLIC SPACES Table 5.1: Important authors. The references used are mainly the authors reference work, otherwise it is indicated in a footnote. Newer authors F. Tibbalds (1941-1992) Making PeopleFriendly Towns 1992 UK Architect and urban planner15 Empirical and reflective research H. Shaftoe (19 - -) Convivial Urban Spaces 2008 UK Urban Design and applied Social Studies Build on theories (e.g. Jacobs, Whyte and Cullen) and empirical research Crime prevention, safety, inclusiveness, places grow organically M. Carmona (19 - -) Public space 2008 UK Professor of Planning and Urban Design Build on theories (e.g. Jacobs, Lynch, Tibbalds and Whyte) and empirical research Quality and management of public spaces, partnerships J. Gehl (1936-) Life between buildings 1971 DK Architect Danish authors and practicians S. Gulmann (19 - -) City Design 2005 DK Economist AUTHOR
REFERENCE WORK 1ST EDITION NATIONALITY FIELD OF ACTIVITY
Empirical research (and theories, e.g. Jacobs)
Build on theories (e.g. Lynch and Gehl) and conducted surveys Creative planning process, citizens in the centre, actors, attractiveness and branding
APPROACH TO RESEARCH
Mixed land use development and transportation planning
Assemble people, functions and activities, human scale
FOCUS ASPECTS (KEYWORDS)
[Rudi, 2010]. Page 33 / 133
5.1.1 Postmodern urban planning Although the authors in Table 5.1 have different focus aspects, many of them present with their theories a break with modernistic planning, which had a strong focus on functions and disregarded history. Modernism emphasised the principle of tabula rasa16, thinking that human beings should live on the premises of the industrial era. This can also be referred to as ‘rationalistic planning’. It can be difficult to give a precise description of what postmodern urban planning entails, but, in broad terms, postmodernism is a break with the rational, objective and, according to some writers, inhumane modernistic approach to planning. The new keywords are: unpredictability, multiplicity and sensitivity to difference. A concrete example is the shift from functional zoning to functional mixture, enhancing the complexity in the dynamics, structures and flows that a city deals with [Gyldendal (a) and (b), 2010 and Dear, 2000]. In the field of urban planning and architecture, postmodernism emerges in the 1960’ties, and it is often considered that it occurred among American writers. Jane Jacobs made one of the most important contributions with The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961). Jacobs criticises modern city planning for inhibiting public urban life, for instance, by segregations due to zoning. Another example is found in the work of Kevin Lynch, who also marks a break with modernism with the studies of how the environment influences human behaviour (environmental psychology) [Gyldendal (a) and (b), 2010; Juul Frost Arkitekter, 2009, pp. 17-22 and Dear, 2000]. The break with modernism and rationalistic planning also leads to a pragmatic approach to science and planning. It can be argued that the pragmatic criterion plays an important role in the validation of theories in urban planning, which is also revealed in the focus on planning actions. In general, the theorists, represented in Table 5.1, are pragmatic oriented in their research, given that they focus on the possibilities for application of their observations into practice (e.g. trough the creation of recommendations and tools). Especially the more recent contributions emphasise this. The emergence of postmodernism results thus in a shift from the modernisms hegemonic planning discourse to a more multi-faceted approach of producing theories and carrying out urban planning. “There is no longer a conventional center in philosophy or in urbanism; what you see depends upon where you are seeing it from. In science, as in
The term of tabula rasa is often used to characterise the approach of modernistic planners and architects, disregarding the influence of the historical context on architecture and urban planning. In the perspective of the industrial revolution, the cities had turned into overcrowded and unhealthy spaces to live in, which the modernists desired to abolish in favour of a clean and controlled lifestyle, achieved by means of functional and technological improvements.
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all human affairs, knowledge is inseparable from the people and places employed in producing it” [Dear, 2000]. This statement can be connected to modern hermeneutics, where it is acknowledged that the researcher cannot avoid interfering with the field of study, and it is important that he/she is critical and reflected about this [Arler, 2008]. Therefore, it can be questioned whether it is possible (or desirable) to achieve objectivity. The different contributions from theorists give diverse perspectives. Indeed, in an interdisciplinary field such as urban planning, it can be reasonable to have many different contributions to the theoretical framework, because this enables planners to get a more comprehensive understanding of the complex problems they deal with. The different focuses fit the multiplicity of relationships and complexity of the subject. In general, there is a tendency for accumulation of theories after the break with modernism.
5.2 Fundamental principles
The following paragraphs will encompass a presentation of the principles in the perception of public space and the planning of public spaces. Instead of presenting the authors in Table 5.1 one by one, we find it relevant to introduce the principles and trends emphasised by the authors. The idea with Figure 5.1 is to indicate the relationship between people and space through functions and activities. People’s relations, readings, feelings, uses and experiences of the space are indicated together with the interaction of functions and space. The whole is contributing to urban life.
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Figure 5.1: Schematic presentation of the use of space.
The next paragraphs include fundamental principles about the relation between people, functions and space with basis in the writings of the background theorists in Table 5.1. Functional diversity – Mixture instead of zoning This is a clear break with modernistic, rational planning and, among others, Jane Jacobs advocates for functional diversity, which will result in a constant flow of people in the urban spaces [Juul Frost Arkitekter, 2009, p. 18]. In line
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with Jacobs, Henri Lefebvre states that the city should be treated as a totality including different processes and domains. The different domains or spaces within the city should not be segregated; instead, a mixture of functions and people should be encouraged in order to create life and experiences in people’s everyday life [Juul Frost Arkitekter, 2009, p. 28]. The functional diversity will have an influence also on our perception of space. Sense of place and place identity Many authors stress the importance of sense of place and the creation of place identity in a specific site. A rediscovery of the qualities of the historical city has taken place and leads to the preservation of buildings and heritage as important aspects to the place identity [Nielsen and Nikolajew, 2008, p. 26]. Tibbalds encourage planners to respect the context of buildings and sites and take the history into consideration [Rudi, 2010]. Mixing of old and new buildings is advocated by Jacobs to create functional and social diversity [Juul Frost Arkitekter, 2009, p. 18]. This refers to the former paragraph about functional diversity and illustrates that the different aspects are interrelated. Lynch has investigated the meanings and the connection people have to spaces, as well as the image of the city or the urban landscape composed of different mental maps. He stresses the importance of the identity connected to specific spaces and to their legibility in the city and says that: “Above all, if the environment is visible organized and sharply identified, then the citizen can inform it with his own meaning and connections.” [Juul Frost Arkitekter, 2009, p. 21]. This quote illustrates what Lynch describes as the ‘imageability’: it is linked to the spaces but its effect is extended to the city and strengthens its legibility. Lynch proposes five elements to investigate in order to identify the imageability of a city: the landmarks, the paths, the nodes, the edges and the districts. These elements contribute to the citizen’s mental mapping of the city [Lynch, 1960, pp. 46-49]. Gordon Cullen has also contributed to this understanding by introducing the concept ‘serial vision’, referring to series of experiences that altogether create an image of the city. Lefebvre writes about ‘the rhythm of the city’ meaning the synergy of the individuals’ everyday activities in space and time. The rhythm makes public spaces a medium for movement [Juul Frost Arkitekter, 2009, pp. 28-32]. Another important, aspect affecting people’s perception of space, is the scale and volume of spaces. Too large spaces can seem empty and unattractive. Tibbalds recommendes that design should be on a human scale, and also William H. Whyte takes this stance and praised the small urban spaces. He also acknowledged the magnificence of large places like Central Park in New York, but the success of this space is maybe due to people’s experiences of it as consisting of many small spaces [Rudi, 2010 and Whyte, 1980, p. 98].
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Create life in spaces – People attract people Whyte makes the statement that: “What attracts people most, it would appear, is other people” [Whyte, 1980, p. 19]. Therefore, the creation of life in spaces is a challenging process, where the crucial point is to attract the first users; hereafter, other users will follow. Thus the attraction of people is a self-perpetuating process. In this theme, it is also relevant to add the thoughts of Jacobs, where she states that the vital goal of public places is to allow people to see and be seen [Jacobs, 1961]. The visual permeability is of great importance, and this is coherent with her focus on crime prevention. Create a feeling of safety Safety in public spaces is an aspect closely linked to the prior paragraph. It has occupied many writers, but maybe the most famous contribution is Jacobs’ ‘eyes on the street’. This means that people in and near public spaces should have the possibility to see what is going on, because this gives the users a feeling of safety. One way to achieve this contact with other people is through open facades [Juul Frost Arkitekter, 2009, p. 17]. Shaftoe has also worked with crime prevention and safety in public spaces, and according to himself this is based on Jacobs’s writings about ‘eyes on the street’. Both the physical environment (such as lighting) and other people’s behaviour contribute to the feeling of safety. Shaftoe states that: “generally people will feel more at ease when they see people similar to them already occupying that space in a relaxed way.” [Shaftoe, 2008, p. 55]. Inclusiveness, accessibility and social integration The inclusiveness and accessibility of a public space has both a physical and a mental aspect. The former can for example be access for physical disabled people and the latter is connected to the feeling of being welcome and invited to use a specific space. Are the public spaces regarded as public by the people or do some groups feel unwanted? Whyte has studied what he calls ‘the undesirables’ and how their use of spaces sometimes makes other people feel insecure or repelled [Whyte, 1980, pp. 60-63 and p. 114]. In the discussion about functional diversity and mixture lies also an aspect of inclusiveness and social integration in the urban spaces. It can be discussed whether it is at all possible to create spaces for everybody, although many people have the same basic needs and wishes, e.g. contact with other people and recreation. The pitfall of inclusiveness is that the spaces risk attracting no one, because they are too universal. The previous paragraphs dealt with the relation between people, functions and space and the forthcoming will content approaches to the planning process.
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People in the centre and bottom–up approach All the authors to some degree study the life in urban spaces and see people’s use of space and their opinion as important guidelines for planning. Two ways of including the users can be identified: observing people and making theories that can be used in planning (indirect) and empowerment of people through democracy and bottom-up approaches (direct). Many authors do both. According to the Project for Public Spaces17, Whyte emphasises the power of observation and talking with people, and advocates for “a new way of designing public spaces – one that was bottom-up, not top-down. Using his approach, design should start with a thorough understanding of the way people use spaces, and the way they would like to use spaces. Whyte noted that people vote with their feet – they use spaces that are easy to use, that are comfortable” [PPS (c), 2010]. Therefore, the future use of spaces should be a central consideration in the planning (design for use). Among others, the bottom-up approach is also emphasised by Jacobs and newer authors, like Carmona. He stresses the importance of people’s opinion, and gathers this information through qualitative survey (e.g. focus group interviews) [Carmona et al., 2008, p. 209]. As indicated in the previous paragraph, attention is given to the process of planning, and not only the result of the planning. Thereby stakeholders and partnerships come in focus. Often authors have emphasised either the publicprivate partnership or the interaction between the public planners and the community. The latter of these is, for example, highlighted by Tibbalds, who encourages planners to “involve all sections of the community” [Rudi, 2010]. Carmona describes what he calls the ideal three-way partnership including the public sector, the private sector and the community, and he stresses that the local authorities should facilitate this interaction [Carmona et al., 2008, pp. 19-22]. Limitations to planning – growth from inside An interesting discussion is about the limitations of planning. Christopher Alexander has made an essential contribution to the debate by advocating for an organic and incremental approach to planning. We should let places grow instead of trying to build them. Shaftoe builds on Alexander’s work when he draws the conclusion that “masterplanning whole urban areas is less likely to accommodate the fine grain, local nuance and adaptability which seem to be at the root of convivial places” [Shaftoe, 2008, p. 81]. This statement can be dated back to the break with modernism, and the preference of democratic bottom-up approaches. According to Shaftoe, many unfriendly and sterile spaces
See Chapter 6 for further clarification. Page 39 / 133
are still created through top-down planning [Shaftoe, 2008, pp. 86-87]. The approach to planning will “affect whether people have to adapt to a predetermined environment or whether the environment can be adapted to best meet people’s needs” [Shaftoe, 2008, p. 84]. This can be perceived as an idealistic approach to planning, because incrementalistic planning and ongoing public participation might demand more resources than the use of holistic plans does in urban planning today. In line with Alexander and Shaftoe, many writers point the importance of leaving room for spontaneity, e.g. Whyte who calls it triangulation (more about this is in Paragraph 6.1) [Whyte, 1980, p. 94].
5.3 Important aspects and critical review
The following list includes the key perceptions and approaches presented in this chapter. These are important aspects to be integrated in the analytical framework we constitute later on.
Design of public spaces Many forms of diversity e.g. of functions, activities and people Place identity and imageability, hereby, the historical character of spaces, the ability of old buildings to sustain the place identity, the use of landmarks contributing to the image of the city Catalysts of life in spaces, hereby, ‘people attract people’, the need ‘to see and be seen’, the importance of design on a human scale The feeling of safety as indicator of how spaces are used and appreciated: ‘Eyes on the street’, the need of feeling the proximity of other people Inclusiveness and social integration The physical and mental accessibility as influencing the legibility and mobility within spaces Planning process The positive aspects of bottom-up approach, hereby involving citizens in planning and design for use Growth from the inside, hereby not too detailed plans, room for spontaneity Partnership; public, private and community
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These aspects build upon the observations and conclusions of the theorists we have chosen to use. Thereby, the theoretical framework of what we call the background authors is limited in time (starting after the modernistic break), space (many authors coming from the Anglo-Saxon urban planning tradition) and references. Meanwhile, the aspects drawn out of the theories are mentioned several times in different ways and contexts (depending on which author is focused on), and therefore we can assume that they are relevant in a general way. The work of the theorists, presented in this chapter, have been used in planning and elaborated on by other authors, and we think that a spectrum of old and new theories is needed to create a framework for understanding, planning and evaluating public spaces. The next chapter deals with placemaking, which is a widely used concept, concerned with the process of planning liveable spaces for people in cities. Whyte (and Jacobs) can be regarded as the founders of this approach to public space planning, but many authors have been working with those aspects. This means that there is a huge theoretical background supporting this concept and process within the urban planning field. We will expose and explain those thoughts in the following chapter.
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The aim of this chapter is to understand what placemaking is and how it can contribute to the achievement of liveability in brownfield areas. The chapter will therefore explain the relevance of placemaking, different views of the term and relevant tools to integrate placemaking in urban planning. At the end of the chapter, important aspects will be extracted in order to use placemaking in our final criteria. Placemaking is not a fixed term, and the use and perception of it varies [PPS (d), 2010]. Although we refer to different sources, the major information presented relies on the web page of Project for Public Spaces (PPS). The reason for this is that it is an extensive and up-to-date media. It does not take a definitive stand in the way of defining placemaking, but includes multiple approaches to the term. It is important though to be aware of the critical aspects of using one central source, which involve a higher attention to the aims and target groups of the source18.
“Placemaking is at the heart of PPS’s work and mission, but we do not trademark it as our property. It belongs to anyone who is sincere about creating great places by drawing on the collective wisdom of those who live, work and play there.” [PPS (d), 2010].
Placemaking and its relevance To understand why plans for brownfield development projects would benefit from applying the concepts of placemaking, we take a brief look at its relevance in urban planning today. Architect Bernard Hunt19 explains this in the quote: “We have mixed use, mixed tenure, architecture, community architecture, urban design, neighbourhood strategy. But what seems to have happened is that we have simply lost the art of placemaking (...) We are good at putting up buildings but we are bad at making places” [Sustainable placemaking, 2010].
In this case, it is important to be aware that the source takes a point of departure in bigger cities in United States of America. The target groups are multiple and include, for example, planners, property owners and governments. This gives an impression of the operational level towards which the tools are oriented. 19 Bernard Hunt, Managing Director of HTA Architects Ltd, from a keynote speech the 22nd of February 2001. Page 43 / 133
In the discussion about the relevance of placemaking, it is essential to look at the failures of public spaces and the benefits of their improvement. Some examples are mentioned in Table 6.1.
Table 6.2: Problems and benefits in public spaces [PPS (e), 2010 and PPS (f), 2010].
Problems in public spaces Lack of places to sit Lack of gathering points Poor entrances and visually inaccessible Dysfunctional features Paths that do not go where people want to go Domination of a space by vehicles Dead zones around the edge of a place Inconveniently located transport stops
Benefits of public spaces Support local economies Attract business investment and tourism Provide cultural opportunities Encourage volunteerism Reduce crime Improve pedestrian safety Increase use of public transportation Improve public health and environment
Looking at this table, the problems in public spaces seem rather manageable by, primary, dealing with physical planning elements inside the public spaces. If we take a look, on the other hand, at the benefits of well-functioning public spaces, the stated advantages spread over a large spectre illustrating how far the effects of placemaking can reach. Therefore, it clarifies the relevance of the discussion and the favourable contribution of the principles of placemaking in public spaces. The table can be criticised for simplifying the problems and illustrate that the potentials can be achieved (just) by solving the mentioned problems. As the benefits are far-reaching it is necessary to include other focus areas than the planning of public spaces. Definition of placemaking The term placemaking can be complex to define, as it is a non-fixed term. The word is not widely known, but is meaningful in itself, since it is a compounded word. This can be reflected in the different definitions and associations people attach to the term (see Figure 6.1). In relation to this, it is important to be aware of the different contexts the term is used in and, thereby, in which discourses the term is applied. The list goes on, but the essential aspect is that people
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reflect differently at the term. Some might reflect on the term of the process of planning, the neighbourhood they live in, the public spaces they visit and so on. Since the term can be associated in many directions, it can be useful to introduce guidelines of what placemaking is and is not. Table 6.2 gives such examples.
Table 6.2: Examples of keywords about placemaking [PPS (d), 2010].
Placemaking is “…capturing the soul of a neighbourhood.” “…making Public Space a Living Space.”
Placemaking is not
“…the seed of democracy.” “…a tool which gives professionals and the public the skills to create better environments in which to live, work and visit.”
Community-driven Function before form Flexible Ever changing Culturally aware Multi-disciplinary Context-sensitive
Imposed from above Design-driven One-size-fits-all Static Privatized A cost/benefit analysis A quick fix
Figure 6.1: Examples of perceptions of the term placemaking [PPS (g), 2010].
The changing characteristics of the term mean that strategies for placemaking must be adapted to the specific case area. The table is established by Project for Public Spaces. Project for Public Spaces Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a non-profit design and educational organisation. It was founded in 1975 as an extension of William H. Whyte’s work. The non-profit aspect of the organisation suggests the engagement and special interest from the involved people. This is also revealed in the aim of the organisation, which is to help people20 to “create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities” [PPS (n), 2010] and to expand the work of Whyte. PPS has a lot of partners21, and the variety of collaborators illustrates the influence and ambition of the organisation.
Since the term ‘people’ is not specified in the source, we perceive here the term to be generic. E.g. municipal, state, and federal government agencies, private developers, universities and research institutions [PPS (o), 2010]. Page 45 / 133
With the acknowledgement of placemaking as a term including many parameters, concerning both concrete design elements and the planning process, it is relevant to question what placemaking is: a theory, a concept, a discourse, a conceptual framework, an area of interest or something else? And how can we analyse upon a term, if everybody’s opinion is true even though they are conflicting, and herewith how can we define the frame for using the term? By taking a point of departure in PPS, we perceive it primary as a conceptual framework in which relevant parameters can fit in. It is important to mention that it will rely on subjective judgements, what is relevant or not, but the points in Table 6.2, and thereby PPS, will be the guidelines.
6.1 The use of placemaking in public spaces
The aim with this paragraph is to explain how selected tools can contribute to achieve liveability in public spaces, and in the end to extract principles, which can be used to the evaluation of plans for brownfield areas. The focus will be at the 11 Principles and the 6 Action Points. The tools and their background will not be deeply explained, but the focus will be to present them and the opportunities for further use. The Place Diagram is one of the tools PPS has developed to help communities evaluate places, which we will not dig further into. It attaches four keywords to the concept of placemaking: Sociability, Uses & Activities, Comfort & Image and Access & Linkage. For further information, see Appendix 2. Another PPS tool, called the “11 Principles”, gives more attention to the process perspective. The 11 Principles The 11 Principles illustrated in Table 6.3 have been developed to transform “public spaces into vibrant community places” [PPS (i), 2010]. The principles encompass aspects related to process, economy, design, and involvement of different actors22. The 11 principles tell us that planning of public spaces involves different actors, by pointing out the importance of the community and the opportunities for collaboration with partners. The community and the interaction between urban actors can be pointed out in the principle of triangulation, which we would like to shortly comment on in order to clarify the meaning of the term. When using the word triangulate PPS refers to Whyte, who defines the term as: “that process by which some external stimulus provides a linkage between people and prompts strangers to
The numbering of the themes will not be discussed because the priority differs in another PPS document.
