Blog

The entrance into a neighborhood square is designed to create the experience that you have arrived at the heart of the community, and that you need go no further. A vista into the square from an adjacent street should reveal the life on the square, the sunlight, bright umbrellas, children playing, a couple enjoying a glass of wine, etc. It should not reveal that there is any destination beyond the square.

By KJ Kresin

When I was growing up my family and I went to Peru every two years to spend a couple months with my mom’s family. Her father lived in Lima but was born in Arequipa, which meant we would stay there for a few weeks at a time. When we weren’t relaxing or exploring with our extended family, my mom would take charge and take us to some hidden gems around the town. One night, while staying in Arequipa a 6.3 earthquake struck the town at two in the morning. When the sun came up, my first thought was, “how do I get out of this earthquake ridden town?” My mom however, without hesitation took me to La Plaza de Armas in the middle of the city.

To be successful, a neighborhood square must be designed for people. It must feel like the community’s living room -  lively, safe, comfortable and hospitable. It must facilitate social interaction and foster a sense of community identity. To achieve these goals, enclosure, sunlight and shade, protection from inclement weather, and from noise, danger and pollution are essential factors.

If you are working to make cities more healthy, sustainable and livable, you need these resources. The eReports contain leading-edge talks and presentations by world-renowned keynote speakers and experts.

Simon Conibear, Development Manager for the Duchy of Cornwall, will give a keynote talk about Poundbury at the 52nd IMCL Conference, and lead a walking tour of this model new urban village.

Kevin McCloud, MBE, British designer, writer and television presenter best known for his series Grand Designs, will be a keynote speaker at the 52nd IMCL Conference in Bristol, June 29-July 3.   Kevin’s highly sustainable, affordable residential housing development company HAB Housing, completed their first 42-home project in Swindon in 2011, and is now developing custom build housing scheme in new town developments across England’s south-west counties.

In 2016 the City of Ljubljana, Slovenia will be celebrating their year with the title of European Green Capital. We are delighted to announce that Tjaša Ficko, Deputy Mayor of Ljubljana will talk at the Bristol Conference about her city's initiatives that won it this title.

Walk Bristol’s public spaces and harbourside; take the “Green Cycle Tour”; join the boat tour to see Bristol’s new Enterprise Zone; join the group for a guided tour of Poundbury; or enjoy Bath’s Georgian architecture and afternoon tea at the Pump Room. If you are a registered conference participant at the 52nd IMCL Conference you can now reserve your place on the tours of your choice. These are professional guided tours that augment the theme of the conference. Please see more details on the website.

We are delighted to announce that our friend and colleague Jan Gehl will receive the 2015 IMCL Lewis Mumford Award at the 52nd IMCL Conference in Bristol, UK. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, July 1, at the Discussion Dinner/Awards Ceremony aboard the historic ship SS Great Britain. Jan will give a plenary presentation to the conference in the morning.

Size
It is important to decide on the size of the square in relation to two interdependent factors: 1) the social functions and population for which the square is designed; and 2) the height of surrounding buildings.

Syndicate content