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Exploring the 'Y' of Urbanism
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You are here: Yurbanism » Blog » Urbanism » Urban Fabric: The Form of Cities
Urban fabric is the physical form of towns and cities. Like textiles, urban fabric comes in many different types and weaves.
For simplicity’s sake, I am going to divide the multiple of different urban fabrics into two typologies: coarse grain and fine grain:
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5. and adapting to what came afterwards. often fail. This isolation reduces the capability of those living on these streets to jointly support retail establishments. community. …the effect of putting an enormous single-purpose entity within this fine network of the city core is the same as putting a huge field of a single crop in the middle of an ecology: it renders the whole thing essentially sterile. Like high count egyptian (or perhaps pima) cotton. Large blocks. Urbanism ← Friday 5 – Yuri 10th-16th July Contact Share 6 Videos 2 of 6 08-01-2013 18:23 . but are dynamic and reflective of a neighborhood’s changing needs. In downtown Phoenix. Urban Terroir: The Qualities of a City 2. Bookmark & Share Share this: Related posts: 1. large-scale weaves that are functional. Mixed use. Just as we are not comfortable wearing a burlap shirt. it evolves over time in a piecemeal way. 3. fine grain urban fabric can feel luxurious and want to make people linger in or around it. with blocks that are not too big and intersections that are not too far apart.com/blog/urban-fabric/ “Long blocks isolate the users of one street from the next one over. and as a result. Rather. urban planning. Instead of asserting control over the street. This offers many opportunities for discovery and exploration. Within each block are several buildings. 4. fortifying themselves against the perceived dangers of the outside. so are storefronts. but not usually comfortable. the fabric itself is usually inhospitable to interaction. Streets and opportunities to turn corners are frequent. Fine grain urban fabric consists of several small blocks in close proximity. intersections. such places turn inward. predominated by big box stores and other car contract retail and corporate centers. when they lose a single tenant. or multi block mega project dropped on a city without integrating the surrounding city or community. There are virtual no vacant lots or surface parking. there is fine-grained urban fabric. urban fabric. James Howard Kunstler. Such places consist of one of two things. incapable of generating anything new. Not only do coarse grain fabrics NOT provide many opportunities for interconnecting. This evolutionary process creates place that are not frozen in the era when they were built.Urban Fabric http://yuriartibise. frequent store fronts. responding to what came before. Also. Jane Jacobs. This begets yet more undesirability. Fine grained urban fabric is not imposed on a community like its coarse cousin.” —Jane Jacobs Coarse grain urban fabric is like burlap: rough. —James Howard Kunstler FINE GRAIN Street patterns must be easily navigable and lattice like. and minimal setbacks from the street. In this regard coarse grain acts as a barrier for all but those who are there for a specific purpose. most with narrow frontages. In this way. if that’s what the community desires. Urban Textures Radiate Phoenix September Gathering: Urban Grocery and Wine Bar From Car Spaces to People Places: Park(ing) Day is coming to Phoenix Recent Readings: October 24-29 Tags: cities. This creates an urban fabric that can seamlessly evolve over time from lightly developed residential areas to mixed-used retail to dense urban core. developments like Arizona Center and CityScape come to mind. as there are more intersections. traffic is slower and safer. —Roger Lewis On the other hand. there are far more resilient than the mega projects mentioned above who. we are not comfortable spending more time them necessary in coarse-grained places.