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talk to each other as though they were not” [Whyte, 1980, p. 94 and PPS (i), 2010]. This means urban actors should plan the physical structures so it incites people to interact.
Table 6.2: The 11 Principles [PPS (i), 2010].
The 11 Principles 1. The Community is the expert 2. Create a place, not a design 3. Look for partners 4. You can see a lot just by observing 5. Have a vision 6. Start with the Pentunias: Experiment, experiment, experiment 7. Triangulate 8. They always say “It can’t be done” 9. Form supports function 10. Money is not the issue 11. You are never finished
Another consideration that can be drawn out of the principles is the visionary, idealistic and ambitious aspect. This is for example pointed out in principles 5, 8 and 10. These principles are quite visionary and it can be argued that they represent a naïve point of view when diminishing the importance of the financial issue; indeed funds and investors’ support in projects are essential in the decision-making, and thereby in the planning and design of the places. This highlights again the status of PPS as a non-profit organisation. The last principle relates back to Table 6.2, by referring to our ever changing society. Seen from an evaluation perspective, the principles can be used to raise awareness about the level of stakeholder’s ambitions for planning successful places and to keep focus on the process and involvement of actors. The 6 Action Points The second tool from PPS we include is the 6 Action Points, which are a part of the Property Manager’s Guide: Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) uses the placemaking tool in their planning of public spaces. The main principles of the 6 Action Points are presented in Table 6.4. The contents of the table will be discussed through the study of how the points can be used in formative evaluation of strategies.
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PLACEMAKING Table 6.4: Main principles and challenges extracted from the 6 Action Points [Inspiration from PPS and GSA, 2007, pp. 16-21].
Action points Manage: Evaluate, programme and maintain
Main principles Adapt to the “pulse of the place” Program and maintain facilities Feeling of comfort and safety as result of management
Challenges Don’t think narrowly. The management can reach out of the property line Avoid neglected spaces and poor maintenance
Design for use
Basic and flexible amenities Consider placement of amenities Functional, user-friendly design Focus on federal buildings High security but still open to the public Welcoming and comfortable Public spaces shape the neighbourhood identity The GSA facilities shape people’s perceptions of the government Easy access, multiple modes of transportation Easy wayfinding Improve the visitors experience Partnerships with local resources Maximise GSA’s positive impact on the neighbourhoods
Avoid creation of dysfunctional spaces Avoid permanent immoveable elements
Streamline and integrate security
Avoid “fortress mentality” Be aware of physical, logistic and psychological barriers Maintain active and open facilities Avoid unattractive and poor appearance
Improve image and aesthetics
Enhance access and circulation
Avoid isolation of facilities, integrate them in the urban context (infrastructure) Remove or minimise obstacles (e.g. walls) Avoid “going it alone” Avoid isolation of the federal buildings, connect them to surrounding communities
Access local resources
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When using the 6 Action Points, it is important to keep in mind that they take a point of departure in U.S. General Services Administration, which can seem far from a Danish context. Besides, the action points are addressed to managers of federal building projects, e.g. the emphasis on how a “GSA facility constantly shapes people’s perceptions of the federal government” [PPS and GSA, 2007, p. 19]. The points deal with both indoor and outdoor publics spaces, and since the focus in this project is outdoor public spaces, the action point ‘streamline and integrate security’ might not be that relevant. It is important to mention that the themes, in the guide, are implemented in different steps in the planning process by a distinction between short, medium and long term solutions. This reflects a step by step approach to planning issues. When discussing different solutions for different areas, the Property Manager’s Guide states: “Keep in mind that this section is meant to generate ideas, not necessarily prescribe specific solutions. The suggestions in this book should serve as a starting point from which you can develop a unique strategy” [PPS and GSA, 2007, p. 48]. This explicates that, even though the tool has been developed, it is meaningful to reshape the action points into principles or criteria which can be used to evaluate plans, e.g. of a brownfield regeneration project in Denmark. Before extracting important aspects from the themes in placemaking, the next paragraphs concern a multi-faceted approach to street planning. Focus on the streets Transportation systems are one of the main land uses in urban areas, and many public spaces are used for roads, streets, etc. In some cities, up to a third of the land is used for streets. In the last decades, the increasing amount of cars has to some degree taken over the streets and made them unpleasant spaces for people. The result is according to PPS that municipalities and people are giving up the right to use the streets for others purposes than transportation [PPS (j), 2010]. Visions from PPS One possible solution is to make use of shared spaces; worth visiting, not just thruways to and from the here, the Dutch attempts are often referred to in terms of successworkplace. (...) Neighborhood streets can be ful experiences. Shared spaces are designed without demarcation places where parents feel safe letting their for the different traffic users, enhancing hereby a greater awarechildren play, and commercial strips can be ness of the other users (especially the vulnerable ones, such as designed as grand boulevards, safe for walking pedestrians and cyclists) and stimulating the use of eye contact and cycling and allowing for both through and local traffic” [PPS (l), 2010]. between the users. Even though the lack of road signs might seem challenging for the road safety, experiences have shown that the increased awareness has a positive effect on the reduction of traffic accidents [PPS (p), 2010].
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“Downtown streets can become destinations
PPS has made an initiative called ‘Streets as Places’. On their website, they write the following about the initiative: ”The overarching goal of Streets as Places is to transform the design and construction of public streets into places that improve the quality of human life and the environment rather than simply move vehicles from place to place [PPS (k), 2010] (see box). PPS also states that many stakeholders ought to be involved in the planning of these spaces, such as policymakers, citizens and transportation industries [PPS (k), 2010].
6.2 Important aspects and critical review
The following list includes the key perceptions and approaches, extracted from the themes and tools of placemaking in public areas. The presented tools inform us with important aspects to take into consideration when we formulate the analytical framework. These aspects are presented in groups depending on the specific focus they point at. Some might seem familiar because of their similarities with the aspects in the sum-up of the background theories: this is expected, since placemaking build on theorists whom we have mentioned above.
Use before design The functionality of amenities highly prioritised over aesthetics Focus oriented towards the final use and management Traffic and accessibility The easy access to the area via multiple modes of transportation The shift of streets from transition space, used for moving from a to b, to spaces contributing to the quality of urban life Planning as an ongoing process The room for flexibility and changes in the plans and in the area Visionary and ambitious plans Implementation of design measures in successive steps Urban actors The active involvement of the community in a bottom-up approach, since ’the citizens are experts’ The stimulation of adequate conditions for the citizens to influence the planning and design of their neighbourhood The active involvement of partners and local resources
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Being aware of the weak points of placemaking, through the chapter, we will here just highlight some supplementary critical points. Among others, the statements and visions of PPS, and therewith the aims of placemaking, are quite idealistic. For instance, a bottom-up approach is an appealing democratic thought, but might bump into practical considerations, such as partnerships and resources to achieve it, resulting in compromises with the top-down process for some purposes (e.g. reduction of car use). Furthermore, it demands a true shift in the procedure customs, and therewith a true engagement from the political and economical actors’ side. We can point out as well the many various contributions to the elaboration of the definition of placemaking and its tools, which reflect both the strength and the weakness of the conceptual framework. Indeed, the amount of contributions reveals an interest and an engagement from an increasing number of actors. Additionally, it strengthens the term with many perspectives, hereby forming a good basis for discussion and further development of indicators and tools. But it can also seem distracting and confusing, in terms of which definition or contribution is the most relevant. If so many can comment on the subject, placemaking might turn into an open forum rather than a conceptual framework.
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7 THE DANISH CONTRIBUTIONS
The purpose of this chapter is to integrate two Danish contributions in the theoretical framework. The main focus is the work of architect Jan Gehl, but to present a different perspective the work of economist Steffen Gulmann is briefly presented in the last paragraphs of the chapter.
7.1 Jan Gehl
Jan Gehl is a Danish architect and urban planner born in 1936, and the most recognised one according to Danish fund Realdania [Realdania (a), 2010]. His current work is concentrated and expressed in the consultant company Gehl Architects: “Gehl Architects work both to improve existing cities and city areas, as well as to consult on the planning and design of new city areas, urban residential developments and new towns” [Gehl Architects (d), 2010]. His theoretical reflection is thus carried out in parallel to his project work, allowing him to update his principle as society evolves. Figure 7.1 shows his overall vision about creating cities for people. According to Gehl, the five attributes characterising the city are sustainable, lively, healthy, attractive and safe [Gehl architects (b), 2010]. This corresponds to his maxim stated in the box.
“First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works” [PPS (m), 2010]
Figure 7.1: The five important elements when making cities for people [Gehl Architects (b), 2010].
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Hereby emphasis is made on the importance Gehl assigns to the use and the human scale of urban spaces: beyond ethnic and cultural differences, people’s needs are mainly the same. In terms of scale and proportion, Gehl states: “Buildings and urban spaces still grows, but the people who are using them, are still the same – small” * [Realdania (a), 2010]. Among his published works, ‘Life between buildings’ (1971) has strongly influenced Danish and international planners. Many authors refer to Gehl and use his work in their studies, e.g. Henry Shaftoe and Steffen Gulmann. In the Danish context, Gehl’s work on the project ‘Fremtidens Bedre Byrum’ (2003), supported by Realdania, was aiming to stimulate the planning of urban public spaces in the municipalities [Realdania (c), 2010]. Working methodology Gehl Architects work with both planning and research. Their methodology can be seen as a three point process, which is specified in Figure 7.2. The outcome is design solutions combining vision and program of activities and based on the “understanding of people’s use of public space and the way people experience urban quality” [Gehl architects (d), 2010].
People's priorities and well-being
•Empirical survey •Analysis of existing social and built context •Comprehensive program of activities
•Public space 2network •Support of the vision •Public life scales, forms and atmospheres
•Architectonic contribution of the built environment (e.g. height, scale, people-friendly functionality) •Social contribution of the built environment (e.g. uses)
Figure 7.2: Three point process identified in Gehl Architects' methodology, build upon statements from the company's website [Gehl Architects (c), 2010 and Gehl Architects (d), 2010].
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Another important point with Gehl’s methodology is the systematic documentation and the incremental improvements he advocates. Indeed, transformations and (re-)developments should appear gradually, in order to assure sustainable changes and to allow people to adjust their life style to the physical changes. This approach should provide “greater flexibility in the design process and facilitates attitude changes through public involvement and positive experiences” [Gehl Architects (a), 2010 and PPS (m), 2010]. Besides, it allows the municipality and the investors to have an overview with short term deadlines and economical outcomes. Gehl’s methodology is hereby in many ways coherent with the pragmatic approach to urban planning. Furthermore, his approach has been strongly influenced by the fields of sociology and psychology [Gehl Architects (a), 2010]. His multidisciplinary approach is acknowledging the complexity of the urban context. 7.1.1 Theory and tools One of the most famous and widely used tools from Gehl is “the 12 quality criteria”, which include the three concepts protection, comfort and enjoyment. The criteria are more useful in existing areas than non existing urban spaces, where empirical analyses are not possible. Therefore, we will not include them directly in this analysis, but you can find the matrix in Appendix 1. The aim of this paragraph is to understand Gehl’s work through an explanation of the four focus areas23 (see boxes). The approach to the focus areas will be on an operational level; this supposes a focus mainly on the agendas of the middle and small scale24. It should be noticed that the agendas in different scales are closely connected, and the results, which are visible in the small scale, reflect also the agendas on the middle and large scale (e.g. the buildings plans also have to take the life between the buildings into account, and not make limitations so it can’t be achieved). Gehl explains though that the small scale that people experience directly is most important.
To Assemble or Disperse To Invite or Repeal
To Integrate or Segregate To Open Up or Close In
The explanations of the focus areas build on ‘Life between buildings’, 2006 and ‘Livet mellem husene’, 2003. Small: Design of urban space, middle: Building plans and large: City and region plans [Gehl, 2006, pp. 83-85]. Page 55 / 133
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To Assemble or Disperse Gehl states that both to assemble and disperse are relevant themes in the planning of public spaces. Even though, the characteristic of dispersing is negative, and the focus on assembling is considered to be harder to achieve, as the trends in the society and in planning traditions is to spread out. The theme is concerned about people and activities, thus it is not only a question of assembling buildings: especially the physical elements are important to discuss, Figure 7.3: To Assemble or Disperse hereby the structure of walking-paths, the buildings location and orientation [Gehl, 2006, p. 81]. to outdoor areas [Gehl, 2003, p. 77]. When looking at the physical elePeople’s walking behaviour ments, it is relevant to integrate facts about walking distances between people and activities. When looking at the facts in Table 7.1, it seems that To see other people/events 20 – 100 m high concentration of people, functions and activities is important. The The range of action 400 – 500 m hierarchy of public spaces can also be added, by analysing how far people Table 7.1: Peoples walking behaviour are willing to move to different kinds of public spaces. [Gehl, 2006, p. 83]. Gehl points that dispersion is present in European cities in the case of detached houses and functionalistic blocks with huge outdoor areas. When people and activities are dispersed, buildings are located far from each other and the public spaces and dwellings are oriented away from each other. If assembling should be achieved, and the walking distances minimised, dwellings and functions should be placed around compact walking areas that bring people together (e.g. a central square) (see Figure 7.3). Additionally, Gehl points out that a street can be the centre of urban activity. Here, there is a clear connection to the PPS project Street as Places, by stating that the street should be a place for life and spontaneous meetings [Gehl, 2003, pp. 81-83]. In accordance to people’s walking behaviour, it is important that every function (and hereby every building) is being evaluated in its own context, so its location is corroborating its value as an experience and its significance for the outdoor area.
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To Integrate or Segregate This dichotomy deals with the contact surface of public spaces, influenced by the functions within the adjacent buildings, the followed planning model and the accessibility of spaces. The principle of integration or segregation can be seen in Figure 7.4 and: “Integration implies that various activities and categories of people are permitted to function together or side by side. Segregation implies a separation of functions and groups that differ from one another” Figure 7.4: To integrate or segregate [Gehl, 2006, p. 101]. If integration of activities and events is achieved, it gives [Gehl, 2006, p. 101]. opportunities for people to meet in the public spaces and interact through adjacent activities. Gehl stresses that the focus should not only be at the mixture of city functions and buildings; “What is important is not whether factories, residences, service functions, and so on are placed close together on the architects’ drawings, but whether the people who work and live in the different buildings use the same public spaces and meet in connection with daily activities” [Gehl, 2006, p. 101]. This quote is important to remember when evaluating plans, because it is stating that mixed functions and uses cannot just be evaluated on the basis of the location of functions and orientation of buildings. Thereby it is more difficult to analyse the outcome of planned public spaces. In the debate of integration versus segregation, traffic conditions have as well a great influence on how we perceive and use public spaces. According to Gehl, there has been a trend toward a segregation of car traffic and walking, resulting in a borrowing use of the public space. Indeed, road users are segregated from the passers-by and the alongside activities. Therefore, the integration of different transport modes is preferred in order to achieve interconnections. Furthermore, it is relevant to discuss how the transfer from fast to low speed traffic should be handled [Gehl, 2006, p. 109-111]. This can e.g. be studied in relation to; ... if it happens by the residences front door or when entering the urban area. ... what the walking distances from parking lot to residences should be. ... and how the walking paths should be shaped (e.g. through a pedestrian street between houses).
According to Gehl, the optimal solution would be if the private car traffic only was allowed to the edge of the area, and then streets for pedestrian would be establish to stimulate interaction between people and activities. Another theme of discussion is the coexistence of car traffic and pedestrians, suggesting that the road infrastructure should be shaped so pedestrians’ demands are firstly prioritised. For example, one solution could be that car traffic is allowed to the door
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step, but the roads are shaped so only low speed traffic is possible. The last thing to be pointed out in this dichotomy is the integration of traffic and activities. Often traffic and activities are segregated by walls or hedges, in order to assure traffic safety. But Gehl explains: if activities are placed near slow traffic, more people would be invited to join the activities or watch the participants [Gehl, 2006, pp. 101-113]. This would then stimulate a self-perpetuating process with a higher quantity of people and activities. References can be made to shared spaces, Jacobs’ maxim ‘to see and be seen’ and the PPS project Street as Places. Invite or Repel The third focus area is centred on how to attract people to public spaces. An important element here is the visibility of land ownership; therefore, it is important to identify “how the public environment is placed in relation to the private, and how the border zone is designed” [Gehl, 2006, p. 113] (see Figure 7.5). It is argued that sharply marked borders result in a lower use of the public spaces, since people find it unnatural to use them unless it is necessary e.g. as a shortcut of walking distance. Hence, fluent transitions can have a better impact on the use, as they establish the connection between the two kinds of ownership [Gehl, 2003, p. 107]. It is also essential to have a short and manageable route that invites people to go from private to public and back25.
Figure 7.5: Invite or repel [Gehl, 2006, p. 113].
Another aspect closely related is about letting people see what’s going on in the public spaces. Therefore, an open view to public spaces can stimulate motivation for using the area, e.g. in the case of playgrounds, where children would want to go if they can see the playground and the children playing there. Another aspect is the importance of destinations (functions and activities), which gives further motivation for using public spaces: “Things and places that the individual can seek out naturally and use as a motive and inducement to go out” [Gehl, 2006, p. 117]. Examples of destinations could be shops, sports facilities, lookout point etc. What matters is that the functions and activities can be catalysts for informal communication. When discussing the design of public and semi-public spaces, it is generally important to keep in mind accessibility and proximity as keywords.
Important parameters are; distance, route quality, modes of transportation etc.
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To Open Up or Close In This dichotomy investigates the degree of human contact through experiences, by stimulating the connection between public spaces and buildings (e.g. shops or residences) (see Figure 7.6). “To open up for a two-way exchange of experiences is not only a question of glass and windows but also a question of distances” [Gehl, 2006, p. 121]. If a street or a neighbourhood manage to open up, the possibilities for experiences inFigure 7.6: To open up or close in crease and give a basis for an extension of the economical market. As [Gehl, 2006, p. 121]. stated in the quote, it is a matter of reducing distances and visualising activities, by expanding the opportunities for people inside and outside to see what is happening on the other side of the walls. According to the current planning tradition, Gehl states that it is “remarkable how few events and functions in new building and urban renewal projects are made visually accessible” [Gehl, 2006, p. 121]. He explains that some activities are closed in due to an old habit. In addition, it can be relevant to add that some views should only be visible from one side26. Therefore, Gehl explains further that “a planning policy that is based on a case-by-case evaluation of individual situations and the advantages and disadvantages for those involved can be suggested” [Gehl, 2006, p. 123] and this is also valid for the previously mentioned themes and the theoretical background in Chapter 6. In relation to the other themes, Gehl stresses the importance of assessing the structure of parking places as it has a great influence on the activity level in the neighbourhood (see Figure in Gehl, 2006, p. 126). The conclusion is that pedestrian traffic increases with the increasing distance to the residential front door from which cars are parked. In current urban planning, there is a custom of locating parking lots in a distance of 100-200 m from residences, which is stimulating the activity level [Gehl, 2006, pp. 126-127]. Underlying needs in planning In the former paragraphs, the importance of assembling people and activities has been explained. Underlying aspect can be distinguished in planning of public spaces, taking origin in people’s senses and psychological needs. This aspect refers back to the theoretical background, since it is in coherence with the work of Jacobs, for example.
