City Builder Book Club: Chapter 6

Part 1: The peculiar nature of cities

Chapter 6: The uses of city neighbourhoods 

Chapter 6, p 125

Unfortunately, orthodox planning theory is deeply committed to the ideal of the supposedly cozy, inward-turned city neighborhoods.  In its pure form, the ideal is a neighborhood composed of 7000 persons, a unit supposedly of sufficient size to populate an elementary school and to support convenience shopping and a community center. … This “ideal” of the city neighbourhood as an island…is an important to our lives nowadays. To see why it is a silly and even harmful “ideal” for cities we must recognize a basic difference between these concoctions grafted into cities and town life…”

Chapter 6, p127

Looking at city neighbourhoods as organs of self-government, I can see evidence of only 3 kinds of neighbourhoods are useful: (I) the city as a whole (2) street neighbourhoods, and (3) districts of large, sub-city size, composed of 100 000 people or more in the case of largest cities.  Each of these kinds of neighbourhoods has different functions, but the 3 supplement each other in a complex fashion…. 

 

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2 thoughts on “City Builder Book Club: Chapter 6

  1. musedemuzz says:

    I was thinking about this type of thing today. The neighbourhoods Jane discusses seem great in places with medium-high density, mixed-use areas like New York or Europe. But much harder to experience here, with our streets that don’t encourage use of the street to walk in or as a place of play for children.

    That said, I grew up in Toowoomba, and us kids played on the street and most of our parents knew our neighbours – yet it was far from mixed use or high density. It’s obviously more than just urban design – though I’m sure that can help.

  2. […] City Love (Brisbane, Australia) sketches Chapter 6 […]

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