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Urban Design for Planners 5: Neighborhood Edges
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Urban Design for Planners 5: Neighborhood Edges

Urban Design for Planners 5: Neighborhood Edges

91 min

This course is approved for 1.5 AICP CM credits

Edges in urban neighborhoods can be defined as large urban elements that are either impermeable (acting as barricades and separators) or permeable (acting as seams). Typical examples are transportation corridors like highways and rail lines, large pieces of land like shopping malls and parking lots, or large industrial sites and vacant land. Where edges act as seams, they draw the places on either side together. But edges can create problems when they exclude and separate. This course shows how to identify the edges in a neighborhood and propose design interventions to mitigate their harmful effects.

In This Course

  1. Emily Talen introduces the fifth course of the Urban Design for Planners series.
  2. What are Edges?
    In neighborhood planning and design, edges and boundaries can be problematic concepts. Although the notion of an "edge" is a recurring criterion for the well-formed neighborhood because it offers definition, edges can also exclude and isolate.
  3. This chapter shows how to identify obvious land uses that are functioning as urban edges: highways and transportation corridors as well as industrial sites and brownfields.
  4. QGIS: Classifying Edges
    Learn how to classify the identified edges areas according to two types: seams and filters.
  5. QGIS: Identifying Problem Areas
    Are there resilient uses adjacent to the edge, or are the uses along the edge more sensitive (like housing, for example)? Such areas are good candidates for urban design intervention.
  6. QGIS: Creating Base Maps
    A possible strategy for the first set of edges is to increase their role as seams, promoting opportunities for integration on multiple sides. This chapter demonstrates how to create the base maps you will need to present your design ideas.
  7. GIMP and Inkscape: Presenting Design Ideas
    This chapter demonstrates a few ideas for a design proposal.
  8. SketchUp: Linking Industrial and Residential Areas
    This chapter introduces the second design strategy—linking the industrial and residential areas by transforming the edge into a seam. Additionally, learn about layers and "making faces" in Sketchup.
  9. SketchUp: Final Design Steps
    This chapter shows how to complete a design proposal.
  10. Inkscape: Greenway Design
    The strategy for this group of edges is to make the area around them function more as filters, protecting the adjacent areas from their harmful effects. This chapter shows the first design strategy—lining an edge with a greenway.
  11. SketchUp: Proposing Resilient Uses
    Your final design should suggest making the space useful as a recreational area—acknowledging its role as an edge but also transforming it into a neighborhood asset.

Published 2014