E.g. in the situation of hospitals, it is adequate for patients to be able to look outside, but it is not justified for people outside to follow the indoor activities [Gehl, 2006, p. 123]. Page 59 / 133
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Gehl has developed a scheme of five contact situations, in which it is illustrated how the physical planning can create or eliminate the possibility to see and hear other people [Gehl, 2006, p. 62]. The overall point is the distinction between isolation and contact. The question of distances in the physical environment is again an important parameter for when and if communication can occur. It is of crucial importance to take into consideration people’s psychological need for contact with other people, when planning public places. Psychological needs include, for instance, the need for contact with people. Hereby, the forces of the self-perpetuating process where people and activities attract more people and activities can be understood [Gehl, 2003, p. 13 and Gehl, 2006, p. 69]. 7.1.2 Important aspects and critical review The following list includes the key perceptions and approaches, extracted from Gehl’s work. Again, those aspects will be integrated in the analytical framework we constitute later on. As stated earlier, overlaps are inevitable and natural here.
Concentration of people and functions The influence of the built environment on the use of public spaces and the effect of functions and activities in public spaces The concentration of people, and therewith the enhancing of urban life, influenced by the buildings orientation and their facades The concentration of functions and activities as parameter for the feeling of safety and for the active urban life Visibility and accessibility of functions Fluent transitions zones between private and public areas Manageable walking distance through public spaces The influence of built environment on walking behaviours and social inclusiveness The placement of parking lots distanced from functions Traffic and activities The coexistence of traffic and activities in urban spaces Space for the pedestrians and focus on the low speed transportation Focus on different transport modes Perception and psychological factors The importance of senses and perception, e.g. the need for social contact
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As mentioned earlier, the theories of Gehl are widely accepted, and therefore it might be argued that people sometimes forget to be critical about his work. It has become fashionable to use Gehl, thus almost every Danish planning strategy contains the formulation “life between the buildings”, but are his recommendations really being followed or do people misinterpret and ‘abuse of’ his work by using the phrases without turning them into actions? This could be the case in the situations where Gehl’s work is used automatically without reflection; Gehl is continuously updating his theories and recommendations, but do practitioners always have the time to follow this progress? Eventually we have come across some scepticism on his strong architectonical focus in urban project, where some would argue that sociological aspects such as inviting social groups into public spaces are missing [Henningsen, 2010]. Another point of critique could be Gehl’s sometimes quite close collaboration with the investment company Realdania, hereby possibly assigning to their agenda. Realdania describes the two overall purposes with their business: “We support and initiate projects concerning the built environment of benefit to the common good” and “we invest our capital to secure the greatest possible return” * [Realdania (b), 2010]. It can be discussed how their agendas interferes with Gehl’s work and maybe result in compromises, e.g. concerning the values underlying planning. The expanding field of urban planning As we pointed out earlier, the field of urban planning is expanding in the sense that there is an ongoing contribution by old and new authors to the theoretical framework. Where the first generations of authors typically where architects or urban planner, the new contributors have many other educational backgrounds, like economy, sociology and psychology. Currently, there is a trend towards a passing from the ‘public theories’ to the private domain, exemplified by consultant firms owned by some of the theorists (e.g. architect Gehl and economist Gulmann). These changes can bring forward a discussion about shift in interests and intentions, from the publication of theories to serve the public good to business interests, like marketing of consultant firms. Moreover, some municipalities are aware of the importance of their own competitiveness, and therewith the branding of urban projects has become an important element in planning. Beyond social integration and liveability, attractiveness of the public spaces has become a parameter of economical growth. The topic reveals to cause some polemics within the field but Gulmann goes all in answering this new trend.
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7.2 Steffen Gulmann
Gulmann is a Danish economist (educated in marketing from Copenhagen Business School), and has worked with urban planning in different forms, since his graduation. He owns a consultant company 11CityDesing, and his background opens up for alternative perspectives on planning. He states: “My education, my teaching activity and my research and my profession have always taken origin in “those, who should use it” and within “the tension field between the artistic, the creative and the commercial [domains]” * [Gyldendal (c), 2010]. Hereby, Gulmann expresses also his main focus, i.e. the city’s user and the process of planning. In the line of Whyte and Gehl, he seeks for bottomup planning processes, where the attention is given to the users before the buildings. In his concern of making the city a better place for citizens, he integrates thoughts about the identity and branding of the city as part of the regeneration process. His methods have been applied in several cities abroad27 [Gyldendal (c), 2010]. 7.2.1 Theory and tools Gulmann presents one main tool called CityDesign that is described as a holistic method, which deals with “how a city can develop into a better place to be for the citizens” * [Gulmann, 2005, p. 4]. According to Gulmann, many urban planners and architects give their main attention to the architectural and aesthetic aspects of the city, while Gulmann finds it natural to take a point of departure in the citizens (linked to his background in consumer research) [Gulmann, 2005, p. 4]. It is important to note that his theory concerns the process of urban regeneration in broader terms, and the public spaces are only a smaller part of the theory. Therefore, we will only briefly introduce the theory and afterwards extract important aspects. Gulmann describes CityDesign as a theatre: The actors, the scene and the staging of the city. The three groups are represented in Figure 7.7 , where the actors are the business life, the citizens and the tourists (pink line), the scene is the city soul, the urban area, the city offers, the infrastructure, the dialog and the reputation (blue line) and the staging is the structure of power, the strategic challenge and city branding (green line) [Gulmann, 2005, pp. 5-9]. Because every city is unique, it might not be relevant to involve every element of the figure in a regeneration process.
Examples are Havanna, Essen, Bilbao, Liverpool [Gyldendal (c), 2010 and 11CityDesign, 2010].
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Figure 7.7: A schematic presentation of CityDesign [11CityDesign, 2010].
The ambitions of Gulmann’s book CityDesign are to produce a tool that solves urban problems in ‘a new and creative way’, while contributing in building aesthetic values for the city. The book can easily be considered as a marketing tool for the city, but with the main focus set on the citizens, whom Gulmann places in the centre of the diagram in Figure 7.7. They are the actors creating the citylife within the scenes of buildings, squares and streets. The buildings and places appeal to the citizens and activate the soul and values of the city; therefore, Gulmann also mentions the history as the cornerstone for good urban development. The soul of the city is an important aspect because of its role as common grounding for the citizens’ values, where upon urban planning and branding build [Gulmann, 2005, pp. 92-93]. According to Gulmann, city branding has both an internal and external purpose: respectively, to build a common understanding of the city among the citizens, and to attract tourists and businesses to the city [Gulmann, 2005, pp. 250-251]. Gulmann builds on the functional mix aspect by emphasising the importance of different uses and experiences, which take their origin in the citizens’ lifestyles and activities (e.g. sports, games, cultural activities and events). Hereby the city is considered as an urban meeting point, with its social and economical outcomes [Gulmann, 2005, pp. 150-151]. Concretely, Gulmann emphasises that the design of public spaces has to appeal to the citizens and incite the
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use: urban furniture and work of art contribute to the harmonic image of the city [Gulmann, 2005, p. 133]. The visibility of spaces enhances the feeling of responsibility of the citizens towards them, and therewith the feeling of security; in that sense, junk spaces should be avoided. CityDesign gives thus hints to how urban spaces should be thought and designed for the citizens, but it provides also the planner with a four point process [Gulmann, 2005, pp. 213-218]: 1. Use creative minds in the establishment of strategies in order to open up for new potentials and inputs; 2. Connect the creative suggestions to high focused outcomes and to the city’s central power, as it is always the municipality and the politicians who take the final decision; 3. Break the sector-thinking habits and enhance social technology28; 4. Use visual techniques to describe the strategy processes, instead of the systematic field terminology, which might give a wrong image to the reader (causing disappointment towards the final result). The ambition is that creative-minded professionals, working in urban planning, or in disciplines related to the field, can bring an added value to the project and present appealing alternatives to the decision-makers of the city. Gulmann considers those creative resources existent, but underexploited, and relevant in dealing with political planning and power aspects. This supposes an interdisciplinarity within and between the municipalities, allowing hereby the different sectors, to complete each other. Finally, communication of the urban planning project and intentions is important since the final user has to be able to give feedback on it, as well as develop a feeling of concern for the project [Gulmann, 2005, pp. 213-218]. Gulmann claims that CityDesign “replaces subjective interpretations and personal meanings about the citizens with objective data from a series of different analysing forms, giving a foundation to complete with [the planner’s] own observations” * [Gulmann, 2005, pp. 36-37]. Gulmann’s reflection and process, as stated above, is based on methods such as lifestyle-surveys, which should be documented and tested and then applied in the context of any city. But to qualify the data and methods as objective is in our opinion to push the ambitions a bit too far: even though he bases his tools and recommendations on surveys, they are clearly value-laden and coloured by his opinions on urban planning. It seems that they have been chosen with the objective of persuading the reader rather than offering a spectrum of data.
The term is referred to as the collaboration of the different sectors or domains, e.g. health care, dwelling politics, education, cultural offers and urban economy [Gulmann, 2005, p. 217].
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Among the different survey types, Gulmann picks three, which can be assimilated as three methods: Minerva, Københavnerlivsformer (Copenhagen lifestyles) and The Creative Class [Gulmann, 2005, pp. 36-37]. The Minerva-model focuses here on lifestyles and is based on what the authors consider as being “the fundamental values in people’s lives, e.g. individuality, dignity, responsibility, roots or free-mind”29 * [Gulmann, 2005, p. 20]. These values are listed in an index, which also suggests how values differ from one social group to another. Københavnerlivsformer30 is a survey conducted by the Municipality of Copenhagen and investigates the relation of the citizens of Copenhagen to their city. The survey is considered to be a qualitative analysis, acknowledging the different social groups and the identity factor – for people and for the city – of urban planning. The categorisation of citizens depending on their lifestyle31 is considered as a new political tool in urban planning [Gulmann, 2005, p. 4 and pp. 2428]. The third method exposed by Gulmann is not a survey as such, but rather a study or a predilection. The Creative Class refers directly to the work of the American professor Richard Florida. It exposes the creative time we live in and the economical stimulations, and therewith the urban growth, enhanced by creative people. Their disciplines contribute to growth and development, combining human intelligence, knowledge and creativity. These three surveys highlight the fundamentals of Gulmann’s viewpoint, i.e. the understanding of citizens’ lifestyle and values, the integration of those into the planning and decision process and the exploitation of creative and alternative disciplines to strengthen economical and political issues of planning. 7.2.2 Important aspects and critical review Gulmann supports many of the previously presented key perceptions, but he also adds new ones to the framework, with a special turn on branding.
The Minerva-model has been developed by the Institute for Market Analysis. The survey is based on the theoretical work of Thomas Højrup. 31 The results identified five lifestyles: the home-living citizen, the carrier-minded citizen, the independent citizen, the catalyser citizen and the exposed citizen31 [Gulmann, 2005, pp. 24-28].
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Historical aspect The preservation of the historical elements and integration with new interventions Use and activities The promotion of sports, games, culture within the city, and keeping the cars on the out skirts The focus on different lifestyles, and therewith on the different social groups Soul, values and image Common understanding of the city through historical elements and activities Diversity, urban life and local identity as considerable values to be met through the process Internal and external branding Strategies and processes The focus and understanding of politicians’ agenda to promote projects in front of the political authorities The integration of citizen’s values in the planning The use of creative resources The interdisciplinarity and partnerships to avoid sector-thinking
Some people are strongly opposed to Gulmann’s focus on branding and business-minded way of dealing with urban planning. Besides, the theory is very broad and holistic, and some would argue that it goes beyond the competences of Gulmann to deal with these aspects. He is however aware of this and has therefore asked important writers (e.g. Gehl and sociologist Henrik Dahl) to read and comment on some chapters of the book [Gulmann, 2005, p. 5]. The theory is relatively new, and therefore its influence on planning is limited. Although the method, as already mentioned, has been used on a couple of international case areas, the webpage for 11CityDesign is in Danish, and this might indicate that the consultant firm is not international acknowledged and that the target group is mostly Danish planners. Whether it is due to the youth of the theory or the validity and utility of his theory is not possible for us to determine. The branding focus of the theory can be criticised, but we find it useful to see Gulmann’s work as a supplementing part to the theoretical framework. Society is changing; the conditions and demands to urban planning are changing as well. We consider therefore the ongoing update of theories and the new contributions to be crucial. Besides, there is a need for ongoing updates and use of new empirical experiences.
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8 EMPIRICAL EXPERIENCES
This chapter is concerning experiences of planning urban public spaces, within the current Danish urban regeneration context, and thereby gather a set of important aspects, to be added to the theoretical framework, which we have constituted through the previous chapters. But why is it relevant to deal with empirical experiences, when we already work with empirically-based theories? As explained in Chapter 4, two main reasons are to give insight in the specific case of urban brownfield development projects in Denmark and to strengthen the interaction between the theories and the current field of urban planning. Table 8.1 briefly presents the evolution of urban regeneration in Denmark since 1970: it reveals a growing attention on the overall picture of the regeneration within the city. This can be seen as a correlation with the Danish practice within urban regeneration and the subsidising opportunities for the projects. Indeed, the municipalities are responsible for the general urban regeneration, but the financing of projects and programs is to some degree undertaken by the national government32 and partly provided by funds and private investors, such as Realdania, EUfundings, etc.
Table 8.1: Overview of urban regeneration in Denmark from 1970 to 2010 [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, p. 9].
Theme Renovation/ clearance
Aims and governmental subsidies
Focus: Renewal of worn out blocks. Subsidised: Demolishing, renovation and modernisation of dwellings, as well as common open spaces. Urban renewal Focus: Renewal of residential areas and establishment of public spaces. (dwellings) Subsidised: Demolishing, renovation and modernisation. Urban regeneraFocus: Holistic regeneration of neighbourhoods with social and employment tion (city districts) problems. Subsidised: Public participation, social and cultural activities, urban spaces, traffic and environment.
Departments and Ministry engaged with urban, business and housing issues. Page 67 / 133
Improvements of dwellings Holistic urban regeneration
Improvements of buildings Improvements of common spaces Districts regeneration
Focus: Renewal of residential buildings. Subsidised: Renovation and modernisation of dwellings and connected urban spaces. Focus: Comprehensive urban regeneration. Subsidised: Public participation, social and cultural activities, common houses, urban spaces, traffic and urban ecology. Focus: Renewal of dwellings and other buildings. Subsidised: Renovation and modernisation.
Focus: Renewal of private common, recreational spaces. Subsidised: Common open spaces. Focus: Regeneration of worn out urban districts. Subsidised: social and cultural activities, urban spaces and business and harbour areas. Urban regeneraFocus: Brownfield regeneration and waterfront regeneration, with emphasis on tion (city districts) functional and social mix. Subsidised: Only limited support from the government. Important role of the private investors and actors [Kristensen, 2010].
The importance of subsidies and funding within the planning process appears in the weighting of interests and the trade-off decisions. It plays a great role when the municipalities face the reality of budgets and financing of the projects; they have to look for funding possibilities and, therewith, enter a competition against other municipalities, which influences their focus in the projects. In the report from the Danish Ministry of Welfare, it is visible that the government especially subsidises groundwork procedures for program and planning, establishment of cultural houses, public participation and social arrangements, public spaces renewal, traffic improvements and urban ecological-friendly initiatives [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, p. 8]. The outcomes that some funds focus on are health and integration, as well as social aspects regarding ghettos [Henningsen, 2010]. The fund Realdania states on their webpage that their three objectives are: city life, sustainability and dialogue [Realdania Arealudvikling (a) (b) and (c), 2010]. They are interested in profitable investments in the experiences within the city, and their target groups are not always compatible with the municipalities’ target groups [Henningsen, 2010]. Another example is the subsidies given to creation of sports and leisure activities in the urban spaces by the Danish Foundation for culture and sport facilities [LOA, 2009, p. 2]. All the different focuses are presented as definitions of quality; it is not stated clearly though which kind of quality is at stake (e.g. life, space, community, procedure).
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The following paragraphs contain a collection of experiences from Danish regeneration projects. In the line of what has been previously exposed, we will use one among the many approaches driving the urban regeneration practice: the governmental attention on urban regeneration projects. Therefore, the next sections build mainly on a report from the Danish Ministry of Welfare, named ‘Holistic urban regeneration’33 [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, p. 3]. Additionally other sources will be included, such as the information from interviews with Annette Rosenbæk and Bodil Henningsen, from Aalborg Municipality. Subsequently, we will look at the three examples Papirfabrikken in Silkeborg, Ørestaden and Carlsberggrunden in Copenhagen (the reasons for choosing these areas will be presented later).
8.1 Experiences from urban regeneration projects
The next paragraphs build on experiences from the last couple of decades in Danish urban planning. The first part deals with the design of public spaces in regeneration projects and the second part with the planning process. Design of public spaces Traffic is an important element in the urban spaces, and the main focus points, in ‘Holistic urban regeneration’ projects, have been to reduce the disturbance from car traffic and integrate different activities in the public spaces. A conclusion is that the heavily trafficked roads are barriers in the urban landscape. Connections by means of bridges and underpasses can be made, but it can be difficult to make them attractive. Some cities have experimented with traffic reorganisation, e.g. through the construction of ring roads in order to free the inner city and give it new potentials. Furthermore, a break with the previously described modernistic zoning can be translated into the following statement: safety and security lies in visibility and coherence, not in separation [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, pp. 32-33]. Within the topic of traffic and mobility, another discussed and critical element is parking places, often referred to among the necessary urban spaces. The overall discussion examines to what extend cars should be allowed in the city centre. A car free urban area would require a well functioning public transportation system, which is a huge planning challenge and investment. The location of parking lots is thus crucial, and many would advise for a location near the shopping areas and attractions to ensure accessibility. In that sense, many cities have rather worked on the design, e.g. pavement and plants, than tried to relocate the parking lots from the city centre. B. Henningsen acknowledges the conflicting interests and comments that the final decision often ends up with the politicians. As a guideline and tool for
It is an evaluation of the governmental subsidy scheme ‘Holistic urban regeneration’ functioning from 1998 to 2003 [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, p. 3]. Page 69 / 133
dealing with these conflicts, municipalities often use norms for parking places: in Aalborg, the city parking-norm requests one half parking place per residence when building new dwellings. The developers and investors stand in between with the challenge of having to follow the norm but desiring to please the customers, i.e. the residents. One solution to minimise the visibility of cars is to integrate the parking places in basement parking, which is a big investment for the developer [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, pp. 30 and 33 and Henningsen, 2010]. Attention is also given to the green element in the urban developments, although it does not appear in the ‘Holistic urban regeneration’ projects. It can be considered a cheap and easy way to change the urban environment and upgrade urban areas. It should be added that today there is a trend of focussing on the urban landscape more than on the green [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, p. 30]. Many Danish municipalities focus now on the creation of coherence and connection between the public green areas, for example with the purpose of creating a connection of the city centre with its green outskirts or enhancing the public health, where the latter can be influenced by the financing funds [Miljøministeriet, 2002, p. 15 and Henningsen, 2010]. Lately, the discussion has turned to sustainability and climate change: the green element is used to integrate urban ecology in regeneration projects. The strategy of sustainability, and thereby urban ecology, can be formulated with a special regard to the climate in the great perspective of reduction of carbon emissions, to climate change and environmental issues within the city or to the biodiversity of urban districts [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, pp. 30 and 34; Rosenbæk, 2010 and Copenhagen X (a), 2010]. Additionally, it is important to consider the environmental aspect of sustainability in urban spaces, in parallel with the social and economical part. A third topic and central element, in the majority of the projects of holistic urban regeneration, is the beautification of the city. Three aspects can be highlighted here, one regarding the general urban quality and attractiveness, a second of social character and the third one of economical character. The Ministry of Welfare speaks about the following aims: to beautify the city and create coherence in the urban environment, to create a space for social life and outdoor activities, and to make regeneration investments visible in order to create a spillover effect. The latter is specified in the use of urban regeneration as “a notable signal of change and therefore a true inspiration for private landowners, business and other investors to support the regeneration with their contributions” * [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, p. 28]. In line with those aims, several related elements can be identified and weight a great deal in the investments within urban regeneration:
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The construction of common culture and activity houses, supposed to create a sense of community and support social activities [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, pp. 24-25]. The focus on design and art in public spaces [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, p. 30]. The establishment of a lighting plan [Copenhagen X, 2007 and Københavns Kommune, 2010, p. 28]. The renovation of public places, by repaving, replanting and refurnishing them [Arkitekt Kristine Jensen Tegnestue, 2005].
The planning process An important experience concerns partnerships between public and private actors. This occurs in every regeneration project, in various ways; it can provide the project with valuable collaboration synergies or be a tremendous obstacle of procedures, for the realisation of liveability in the urban spaces. The partnerships vary according to the specific context, and often they only last until the project is finished. The experiences show the importance of specifying the partnerships (e.g. according to roles) [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, p. 21]. Private partners can for example be land owners, developers, designers or private funds. Whereas public partners are mostly represented by the municipality and the government, but the latter is more a financial partner. To hold the red line between private and public partners, contracts and agreements can be made in terms of quality programs, to which the various actors can then refer to, whenever a decision has to be discussed [Rosenbæk, 2010]. B. Henningsen stresses the importance of dialog and open discussions in the process of creating a mutual understanding, and to become aware of the other actors perspectives, agendas and interests [Henningsen, 2010]. Some projects show concrete examples of how such dialogs can be supported, e.g. by workshops or public meetings, these often occur in case of citizens’ involvement. In other cases, there are informal discussions and meetings between the stakeholders [Westergaard, 2010]. A very dualistic point of view can depict, on one side, the private partner as the financial one, mainly with interests on the economical outcome of the urban development, and one the other side, the public partner as the one undertaking the interests of the city and citizens. Usually the municipalities undertake the role of coordinators: they point out a red line reflecting the overall visions of the project. This can be a difficult task, because the interests of the stakeholders can be conflicting, and tradeoffs often have to be made during the process. Dialog and flexibility are keywords: the actors are encouraged to listen to each other and to be realistic about their demands. The final decision about conflicting interests is though often politically made. Due to the flexibility, the red line in a project can change over time, which can be sensed as critical,
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because the overall visions are maybe not fulfilled. However it can also be seen as a natural process reflecting the dynamic society. Some projects periods are very long and, therefore, the municipalities cannot have a constant focus on them, because of lacking resources and other priorities; this can result in unexpected turns, with either undesirable effects or positive outcomes [Henningsen, 2010]. Cooperation with the citizens is also crucial in order to achieve long-term solutions. This has shown to be a heavy loaded work within the processes, but gives usually the basic for local support and a successful project. Encouraging public participation has been a focus point in all the “Holistic urban regeneration” projects – receiving up to fifty percent of subsidies from the government. The engagement of the citizens differs, and often smaller neighbourhoods or towns have the highest level of engagement [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, pp. 8 and 21]. When we look at the special case of brownfield areas, there are generally no residents yet. This implies some challenges in the establishment of cooperation with citizens, because the areas used to be closed and un-inviting. According to B. Henningsen, it is important to invite people in and show them the potentials of the areas, e.g. through the use of temporary urban spaces. The investors also benefit from the stimulation of citizens curiosity about the development [Henningsen, 2010]. To sum up what we can learn from the general experiences, within urban regeneration, focus has to be given to the following aspects: Traffic and parking issues Green elements in the urban landscape and focus on sustainability and climate change The upgrading, both functionally and aesthetically, of the area The complex partnerships and land ownerships, with the municipality as coordinator The favourable citizen participation that has to be stimulated both at the beginning and during the planning process.
We acknowledge that we have not given the complete list of experiences and trends, but we have chosen the aspects, which we consider as essential in the study of liveability in public spaces. Finally, it is obvious that urban regeneration projects take time (often more than expected), e.g. due to the process of public participation, the complexity of the challenges and the interference of unexpected turns, such as financial crisis [Velfærdsministeriet, 2008, p. 21]. Some aspects, such as citizen participation, and thereby the speech in favour for a bottom-up approach, might need to be counterbalanced with a more top down approach. Indeed, according to Dansk Byplanlaboratorium, temporality, flexiPage 72 / 133
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bility and public participation are key elements in the current planning trend, but the environmental problems might require a return to a top-down approach on that matter, in order to regulate our behaviour (e.g. reduce the energy use). Still this should not proscribe the coexistence of the two approaches, complementing each other [Dansk Byplanlaboratorium and Geografforlaget, 2010, pp. 166-169]. This issue is only presented to show awareness of other approaches, and in the rest of the project we will concentrate on the bottom-up approach.
8.2 Three examples
In the following paragraphs, we will present the experiences from three Danish urban regeneration projects. Focus points and experiences from the projects will be presented, some with references to the important aspects presented earlier, others are additional perspectives. We have selected examples from urban areas placed in or near the city centre, where a recent regeneration has taken place, which included planning of public spaces. Another perspective is that the areas should contain different land uses and a variety of functions, and both public and private stakeholders should be involved in the planning process. See box for the full list of guidelines for selecting the examples. The three selected areas are: Papirfabrikken (Silkeborg), Ørestad (Copenhagen) and Carlsberggrunden (Copenhagen). On one hand, Papirfabrikken and Carlsberggrunden are examples of brownfield developments, where the historical background has played an important role in the regeneration. Papirfabrikken is interesting because it is already completed and has received a good publicity, and Carlsberggrunden, because it is in the early stage of the planning process. On the other hand, Ørestad is an interesting area planned from almost bare field, where the general perception is that the planners did not succeed in shaping liveable public spaces. Some elements of the project are already carried out, but there are still many planning challenges left. Selection of examples
Focus on planning public spaces Different land use and a variety of functions Recent regeneration (not more than 10 years ago) Placed in or near the centre Size as a city district Important area for the city (difficult to define, e.g. a new campus area) The area should contain different residential groups Partnership between the public and the private stakeholders/ land owners The area can be an example of brownfield development (historical background where elements are maintained)
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8.2.1 Papirfabrikken, Silkeborg The project is a brownfield development of the areas around the old paper factory in Silkeborg. The area is located in the city centre and it contains residents, businesses and cultural institutions. An important factor in the area is a fourstar Radisson BLU Hotel, which is located in the old paper factory and uses it as branding [Papirfabrikken, 2010].
Regeneration started in 2004 Client and land owner: Private investor Development: Henton Group and Municipality Planning firm: Årstiderne Arkitekter A/S Area: 215 000 m² (around 100 buildings, floor area of approx. 67 000 m² [Henton Ejendomme A/S, 2009]. Won the Danish Urban Planning price in 2007 Aim with the project: To create a dense city with life, also after 4 pm [Dansk Byplanlaboratorium and Geografforlaget, 2010, pp. 134-137].
The city of Silkeborg has developed around the factory, which was built in 1844, and, hereby, the areas is the natural city centre. The factory has thus marked the identity of the city, although the area was only opened for the public after the regeneration process [Larsen, 2004, pp. 63-64]. The importance of functional diversity was emphasised in order to make a flow of people in the area, and thereby creating “life between the buildings” * [Larsen, 2004, p. 67] – referring directly to Gehl’s maxim. The Danish Urban Planning Price was given to the project by Dansk Byplan Laboratorium, which qualified the area as a successful brownfield development since it “reflect our time and leave room for the history” * [Dansk Byplanlaboratorium, 2007]. This is in line with the important aspect about respecting the past and using history to create place identity and, in this specific case, the preservation of historical buildings has been important. The purpose was to create a neighbourhood with public spaces, where you could sense the history. In order to achieve spaciousness and make room for other land uses (e.g. parking places), some buildings had been demolished or reduced [Larsen, 2004, p. 66]. This is reflected in the ongoing negotiations in the planning process, where compromises are made as a natural part of the planning process. It is though important to debate how far the municipality is willing to move away from their initial visions and principles and which compromises can be accepted.
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The innovative aspect of the process was the effective organisation of partnerships, which involved the municipality, investors, architects and engineers. A close cooperation, based on openness and trust, has been essential for maintaining mutual understanding of the visions and goals. For instance, from the beginning of the process, the local investor groups cooperated closely with the museum, leading to the strategy of preserving many of the buildings [Larsen, 2004, p. 58 and Dansk Byplanlaboratorium, 2007]. The public participation has been an integral part of the process and reveals two aspects: the citizens being really interested in the development, and the planners including them in the process. “Informing the public has been important for the project” * [Larsen, 2004, pp. 66]: for example, the developer invited people to see the formerly closed area at an early stage in the regeneration process. This approach has resulted in positive expectations and trust in the project [Larsen, 2004, pp. 66-67]. It is important to invite people into the brownfield areas, because they usually feel unwelcome, or they have simply never thought about the possibility of using them. It is a challenge for the developer to change this perception. Even though information of the public is an important and essential part of the process, it can be questioned whether it really allows citizens to involve themselves in the project: in terms of processes, information is not active participation. Although the regeneration of Papirfabrikken can be regarded as a success, there is still room for improvements and the main point is the lacking integration in the rest of the city, mainly because of some big roads cutting trough. This issue is already in process and being worked on as the area is being expanded [Dansk Byplanlaboratorium, 2007]. A current point of public discussion is the museum, which is also located on the site and telling the story of the paper industry; this is maybe closing down due to a removal of the municipality’s subsidy, and this can have consequences for the place identity and the connection with the historical past.
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8.2.2 Ørestad, Copenhagen Ørestad is one of the biggest urban planning projects in Denmark in recent times. The planning started from scratch with the building of a metro line as one of the first visible steps. The area contains a variety of land uses: residential, businesses, educational and cultural activities [By & Havn I/S, 2010].
The project started in 2000 and will continue over the next 20 years Development: Ørestadsselskabet Planning firm: ARKKI Aps Area: 3.1 million m2 (1/3 is green areas) At least 60,000 people will work in Ørestad At least 20,000 people will live in Ørestad Almost 20,000 people are already studying in Ørestad 10 minutes to the city centre by Metro Overall aim with the project: “growth and development in Copenhagen and the Ørestad region” * [By & Havn I/S, 2010; Copenhagen X (d), 2010 and Finansministeriet, 2003].
The development of the area started in 1991, where the Danish state and Copenhagen Municipality joined in the partnership organisation Ørestadsselskabet I/S (55 % owned by Copenhagen Municipality and 45 % by the state). This organisation develops and sells the land to private investors and the income is mainly used on infrastructure (in this context, meaning transportation infrastructure) [Finansministeriet, 2003]. Ørestad is considered as Denmark’s biggest local plan. The Northern part represents Copenhagen’s new centre of knowledge, gathered around educational and cultural infrastructures; the middle part acts like the node of the plan (image and traffic wise), articulated around the tower of Ferring, the mall Field’s (both acting as landmarks and a central park); and, finally, the Southern part will be hosting the future inhabitants of Copenhagen ( approximately 10 000 new residents) [Copenhagen X, 2008, p. 52]. Whenever reading early literature about Ørestad, the descriptions talk about high function mixture, i.e. businesses, schools, daycares, shops, cultural and leisure offers. Also they refer to Ørestad as “an experimentarium for new lifestyles and urban spaces for the network society” * [Copenhagen X, 2008, p. 50], and express the desire for a district where ideas and contacts stimulate new collaborations, projects and products [Copenhagen X, 2008, p. 50]. However, the project has resulted in a debate about urban planning and the design
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of public spaces, in which Ørestad illustrates the failure. Jan Gehl, who is among the critics of Ørestad, goes on: “many of the principles that do not work can be studied here [in Ørestad]” * [Politikken, 2010]. Gehl states that the spaces have resulted in being not attractive for people, and the fancy and dynamic lifestyle, described previously, does not appear anywhere else than in architectonic experiments [Politikken, 2010]. It seems that the life and interactions have not taken place, although many functions, and therewith many disciplines and people with various backgrounds, have been drawn into the area of Ørestad. Why is that? The Brasilia syndrome34 has been one possible explanation and, indirectly related, is the lack of small, human scale [Politikken, 2010]. Another aspect could be that the experimenting and architectonic focus has taken over, hereby believing that, by inserting a few good and interesting architectural elements, the urban landscape would gain in quality as well. Jan Gehl refers to this with scepticism [Gehl, 2010, p. 176]. Moreover, many facades in Ørestad are closed, e.g. Field’s and Bjerget (a mall and a parking garage), which does not enhance interactions between indoors and outdoors, and therewith the activation of the public spaces. Although the density of buildings is quite high, the feeling of emptiness is omnipresent. According to Jan Gehl, the planners have given too much space to the residents: “it is an illusion to believe that all of this space will be used. People can only be one place at the time” * [Politikken, 2010]. This emptiness is sustained by a high moving frequency of the residents, which can be seen both as a cause and an effect to the challenges of Ørestad. The unattractive spaces and scale might frighten residents away and encourage them to move. The moving tendency might result in the lack of identity and responsibility feeling towards the area and its public spaces. The unfortunate aspects of the financial crisis have evidently slowed down the acquisitions of apartments in the area, leaving many empty.
The Brasilia syndrome refers to the capital city of Brasil, built in 1956-1960 by the architect Oscar Niemeyer and the urban planner Lùcio Costa. According to Gehl, it illustrates how unliveable a city can be for people. The Brasilia syndrome is a modernistic phenomenon, where the masterplan is embedded in an architectonic composition of high individual built volumes. The harmony and adequacy of the composition is appreciated from above. The result is a grandiose urban composition, lacking a certain sense of human scale [Politikken, 2010]. Page 77 / 133
Although many citizens and planners agree upon considering the already built parts of Ørestad as a failure, some still find the site amazing and fascinating. It has been discussed by some that the actual polemical state of Ørestad should be pushed to its extreme, by constructing even denser and higher, hereby turning Ørestad into a little Manhattan for those people who appreciate this lifestyle [Copenhagen X (b), 2010]. However, until now, the solutions and intentions have been to correct and repair the breaches of the plan: for instance, temporary spaces and artistic installations have been used and landscape architects have been asked to create small scale urban gardens between the buildings. But the lack of flexibility and adaptability of the plan seems to be an ongoing challenge. 8.2.3 Carlsberggrunden, Copenhagen The production site of Carlsberg in Copenhagen was closed down in 2009, leaving the city with an area to develop. The Danish architect firm, Entasis, won the competition for the plan of the site: their proposition aimed for active urban life within the historical frame of the site and in close relation to the surrounding city. They address high challenges with additional goals for a CO2-neutral city part [Carlsberg Group, 2010 and Carlsberg Ejendomme (a), 2010].
Decision about closure in 2006. Production relocated in 2009. The construction phase is postponed due to the financial crisis. Development: Carlsberg Ejendomme, Realdania, Lokal- og Anlægsfonden and the Municipality. Planning firm: Entasis (architects) Area: 330,000 m² Floor surface to be built: 600,000 m² 3000 dwellings, varying in forms, size and acquisition type, and 300 decentralised subsidised residences. Functional mixture: 45% residential, 45% business and 10% cultural, sport and institutional buildings [Carlsberg A/S Ejendomme (c), 2010 and Copenhagen X (c), 2010].
The plan is taking its departure in the underground tunnels from the old site, which outcome is streets with unpredictable lines generating a feeling of urban maze. The proposition weights highly the sharing aspect of public space: therefore “there is no room for individual prestige buildings which are fighting for attention. The urban space is the essential” * [Carlsberg Ejendomme (a), 2010]. Moreover, the Carlsberg project is concerned with many important aspects,
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such as accessibility and transport modes, building heights and continuity with the surrounding city, urban gardens and green elements, historical heritage and identity, equity and social sustainability and use of space at all hours [Carlsberg Ejendomme (a), 2010 and Copenhagen X (c), 2010 and Holm and Kjeldsen, 2009, p. 40]. They are though still plans and visions and have not been realised yet. It can be questioned if they can achieve these goals, because of the size and time perspective of the projects and the demand for resources in the planning process. Citizens have been involved along the way through dialog-meetings and hereby, building up the project step by step. Even at the very beginning, when Carlsberg launched the international idea competition, both experts and citizens were able to submit propositions for the new urban district of Copenhagen [Carlsberg Ejendomme (a) and (b), 2010]. The use of temporary spaces has as well played a role in the awareness of the future users around the project, and has therefore inspired planners and municipalities [Henningsen, 2010 and Højlund, 2010]. Three temporary spaces are planned and will be kept during the next five years, after what they will be relocated partly or totally in other urban spaces in need of “a shot of vitamins” * [Københavns Kommune, 2010]. Nonetheless, temporary functions and events can be difficult to carry out, as highlighted by the ethnologist Nicolaj Carlberg (partner at the consultant and analysis firm Hausenberg): “With regard to an ongoing urbanisation in the city zones, it will be interesting to see if the city municipalities manage to control the commercial interests and give room for temporary activities with delicate economy” * [Dansk Byplanlaboratorium and Geografforlaget, 2010, p. 166]. Carlsberg Ejendomme is responsible for the transformation and development of the site, which still belongs to Carlsberg. Since 2008, Carlsberg Ejendomme has been located in the Jacobsen House Brewery (Husbryggeriet Jacobsen), which will host also a visitor centre, a museum and a research centre, thereby signalling the past of the site but also the engagement in its regeneration [Carlsberg Ejendomme (a), 2010]. Carlsberg has explicated its commitment and interest in the citizens’ questions, issues and comments, showing willingness and giving time to answer them through the dialog-meetings and workshops [Københavns Kommune, 2010].
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8.3 Important aspects
The empirical experiences add new information to the analytical framework. The following points include the key perceptions and approaches, presented in the previous paragraphs. Here as well, overlaps might appear, even though the experiences give us the opportunity to investigate more about the public spaces in the context of urban regeneration processes.
Design of public spaces The opportunities given by the old buildings to stimulate place identity and tell the story of the area The diversity of functions to be felt on the user’s scale as well, and thereby, the enhancement of interaction between the area’s users The human scale as essential factor for the active use of the planned spaces The risks of assigning for architectural experimentation The focus on the facades as elements contributing to the activation of outdoor life The focus on designing the area and its spaces in order to invite people in and make it an attractive space The opportunities for temporary functions, activities, events and spaces on the site (during the regeneration process) Planning process The use of active dialog with the citizens and stakeholders, through meetings and workshops, and the investment (of time and resources) in informing and involving the citizens The active use of partnerships to create a mutual understanding The use of temporary functions and events to awake the interest and curiosity of the future users and residents The adaptability and flexibility of the plans, according to external effects
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9 FRAMEWORK OF CRITERIA
Through the previous chapters, we have gathered knowledge about design and planning of urban public spaces. The collected information depicts the evolution of urban planning considerations, with the special focus on the liveability of public spaces. Hence, this chapter combines the theoretical and empirical experiences into an analytical framework to be used in the evaluation of plans. The project group’s contribution to the field lies in the combination of theories and empirical experiences and the operationalisation of these. We find it relevant to build a ‘complex framework’, because this gives a more complete picture and solid foundation for evaluation of public spaces, than only using one theory. It can therefore be difficult to determine the precise sources of the different principles and criteria, although we will try to specify it in a section further below. It is furthermore difficult to determine, if and when we include our personal experiences and values in the framework. Therewith opens up the discussion about subjectivity of our selection and establishment of criteria. But then again, the theories and experiences, which are being used in planning practice, are often depending on the personal and educational background of the planners. As stated a couple of times before, the objective in creating this framework lies in the making of a tool for evaluation of plans, before they are carried out, and thereby making improvement (if necessary) in order to achieve liveable public spaces. A side effect, on the long run, is that the developers can save resources by avoiding some potential failures. Though, it would be narrow-minded to claim that this is the only way to use the criteria. They would be as well useful guidelines for the creation of plans, in earlier stages of the planning process. We regard the criteria as successful, if the implementation of them contribute to liveable public spaces and if they represent a useful tool in the planning process; thus applicability is the success criteria. Testing the validity of the criteria can only be done over a longer time period (when following a project to end), and this goes beyond the frame of this project. Their applicability can be tested by applying them to a specific case, which is the purpose of Chapter 10.
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9.1 Development of the analytical framework
The framework is presented as a list consisting of principles and criteria. The principles are the main objectives and focus points, while the criteria represent the operationalisation of the principles, making them useful in the concrete evaluation of plans. The principles and criteria are formed on the basis of the important aspects presented after each Chapter (see Figure 9.1). We have identified two different aspects within the framework, and have therefore decided to make two sets of principles and criteria: The design oriented principles and criteria are concerned with the final result and use of the planned public spaces. The process oriented principles and criteria are concerned with aspects within the process, which need particular attention, in order to achieve and hold on to the plans.
