Planning, architecture and design




“We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.”
R. D. Laing





The sociable spaces of the urban environment are spaces where
people without effort can meet and interact. Spaces in which we can learn
from others and grow by experiences. These spaces must be designed for
accessibility by pedestrians and must further appeal to all our senses and
meet our needs.

Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront Promenade, Hong Kong, offers a meeting ground open for all.

A city should have a people-friendly design all over and the sociable
spaces should not be confined to ‘islands’ surrounded by its opposite. The
more the structure forces (or encourages) people to use private vehicles to
transport themselves to work, to school and home again, the more difficult
it will be to move about in the city on foot. Heavy traffic creates barriers
and hazardous environments for young and old. If people can not move
about on foot in the urban environment it will never have the possibility to
become people-friendly.

Crowded bus
In Hanoi, Vietnam, buses are constantly interrupted and have to struggle their way through. Here as in many other big cities in the world, public transports are yet to be prioritized.

The simple truth is that the traffic system we promote is the traffic system
that will grow. Public transportation is very affordable in Hanoi, but it
is still far from being an attractive option to the private motorbike or car.
During rush hour all public transportation have to force their way through
the heavy traffic and this with little luck. The authorities in Hanoi are today widening many streets in an attempt to remedy the crowding. Soon enough however, these streets will again stand crowded. This time also with traffic attracted from all the New Urban Areas constructed in the outskirts of Hanoi.

One thing we have learnt while studying this phenomena is that if one wish
to create truly people-friendly environments then nothing can be simpler;
- plan for man and not for man’s cars!