Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://localhost:8081/xmlui/handle/123456789/1996
Title: URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR BIOPHILIC NEIGHBORHOODS IN A HILL TOWN
Authors: Mallick, Somnath
Keywords: URBAN DESIGN;BIOPHILIC CITY;HILL TOWN;TOWN PLANNING
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Forever mankind has co-evolved with nature, relying on each other, hand in hand, an innate relationship where not only does he receives but also gives and forms a part of a loop that results in civilization. Unfortunately, most of the urban centers today tend to forget those values of the past. The essential relationship developed over centuries has started losing its importance. Connectedness to nature is essential for stress free healthy living. Nature is where we get fresh air, water, food and protection from. So it is not an option but a compulsion, an essential to everyday living. Then why are the cities, urban centers missing out on the joy of nature. Need of the study Nature, which has always inspired architecture and urban spaces, is moving out from the current day context. We see problems of recessed green cover, artificial unearthly elements taking the place of nature. We need to understand that in order to live a healthy life one needs to stay in proximity to nature and also make sure we preserve it well for our future generations to come. Why at the neighborhood level? Clarence Perry's Neighborhood Concept has been one of the most important ideas in the history of planning. The experience of living is most vital at a neighborhood level where the scale is not too big and comprise of the most basic and important building type i.e. house. If things are not right at the neighborhood level, it is not possible to maintain a good quality of life in a city or town. So a well-planned and sustainable neighborhood can give way to a well-planned and sustainable region and across other larger scales. A biophilic neighborhood is one where nature is close at-hand, where there are trees, gardens, streams and other growing life just outside one's door, which are in turn connected to larger, more expansive networks of green spaces and wildness, that may be easily reached. There should be sufficient gathering areas for children to play in nature rather than more conventional playgrounds. Pedestrian connections, bicycle facilities and infrastructure, and urban neighborhoods that allow adults and children to walk out the front door and move from smaller to progressively larger and more expansive natural areas encouraging physical exercise. Aim of the study The aim of this research is to find various means to incorporate nature into urban public spaces of a neighborhood in hill towns. Objectives of the study 1. To develop an understanding on how urban cities and neighborhood can be made `Biophilic'. 2. To check the relevance of biophilic concepts and ideas applicable in an urban hill town. 3. Formulate guidelines and suggest various interventions to bring nature into the urban public spaces of an urban neighborhood in a hill town. Biophilia The term 'biophilia' was popularized about two decades ago by Harvard conservationist E.O. Wilson to refer to the need of connection with nature and other forms of life which was inherently ingrained into humans. Wilson described it as: `Biophilia is the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Innate means hereditary and hence part of ultimate human nature." [biophiliccities.org] Biophilic cities At the outset it is important to understand what a biophilic city is; its features and qualities. In lay man's terms, the meaning is evident from the word `biophilic' itself. 'Bio' refers to nature and `philic' means to have affinity. `Biophilic city', therefore, in its crudest form means a city with an affinity to nature. This meaning may be extrapolated keeping in mind the many values inculcated by humans through daily interactions with nature. A biophilic city can, thereby, be defined as a city which puts the highest priority upon nature in its design, planning as well as functioning. II Biophilic urban design Biophilia provides for various urban design elements across different scales — Building - Green rooftops, Sky gardens and green atria, Rooftop garden, Green walls, Daylit interior spaces. Block - Green courtyards, Clustered housing around green areas, native species yards and spaces. - Street - Green streets, Sidewalk gardens, urban trees, Low-impact development, Vegetated swales and skinny streets, edible landscaping, High degree of permeability Neighborhood - Stream day lighting, stream restoration, Urban forests, Ecology parks, Community gardens, Neighborhood parks and pocket parks, Greening gray fields and brownfields Community - Urban creeks and riparian areas, Urban ecological networks, green schools, city tree canopy, community forest and community orchards, greening utility corridors. Region - River systems and floodplains, regional green space systems, greening major transport corridors. Relevant-studies Soma Master-plan, Bengaluru Dayse village, Lavasa Guideline study States - Architect Ken Yeang - The Bio-mimicry Guild - District 6, City of Madison, Wisconsin, United Several other hill town and neighborhood guidelines have been studied and analyzed through the lens of biophilia in order to understand their feasibility in hill areas. Clustered-Compact-Dense development in hills Height - Population is ever increasing, which means the load on the available land is increasing. Therefore to rationalize the height of buildings should be allowed to increase up to the level it does not harm the natural settings of the place. Density - Low-rise high-density development is a favorable condition, but for areas with higher density, mid-rise high-density should also be considered which does not harm the natural setting of the place. Compactness - allows for walkability. It also reduces the building footprint allowing greater green and open spaces. If we have to maintain height restrictions on buildings it in should be compact in planning so as to accommodate the maximum density without destroying the open green areas. Cluster - Compact-Clustered Development should be encouraged with High-Density and essentially Low / Mid-Rise structures which do not harm the natural surroundings of the place and encourage interaction with nature. Low Impact Development - Water percolation into the earth's surface is not preferred in steep hill areas as it leads to landslides and soil erosion. Rain water harvesting is essential as water is scarce. Green rooftops provides immense advantages but at a high cost. Large roofs and clustere of large number of small roofs must be made into green roofs instead of individual small ones. Conclusion - Hill towns provide the perfect setting for biophilic neighborhoods because of it natural terrain, topography, climate and unique and beautiful wildlife species. Existing urban neighborhoods can be retrofitted into biophilic neighborhoods. New areas should essentially be biophilic in order to live a nature and wilderness filled life.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1996
Other Identifiers: M.Tech
Research Supervisor/ Guide: Pushplata
metadata.dc.type: M.Tech Dessertation
Appears in Collections:MASTERS' DISSERTATIONS ( A&P)

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