From Town Planning to Urban Design Work-The Dimensions to be Considered

Özcan Altaban


The main purpose of this paper is to describe approaches of analysis for the urban fact, which are referred as being a preliminary guide-line for students working on Turkish cities already faced with large scale transformation programmes. The urban morphology was selected as a multi- dimensional method of analysis for urban structures. Urban morphology covers functional and economic approaches and can also include perceptual, historic, and other aspects. Urban Morphology attempts to make an objective analysis of the city considering: Firstly, the city as a physical concrete fact; secondly, the city as an organism in evaluation and the subject of transformation and change according to changes in society; thirdly, the city as a focus of interaction between social forces and the built environment that contains them. The concept of urban morphology can be applied to the whole city and even can be the basis for a theory of urban design. We can essentially consider it as a method of analysis which is basic to find out principles or rules for design. We can also consider of an analogy with language. “A language is a range of components and relationships forming a structure”. The analogy consists of understanding the physical form of the city as structure formed by series of components. The language is shaped by signs (or dimensions like semantic, syntactic and pragmatic) that are taken from real life, from situations that have meaning and can constitute an image for citizens who belong to a given society. These signs when referring to the understanding of the city can be seen as analogous to building types which express the values of society in each period of development. Two types of analysis are proposed. The first one is components that form the city and the second is their relationship and structure. Properties of the city as the expression of values. The relations between these components will form tissues. Tissue implies also a logical organization and dynamic process of transformation and change. The different tissues often correspond with stages of the development of the city. In order to find a sense and direction within the complex phenomenon of the city, its elements can be analysed as part of three aspects. Physical structure of the city, functional structure of the city and the process that relates the physical form to its functions. Two types of physical structure appear as important. Thematic structure and non-thematic structure. Examples of thematic elements are the straight streets in a regular grid and the housing types in a residential area. Non- thematic structure consists of those elements and relations which tend to be different from typical ones and it makes references to larger areas than the tissue alone and relates and articulates different tissues together. Non-thematic elements can be classified in two types. Poles and tensions (or channels). Poles are the concentric points of the structure and agglomeration of poles will constitute a centre. Examples of poles are a church, a mosque or a public building. Tensions which are the linear dynamic links (channels) such as boulevards or avenues. These elements can connect different part of the city. They also act as boundaries or limits of different areas that they support. Therefore, the non-thematic or primary structure that it is possible to define the unique and permanent structure of the city. In the last section of the paper an objective assessment or an evaluation is made about the critical and the anticipated issues on the change of scale from town planning to the lower level of urban design work. What are these steps which make somehow crucial expectations for the future of an urban area? 1. Firstly, it is the stage of production for a proper design which will direct the implementation process. 2. Secondly, the function of an urban project is to create an identity or a definition to the different urban sections will vary activities. 3. Thirdly, the urban design project should be an instrument for the creation of new dynamics in urban structure. 4. The urban design work is a complicated process involving a continues change and transformation in the selected urban area. 5. The urban design project should contain and consider the phasing programme for implementation process, the organization of a participation medium for stakeholders, the financial (a budgetary) programme for the whole stages of implementation. 6. The implementation process should contain several parties such as, the citizens with real estate ownership; the citizens without any ownership; the private sector acting as developer and investor; the public sector taking part as organizer, finance provider and promoter of public participation. 7. Within the continues process starting from town planning stage down to the implementation of urban design project, following items should be considered in a hierarchical order: in the upper scale, the strategies to be defined; in the medium scale, the policies to be explained; in the design scale, the means and ends, opportunities and instruments for implementation and including a phased development programme to be prepared in a detailed written statement. Consequently, a descriptive and expected qualification of an urban design and designer is explained under three headings. And a short section on the author’s opinions and several proposals about the urban fact in which social, economic and spatial aspects with reference to urban community as a whole are also included.


Kent olgusu; planlama; kentsel morfoloji; fiziki yapı, sosyal süreçler; kentsel değerler; kentsel asarım

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