CAPTURING CORNERS NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION THROUGH ECOLOGICAL DEMOCRACY

Andrew Clarke Brett Shoffner
University of Missouri-Kansas City

WHAT IS CAPTURING CORNERS?
 Corners are gateways to neighborhoods
  First thing people see when entering; last thing seen when leaving.

 Anchor for:
  Community Connectedness   Perceptual Inclusiveness   Green Infrastructure   Sense of Place   Economic Vitality

“The Greatest Urban Spaces are Street Corners.” – William H. Whyte

ECOLOGICAL DEMOCRACY
 Ecological Democracy (Hester, 2006)
  Government by people emphasizing direct, hands-on involvement.   Actions guided by understanding natural processes and social

relationships within locality and larger environmental context.
  Causes us to creatively reassess individual needs, happiness, and

long-term community good
  Changes the form cities take which creates a new urban ecology

 Urban design builds ecological democracy…

or destroys it…

ECOLOGICAL DEMOCRACY
 Residents form must be
  Enabled
  Get to know neighbors   Get to know land   Get to know self

Tenants of Ecological Democracy
Centeredness Connectedness Sacredness Particularness Selective Diversity Limited Extent Adaptability Naturalness Reciprocal Stewardship

  Resilient
  Diverse   Adaptable   Interconnectedness of urban ecosystems

  Impelled
  “Make a city to touch people’s hearts”

HOW CAPTURING CORNERS WORKS
 Neighborhood Revitalization through

Community Sustainability
 Five E’s (Randolph, 2004)
  Equity – Socially just   Economy – Resourcefully profitable   Environment – Ecologically responsible   Engagement – Committedly accessible   Eternity- Adaptably sacred

HOW CAPTURING CORNERS WORKS
 People are attracted by other people! (Whyte, 1988)  Corners are natural crossroads
  Bulk of conversations occur within pedestrian flow (Gehl,1987)

 Good places need pedestrian connections  Corners must be designed to capture people.

HOW CAPTURING CORNERS WORKS
 Integrating Sustainability into Urban Design   Community Connectedness
  Equity – Socially just

  Perceptual Inclusiveness
  Engagement – Committedly accessible

  Green Infrastructure
  Environment – Ecologically responsible

  Economic Vitality
  Economy – Resourcefully profitable

  Sense of Place
  Eternity- Adaptably sacred

CAPTURING CORNERS – SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
 Community Connectedness
  Sense of Place   Social Equity
  People are treated fairly regardless of cultural background

  Environmental Justice
  People are not unjustly subject to health hazards

CAPTURING CORNERS – SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
 Symbolic Ownership – Perceptual Inclusion  Identity, Structure, & Meaning (Lynch, 1960)  Symbolically meaningful and keenly felt relationships with our environment resonate through all cultures (Tuan, 1974)  People are equally concerned with the social, land use, and physical design aspects of streets (Mehta, 2007)  Identity vs. Image (Montgomery, 1998)

CAPTURING CORNERS – ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
 Green Infrastructure – Ecologically Responsible
 Vegetative Swales  Rain Gardens  Rain Barrels  Trees  Green Roofs  Pervious Pavements  Open Green Spaces  Urban Agriculture
“The City must be recognized as part of nature and designed accordingly.” – Anne Whiston Spirn

GI is two components
-Hubs -Linkages (Benedict and McMahon, 2006)
Capturing Corners can act as both.

CAPTURING CORNERS – ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY
 Economic Vitality  Property Tax Value Increases  Housing and Commercial  City/State Tax revenue  Cultural Context  Easy/Low Cost to maintain native Green Infrastructure

CAPTURING CORNERS – COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY
 Sense of Place  Face to face relationships have a geographical basis and are foundation for neighborhood definition (Cooley, 1909) (Park, 1952)
 Residents form must be enabled, resilient, and impelled.

PEOPLE DEFINE PLACE!

CAPTURING CORNERS – DESIGN
 Corners must be designed for everyone   Intentionality (Husserl, 1913) (Pepper, Perkins, & Youngs 1984) (Relph, 1976)   Provide Identity (Von Meiss, 1990)
  Responsive to users needs/values, community participation in

design process, adaptable environments

  Accessible
  Walkable, Bike Friendly, Mass Transit Corridors

  Natural beauty using landscape aesthetics

 Gateways for Neighborhoods   Reflection on City as whole

CAPTURING CORNERS - INTEGRATION
  Social, Environmental, & Economic Sustainability   Ecologically Democratic   Accessible, Adaptable, & Aesthetic   Equitable, Engaged, & Enabled   People are attracted to place, in turn attracting

Professional Cooperation
Urban Administrators Urban Planners Architects Civil Engineers Community Organizers Landscape Architects Social Psychologists Educators Elected Officials

other people, creating sustainable communities.

REFERENCES
                               

Benedict, Mark A., and Edward McMahon. 2006. Green Infrastructure: Linking Landscapes and Communities. Washington, DC: Island. Cooley, CH. 1909. Social Organization: A Study of the Larger Mind. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Gehl, Jan. 1987. Life between Buildings: Using Public Space. New York:Van Nostrand Reinhold. Hester, Randolph T. 2006. Design for Ecological Democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT. Husserl, Edmund.1913. Ideen Zu Einer Reinen Phänomenologie Und Phänomenologischen Philosophie: Erstes Buch, Allgemeine Einführung in Die Reine Phänomenologie. trans. Kersten, F., 1982. The Hague: Nijhoff. Lynch, Kevin. 1960. The Image of the City. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mehta,Vikas. 2007. “Lively Streets: Determining Environmental Characteristics to Support Social Behavior.” Journal of Planning Education and Research, 27 (2), 165-187. Montgomery, J. 1998. Making a City: Urbanity,Vitality and Urban Design. Journal of Urban Design 3 (1), pp 93-116. Park, RE. 1952. Human Communities:The City and Human Ecology. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press. Pepper, David, John Perkins, and Martyn J.Youngs. 1984. The Roots of Modern Environmentalism. London: Croom Helm. Randolph, John. 2004. Environmental Land Use Planning and Management. Washington: Island. Relph, E. C. 1976. Place and Placelessness. London: Pion. Spirn, Anne Whiston. 1984. The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design. New York: Basic. Tuan,Yi-fu. 1974. Topophilia: A Study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes, and Values. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Von Meiss, Pierre. 1990. Elements of Architecture: From Form to Place. London:Van Nostrand Reinhold. Whyte, William H. 1988. City: Rediscovering the Center. New York: Anchor.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful