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Urban Design and Planning


By Iain Borden

Iain Borden Machines of Possibility: urban space as social product P1305 Architectural historian Iain Borden is vice dean at the Bartlett school of architecture. His work focuses less on architecture with a capital A, than on everyday spaces and buildings, from bus benches and bill boards to food stalls in Japan. In this talk, Borden discusses urban space as a social product. Applying the theoretical approach of Henri Levebre, he explores how different people experience the city, focusing on skateboarders, car drivers and the French film-maker Jacques Tati.

CD-ROM (Win) / 2013 / () /

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Directed by Andreas M. Dalsgaard

Influential Danish architect Jan Gehl argues that we can build cities in a way which takes human needs for inclusion and intimacy into account.

50% of the world's population lives in urban areas, by 2050 it will be 80%. Cities have become the primary human habitat. According to revolutionary Danish architect and urban planner Jan Gehl, if we are to make cities sustainable and livable for people we must re-imagine the very foundations of modern urban planning. Rather than examining buildings and urban structures themselves, Gehl and his team meticulously study the in-between spaces of urban life, the places where people meet, interact, live, and behave.

How do the spaces that surround us enhance or disturb our interactions with others? How can we make our streets more accessible by foot or bike? Through his world acclaimed work, Gehl has been leading a revolution in urban planning that has been transforming cities worldwide. From the expanded pedestrian spaces in New York's Union Square, to Copenhagen's famed bike lanes, to the rebuilding of earthquake devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, Gehl's team bring real solutions that promise a more humanistic dimension to cities where people are not displaced by congested streets, skyscrapers, and the car-centric urbanism of the 1960s and '70s.

Stunningly photographed, THE HUMAN SCALE travels around the world to explore how Gehl and other like minded designers, city planners, and urban activists have begun to transform such cities as as New York, Beijing, Christchurch, and London.

DVD / 2012 / (Grades 8 - 12, College, Adults) / 77 minutes

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By Stephen R. Kellert and Bill Finnegan

A design revolution that connects buildings to the natural world, buildings where people feel and perform better.

Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature.

The recent trend in green architecture has decreased the environmental impact of the built environment, but it has accomplished little in the way of reconnecting us to the natural world, the missing piece in the puzzle of sustainable development.

Come on a journey from our evolutionary past and the origins of architecture to the world's most celebrated buildings in a search for the architecture of life. Together, we will encounter buildings that connect people and nature--hospitals where patients heal faster, schools where children's test scores are higher, offices where workers are more productive, and communities where people know more of their neighbors and families thrive.

Featured are communities and buildings from Scandinavia, Germany, France and Britain to the Canadian and American northwest, American southwest, and New England. They include: California Academy of Sciences, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Fallingwater, Viaduc des Arts, Google/YouTube Headquarters, Sahlgrenska Hospital (Psychiatric Department), High Point (Seattle Housing Authority), Johnson Wax Building, Sidwell Friends Middle School, Oxford Museum of Natural History, Village Homes (Davis, CA), and Kroon Hall (Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies).

Amongst those interviewed are: Edward O. Wilson, Bill McDonough, Judi Heerwagen, Jason McLennan, Tim Beatley, Bill Browning, Bert Gregory, Kent Bloomer, Claire Cooper Marcus, Michael Taylor, David Orr, Gus Speth, and Richard Louv.

Biophilic Design points the way toward creating healthy and productive habitats for modern humans.

DVD / 2011 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adults) / 62 minutes

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By Jan Gehl

The video is of a lecture given at the New London galleries in the Building Centre by the Danish architect and city planner Jan Gehl, whose career has focused on improving the quality of urban life by re-orienting city design towards the pedestrian and cyclist.

Lord Rogers, Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners provides an introduction.

For more than forty years Jan Gehl has helped to transform urban environments around the world, including Copenhagen, Melbourne, Sydney and - most recently - New York, with his approach to creating cities for people.

Jan Gehl discusses why looking after people is crucial for the quality of cities in the 21st century, how this can be accomplished and how this has been achieved in more and more projects and cities. The lecture covers the changes in city planning from the 1960s until today, where people - after decades of neglect - have once been again elevated to be a main feature in architecture, urban design and urban planning.

The event marked the UK launch of Jan Gehl's new book Cities for People.

DVD / 2011 / () / 35 minutes

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Two short documentaries highlight the efforts of some of America's first suburbs to reverse their long decline.

Directed by Andrea Torrice

America's "first" suburbs, those suburban communities built next to America's urban centers, were once the birthplace of the American Dream. Driven by a desire to escape the smokestacks of the central cities, and a housing shortage following World War II, thousands of suburban homes were rapidly constructed and middle class families flocked to fill them.

Sixty years later, many of these original suburbs are facing a crisis: a dwindling tax base, population and business loss, decaying infrastructure, increased racial tensions and white flight. Lacking policies to help reverse these trends, many towns are looking for strategies for revitalization.

Two new half-hour documentaries use compelling, personal stories to highlight these important issues. A Crack In The Pavement, narrated by Peter Coyote, features two first suburban officials struggling to fix their crumbling infrastructure and argues for regional cooperation. The New Neighbors, narrated by Ruby Dee, tells the inspiring story of two ordinary people, one black and one white, who have successfully made racial integration the centerpiece of revitalizing Pennsauken, NJ.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2009 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 53 minutes

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By Peter Eisenman

Peter Eisenman, architect, urban planner and author, is principle of Eisenman Architects. In 2005, he completed the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Berlin and is currently building the City of Culture of Galicia in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. As well known for his theoretical work as his built projects, he was a member of the New York Five and exponent of Deconstructivism. He is the Louis I. Kahn visiting professor of architecture at Yale. In this talk, Eisenman explores his current preoccupations. He discusses the impact of the current media culture on architecture and architects; society's declining engagement with the built environment as a result of new communication technologies such as texting and Twitter; the significance of Barack Obama's appointment as America's 44th President; and the importance of writing in the practice of architecture.

CD-ROM (Win) / 2009 / () /

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Directed by Harry Wiland

Is it possible that the City of the Angels can tell a story to the world about environmental rebirth?

LA made smog and pollution into household words. No longer. Its citizens have said enough. TreePeople, founded by Andy Lipkis, is leading the campaign to plant one million trees in the next decade. Friends of the LA River and the Rivers & Mountains Conservancy are reclaiming the Los Angeles River. They are determined to see the return of steelhead salmon in their lifetimes.

To everyone's surprise, Los Angeles is discovering mass transit. Darrell Clarke, Executive Director of Friends of the Expo Line has spent 17 years finally convincing the city to begin building the first east-west light rail-line in Los Angeles in 50 years.

Girls Today Women Tomorrow mentors the girls of Boyle Heights, teaching them about nutrition, exercise, and their Latina culture. The community-based program also provides college scholarships in a neighborhood where the drop-out rate is close to 50%.

Los Angeles is even planning a 26-acre downtown park thanks to the philanthropic generosity and vision of Eli Broad. Other green projects are being promoted by its 24/7 Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, who understands that environmental justice, public health and quality-of-life go together in order to dream a different city.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned, With 45 Pages Teachers' Guide) / 2007 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 57 minutes

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Directed by Harry Wiland

Recognizing that the human community is growing faster than the aging infrastructure, the city of Seattle created an Office of Sustainability and Environment.

Seattle is synonymous with environmental awareness. Some have called it the city of the future. It leads the nation in the search for alternate fuels (Seattle Biodiesel) and was one of the first locations to create community-based biodiesel distribution co-ops.

The High- Point mixed-use housing development is the first planned sustainable neighborhood in a major American city. It garners visitors from around the world. High- Point has even restored streams that are critical to the region's salmon migration.

Salmon is an indicator species for the North West and it is an integral part of our story. We follow the plight of this remarkable species from the releasing of eggs into Lake Washington by schoolchildren, to a trip into Elliot Bay with an enlightened fisherman and, finally, with a visit to native American commercial fisheries that adhere to sustainable practices.

Also related to water, there is a heated debate on how to provide access to Seattle's remarkable shoreline. Will its aging Viaduct Highway be torn down and replaced with a tunnel? The issue is still being discussed.

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, a citizen movement fails. Such a cautionary tale describes our final story, the 10-year battle to fund and build the citizen-inspired Monorail.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned, With 45 Pages Teachers' Guide) / 2007 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 57 minutes

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City Hall and grass roots groups in Chicago are working on open space, green buildings and an educated citizenry to create a sustainable city.

Chicago is a dynamic and fascinating city with spectacular architecture and a dramatic setting on the shores of Lake Michigan. The largest metropolis between the coasts, it has the biggest population, the most problems...and the greatest potential.

Edens Lost & Found tells Chicago's story by threading together the stories of a diverse group of its active and committed citizens including volunteers, professionals, students and community leaders -- among them, the city's mayor, Richard M. Daley. During his tenure, Chicago made a powerful commitment to open space with the creation of the 24-acre Millennium Park built atop a parking garage in the heart of downtown. The city has also become a laboratory for green architecture with the award-winning City Hall Roof Garden and Green Roof Initiative.

Whole neighborhoods are getting involved in the effort to create more livable communities. Eden Place is a prime example of grassroots determination to reclaim for themselves pieces of Eden that had been lost to generations of apathy.

And out in the suburbs? An Elgin High School environmental instructor convinced the school board to set aside adjacent land as an outdoor classroom and nature preserve. Here, her students are learning to become leaders in the movement to create sustainable ecosystems.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2006 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 57 minutes

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To people driving past the old Holiday Drive-In Theater site in Boulder, Colorado, it might seem like a new neighborhood has sprung out of the ground overnight. But those who worked on the project's development know better. Collectively, hundreds of thousands of decisions and choices were made to create the 330-home neighborhood, where affordability and sustainability are primary goals. It wasn't exactly a simple mission.

In DESIGNING A GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD, director David Wann follows the progress of the Wild Sage Cohousing Community project, where future residents participate in the design of their own neighborhood. The stated architectural goal at the Wild Sage site in Boulder is a "zero emissions" neighborhood in which solar energy, energy efficiency, and changes in behavior eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

The master site developer, The Boulder Housing Partners (BHP), has a vision for creating affordable neighborhoods that are also lively, efficient and pedestrian friendly. More than 400 people with low and middle incomes will live at Holiday, many as first-time homeowners.

DVD (Color) / 2004 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 54 minutes

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Barcelona today is a model of urban planning that may prove sustainable.

Once the industrial heart of the region of Catalonia in Spain, Barcelona could have become just another burnt-out, rust-belt European city that failed to find a role in the modern, globalized world. But what set Barcelona apart from other European cities was a visionary local government that decided to radically redevelop the city in the run-up to the 1992 Olympics -- a redevelopment that involved all of the city's population.

Barcelona today is a model 21st century city, combining historic buildings with modern architecture in a fusion that has helped make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

This program from starts with a short tour of the city's seafront with Barcelona's Chief Architect Josep Acebillo and UK architect and urban planner Richard Rogers, before moving on to a studio debate on the process at the Special Session of the UN General Assembly in New York in summer 2001, held to review progress from the 1996 UN City Summit in Istanbul.

DVD (Color) / 2001 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 27 minutes

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By Norman Foster

In this abridged version of a talk given by Norman Foster at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University of London, on 15 June 2001, he explores his interests and identifies four themes: spaces and routes, lights and lightness, ecology, and density and sprawl. Using examples of the work of his practice to illustrate how these interweave, he goes into considerable detail in cases that range in scale from airport to a wind-turbine; from the plan of a whole section of a city to how to heat or cool a building The major proposition is about how seeking higher quality of urban life through higher densities liberates open space. And he concludes that "in terms of qualify of environment, those higher density settlements probably account for some of the most affluent areas on the planet".

CD-ROM (Win) / 2001 / () /

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Is "sustainable cities" an oxymoron or can they be made to work?

As the world's cities grow and resources shrink, will we be able to live sustainably with the earth - and with each other? Can we take care of people and the environment? A community watershed project in Sao Paolo, Brazil shows us how. Can urban planning be a win-win for everyone?

This program looks at what sustainability means in locations as diverse as East L.A., Sao Paolo, and Curitiba, Brazil, Vancouver and Portland. Jane Jacobs, Bill McKibben, Bill Rees, California senator Martha Escutia, and John Ryan offer their ideas on what living sustainably in the world's cities means.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2000 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 50 minutes

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By Terry Farrell

In his recorded talk (see also his earlier recording 'A more plastic form' P8303), Terry Farrell concentrates on that aspect of his work to do with transportation systems and their connectedness to other parts of the cites they are in, and how this can be improved by their design. He describes work already completed and work as yet incomplete or still on the drawing board at the time of the recording. Farrell has always been fascinated by the problems of transportation, even for his student thesis; and he tells us of later ideas he has promoted: for linking railway stations across the River Thames, for example, so as to provide double access for passengers. He is a great proponent of travel for pleasure and in this category we have the huge symbolic structure he was completing on Hong Kong's 'Peak', reached by a cable-drawn tram much enjoyed by tourists. Also for Hong Kong is the Kowloon railway station which will rise on reclaimed land and will connect to the new airport, the Metro and local lines. But the most integrated piece of transportation design that he has been involved in is for a transport centre for Seoul airport, the arrival and departure point for all passengers by whatever method of transport, and is highly specialised in its relationship with air travel. Terry Farrell received his architecture education at Durham University and the University of Pennsylvania. Before setting up his own practice in London he was in partnership with Nicholas Grimshaw from 1965-1980. He is a master of three-dimensional planning and has built many very large scale buildings in Britain.

