Urban Design Is The Process Of Planning And Shaping Buildings And Public Spaces

1327 Words Dec 6th, 2016 6 Pages
Urban design is the process of planning and shaping buildings and public spaces. In North America, the ignorant urban design has resulted in a nation of places not worth caring about. From my point of view, contemporary urban designs should inspire centers of civic life and demonstrate democracy in action. Many urban designs attempt to become visual signs but failed to recognize a sense of neighborhood and communal culture. As James Kunstler mentions in the video “how bad architecture wrecked cities,” civic buildings like Boston city hall conveys authority and provokes spatial experience but fails to engage with the public. The giant plaza in front of the city hall does not attract citizens’ interest and often becomes an empty city square. Public space as such could only gain people’s attention by holding festivals and craft fairs. Not only do buildings and spaces like Boston city hall plaza disconnect the citizens from the public, the design of sideway in typical North America also isolated pedestrian from retail shops. The stairs that are built between the shops and walkway destroy the relationship between the business and the sidewalk. Similar urban designs that fail to engage in civic life discussed in the lecture includes core harbor area in Downtown Vancouver. This center area of the city is designed purely as business district and there are only few shops and restaurants opened in the area. Places like waterfront are supposed to attract…

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