By Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard

The building façade is the “face” of the building. Like the face of a person, it may be friendly or hostile, open or closed, facilitating contact through windows that open, balconies and doors, or preventing interaction with sealed windows and blank walls. Facades around a neighborhood square should create a welcoming atmosphere in the public domain, emphasizing human scale, enhancing the experience of the space, and facilitating communication.

By Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard

“In ancient times… public squares, or plazas, were… of prime necessity, for they were theaters for the principal scenes of public life.”  Camillo Sitte[1].

“… there must be open spaces that provide a fitting stage for the drama of daily life.” August Heckscher[2].

2015 IMCL Design Awards  presented at the 52nd IMCL Conference in Bristol include the following: IMCL Honor Award for a Built Project, to the New Town of Cayala, Guatemala, Pedro Godoy & María Sánchez, Richard Economakis and Léon Krier. IMCL Honor Awards for Proposed Projects were awarded for the Urban Regeneration ZEN, Arch. Ettore Maria Mazzola; and Baltimore Urban Farmstead, Scott Truex, Sustainable Communities Institute.  For more Awards and Honorable Mentions, please click here

Opening the 52nd IMCL Conference in Bristol, was a short film by the distinguished former Dean and Professor of Urban Planning at Venice University who had welcomed delegates to the 1st IMCL Conference in Venice in 1985 on behalf of the City of Venice. He reminded participants of Henry Lennard’s important message, to understand how good urban public spaces like the Venetian campo generate community and create a high quality of social life for old and young, and he called on delegates to save Venice from the devastating impact of mass tourism that is destroying the life of this city.

Imagine a major intersection with no traffic lights, no traffic signals, no painted lines on the road, and no curbs. Now imagine that scenario with over 26,000 vehicles passing through a traditional village center with heavy pedestrian traffic bustling through. Believe it or not, this already exists and it’s called a “shared space” and it is located in the village of Poynton. Ben Hamilton-Baillie is the urban designer responsible for this phenomenon, and he will be a keynote speaker at this year’s 52nd International Making Cities Livable Conference on Achieving Green, Healthy Cities.

This year we are delighted to welcome Prathima Manohar as a keynote speaker at the 52nd International Making Cities Livable Conference on Achieving Green, Healthy Cities. Prathima will be speaking on The challenge to Build Livable Cities in India. She is the founder and editor in chief of the Urban Vision; working primarily out of Mumbai she struggles to develop strategies to overcome haphazard planning regulations while accommodating a rising urban population.

By Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard

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.

By Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard

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.

Syndicate content