CD-ROM (Win) / 1996 / () /

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By Richard MacCormac

The British architect Richard MacCormac trained at Cambridge University in the early 60's and, after some travel in the USA and practical experience in England, established his own practice in London in 1969. He is now senior partner in MacCormac Jamieson Prichard and Wright. Concurrently he has always been involved in architectural education, mainly at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh, which has led to a series of important university commissions in England. He has published many articles on urban design, housing and architectural history, and he is a member of Britain's Royal Fine Art Commission. The largest and most recent urban design scheme that he has undertaken, together with a developer and the architects The Fitzroy Robinson Partnership, is for Spitalfields, an area on the edge of the City of London. There were three contending proposals but MacCormac's was the one selected. In his recorded talk he distinguishes between what he calls 'foreign' and a?local' urban transactions. 'Foreign' are those that do not relate to the locality (banking, warehousing, factories, etc), 'local' are those that do relate (shopping, eating and drinking, housing, etc). He explains how he has reconciled these public and private interests in his design for Spitalfields.

CD-ROM (Win) / 1988 / () /

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By John Habraken

The Dutch architect N. John Habraken was born in Indonesia and trained at Delft University, where he also taught from 1958-60. After five years of practice in Holland he became Director of the Architects' Research Foundation (SAR) in Eindhoven. Concurrently he was Chairman of the Department of Architecture and Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Eindhoven's Technical University, until he left for America in 1975 to become Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at MIT, Cambridge, Mass, where he was still working in 1985. He is author of several books and many articles on urban design and mass housing, in which he proposed using prefabricated "support structures" which could be individually filled in and given identity by the users. It was to further these ideas that the SAR was formed. His studies have continued in America, and in his recorded talk he discusses the built environment and identifies the three ways in which it can be seen. One has to do with territorial order, one has to do with enclosure and resources, and one has to do with personal expression; three networks of social inter-connection that are inseparable and that need to be understood.

CD-ROM (Win) / 1985 / () /

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By Denys Lasdun

The late Sir Denys Lasdun evolved an architectural approach and vocabulary now widely recognised and which can be seen in his major post-war works. He was awarded Britain's Royal Gold Medal in 1977 and a Knighthood in 1976. In his recorded talk he explains that he subscribes to a set of ideas relevant to himself, reasonable in quality and which engage with history. These ideas are about an architecture of urban landscape, which is an extension of the city or the landscape and which indeed seek to promote and extend human relationships. His buildings are related to other buildings which may be close in space however far off in time, but they do not make stylistic concessions to the past. The buildings in fact are often a metaphor for landscape and he tries to express this through a visual organisation of 'strata' and towers. As the architectural historian William Curtis has pointed out in 'A language and a theme' (RIBA Publications, 1976), this architecture of urban landscape turns its back on the transience and brashness of a merely mechanistic world and tries to elicit basic responses and to unearth fundamental human meanings.

CD-ROM (Win) / 1980 / () /

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By Rob Krier

Architect Rob Krier, born and reared in Luxembourg and later Munich, has taken Austrian nationality and, since 1976, practised in Vienna where he is also a Professor and Dean in the Technical University. His book 'Stadtraum in Theorie and Praxis' in 1975, analysing urban space systems, brought him instant recognition. His main goal is the establishment of articulated space in cities. He seeks to reproduce the quality of public life of older cities which he misses in modern cities; and to rediscover the essence, scale, architectural organisation and geometry of the house in relation to itself and to the city. In his recorded talk he adds that he wants to build in such a simple way that the man in the street can understand what he is doing. Work on low-cost housing is, for him, the most fulfilling as it concerns people's everyday life. Though he uses classical categories in defining urban spaces - squares, courtyards, porticoes, streets -- he rejects utterly fashions or isms in architecture. Historical spatial experience is introduced as a new concept - for example, in the Ritterstrasse housing. In a short statement in German at the end of the talk he despairs of the ugliness of modern cities. But he is dedicated to the struggle for truth and beauty and finds solace in his sculpture and beautiful drawings, some of which are shown in these images.

CD-ROM (Win) / / () /

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