HUMAN SCALE AND URBAN SPACE

Heena Fatima Nidhi Joshi Sonika Shetty

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ . and too dull compared with older models to encourage people to meet . but which they often ignore having been forced to adopt dimensions and sizes already determined by zoning regulations. creating spaces in which it is impossible for people to feel comfortable when they gather or relate to one another. The streets and squares of neighborhoods built today are not the products of surrounding architectural forms. or to simply enjoy their everyday movements from one place to another. buildings are built without regard one for the other.and socialize.Human Scale: ‡ "Human scale" is considered as a measure "related to the size of our body. The usual practice is to lay out the streets . streets and squares which we have built is too vast to give a sense of security to their users. and our ability to identify and talk with other human beings These are examples of the many questions urban designers should deal with. the speed of our movement.and once the land has been divided into lots according to prescribed subdivision by-laws. In what relationship should the width of the square be with the various heights of the buildings that enclose it? What is the proportional ratio between the width of the street and the height the buildings that enclose it? When can it be said that one building is in scale with its Surroundings? The oversized nature of the city centers.

There are some streets we find more pleasant than the rest . Although people do not necessarily understand all the design principles that comprise their built environment. Urban design has enormous potential to stimulate and excite the mind just as the inferior built environment can debilitate it. STREETS BEFORE AND AFTER FURNISHINGS AND TREES . Our mental requirements derive from the bipolar needs of the human mind: we are simultaneously hungry for excitement and tension as well as eager to feel secure and in harmony with our environment.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ In our daily lives there are certain places that attract us visually much more than others. their acceptance or rejection of particular place can be seen as a gauge of their approval as to whether a design works or not.

‡ ‡ ‡ An urban space is formed only if its elements are designed and placed in relation to one another. 1:1 1:1. where their shape and scale give meaning to the space between them.5. this scale offers a strong sense of identity to the street . They have a healing force "to break down person-to-person and personto-city alienation The visual quality of an environment must satisfy our intellectual and emotional needs as well as support the social aspects of our lives.5 1:2 Curran suggests its H/W ratio he 1/1. Harmonious proportions and balance are not only important for the satisfaction of our aesthetic sensibility but they can influence our social life as well.

The block. In a wider and larger street we tend to walk more rapidly. and arcades create a more intimate scale indicative of slower movement and are conducive to social activities.6 promotes spaciousness and a feeling of isolation while 0.6 gives the street a sense of crowdedness . but sidewalks with additional elements such as trees. Wide streets suggest the dominance of vehicular traffic.6 as the upper limit. ‡Ashihara examining Asian street adjusted the critical ratios more correctly and gives 0. He claims that 1.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Perception of scale is based on psychological constitution and is inseparable from its connection with the human dimension.Level street with a D/H ratio of 1/1 serves exclusively for pedestrian use . street furniture. unavoidably having a profound influence on the users of the space it creates.6 as the lower and 1. while smaller streets of more intimate scale are usually associated with slower movement.

Such a relationship characterizes intimate human scale . while at an angle of 12 degrees and (H/D) 1:4. . selected as a module can be seen at a glance.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ The way an object enters our field of vision is defined by the angle formed by the rays from our eye to the outline of the object . At an angle of 18 degrees and (H/D) ratio 1:3 an object is a part of its surroundings but still dominates it. Human scale in terms of visual form is a concept which defines the distance at which the wholeness of an object . At an angle of 27 degrees . an object becomes part of its surroundings. and by the capacity of our eyes to see two thirds of the field of vision above the level of the eye and two thirds below. The angle of 45 degrees (H/D) ratio of 1:1 produces the best distance from which the details can be observed in relation to the whole. at a ratio between height and distance (H/D) of 1:2 an object is perceived as a little world in itself . as well as its smallest recognizable part. ‡Perception of an object is defined by the viewers¶ distance from it.

If the W/D ratio is higher. the townscape is isolated. ‡The street with low W/D ratio looks more active.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Patterns of streets and squares have characterized our cities since ancient times. The perfect street is a harmonious space. and our urban experience has been greatly affected by their scale Ashihara (1983) finds that the width of the building facades in relation to the breadth of the street is also important in defining the scale of the street. The sketch illustrates how a sense of space may be transformed by changing the W/D ratio. When a relatively narrow street is fronted by buildings with wide facades. Its overall atmosphere suffers.6. while a low W/D ratio gives the exterior space of the street an interior quality. ‡W/D ratio = 0. . ‡W/D ratio = 1. with the continuity and rhythm of its enclosure.

to create human-scaled open spaces involves issues not only of aesthetics but also of economic profitability. . environmental consciousness and social responsibility. The main aim of the emerging planning concepts is to address a physical form that will better respond to the present sociodemographic.‡ ‡ Nowadays. economic and environmental situation either to revitalize urban centres or to order suburban growth ‡Making streets comfortable and attractive for pedestrians is one of the many planning principles characteristic of the current cardominated environment.

but of how the critical ratio between the variety and uniformity or these elements is maintained In order to achieve a unity of scale. The way for a building to be in scale with its surroundings is not a question of the same height. Scale results when unity and pattern prevail over disorder and anarchy. On one side there is complexity. uniformity and rhythm. material.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ our perception is polarized between two forces which the human mind tries to put in balance. variety and randomness and on the other pattern. building type or color. the rate of similarity of a grouping of elements should be around 60 percent. .

since any longer would imply the loss of their coherence and unity. The character of a shopping street suggests that its length should not exceed the distance that could be comfortably covered by walking.‡ ‡ Ashihara (1983) finds the natural length of Asian shopping streets to fall between 300 and 600 meters. this practice Ashihara claims was used in all linear spaces of the past .

deflection. curvilinear shape. punctuation . PUNCTUATION: in the continuity of a street.‡ While an enclosed vista brings a street to an end.projection or recession and narrows are some of the other design methods that can modify the scale of a street to make it look shorter and enclosed but still suggest progression of movement DEFLECTION : A building deflected at the end of a closed vista could suggest that there is a place not yet seen of which this building may be a part. a pause can be created which might encourage us to rest for a moment .

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