Empirical experien‐ ces
Analytical framework of principles and criteria
Figure 9.1: Graphical presentation of the outline of principles and criteria.
The principles and criteria we have outlined are illustrated below.
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9.2 Explanation of the principles
This paragraph contains a short description of the eight principles and the authors who made the foundation for the outline of the criteria. This is though difficult to determine, because the criteria are a combination of all the gathered knowledge. These brief references to the authors have two purposes: to explain the basis on which we have formulated the criteria and to indicate where potential users of the tool can read more about the themes. The principle of diversity of functions, activities and people is maybe the clearest in terms of break with modernistic planning. The main objective for mixing functions, activities and people is to ensure life and a flow of people in all parts of the city, and thereby avoiding ‘left over’ spaces, such as residential sleeping districts or SLOAPS. The foundation of this principle is made by Jacobs, but most of the theorists have expressed opinions and given recommendations based upon it (e.g. Gehl and Gulmann); experiences have also shown a great focus on this aspect in planning cases today, e.g Carlsberggrunden. Place identity and image is a principle concerned with respecting the past and the context of a site, and actively create an image through landmarks, temporary uses and branding. Lynch is maybe the author who made the most comprehensive thoughts about the imageability of the city. Gulmann has elaborated further on it, by emphasising the importance of city branding. The empirical experiences have also contributed to this principle. Perception and sense of place is about how the physical and social environment affects people. Many writers have made important contributions to these thoughts, e.g. Lynch, Jacobs, Gehl, Shaftoe, Tibbalds and Whyte, where the two last emphasises the importance of design on a human scale. The principle of accessibility, mobility and proximity is concerned with the movement of people in the urban public spaces. The accessibility is to be understood as both physical and mental, where the former for example is highlighted in placemaking, and the latter in the writings of Lynch, Gehl and in the empirical experiences. The last design criterion is regarding uses and users, and emphasis is given especially to the issues of prioritising land use and identifying target groups. Shaftoe, Gehl and the empirical experiences are the main sources of inspiration for the outline of these criteria. Three principles concern the planning process: flexibility and adaptability of plans, multiple urban actors and citizen involvement. These thoughts are founded in the work of authors like Jacobs and Whyte and further developed in
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the conceptual framework of placemaking from PPS. Other contributions are found with Shaftoe, Carmona and Gulmann, and also the empirical experiences have been an important source of information, since they have given a more realistic and updated view on the planning process than the theories. The principles encompass a few terms, which we would like to briefly clarify and exemplify, since they are used in several criteria (see Table 9.1).
Table 9.1: Clarification of terms.
Term Functions Activities Temporary functions Temporary events Attractive experiences
Illustration Linked to the buildings and the land use, e.g. shops, offices, dwelling and cultural functions Linked to the use of space, e.g. skate-boarding, jogging, walking, sitting and eating Functions with a time-limited presence on the site, e.g. market, arts and craft gallery and workshops and gardens Events with a time-limited presence on the site, e.g. festivals, exhibitions, outdoor representations and concerts Subjective aspect. From the cases and our experiences, they could be walks and visits on the old site, open doors day, temporary exhibitions and happenings
9.3 Reflections on the criteria
The criteria can be seen as a hypothesis upon which we evaluate the plans: if the criteria are followed, it will result in liveable public spaces. Therewith, the criteria express their normative character and their underlying values. Taking up the subjectivity issue and holding it up to the normative character of the criteria, objectivity seems pointless: the shaping of the framework is only possible through our active engagement in the task. Another important discussion is about the limitations of the criteria. Our objective was to create criteria for evaluation of plans, but as described earlier, they can also be used in the beginning of a project as guidelines for starting up plans. It is not possible to give prescriptions about precisely when, in the planning process, different criteria
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should be in focus, thus it is recommendable that planners are aware of the complete list of criteria from the beginning and keep a continual focus on them. If the criteria are implemented in the overall plan for an area, it should be possible to prevent the specific sub-areas from competing with each other and diverging from the overall vision of fulfilling the criteria. Although the criteria are intended for evaluation of non built areas, they can to some extent also be applied on the completed public spaces. Since society, and therewith planning issues and concerns, evolve rapidly, the review of the criteria must be an ongoing process in order to assure the continuous relevance of the analytical framework. As stated earlier, the degree of utility of the criteria are dependent on the planning context; this plays a heavy role in urban planning, and therefore will always have to be taken into consideration. The adaptation to the context, by selecting or interpreting the criteria, challenges their practical applicability. In that sense also, it can be questioned how universal we can claim the criteria to be. Firstly, we have decided to relate the criteria to a Danish context, by emphasising Danish practitioners and empirical experiences. Thus, the criteria are mainly directed towards regeneration projects in the Danish context. Additionally, it can be discussed whether there is a limitation, according to the scale of the projects where the criteria can be used. Finally, the time perspective can be an obstacle, if the criteria are not kept up to date (more about these aspects in Chapter 11). The conditions for implementing the criteria can change in different ways, and a notable aspect is the unforeseen developments, i.e. external factors, which can disturb the picture and change the conditions. An example of this is the financial crisis and the resulting change in building projects, e.g. towards a larger proportion of subsidised dwellings. This can disturb the objective about a diversity of people. Another condition is the political and institutional context of the planning project, concerning the power and interests of different stakeholders. Who has the power and interest in implementing the criteria? The political and economical agendas can turn the focus in other directions than intended in the criteria. The political agenda thus is crucial to have in mind, since many decisions are made by the local and national politicians, e.g. how the city should develop and which elements to prioritise. The importance of the economical agenda is justified by the limited resources the municipalities have, which makes them dependent on private funding to realise some ideas. The criteria can be criticised for being too idealistic and solicit huge demands for resources during the planning process. We consider this to be inevitable and inherent in our objective of making general criteria, and as described earlier, they should be used with respect to the context of the specific site of evaluation. An important additional conPage 89 / 133
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sideration is the time perspective and maintenance of the public spaces; how will they be managed and by whom? The municipality, citizens or private land owners? Here management-friendly design is crucial, thus making it practically possible to maintain the spaces after realisation, so the effort put into the planning is not wasted. The municipal resources for these tasks are limited, and the citizens can be difficult to involve directly in the maintenance; therefore, agreements with the owners can be a solution, where the cost is included in the rent. After outlining these principles and criteria, some important questions can be raised: Have we managed to operationalise the criteria to a degree that makes them applicable in practice? What are the challenges or barriers in the planner’s daily life, which can make the implementation of them difficult? In the next chapter, we confront the analytical framework with the specific case of Eternitten, and thereby test the applicability of the criteria.
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10 EVALUATION OF ETERNITTEN
This chapter contains an evaluation of the plans for Eternitten. The aim is to test the applicability of the criteria. Besides, we would like to end up with some recommendations for changes or considerations, which can be integrated at this stage, in order to improve the final outcome of this specific example. In the first paragraphs, we will present a short introduction to the history of the site, the overall visions with the regeneration and the current status of the project. The literature used in this chapter is mainly a range of plans from the Municipality of Aalborg and the private land owners Søren Enggaard A/S and Calum A/S. This is supplemented with three interviews with two employees from the Municipality: A. Rosenbæk and B. Henningsen. Additionally, two interviews have been conducted with the project manager K. Westergaard from the developing firm S. Enggaard and with F. Nygaard, project manager at the developing firm Calum. The next pages contain maps and illustrations of the site.
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MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
Find here the maps and illustrations for the location and presentation of Eternitten in Aalborg. They will be referred to in Chapter 10. The general location of Eternitten and main features
Figure I: Location of Eternitten in Aalborg [Basic map from Google Maps, 2010]. Page A
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Figure II: Neighbourhoods of Eternitten [Basic map from Aalborg Kommune (d), 2010].
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Figure III: Map showing the subdivisions of the area [Aalborg Kommune (b), 2010].
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Figure IV: Names of the landscape elements in and around Eternitten [Basic map from Aalborg Kommune (d), 2010].
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Figure V: View over the Northern part of Eternitten and names of the remaining historical buildings [Aalborg Kommune (c), 2010, p. 8].
MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
Village 21, plans by Søren Enggaard A/S
Figure VI: The plans for the business area by S. Enggaard A/S [Søren Enggaard A/S (d), 2010]. This plan is the latest publicly edited, but modifications have taken place. The latest functions are represented in Figure VII. Page F
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Figure VII: The functions in Village 21 [inspiration from Søren Enggaard A/S (d), 2010 and Westergaard, 2010].
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Figure VIII: The position of the three main public spaces in Village 21, Byparken, Bygaden and Bytorvet [Basic map from Søren Enggaard A/S (d), 2010]. The numbers 1 and 2 show the place, wherefrom the views in Figures IX and XI are taken. Page H
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Figure IX: 3D visualisation of Village 21. Perspective from west (1 on figure VIII) [Aalborg Kommune (c), 2010, p. 12].
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Fabrikken Danmark, plans by Calum A/S
Figure X: The current plan for Fabrikken Danmark developed by Calum A/S [Nygaard, 2010]. Page J
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Figure XI: 3D visualisation of Fabrikken DK. Perspective from south-west (2 on Figure VIII) [Aalborg Kommune (c), 2010, p. 12].
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The residential area, plans by Søren Enggaard A/S
Figure XII: Plan for the residential area made by S. Enggaard A/S [Søren Enggaard A/S (e), 2010].
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Figure XIII: The residential area seen from North-West [Cowi (b), p. 26].
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10.1 Brief historical overview
To be able to evaluate the plans of Eternitten, it is relevant to begin with a brief presentation of its history. In the 18th century, a recreational area, called Blegkildeparken, was situated on the site. Around 1900, Cementfabrikken Danmark was established, taking advantage of the easy access to the chalk in the hill. In 1927, the production changed to fabricating eternit materials, under the name of Dansk Eternit. The factory had a positive impact on the development of Aalborg as an industrial city, creating many jobs. The production peaked in the 1960’s, leading to the closure of Blegkildeparken in 1968, and thereby creating space for new factory buildings. At this point, the factory had around 1600 employees [Kjaer & Richter and Preben Skaarup, p. 3 and Cowi (a), 2009, p. 10]. In 1980, the use of asbestos was prohibited in Denmark, resulting in a crisis for the factory. The production was changed along with the name from Dansk Eternit to Cembrit [TV2 Nord, 2010]. Eternitten was thus a node in the development of Aalborg, but it brings along the way a darker side when revealing the toxicity of the produced material: asbestos. Indeed, many workers died because of it and the soil is polluted. Consequently, two issues are at play when talking about Eternitten: the memory of the workers (ethical issue) and the soil pollution to be handled (environmental and health issue). Intentions are that polluted soil will be placed at the large recreational area and covered with a layer of clean soil. But complains from neighbour areas have arisen because they fear that the toxic dust will infect their properties [TV2 Nord, 2010 and Vejgaard Avis (a), 2010]. The factory is a part of FLS, who decided to close the factory in Aalborg and move their production to Eastern Europe. This marked the end of the industrial era on the site and, hereby, contributing to the general transformation of Aalborg, from industrial city to knowledge and experience-oriented city. The closure of the production created opportunities for the development of a new urban district. Aalborg Municipality was not interested though in buying the site, because the political opinion on urban planning, at that time, was that private developers should do the investments. The area was divided into three parts, which was sold individually, and the companies S. Enggaard and Calum bought the land around 2006 [Cowi (a), 2009, p. 10; Cowi (b), p. 3 and Rosenbæk, 2010].
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10.2 The regeneration project
The brownfield area still carries the name Eternitten or Eternitgrunden, true to the site’s industrial past. Hereby, we refer to the description of urban regeneration in Denmark (and Europe), as an opportunity resulting from the delocalisation of industries (see Chapter 2). This releases valuable land in the city centres for other functions and activities, and it calls for the development of visions and plans, in order to utilise the potentials of the new brownfield areas. Visions, plans and current status The regeneration of Eternitten is concerned with the history of the site, and the Municipality’s initial intention was to reinsert the life and stimulate the initiative that once characterised the area, but transferred to the context of a modern city. In the box below, you see the overall visions that Aalborg Municipality presented in the Urban regeneration strategy35 for Eternitten (a supplement to the Municipal plan framework36).
Visions “The renewal must create new values – both for Aalborg and the city district. The renewal must create a mixed city district with a broad spectrum of urban uses. The central location and “the special poetry of the place” must be utilised as much as possible. The green belts in the city must be strengthened. There must be possibilities for creativity, experiments, entrepreneurship and unexpected opportunities. The memory of the industrial history of the area must be maintained for posterity” * [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 5].
Those visions are very broad, but they give us an idea of the many parameters that have to be taken into account. We will not comment further on the visions here, but we will return to some of them in the evaluation.
In Danish: Byomdannelsestrategi In Danish: Kommuneplanrammer
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Eternitten has a rather central location in Aalborg, between the city centre and the University (see Figure I). The site is surrounded by residential areas to the north (blocks), east and south (mostly detached houses) (see Figure II). To the west, there is an area with small companies [Cowi (a), 2009, p. 8]. The area has been split up in three parts, as shown in Figure II and III. In Table 10.1, the land owner and the current status of the areas are pointed out.
Table 10.3: The three districts [Aalborg Kommune (b), 2010; Rosenbæk, 2010 and Søren Enggaard (a), 2010].
Area Village 21
Land owner S. Enggaard
Current status Ongoing negotiations between the Municipality and land owner. Rather detailed plans have been made and the construction has started. Still uncertainties about the public spaces. Ongoing negotiations between the Municipality and land owner. Rather details plans have been made. The area is expected to be finished ultimo 2012. Still uncertainties about the public spaces. Rather detailed plans developed and the construction has started. Still uncertainties about the public spaces.
Eternittens boligområde (The residential area)
S. Enggaard and Svend Pape37
Furthermore, there is a small office area located to the north-east, along Sohngårdsholsmvej (see Figure III), owned by the C.W. Obel’s fund. The consultant firm Cowi, which has contributed to the elaboration of Quality programs for Eternitten, is located there. But these buildings are not a part of the regeneration. The remaining area (to the west) is mainly composed of storehouses, owned by FLS. This area is not included in the planning neither [Rosenbæk, 2010]. Table 10.2 shows the different plans used for the regeneration of Eternitten.
Hals Storkøb A/S. It is our perception that the planning is carried out by S. Enggaard A/S, and therefore Søren Pape will not be mentioned further on in the report. Page 95 / 133
EVALUATION OF ETERNITTEN Table 10.2: Plans for the site [Aalborg Kommune (b), 2010; Rosenbæk, 2010 and Cowi (a), 2009, pp. 3-5].
PLAN Municipal plans framework Local plan
PURPOSE/CONTENT …determines the frames and technical considerations for the regeneration of the area, e.g. land uses to be found on the site and traffic infrastructure …details every aspect of the planning in a set of recommendations from environmental issues, densification, nuisances, green elements, parking norms, etc. …present visions for the project and the overall guidelines for the use of the area (such as density of buildings and infrastructure) …describe the guidelines, principles and requirements for e.g. infrastructure, built environment, green elements and design principles …are situation plans, design plans and construction plans
Urban regeneration strategy Quality program
Municipality, land owner, consultant firms and architect companies Developer or land owner
Developers’ plans or land owner’s plans
The plans are relatively flexible and changes over time; some changes have to be approved by the local politicians (e.g. the Local plans) [Cowi (a), 2009, pp. 3-5]. According to A. Rosenbæk, the Quality programs are developed in a discussion between the Municipality and the land owners, but financed by the latter part, and they reflect the mutual understanding of the main principles in the development project [Rosenbæk, 2010]. The municipal project manager, A. Rosenbæk, estimates the development project of Eternitten to have at least 10 years remaining. As shown in the previous paragraphs, a range of different plans have been composed and approved; the area has been cleaned in the sense that only the buildings, which the Municipality has qualified as worthy preserving, are remaining. The excavation for the new buildings and infrastructure has started, e.g. residential blocks, a warehouse and entrance streets are being constructed at the moment. The area will be taken into use gradually when the different buildings and functions are finished; the Municipality has a wish that the different subareas will be finished once at the time, though nothing is mentioned in the Local plan; it will be up to the private developers to decide.
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10.3 Evaluation of the design criteria
We have chosen to evaluate the criteria by the use of tables, where the criterion is the headline, followed by general aspects concerning the area as a whole, and specific examples. In the specific part, we will mainly focus on the northern area, including Village 21 and Fabrikken Danmark (see Figure III), because this may be the most complex area due to the different functions and divided ownership (S. Enggaard and Calum). Furthermore, the conducted interviews have given us a special insight in the development of this area. The following paragraphs will only contain a few references, when using quotes or figures. The facts in the text are derived from the concrete planning documents (explained in the previous paragraph) [Municipal plan framework: Aalborg Kommune, 2008 and Aalborg Kommune (a) (b) and (c), 2009; Urban regeneration strategy: Aalborg Kommune, 2006; Quality programs: Cowi (a), 2009; Cowi (b) Kjaer & Richter and Preben Skaarup and Local plans: Aalborg Kommune (c), 2010 and Cowi (c), 2009] and interviews with A. Rosenbæk, B. Henningsen, K. Westergaard and F. Nygaard38. Besides the evaluation, we will add some critical comments and improvement recommendations. 10.3.1 Diversity of functions, activities and people
Mix functions, activities and people at all scales, but adapt to context General This criterion relates to one of the visions in the Urban regeneration strategy, where it is pointed out, that: The regeneration must create a mixed city district with a broad spectrum of urban uses * [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 5]. As presented earlier, the site is divided into three areas, which encompass different functions and activities (see Figure 10.1). This means that on the large scale, the area will be mixed, but the current development leans towards a homogenisation of the Specific Fabrikken Danmark will be the area containing the highest diversity of functions and people. According to the current plans it will contain a supermarket, a bank, a pharmacy, a church and dwellings for students, families and higher income groups. In Village 21, the intention is to create a mixture of functions, activities and people. The functions S. Enggaard has suggested are: offices, educational activities, clinics, service functions, banks, cultural activities and restaurants [Søren Enggaard (b) and (c), 2010]. Special emphasis is given to the modern and flexible office buildings, where there will be shared facilities like canteen and conference rooms, to encourage companies to
From respectively; the Municipality (both Rosenbæk and Henningsen), S. Engaard and Calum. Page 97 / 133
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districts. In the Urban regeneration strategy, the Municipality states that the target groups are ‘the creative class’ and the young people; they assume that these encompass energy, dynamics and openness towards alternative thinking. Besides, the area should also appeal to ‘the modern urban family’. The assumption is that “the target groups together can create a good balance between individuality and community” * [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 9]. The diversity of people is only partly determined by the Municipality’s visions, but also strongly influenced by the choices taken by the private land owners. The current development indicated that the vision of attracting families in the northern area might be unsuccessful. The monofunctionality of the two biggest areas, the residential area and Village 21, have a great impact on the whole area resulting in constituting rather segregated areas than a mixed area.
cluster and to create synergy effects (and reduce the cost for each company). The offices are, besides a bank and a supermarket, the main elements in the current plans, and therefore it is difficult to see the mixture of functions in the area. In this context, it is also relevant to mention that the residential buildings in Village 21 will probably not be realised but instead host offices. This is partly due to the developers aim with the area and challenges caused by noise pollution. In accordance to the vision of educational functions, it seems uncertain if it will come true, for example because Aalborg University has pointed that it is not an attractive location for them. University College of Northern Jutland has been interested in the site and an architectural competition has just revealed a proposition for their campus, but the plan will not be realised due to financial problems [Nordjyske, 2010]. The homogenisation and development of, respectively, a residential and a business area have challenged the vision of target groups (see general). In the residential area, the change in type of dwellings is partly due to the financial crisis, which has, according to A. Rosenbæk, resulted in a boom in public subsidised buildings, e.g. dwellings for deaf people have been planned. Even though it was not the originally vision of target groups, we see this development as a positive aspect resulting in an increased diversity in population groups. It is important to remember that the Municipality has maintained demands for non-subsidised building, attracting other population groups, which will stimulate the diversity of people living in the residential area.
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Figure 10.1: Division into frame areas (“rammeområder”). Red (B) is residential areas and light purple (D) is mixed urban uses [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 18]. The figure clarifies the intentions with the area; in particular it is interesting to see the size of the area planned for mixed uses.
Choose functions and activities that enhance constant flow and presence of people in urban spaces, all day through General Because of the divided character of the area, in a residential, a mixed (Fabrikken Danmark) and a business area (Village 21), it is likely to think that migration peaks will occur during rush hours. The previously mentioned segregation of area and its size might result in the ‘closing down’ of several areas during some hours of the day. Therefore, it is not Specific The residential area is in risk of being abandoned in the working hours, because it is monofunctional. Bygaden will be the most active part of the area, but the rest of Village 21 might be closed down in the evenings, since the main functions in the area are offices. This is sustained as well by A. Rosenbæk, who states (about Village 21) that if the result will be office buildings only, the
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likely that this criterion will be achieved in the area in general. If an educational institution turns out to be located in the area, opportunities for an enhancement of flow and human presence will be improved.
preconditions for liveable urban spaces will not be favourable. Particularly, the functions around Bygaden are restricted in time by their opening hours (convenience stores, a bank and a pharmacy); hereby, they only contribute to the diversity of activities and presence of people in limited periods. It is therefore likely that people only will stay in the area In terms of activities, it is hard to determine in this for a short time when shopping. There might thus be a flow of people, phase, because they are not designed in the plans yet. but not a constant presence of people.
Prioritise attracting the first users (before final design) by use of temporary events and spaces General This criterion is partly reflected in the Urban regeneration strategy, where it is described as a part of a successive development that the area can bloom from the inside. A way of attracting initial activities and users is to provide temporary permissions and modifications of e.g. environmental requirements [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, pp. 6-9]. Specific The temporary uses and events would be most obvious to place in the old remaining industrial buildings, but according to A. Rosenbæk most of them are not in condition to host such activities.
The building Krafcentralen (see Figure V) has been designed for temporary events and used, for example, for a workshop conducted by the Municipality. Calum has additionally rented the There is an awareness in the Municipality about the posi- building out to different associations. In this context, F. Nygaard tive impacts of temporary uses and the importance of at- points out that the building will not be lent out any more, as it will tracting the first users. According to A. Rosenbæk, it is a soon be under re-construction. question of resources, and these initiatives have low priorA. Rosenbæk also mentions the establishment of a temporary path ity. It is mainly op to local associations and networks for for non-motorised transport modes, linking the area to Godsculture and leisure activities to fulfil this criterion. This can banearealet, Østerå Valley and the southern neighbourhoods. This be seen as problematic, and it should be required, at least, can create a shortcut for residents in the surrounding of the area that the Municipality starts a dialog with these actors in and stimulate public interest in the development of the area, since order to inform and encourage them to act. the path will invite people into the area.
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Integrate activities in public spaces, preferably outdoor and visible. This will attract other people and activities39 General A. Rosenbæk points out that the activities will reflect the hierarchy of the urban spaces, from the local activities to activities that can attract citizens from the whole city. Furthermore, she states that the planning of activities in the urban spaces have a long time perspective. In relation to this, it appears that the planning of public spaces is not concrete yet; the buildings will be planned and constructed first, and then the actors will go into a dialog about the public spaces and activities. It can be regarded as a problem, because the possibilities for activities will be determined by the buildings, and because the activities in the public spaces will first be implemented when the built environment is completed. Specific At Bytorvet (the node where Byparken is connected to Bygaden – see Figure VIII), the Municipality plans for an active space with activities, such as sport, small concerts and town fairs, and they want to avoid cars in the space. Since this is a central point of the site, activities will be very visible and important for attracting people and creating life. This can be difficult to achieve as it (so far) might be surrounded by a car park and a bank. Furthermore, it should be noticed that the area covers a huge space (about 50 m * 80 m), thus challenging the making of a liveable space; those challenges have not been addressed in the current plans. Additionally, it seems a bit naïve that the area will not be disturbed by cars as Bygaden will be used for car traffic. In the part of the chalk quarry called Snurretoppen, there are plans for playgrounds, amphitheatre and a fire place. The inner part called Refugiet will be a place where the nature and the view over the city is the attractiveness (see Figure XII). The recreational area is intended to serve the whole area and the surrounding neighbourhoods. This can however be questioned due to the off-centred location and lack of visibility for the citizens. Another problem is the late completion due to its function as a deposit for polluted soil from construction projects. Additionally, it is not further explained in the plans, which activities the area will contain.
It can be argued that this criterion is closely related to the former, but the important difference is that this criterion does not (only) focus on attraction of people and activities before the plans have been carried out. Page 101 / 133
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10.3.2 Place identity and image
Integrate historical elements, meaningful for the image and soul for the city and useful for the citizens General In the visions of the Municipality, “the special poetry of the place” and “the memory of the industrial history” are emphasised (see box in Paragraph 10.2.1). A. Rosenbæk stresses the importance of the narratives connected to the historical elements. Also according to the Local plans, the integration of historical element are of great importance, and in projects, where historical buildings are used in innovative architecture or creative thinking, it is possible to deviate from the current building regulations. The objective of using Eternitten as an architectonic experimentarium is stated through the Municipal plan framework but does not appear evidently through the plans or the discussion with K. Westergaard. He states that the Local plans allow the developers to tear down historical buildings, if something different can tell the same story of the area. This seems as a risky process, since it can be hard to predict how the new buildings will be perceived and as it is a non-reversible process. According to the initial vision, it should be stated, that it will have an effect on the place identity, if the historical elements are replaced. Specific In Calum’s area, Fabrikken Danmark, many different historical elements will be maintained and reinterpreted, in order to fulfil the need of future users, e.g. the sculptural building Cementmølleriet and buildings near Bygaden in order to achieve interesting facades [Nygaard, 2010]. In the specific case of the two single silos in Village 21, K. Westergaard considers them as obstacles in their planning and they consider diminishing them to their foundation. Our recommendation is that the legislation in the Local plans should be more clear and strict on this matter. If the silos are demolished, it will have consequences for the place identity as they are contributing to the image of the area; at this moment they stand as the most visible landmarks of the area.
Another approach to creating place identity is, according to K. Westergaard, the orientation and design of the buildings in Village 21, which imitate the demolished production buildings. Another way is to let the office buildings be tinted in white, as a reference to the chalk quarry. It can be questioned if these references will be visible for the citizens, and thereby Calum, on the other hand, seems more aware of the importance contribute to the place identity. and the gain of integrating existing and new buildings, transforming them into useful buildings or special urban experiences.
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Integrate landmarks as references for the citizens in the urban landscape General Specific
This criterion has primarily involved preservation of Even though it was stated in the initial plans that the area should be historical buildings as landmarks, and fewer new archi- marked by experimental architecture, in Village 21, only the office tectonical experiments than expected. buildings at the corner of Østre Allé and Sønderbro seems to be subject to some artistic input (see Figure 10.2) [Vejgaard Avis (b), Another kind of landmark is the ‘natural’ landmark, 2010]. referring to the special nature and shape of the area, in particularly in the case of the chalk quarry. Regarding Fabrikken Danmark, developed by Calum, emphasis is made on peculiar experiences in the urban spaces (e.g. stair cases in a The landmarks in the area can be identified to include: chimney of an old oven). the old historical buildings (in particular the preserved silos), the chalk quarry, Føtex (the large supermarket), In the Municipal plan framework, the chalk landscape, in the residenand some of the new office buildings depending on the tial area, is highlighted as a characteristic area, which will be deoutcome of them. Føtex, as a marker, differs from the signed as a varied green area. The unique landscape is already a refothers because it is not specific to the area, but is part of erence area for citizens, and the Municipality uses this opportunity in a supermarket chain. Thereby, it makes a different con- their aim of attracting people from the whole city to the recreational tribution to the place identity than the historical ele- area. The planning of the residential area has taken a point of deparments, but it is still a functional reference to the citizens ture in the existing shape of the terrain. in the urban landscape.
Figure 10.2: The new office building on the corner of Østre Allé and Sønderbro [Vejgaard Avis (b), 2010].
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Encourage temporary functions and activities in order to strengthen the place image General In the Urban regeneration strategy, it is notified that during the development of the area, existing buildings can serve for temporary purposes, such as storeroom, or events, like exhibitions, music, markets and sport. Despite the vision, possibilities and plans for stimulating temporary functions and activities are hardly explained in any of the plans or in the discussions or actions of the Municipality or the private landowners. Specific As mentioned earlier, there is a plan for creating a temporary pathway, connecting the area to the surroundings. Besides, only one building has been used for temporary functions, which is Kraftcentralen in Fabrikken Danmark. Many of the other old buildings might not be appropriate for uses because of their current condition, but it seems like a great unexploited potential not to use Kraftcentralen for even more diverse activities, such as cultural events. They will soon be under renovation and finished within the next two years.
Build a common understanding among citizens and brand the image for tourists and businesses e.g. by promoting attractive experiences in the area. General It is our perception that the residents in Aalborg are in general not informed and aware of the development of the area. A little publicity of the area is displayed on the website of Eternitten, which S. Enggaard is in charge of, in small news in local newspapers (also bad publicity) and a few information displays at the edge of the area. Another significant point is that S. Enggaard does not have a website for the company, where interested business can get information of the site. Calum has a website, but it does
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Specific The title of the Quality program for Village 21 is: “From Eternit fabric to knowledge fabric – a modern growth environment for international oriented knowledge business” * [Cowi (a), 2009, p. 1]. The program further states that the northern part of the area will be a lighthouse for local businesses with an international perspective. The possibilities for knowledge sharing in the public spaces is also emphasised in quality program, but, according to the plans, A. Rosenbæk and the private developers, not much is done yet to fulfil this criterion or brand the image of a knowledge city. The only explicit knowledge sharing initiatives, which have been made in Village 21, is a common canteen and common meeting facilities in the office building on the corner of Østre Allé and Sønderbro. It is significant to notice here how the public spaces around the office buildings are designed for traffic and parking (see Figure VI and Figure
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not contain much information about the project of Eternitten. There has been a smaller degree of external branding, especially with the aim of attracting investors to the area, mostly by displays along the site, but no branding for tourists yet.
VII). Another aspect is that Village 21 might only contain offices and not educational institution, which can be regarded as a loss in the possibilities of knowledge sharing. In the area Fabrikken Danmark, efforts have been made in order to stimulate attractive urban experiences through creative use of historical buildings. This is not branded, but will contribute to the understanding and storytelling of the site when it is completed.
10.3.3 Perception and sense of place
Create a feeling of safety by ensuring visibility of spaces and active facades enhancing the feeling of other peoples presence and personal responsibility of the public space General The Municipality is working on creating active facades and a network of spaces, in a way that through-going perspectives to the surrounding landscape should be possible [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 15 and Aalborg Kommune (a) and (b), 2009]. The aspect of safety is only mentioned in the plans in relation to traffic, and here A. Rosenbæk points out that a feeling of safety could include letting your children play around, without worrying about cars in the neighbourhood (especially on the residential plateau and in the chalk quarry). Considerations about creating a feeling of safety, which this criterion deals with, are not directly stated in the plans. They are though Specific The intention from the Municipality was that Bygaden and the offices in Village 21 should have active facades as shown in Figure 10.3. It can be difficult to determine exactly what active facades are, but the long closed facade of Føtex and the car park can be regarded as inactive facades (even though the figure indicates that the car park should have active facades). As presented earlier, the other planned functions in Bygaden are two banks, a supermarket (Netto) and a pharmacy. These facades might be open in the sense of glass windows, but it can be questioned how active they will be. The entrance of Føtex turns to the centre of Bygaden, and the flow of passing people might counterbalance the unsafe feeling of the long closed facade. The office building in the corner of Østre Allé and Sønderbro will host a canteen with open window facades at the street level, assuring contact between indoor and outdoor, but it can be questioned if there will be any people in this district, despite the employees. Hereby, the level of outdoor activities and need for contact with the indoor activities might be very small. Besides, those rooms will only be occupied in a limited period of time during the day.
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implicit in some aspects of the planning: the visibility, views, active facades, and open squares.
The green edges are not designed for people to use them, and the distance to functions and activities and depth of those areas are not in favour of a feeling of safety.
Figure 10.3: Urban spaces and active facades [Aalborg Kommune (c), 2010].
Create a feeling of human scale by adequate use of spatial proportion, e.g. large spaces can be perceived in small sections by use of physical elements General Eternitten has been divided in three parts, which helps slightly for a more human scale image of the originally large site. The northern area is divided into four parts, but those are more of an administrative kind [Aalborg Kommune (c),
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Specific A. Rosenbæk highlights the focus on the human scale feeling in Bygaden, which the Municipality is keen on preserving. Both proportions (width of the street and height of the buildings) and the history are at play. According to F. Nygaard, the width of Bygaden will in some places be around 26 meters, which gives some challenges in order to achieve a feeling of human scale. In
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2010, p. 6]: you will not perceive it when walk- the Quality programs for Village 21, it is suggested that trees, furniture and other elements can be used to minimise the perception of being in a huge ing in the site. The big green recreational space, the chalk space, by creating niches. quarry, is as well divided in green plateaus linking the low part of the site to the high part and the existing Vandværksparken (See Figure IV). The plateaus correspond to smaller green entities, but also to the successive phases for construction of the park. Bytorvet will be around 80 m * 50 m, and K. Westergaard considers it too large and wishes to reduce the size, to make it more intimate. Courtyards between the office buildings are planned as good alternative to the large urban spaces, such as Bytorvet and Byparken. The total surface of the green edges is quite big and might be overwhelming, but the plantings can be used to rectify that feeling, by enhancing the perception of a set of smaller areas within a greater green entity; this depends highly on the chosen type of vegetation. Therefore it can be critical that S. Enggaard plans for ‘transparent’ trees [Westergaard, 2010].
Invite people in using the public spaces by promoting fluent transitions, visibility and activation of outdoor public spaces by functions and activities within buildings General The intention described in the Municipal plan framework is that green structures are enhancing the visual and functional connections between the surrounding roads and the recreational green spaces of the area. Specific Active facades contribute to inviting people in, as described in a previous criterion, but these are lacking in Bygaden.
The buildings in Village 21 are situated within the green edges; their facades are in line with the property line whenever they face Byparken, Bygaden or Ankomstpladsen. Thereby, they are susceptible to activate The pedestrian and cyclist path network, planned the outdoor public spaces, but not to interact with the surrounding roads through the totality of the site, can contribute to a (e.g. Sønderbro and Øster Allé), although their orientation (rather perfluent flow of passers-by through the different parts. pendicularly to the outer roads) allows visual connection from surroundCommercial functions (e.g. supermarkets and banks) ings to the centre of the site. are located in a cluster around Bygaden: they influ- The green edges are buffer zones for nuisances and transit spaces, not ence the activation of the street, but for a limited inviting recreational spaces. If they achieve though to contribute to a period of time (closing hours and peak hours). They visible and attractive image of the buildings and the site, they might also enhance traffic and car-use on the site. Our undertake the inviting role.
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opinion is that a large number of cars in Bygaden should be avoided, because they can create a less inviting and people-friendly environment. But a smaller number of cars can contribute to more visits and an active atmosphere, because of the big size of the street.
Semi-public spaces in Fabrikken Damnark (see Figure X) will be activated by various functions (e.g. young residential, commercial, office) and contribute to the transition between the upper part (i.e. residential plateau) and the lower part (i.e. Village 21).
Aesthetic design should contribute to the creation of more interesting public spaces on the requirements of functionality and daily use General The Municipality has made design manuals for the shaping of public spaces, both in the specific area of Eternitten (Local plans and Quality programs) and in Aalborg city (Municipal guidelines for beautiful business areas, considered as the ‘city’s face’) [Aalborg Kommune (b), 2009]. The furniture in the public spaces should be similar in design and stand out from what is called ‘standard furniture’ in the Quality programs. Furthermore, they will make use of lightning to underline special facades. Specific The facade of the warehouse Føtex contains some visual features for commercial purpose, according to K. Westergaard, but it seems that no considerations for its non-activating effect on Bygaden have been made. It is furthermore decided on art in Bylunden and on the facade of the warehouse, but again with no reflected interaction with the public spaces [Westergaard, 2010].
According to K. Westergaard, the car park for Føtex is hidden behind a green facade, which can be considered as a patch-up solution to avoid the sight of parked cars and their negative impact on Bygaden and Byparken. The green facades were a wish from the Municipality in order Landscape architects have been hired to work on the to strengthen the impression of Byparken as a green connection. interstitial open spaces in parallel to the construction The green edges, surrounding the site, could bring some aesthetical of residential area, but no concrete design appears yet: value to it, but it seems that they are not designed for anything else sense gardens, private gardens, access ways, where than to serve the buildings and respond to the noise nuisance regulaspontaneous meeting can occur (see Figure 10.4). tions. The prioritisation between aesthetics and functionality is not explicit in the plans, but is embedded in the choices, in the specific parts of the area. Therefore, it is hard to conclude on the general scale of the criteria.
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In the Quality program for Village 21, it is recommended to use experimental furniture in Byparken, which invites people to stay, interact and play. This shows a focus on functionality combined with aesthetic design, but these ideas have not been turned into practical initiatives.
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Figure 10.1: Public spaces of the residential plateau [Cowi (b), p. 16].
10.3.4 Accessibility, mobility and proximity
Ensure connectivity between functions and between activities by making distances manageable by foot or bike General The visions in the Municipal plan framework correlate with the criterion, by emphasising functional and visual connections, through green lanes. This is though not visible in the plans yet. Furthermore, they focus on pedestrians and cyclists by assigning the establishment of a transiting recreational cycling path, through the area (as stated further up). This path network will connect Eternitten to the northern and southern neighbourhoods, e.g. linking the green slopes and surrounding parks (e.g. Sohngårdsholmsparken and Vandværksparken. See Figure IV) with the inner newly planned green spaces. It will also play a role in linking the sub-parts within the area, e.g. the residential plateau with Bygaden and Byparken. Hereby, the opportunities for peSpecific The car park will be accessed from Østre Allé, which means that the cars will not dominate the environment on Bygaden. But it might encourage people only to come-and-go for work and groceries. Besides the general segregation of business and residential functions, the degree of connectivity between the large recreational area (the chalk quarry) and the residential plateau can be questioned. The walking distance might not be adequate, when you come from the northern part of the site. If you come from the southern neighbourhoods, it is the level difference in the terrain that might act as obstacle, even though the Municipality emphasises the connecting role of a
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destrians and cyclist will be favourable, while the cars are not future path network. able to cross the area. F. Nygaard highlights the work done on Bygaden, in terms of The three entrances for cars and their location mean that the avoiding the creation of a long transit space. Investing in physical accessibility to the area is good for motorised transport nodes of activity and life will make the street more managemodes. This might though have a negative effect since it can able for pedestrians and enhance connectivity between the result in further segregation of the area: inhabitants and workers functions in the buildings and the activity on the street. will most probably use different access points.
Facilitate coexistence of traffic, people and activities by using shared spaces where pedestrians, cyclists and public transportation are prioritised General The location of the area close to the motorway and the main roads stimulate the use of cars in the area. Busses are only passing alongside the area on Sohngårdsholmsvej; thus the area is poorly provided with public transport facilities. Specific
Indications of shared spaces are visible in Bygaden, but cars might dominate the public space because of Netto, the supermarket in Fabrikken Danmark. Additionally, a path structure will be integrated in Bygaden and Byparken, which will thereThe Municipality has visions for a tramway alongside the fore encourage pedestrian and cyclists to use those spaces when site, as it will strengthen the facilities for public transport and they transit through the area. improve the integration of the area in the city. But it can be F. Nygaard points out the recognition of the Dutch shared criticised that the preconditions for having a tram are not spaces. He highlights though the scepticism about the road integrated in the development of the area, although the tram safety and the prescription for some kind of marking (by means have not been politically agreed upon yet. It could have been of signposts), which might create more of a barrier than a sideintegrated e.g. by reserving land on the area next to Østre walk would. Bygaden is under discussion at the moment and is Allé. seemingly going to be a traditionally defined street with lanes. In the general discussion of the use of shared spaces to dif- Considering its width, there is still room for people and activities ferent activities, it is hard to locate where this can be in small niches with trees and furniture. achieved. It was the initial vision that Byparken, Bytorvet Furthermore, A. Rosenbæk will stand with the idea of keeping and Bygaden should be shared spaces (see Figure 10.5), but cars out of Bytorvet and the first part of Byparken. Hereby, the recent decisions seem to have undermined this fact in favour intention is to provide room for vulnerable road users. of defined lanes for each road user.
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Figure 10.2: Visualisation of initial visions for Bygaden seen from Sohngårdsholmsvej [Aalborg Kommune (c), 2010, p. 11].
Encourage non-motorised mobility through spaces and easy transit between transportation modes. The placement of parking lots distanced from functions is a considerable parameter General The planned road and path infrastructures will influence the accessibility of the surrounding neighbourhood to the city, especially improving the accessibility for pedestrians and cyclist from the eastern area (see Figure II). Specific
The indoor car park next to Føtex will contain about 500 parking places, among which approximately 200 will be kept for the store. The rest is destined to the office buildings. Hereby, business people and consumers are sustained in their car use behaviour, although the clustering The location of the area between major roads and the amount of of a huge amount of the prescribed parking places can parking possibilities do not encourage reducing the use of motorised result in people having to walk some distance to make vehicles. No primary transport node is integrated in the area, which
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otherwise could improve the possibilities for effective transit be- their errand or go to their work place. tween transport modes. But the visions about shared spaces, deIn the residential area, the inhabitants using the car to go scribed in the previous criterion, can also be dragged in here to illusshopping in the northern area will have to leave and trate considerations about the vulnerable road users. enter the area, which is an incentive to go by foot or The parking places have been placed partly next to the office build- bike. This can be considered as a positive attempt to ings and partly in the car park next to Føtex warehouse. The parking reduce car use. Furthermore, in some cases the parking places next to the buildings are likely to be filled first, before using places have been placed at the end of a row of townthe car park. Thereby, the planning does not encourage people to houses, which stimulate the possibilities for interaction walk through the spaces and meet spontaneously. between neighbours on the way they have to walk. In the development of a new area, the discussion of parking places is a polemical topic between the stakeholders, and this has also been significant in this case where the Municipality and private developers have had different perceptions.
Provide clear nodes and landmarks as orientation about distances and districts: this facilitates legibility of place and way-finding for easy mental mapping of the city General The landmarks on Eternitten are mainly of historical type: the old industrial buildings and the chalk quarry. Especially the old chimneys and silos, which height makes them visible from almost everywhere on the site, will contribute to the way-finding on the site (See Figure IX). But they will also act as flagships for the surrounding districts and the visitors. Most of the historical buildings are preserved on Fabrikken Danmark, integrated in the visions for the buildings and in the creation of urban experiences. Hereby, emphasis is also made on the effect of those buildings on the users’
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Specific The silo in Byparken (see Figure VI) will mark the node where the active part of Byparken ends and meet the access road to the offices. The silo on Bytorvet marks the space where, according to A. Rosenbæk, most activities are supposed to be developed. The southern intersection, Ankomstpladsen, has been pointed out as a remarkable space (see Figure 10.3), and its size makes it a marker for car users. In the same idea, we can mention the roundabout at the entrance as marker to the residential area. The access lane has already received a nickname because of its strongly curved form. These two road elements are though difficult to classify as landmark: they mark the entrances to Eternitten and therewith contribute to the mental map-
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mental mapping of the area.
ping of drivers and passers-by. The residential area lacks landmarks despite the chalk quarry, a landscape landmark, which has a historical The size of supermarket, Føtex, will make it a marker identity value to the site and its residents, but might not act strongly as in the new urban landscape and some of the new office marker for visitors. buildings might be remarkable as well, thanks to their facade. All those contribute to the mental mapping of The high and levelled dwellings on Fabrikken Danmark, building upon the area. We observe though that the majority of the old Cementmølleriet, contribute to the mental mapping of their landmarks are situated in the northern part of Eternit- residents. ten.
10.3.5 Uses and users
Identify the target groups, and thereby the balance between internal daily use (residents and workers of the neighbourhood) and external occasional use (the rest of the citizens and tourists) of public spaces General A vision from the Urban regeneration strategy states: “The regeneration must create new values – both for Aalborg and the city district” * [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 5]. Eternitten is also presented as ‘the natural centre for activities’, and further in the Urban regeneration strategy, the target groups to the public spaces can be identified to be the residents, the workers, the visitors, the surrounding neighbourhoods and the citizens in Aalborg. Thereby, the overall target groups have been identified. However, it would be interesting to specify the target groups into different socioeconomic groups and discuss the differences between the target group to the area, as a whole, and the target groups to the public spaces in the area. Indeed, there might be some contradictions, because of the individuals’ purpose of using the area. Specific Bygaden, and especially the supermarkets Føtex and Netto, are expected to attract people from both the neighbourhood and other parts of the city. Therefore, it can be questioned if people will only use the public spaces as a transit and not areas to stay in. Bytorvet is especially relevant to discuss since it has unclear target groups and might aim for a too broad range of users.
The target groups in Village 21 are the employees, but it can be questioned if these employees actually will use the (large) public spaces around their working places. Parking lots are placed just outside the buildings, and hereby the workers will not circulate much through the public spaces. The final loaners It is important to notice the change from initial target groups to final resiof the buildings will be a quite homogeneous group
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dential groups (see Paragraph 10.3.1), that there have been given no atten- and the area might not contain the initial target tion to tourists in the plans and that uncertainty appears about the type of groups (e.g. educational and more service funcresidential groups in some dwellings. tions). In accordance to the coherence between target groups and the planning of public spaces, the Municipality is aware of the hierarchy, stretching from the private gardens and semi public spaces, in residential areas, to the large recreational space in the chalk quarry. The uncertainty of which future residential groups will move into the area will challenge the planning of the small intimate public spaces around the dwellings. In the case of identifying the target groups for the area, conflicts can arise as the Municipality only can present their wishes and not control which groups the private developers will aim and plan for. The question of target groups (and functions) has been a big issue in the development of the area, for instance it can be illustrated by the initial wish of S. Enggaard to have an IKEA in the area. As described earlier, the intention is that the chalk quarry should be a recreational area for the whole city, and special effort is put into realising the connection to the residential area to the south. There has been opposition from the residents in this area, because they are concerned that the asbestos dust will pollute their neighbourhood [Vejgaard Avis (a), 2010, p. 5]. This is not the optimal basis for attracting them to the area, and it is important that the Municipality puts an effort in the dialog with these citizens.
Ensure inclusiveness in the public spaces, but let different spaces have different target groups General Specific
The target groups for the different pub- The public spaces in Village 21 are for the citizens and the employees in the area lic spaces will be determined mainly by and also the people who visit the area for shopping. The functions in Bygaden the people occupying the buildings in might mostly invite to quick visits. the future. The chalk quarry is intended to be very inclusive, thus attracting different population Some public spaces will be planned groups from the whole area of Eternitten and Aalborg. By trying to attract everybody mainly for the people living or working you could end up attracting no one. The functions that are planned, at this point, close to them, and other spaces will be might appeal mostly to families (e.g. playgrounds, amphitheatre, fire place, places to more inclusive and all-encompassing. sit and quiet nature areas). The activities should be adjusted to the changed composiPage 114 / 133
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Despite the identified hierarchy of pub- tion of residents and maybe a broader spectrum of activities should be implemented lic spaces inside the area, the users are in order to ensure inclusiveness. The off-centred location will also challenge the innot defined in terms of specific socio- clusiveness. economical groups. In the case of Bytorvet, the challenge is also how to attract different population groups and avoid designing it as a place for no one. Even though it is a quite central and visible location, it is important that the area contain activities, which invite people to stay.
Prioritise the land use and use of resources, in order to ensure balance and coexistence of uses (e.g. sport, culture and green elements) and necessary uses (e.g. parking and traffic)40 General The Municipality works with a project concerning art and cultural heritage in the public spaces, which should be financed through fundings41. This can contribute to the creation of interesting experiences in the area. Parking norms are used in order to determine the number of parking places. The intentions in the plans aimed for hiding the cars (i.e. car parks integrated in buildings). In fact, besides from the indoor car park at Føtex, the rest of the parking lots will probably be flat parking, as the private developers find the expenditures too high to do otherwise. This decision will result in considerable impacts on the opportunities for other uses in the public spaces. The car park can though be seen as a positive feature, since it clusters a huge amount of the prescribed parking places.
Specific A quite large share of the public spaces in Village 21 is green edges, used for reducing noise and highlighting the buildings. Thereby, they both have a necessary and aesthetic purpose, but we do not see the balance as being achieved because of this. There are intentions for sports and cultural facilities both in the chalk quarry and Byparken. The chalk quarry will only be accessible for cars at the entrance of the area, so the necessary uses will not be dominating: for example Refugiet does not include traffic, and in the area Snurretoppen there is only a small parking place. In Byparken, car traffic will be present in the northern part, but in the southern part, including the area of Bytorvet, cars are not intended to be allowed. Since the car park will contain a lot of cars, they will be less
This is a very delicate criterion to evaluate on a general scale, because the balance of uses might be a subjective judgement and therefore it can be easier to evaluate this in specific cases of the area. 41 The project is called ‘Kunst og Kulturarv på Eternitten’. Page 115 / 133
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According to land and resources, it can be concluded that the dominant in the urban landscape, but it will attract car traffic necessary uses of traffic and parking have been prioritised. to the area. Since the entrances are not conflicting with the area, you could argue that a balance has been achieved. In general, it can be observed that many of the public spaces (e.g. Bygaden, Bytorvet and the chalk quarry) are huge areas, According to A. Rosenbæk, the eastern part of Byparken will and thereby the land for these purposes have been prioritised, be given highest priority in the elaboration of public activibut on the other hand resources have not yet been prioritised in ties, e.g. sports facilities, a stage and green elements. order to plan and design these areas.
10.4 Evaluation of process criteria
The following paragraphs contain the evaluation of the three process related criteria. The tables used for this evaluation differs a bit from the ones used in the previous paragraphs; they are divided in the headings ‘what they meant to do’ and ‘what we can observe’, according to the criterion. 10.4.1 Flexibility and adaptability of plans
Leave room, in the plans, for alternatives and adaption to unpredictable changes (e.g. financial crisis, changing target groups) What they meant to do… In the Urban regeneration strategy, it is stated that the Municipal plan framework should be a flexible and spatial basis for plans, thereby dealing with unexpected opportunities and the long time perspective. It is formulated with the image of letting the place ‘bloom from inside’ and enhancing self-management [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 2]. Additionally, rooms should be made for temporary activities and functions, especially in the old buildings, to attract other functions [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 7]. What we can observe… The ‘blooming from inside’ process is a fine but naïve thought, according to A. Rosenbæk. It refers to the opportunity of spillover effect from temporary activities and functions, which could have been installed in the old buildings. Those show to be more difficult to implement in the planning and the process, than what was believed in the start of the planning phase. Kraftcentralen has been used for a workshop. According to A. Rosenbæk, the previously mentioned initiative of establishing a temporary pathway to the area has not been planned concretely yet, because of lacking time. Regarding the target groups, the initial vision was axed towards young, creative people and modern children families; this has
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been twisted through time. As it is now, the site will host, among others, students, families and deaf people (in subsidised housings) and high income residents (in the future apartments of Cementmølleriet). A. Rosenbæk highlights that the Municipality can outline requests about target groups but can only control the final decision through subsidies. The properties have been sold to housing associations, which construct according to their needs and interests. This might be undesirable for the outcome, but reveals the flexibility of the plans. Despite the financial crisis, the private owners have not gone bankrupt and the development of the site has not stopped. On the residential plateau, the plans suggest green areas (e.g. sense gardens), between the dwellings; the layout of parking places, in front of the dwellings, should invite for other uses (although it is not clear yet, which kind of uses: the sections states ‘meeting areas’, but it is not likely to happen unless a more specific landscape design is carried out).
Assign to an incremental process and promote ongoing evaluation and experimentation, assuring long term and long lasting functioning areas What they meant to do… The Urban regeneration strategy points to the development as a successive process, containing different sub-projects [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, pp. 5-6]. A. Rosenbæk points out that the Municipality will evaluate the site continuously [Rosenbæk, 2010]. Eternitten has been selected for the EU-project STRAKKS concerning urban laboratories and experimental architecture. What we can observe… Because of the size of the area, the long time perspective and the private land owners, some kind of incremental approach is almost inevitable. Indeed, it is carried out as the properties are sold and developed in smaller parts. The site will mainly be developed from North to South. The successive process that the Municipality aims for seems quite random, as the developments of the sub-areas are determined by the private land owners and the housing associations. A. Rosenbæk estimates that the first evaluation of the plans should take place ultimo 2011, on basis of the initial visions and evaluate the need for adaptations, in order to fulfil the visions. It is important that this evaluation will be comprehensive and conducted in a dialog between the stakeholders. Besides, we recommend smaller ongoing evaluations of the development in the specific sub-areas. In our opinion, the process has not been characterised by experimenting approaches, all though some would argue that the ‘Industry workshop’ was an example of this. We perceive it as more of an informative kind, rather than an experiment.
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Ensure visibility and openness of the discussions lying behind compromises and trade-offs (e.g. reports and information meetings) What they meant to do… The elements in this criterion are not explained explicit in the plans. What we can observe… As already mentioned, we have noticed very little public awareness of what is happening on Eternitten. Apart from some newspaper articles, a section in the local television news [TV2 Nord, 2010], the display boards on the edges of the site, the websites of the Municipality and the developers and the workshop (which is given more importance than what it actually had), not much have been done to inform or involve citizens. K. Westergaard, F. Nygaard and A. Rosenbæk state that the intern communication and trade-offs have been conducted along the way, through meetings and regular discussions. The stakeholders, especially from the Municipality, have been very conscious and open about the trade-offs undertaken. But the decisions and compromises are not documented or published in a systematic way. This can be regarded as a problem, but should also be judged in the receivers’ perspective. Indeed, it is in the general public interest that the information is accessible, but it can be questioned if the individual citizens have a feeling of concern and responsibility to it. Still it is advisable with public meetings, where the planners inform the public about the current plans (and changes in the plans) and where the citizens and future users can present their questions.
10.4.2 Multiple urban actors
Facilitate cooperation across disciplines and sectors, acknowledging the opportunities of combining different perspectives, to achieve comprehensive planning What they meant to do… The Quality programs should be used as a red line for both private and public stakeholders. Additionally, the Municipality had a wish to involve Realdania in an art project. What we can observe… Cross sector cooperation in the form of partnerships between public and private actors, and the actors’ different educational backgrounds are contributing to an interdisciplinary approach. K. Westergaard explained that architects and constructors were contracted by S. Enggaard and the consultancy firm Cowi was asked to do the Quality program in agreement with the MuniciPage 118 / 133
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pality. The intended collaboration with the team developing Godsbanearealet is limited to the temporary opening of a pathway between the two sites. No discussion or interactions about functions and mutual support opportunities between the two sites have been obvious till this day. Realdania was solicited for subsidising an art project in the public spaces of Eternitten. The Municipality did not get the funding though, but are searching for other opportunities. According to A. Rosenbæk, it was a political decision that the Municipality should not invest in the site, since the political agenda was to let private investors finance the development of new urban areas, considering them as active actors in the economic growth of the city. The Municipality still has economic influence by means of subsidies.
Make active use of partnerships (public-private-citizens), with the municipality as coordinator, and create a mutual understanding of visions and concrete agenda through dialog What they meant to do… A. Rosenbæk underlines that the Municipality is a representative for the citizens needs in accordance to the interests and agendas of the private stakeholders [Rosenbæk, 2010]. What we can see till now… The Municipality, in person of A. Rosenbæk, stands in a delicate position, especially regarding the planning of Bygaden, which is the meeting point of the competing interests of S. Enggaard, Calum and the Municipality itself. Herewith, the collaboration between private and public actors is in focus. This is an inevitable part of the planning process due to the private ownership of the area. Not much attention has been given to the partnership with the citizens (more about this in the next principle). It is difficult to evaluate how well the stakeholders have made use of the opportunities their partnership could bring to the project, in terms of synergies, especially when looking at the great number of trade-offs, expressed through the interviews. It seems that the Municipality has a serious challenge in fulfilling the role of coordinator, because of the strong private interests. A. Rosenbæk expressed though her satisfaction towards the plans, despite the challenges of keeping the red line between the stakeholders. The Quality programs have to some degree functioned as tool for creating a mutual understanding of the visions and agenda, but it is a delicate question how regulatory and strict they are (and should be), and therewith how far the developers can deviate from the visions.
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10.4.3 Citizen involvement Generally, it is difficult to spot many aspects on which citizen involvement has been integrated. The only event concerning public participation, that the stakeholders brag about, is the ‘Industry workshop’, which actually does not seem to have gathered big crowds.
Focus on the final user in order to endorse a community feeling by means of a bottom-up approach and the involvement of local resources (e.g. local associations) What they meant to do… In the plans there has been no clear aim for involvement of citizens, future residents or past workers. What we can observe… Some written contributions, to an initial debate of how to develop the area, were used by the Municipality as inspiration for the elaboration of plans [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 2]. No more details are available on the content of these contributions, and the stakeholders have not mentioned it in the interviews, hereby suggesting that their effect have been limited. The Municipality seems to have prioritised information rather than involvement. The ideas and inspirations are mainly dragged in by the Municipality and through the Quality programs realised on the developers’ demand. We see an unexploited potential regarding the involvement of local association, e.g. in order to create temporary activities in the area. According to A. Rosenbæk, these associations have not been contacted or activated by the Municipality, because of lacking resources and other prioritisations. It seems like the private developers are not engaged in citizen involvement, but still they have some considerations about the future users. F. Nygaard highlights the considerations about public and semi-public courtyards; these considerations include thoughts about how much the residents might want to get involved in the city life.
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Support citizens’ feeling of ownership and responsibility towards the public spaces and let the area grow from inside, by means of public participation in the debates (during realisation) and in the new built neighbourhoods (after realisation) What they meant to do… The Urban regeneration strategy points that the area should ‘bloom from inside’ to enhance self-management [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 2]. What we can observe… Very little has been done in terms of public participation, and therefore the evaluation of this criterion is mainly negative. Since the planning of the public spaces is still in the initial phase, there are great potentials in involving the residents in order to stimulate a kind of ‘blooming from the inside’.
Inform and give citizens the opportunity for active participation in public meetings, encompassing both creative workshops and hearings What they meant to do… The Urban regeneration strategy stresses the ‘process experiment’ vision of the development of the site [Aalborg Kommune, 2006, p. 2]. What we can observe… The workshop in the initial phase has been the only moment where people could interact with the project and the various stakeholders. The Local plans have been in public hearing, but no public meetings have been arranged. According to the Municipality, meetings concerning the plans can be arranged on private initiative. According to F. Nygaard, there have been visual displays of the plans, installed in Kraftcentralen by the Municipality, but it can be questioned if any citizens have visited the construction site to see them. The lack of publicity around the information sessions or places, and the complaints from neighbours to the site, result in a blurred image of what is actually going on and which issues are dealt with (e.g. ground pollution, functions, place identity and ethic stance toward the past).
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After using the criteria to evaluate the plans for Eternitten, we can make some improvement recommendations for both design and process (some have already been mentioned during the evaluation). Hereby, we will not present a new plan for the area, but point some key aspects that can be discussed and improved, in order to achieve liveable public spaces. Being aware of the conditions and available resources of the stakeholders (especially the Municipality), we have tried to make the recommendations realistic and to direct them to the specific stage in which the development of Eternitten is currently. For example, it would be difficult to change the diversity of function in the area at this point, but diversity of people and activities can still be achieved. Plan thoroughly the public spaces Adjust the public spaces to the changed target groups. Decide on a wide range of functions and activities, but adjust them more distinctively to the target groups in the specific areas. Elaborate on the experimental furniture and knowledge sharing facilities (decide if it is realistic). Use the potentials of historical elements The legislation in the Local plans should be more clear and strict, especially according to the preservation of historical buildings. The silos represent an opportunity to break with the monofunctionality of Village 21, if they are used for e.g. cultural events, restaurants or cafés. Traffic and parking lots should not be dominating Since parking lots mainly are flat parking, it is important to integrate the parking places in the public spaces, so they do not disturb other uses and activities. Prioritise ensuring easy transit from the residential area and the northern area by non-motorised transportations modes (this should be ready when the first people move in). Temporary functions and events The Municipality should start a dialog in order to activate local resources (e.g. associations). This will contribute to the place image and the attraction of the first users, and be part of a flexible and dynamic process.
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The Municipality should arrange events, like city walks, (as done in the case of Godsbanearealet) to invite people into the area, e.g. showing the new path way.
Review the planning approach The flexible ‘bloom from inside’ strategy should be more explicit. Focus on activating the first people who move into the area, e.g. the use of workshops in this phase. Otherwise, the ‘bloom from inside’ will hardly happen. The regulatory aspect of the plans should be clearer, thereby overcoming the delicate discussion about how far the developers can move away from the visions. This would make the plans less flexible, but reduce the resources used to discuss the regulations with the private land owners. Running evaluations should be prioritised: the evaluation can be conducted in sections and smaller areas, as they are completed. Large scale evaluations are also important in order to keep global overview of the project. Create public awareness and participation Prioritise resources for creating public awareness of the visions and plans for the site. Arrange public hearings where stakeholders can respond to the current plans. Publish more updated information on the developers’, the Municipality’s and the site’s website. Recommendations for specific public spaces Byparken and Bytorvet o Should include functions and activities ensuring that Village 21 is not closed down in the evenings: e.g. concerts, restaurants, bar and sport facilities. o Cars should not be allowed in Bytorvet. o Work should be done on achieving a human scale, e.g. creating niches by use of furniture and vegetation. o Create active facades in the remaining buildings. Bygaden o Avoid it becoming a transit space. Few cars and at low speed (shared spaces). o Create niches. o Create active facades in the remaining buildings.
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The chalk quarry o Finish smaller parts of the recreational area as soon as possible, so the new inhabitants can use them from the beginning. o Decide on which functions and activities will take place here, in relation to the change in target groups.
We have noticed that some criteria have been difficult to use in the concrete evaluation. We will expose those weaknesses and points of discussions in the next chapter.
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11 APPLICABILITY OF THE CRITERIA
The criteria have been established on basis of the theoretical framework and empirical experiences we have elaborated in the first part of the project. The main objective was to create useful criteria, easy to apply in an evaluation and encompassing the multiple aspects presented in the theoretical framework and empirical experiences. It is important to note that the review of the criteria must be an ongoing process. With the perspective of our work, and the newly acquired knowledge from the evaluation of Eternitten, we can ask two questions regarding the applicability of the presented analytical framework: How operational were the criteria, and herewith, which ones were difficult to evaluate upon? Can we reflect on the list of criteria to reduce it to a strict minimum of indicators, defined to be the benchmark of this framework?
Generally, we consider that the degree of operationalisation was appropriate to make use of the criteria in the evaluation of the plans. However, some criteria were more difficult to evaluate on, because the formulation was not sharp enough. This could easily be corrected by adjusting the formulation of the criteria. The focus point of the criteria was brought out front and the means, objectives or outcomes were moved to a second position. Hereby, the content was unchanged, but the criterion and its actual meaning were clarified. Therefore, those small changes42 have not been documented in the text. A criterion regarding uses and users is “Identify the target groups, and thereby the balance between internal daily use (residents and workers of the neighbourhood) and external occasional use (the rest of the citizens and tourists) of public spaces” and illustrates the kind of smaller changes undertaken: earlier, the formulation started with “identify the hierarchy of public spaces”. Indeed, we consider that the hierarchy of spaces lies implicitly in the identification of internal and external uses. On the other hand, some criteria were more difficult to apply because of the broad range of elements encompassed: those would need modification to become more accurate. For instance, in “Invite people in using the public spaces by promoting fluent transitions, visibility and activation of outdoor public
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spaces by functions and activities within buildings”, even though these aspects are closely related, it is hard to have a good overview about all at the same time. We will describe this further on in the following paragraphs. Concrete modification procedures In general, the principle concerning accessibility, mobility and proximity were complicated to evaluate on, because of ambiguous formulations and overlaps between the different criteria. The following example shows how the formulation of one criterion was modified: “Ensure flow and easy transit between transportation modes through transport nodes and placement of parking lots distanced from functions, in order to encourage people to walk through spaces” becomes “Encourage non-motorised mobility through spaces and easy transit between transportation modes. The placement of parking lots distanced from functions is a considerable parameter”. The initial criterion encompassed many aspects of the mobility discussion to take into account under the evaluation. Therefore, it has been simplified to a criterion encompassing two main recommendations: non-motorised mobility and easy transit between transportation modes. Moreover, the applicability of the criterion suffered from some inner dilemmas: if the transit is really effective (e.g. from car to public transportation), people might not get a chance to use the public spaces. Whereas it is now, the criterion can be seen differently, depending on which part of the criterion is weighted (non-motorised mobility or easy transit). The distant placement of parking places might be considered as contradictive to what is stated before about easy transit, but the two aspects can be combined in emphasising public transportation and transit to non-motorised transportation modes. Discussion of parking places is included in the acknowledgement of cars as dominating transportation mode. These complex considerations about the analytical framework bring us to explain more about the weaknesses of the criteria. Critical review of our analytical framework Firstly, we can point out some intern weaknesses in the formulation of our criteria, and therewith our analytical framework. In general, there are some overlaps in the criteria; especially, the aspect of temporary functions and activities is treated in several criteria. It might seem like an unnecessary repetition but it highlights also the challenges behind the elaboration of our framework: it is difficult to talk about such an aspect as temporary functions and activities, only under one specific theme. They cause indeed multiple effects on many different facets of urban spaces (e.g. the image, the attraction of the first users and the flexibility and dynamic of the planning process). However, the overlaps can also be an indicator for an opportunity to narrow down our framework to fewer criteria. We will come to this further down.
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In terms of presentation of the evaluation, we decided upon the demarcation between general and specific considerations, the first starting points to be found on a large scale and the second focusing on specific areas and zooming into the plans. Nevertheless, it has been difficult to stick drastically to this separation and overlaps have occurred along the way. This results from, firstly, the need to adapt to the information we had, and secondly from the varying scales upon which it was possible to evaluate (depending on the criterion). We will now go through some critical aspects of the analytical framework: terms, meanings and reflections upon the criteria’s accuracy. The term ‘balance’ is used in two criteria concerning uses and users. For example, the balance of resource and land uses is rather delicate to evaluate, because we have not defined clearly what underlies the term ‘balance’. It becomes a rather subjective judgement, but on the other hand it would not make sense to give specific quantitative restrictions. We found it more convenient to look at balance in the evaluations of specific public spaces and users. The term ‘target groups’ is also used in the principle of ‘uses and users’, in relation to the internal daily uses or occasional uses and the inclusiveness of spaces. The meaning of ‘target group’ is rather vague and can vary from one stakeholder to another, and therewith the evaluation risks being superficial and unclear on this aspect. Besides, we have not been able to specify which target groups were concerned with the totality of the site, the subparts, the functions and the public spaces. It could be recommendable to define them by their socio-economical condition (e.g. age, education, background) or their purpose for visiting the site. The ‘diversity of functions, activities and people’ can be difficult to evaluate. Referring back to Gehl, “what is important is not whether factories, residences, service functions, and so on are placed close together on the architects’ drawings, but whether the people who work and live in the different buildings use the same public spaces and meet in connection with daily activities” [Gehl, 2006, p. 101]. Hereby, the outcome of planned public spaces is more difficult to analyse and cannot be evaluated only on the basis of the functions, location and orientation of buildings. Our focus on the public spaces, through the whole project, has been our response to this. For instance, the criterion concerning flow and presence of people illustrates this concern. Regarding the criterion about prioritising land use and resources, in our opinion the planning should consist of a parallel process of integrating public spaces and functions. In general, many of the process criteria seem rather obvious in the planning process of current urban regeneration projects, e.g. the incremental approach and the flexibility of plans. The criteria favour a bottom-up approach, where the involvement of citizens is crucial. This might seem idealistic and questions can be raised about the engagement of the citizens: often only some specific population groups participate in the public debates and express their
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opinions. Therefore, in some cases, public participation can lead to non-representative outcomes [Haugthon, 1999, p. 236]. This illustrates how important it is to be aware of which citizens you actually involve in the planning process, and to have a discussion about the less engaged population groups. But it is also the Municipality’s and the developers’ task to inform and awake the interest of citizens. A question arises in terms of how many resources (economy, time and people) you should use for dragging the citizens into the discussion, and for making their opinions visible. We would also like to emphasise briefly some external weaknesses in form of some reflections about the context for the evaluation itself. In term of scale of the evaluation, we can argue that we applied the framework on a too narrow scale: on Eternitten and its public spaces, but not in regard to the total network of urban spaces in the city. We are aware that the success of public spaces is also related to their weight and hierarchy in the city, i.e. the integration of the newly planned public spaces in the city in terms of size, provision of activities and functions, demand of users for such spaces. Furthermore, the evaluation occurs in a stage where the plans are not completed. Indeed, the late planning of the public spaces makes it difficult to evaluate them, because we cannot be certain of their final outcome. Still we can see which direction the projects are moving towards and point to the most desirable outcomes. Additionally, the activities are hard to determine in the current phase, because they are not yet designed in the plans. We can also point out that activities in the public spaces are difficult to evaluate on, unless they are directly associated with a function or an urban design (e.g. café, outdoor scene or basket ball terrain). Finally, we can highlight that it is difficult to determine where to stop the evaluation. It is difficult to have the total overview of a planning project, and there are always more aspects to add to the discussions. The evaluation might be easier if it was carried out by the Municipality, eventually in collaboration with the private developers. We wonder though if they are able to (and should) conduct an impartial evaluation of their own work. The possibility for reducing the analytical framework The gathered information from the theoretical framework and empirical experiences has been assembled and condensed into 8 principles, and hereunder 27 criteria. If it is possible to reduce the list to a minimum, how few indicators can we work with? At this point we cannot eliminate any of the principles, because we consider them all to include some important aspects from the theoretical framework and the empirical experiences. It could though be possible to integrate the principle of citizen involvement in the principle concerning multiply urban actors. Additionally the overlaps mentioned
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earlier suggest that some of the criteria could be combined. An example could be the many repetitions about the use of ‘temporary functions, activities and events’; this element could then be considered to be a main indicator. Furthermore, the two last criteria in citizens’ involvement are closely related and could be joined. There lies though a risk, in joining criteria, of either generating broad and all-encompassing sentences or losing some important aspects. We suggest that this can be investigated in further works in a future project, along with the ongoing review of the criteria and constant addition of new theories and empirical experiences.
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The urban planning field has been continuously evolving through history. Today urban planning is a complex matter, which calls for an interdisciplinary approach to reach long-term solutions. In this project, the main focus has been the challenges of planning public spaces. The time aspect is of relevance since public spaces and uses are elements of the public realm, which have a long inertia and cannot be patched up with quick solutions. The brownfield site Eternitten in Aalborg seemed interesting to work on because of its currently ongoing planning, and the many urban issues behind. In an early part of the project, we emphasised, both the discussion and concerns around urban regeneration and the challenges arising in the planning of public spaces. The focus on brownfield regeneration sites relies on the attention of municipalities to reuse old industrial sites, and use them to develop the city within its boarder. From the initial chapters, it became clear that those sites result from a delocalisation of industries, leaving polluted and uninviting terrains. Herewith, it is a challenge to create a positive image of the site: the task is to promote the area again for its future residents and for possible investors and businesses. Digging into the task of planning public spaces, we observed that a range of challenges and pressures lies in the process and decision-making behind the design: the aimed target groups, the image and value of the developed ground – and herewith the attractiveness of the site –, the environmental and ethical issues of the polluted site, the management of public space, the citizens’ involvement and the conflicting interests of public and private stakeholders. The last mentioned challenge comprehends the other ones, in the sense that many are brought up in the agendas of the various stakeholders, and debated through collaboration. We have focussed on the liveability of public spaces: the definition of liveability is sustained by the outlined theoretical framework and deals among other things with conviviality, human scale, perception and use of space. The evolution of society suggests the continual update of the definition and ongoing examination of the numerous challenges, hereby also the need for frequent evaluations of the public spaces, under and after planning. By this means, the research question led to the shaping of criteria, which would provide planners with a tool for such evaluations: How can a framework of theories and empirical experiences on urban public spaces outline criteria for evaluation of plans, in order to identify the opportunities for liveability in public spaces, within brownfield areas? The essence for those criteria is their utility. Therefore, we have strengthened them by confronting them to Eternitten, as it was an interesting
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subject for evaluation. The pragmatic approach to the research question, and in general to urban planning, led us to choose an abductive methodology; we aimed hereby to build further on existing knowledge (i.e. theories and empirical experiences) and to operationalise it through a set of criteria. The elaboration of the analytical framework is supported by the abductive approach to urban planning: it allows us to relate theories and experiences, while keeping a door open for future updates and changes. The theoretical framework we have outlined refers to the work of recognised theorists, from the post-modernist break and up to this day; alongside, we bring up the concept of placemaking and the practical approaches of Gehl and Gulmann, within the Danish context. We have studied the following aspects affecting liveability of public spaces: mix of functions and activities, the sense of place and place identity, the features influencing the way people perceive space as safe or inclusive, the mobility of citizens and accessibility of public spaces and the uses and users of public spaces. Aspects related to process, such as flexible planning and ongoing review of plans, multiple urban actors and active partnerships and citizens’ participation, have also been highlighted. From the study of empirical experiences, we can emphasise, among other things, the aspects of temporary uses, the useful recycling of historical buildings, the human scale, the work on active facades, the importance of displaying the processes to citizens and investors. All those aspects, taking into account, constitute the backbone of the criteria we have outlined in order to evaluate public spaces. The analytical framework comprehends five design-oriented principles and three processoriented principles, defined by means of a range of criteria. Those have been used to evaluate the public spaces, and herewith the design and process behind the plans of Eternitten. To strengthen our insight into the public and private debate, interviews have been conducted with stakeholders behind the project. The objective behind the evaluation was to verify the applicability of the criteria. But when carrying it out, we could not leave out to make some recommendations to the regeneration project. Indeed, the evaluation at this stage is supposed to give the project an opening to possible improvement to realise before completion. The recommendations point out the breaches, weak and lacking elements of the plans: the accuracy and focus on the planning of the public spaces, the integration of the full potentials of using the historical buildings, the large space dedicated to traffic and parking places - as well as their influence on the perception of public space, the lacking use of temporary events and functions and the unexploited use of the benefits of public participation. Some specific comments and improvement proposals have been made on three main public spaces: Bygaden, Byparken and the chalk quarry.
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LIVEABLE PUBLIC SPACES
After having carried out the evaluation of Eternitten, it is our general opinion that, when considering the subparts of the site, both potentials and weaknesses for future liveability, in the planned public spaces, can be found. Regarding the advancement of the plans, the lack of detailed plans for the public spaces and the underexploited involvement of future residents, we conclude that work still has to be done in order to achieve liveability in the public spaces. In terms of conclusions to the outlined criteria, the evaluation showed that they were applicable. However, we have noticed that some criteria were a bit difficult to evaluate on, and therefore some modifications have been made on the basis of experiences from the evaluation. The elaboration of this analytical framework has allowed us to study the complexity behind urban planning projects. Although we had our focus set on urban regeneration and brownfield sites, we need to specify that the criteria are applicable in any urban projects concerning planning of public spaces. We have pointed out that the time of the evaluation could as well be situated in an earlier or later stage of the project, focussing on all criteria, but with a varying balance depending on the phase in which the evaluation is undertaken and the context of the specific project. The project has given us a deep insight in the many design parameters and process issues at stake and, hereby, also a hint to the hard task of elaborating evaluation criteria, which are general enough to be applied to a wide range of urban projects, but specific enough to be applicable and relevant. This task we assigned to is thus a contribution to the ongoing building of knowledge in urban planning, by the elaboration of useful criteria for a better outcome of public spaces.
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Aalborg Kommune, 2008. Kommuneplan - 4.2.B8 Eternitten. Aalborg. Aalborg Kommune, 2006. Byomdannelsesstrategi – Redegørelse til kommuneplanrammer for Eternitten. Aalborg. Produced in collaboration with FLS Real Estate, Arkitektfirmaet CF Møller and Cowi. 11CityDesign, 2010. 11CityDesign – modellen. Retrieved on December 20, 2010. http://www.11citydesign.dk/modellen Overview of plans for Eternitten Municipal plan framework: Aalborg Kommune, 2008 and Aalborg Kommune (a) (b) and (c), 2009 Urban regeneration strategy: Aalborg Kommune, 2006 Quality programs: Cowi (a), 2009; Cowi (b) and Kjaer & Richter and Preben Skaarup Local plans: Aalborg Kommune (c), 2010 and Cowi (c), 2009. Illustrations used for the cover Shaftoe, H., 2008. Convivial Urban Spaces: Creating Effective Public Places. London: Sterling, VA, pp.4, 8, 43 and 56. Cowi A/S (a), 2009. Village 21 – Fra Eternitfabrik til Vidensfabrik. Et moderne vækstmiljø for internationalt orienterede vidensvirksomheder. Kvalitetsprogram. Produced in collaboration with Aalborg Municipality, Teknisk Forvaltning, p. 21. Søren Enggaard A/S, 2010. Billeder. Retrieved on January 4, 2011. http://www.eternitgrunden.dk/eternitgrunden/Billeder.aspx Rytter, B., 2011. Fotograf til alle i Nordjylland. Retrieved on January 4, 2011. http://www.ryttersfoto.dk/photo_4793570.html Skov, E., 2011. Industrial facilities @ Eternitten. Retrieved on January 4, 2011. http://www.flickr.com/photos/esbenskov/4119819226/ Aalborg Stadsarkiv, 2011. Eternitfabrikken, Aalborg. Retrieved on January 4, 2011. http://www.flickr.com/photos/32217266@N05/3289991869/ Nordjyske.dk, 2011. Asbestofres krav kan ikke forældes. Retrieved on January, 2011. http://www.nordjyske.dk/artikel/10/5/4/3747031/3/asbestofres%20krav%20kan%20ikke%20for%E6ldes
APPENDIX 1: GEHL’S 12 QUALITY CRITERIA
[Gemzøe, 2006, p. 12]
APPENDIX 2: THE PLACE DIAGRAM
The inner ring represents key attributes, the middle ring intangible qualities, and the outer ring measurable data [PPS (h), 2010].
PPS has developed the diagram on the basis of the evaluation of a great amount of public spaces43, to be able to help judging if a place is successful or not [PPS (h), 2010]. The positive aspect of the figure is that it gives an overview of the various elements that are needed for the design and function of a place. The inner circle defines the main themes urban actors must take into consideration. The theme ‘comfort & image’ can be criticised for being too broad a theme, because it consist of elements which may not be related to both terms. It is also significant that this theme in its outer circle contains issues which might not relate to spiritual and walkable elements. This argumentation can be relevant in all quarters of the cycle. To be useful, the figure needs to be deepened with more measurable elements. It can also be important to state that the diagram is subjective, because the words can be perceived differently e.g. the word fun. The Place Diagram can be used to discuss different elements connected to placemaking and their interrelation. In order to use the themes in practice, they must be strengthened, especially the process-related themes. It can be used in the beginning of the planning process to create awareness to the different themes and their mutual hierarchy. When focussing on the part in the planning process where plans have been approved but yet not realised, the diagram can be a sort of checklist for each public space in the new area.
It is not specified though how many public spaces were evaluated, how and where.
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