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Elements of urban design
Nature of urban design projects
in public and private developments
TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED
Urban morphology is the study of the form of human
settlements and the process of their formation and
The study seeks to understand the spatial structure and
character of a metropolitan area, city, town or village by
examining the patterns of its component parts and the
process of its development.
This can involve the analysis of physical structures at
different scales as well as patterns of movement, land use,
ownership or control and occupation.
Typically, analysis of physical form focuses on street
pattern, lot (or, in the UK, plot) pattern and building pattern,
sometimes referred to collectively as urban grain.
Analysis of specific settlements is usually undertaken using
cartographic sources and the process of development is deduced
from comparison of historic maps.
Special attention is given to how the physical form of a city changes
over time and to how different cities compare to each other.
Another significant part of this subfield deals with the study of the
social forms which are expressed in the physical layout of a city,
and, conversely, how physical form produces or reproduces various
The essence of the idea of morphology was initially expressed in
the writings of the great poet and philosopher
Tissue comprises coherent neighbourhood morphology (open
spaces, building) and functions (human activity).
Following are the concepts of urban morphology
Figure and Ground
Figure and Ground theory is founded on the study of the
relationship of land coverage of buildings as solid mass
(figure) to open voids (ground).
The linkage theory is derived from "lines" connecting one
element to another. These lines are formed by street,
pedestrian ways, linear open spaces or other linking
elements that physically connect the parts of the city.
SOME LOCKED CONCEPTS
ELEMENTS OF URBAN DESIGN
Buildings are the most pronounced elements of urban
they shape and articulate space by forming the street walls
of the city.
Well designed buildings and groups of buildings work
together to create a sense of place.
Great public spaces are the living room of the city.
the place where people come together to enjoy the city and
Public spaces make high quality life in the city possible - they
form the stage and backdrop to the drama of life.
Public spaces range from grand central plazas and squares, to
small, local neighbourhood parks.
Streets are the connections between spaces and places, as well as
being spaces themselves.
They are defined by their physical dimension and character as well
as the size, scale, and character of the buildings that line them.
The pattern of the street network is part of what defines a
city and what makes each city unique.
Streets range from grand avenues to small, intimate
Transport systems connect the parts of cities and help to
shape them, and enable movement throughout the city.
They include road, rail, bicycle, and pedestrian networks,
and together form the total movement system of a city.
The balance of these various transport systems is what
helps define the quality and character of cities, and
makes them either friendly or hostile to pedestrians.
The best cities are the ones that elevate the experience of
the pedestrian while minimizing the dominance of the
The landscape is the green part of the city that weaves
throughout - in the form of urban parks, street trees,
plants, flowers, and water in many forms.
The landscape helps to define the character and beauty
of a city and creates soft, contrasting spaces and
Green spaces in cities range from grand parks to small
intimate pocket parks.
A public private partnership is a government service or private
business venture which is funded and operated through a
partnership of government and one or more private sector
PPP involves a contract between a public sector authority and a
private party, in which the private party provides a public service or
project and assumes substantial financial, technical and operational
risk in the project.
In other types (notably the private finance initiative), capital
investment is made by the private sector on the basis of a contract
with government to provide agreed services and the cost of
providing the service is borne wholly or in part by the government.
Nature of urban design projects in public
In projects that are aimed at creating public goods like in the
infrastructure sector, the government may provide a capital subsidy
in the form of a one-time grant, so as to make it more attractive to
the private investors.
There are usually two fundamental drivers for PPPs.
Firstly, PPPs are claimed to enable the public sector to harness the
expertise and efficiencies that the private sector can bring to the
delivery of certain facilities and services traditionally procured and
delivered by the public sector.
Secondly, a PPP is structured so that the public sector body seeking
to make a capital investment does not incur any borrowing.
A typical PPP example would be a hospital building financed and
constructed by a private developer and then leased to the hospital
The private developer then acts as landlord, providing
housekeeping and other non-medical services while the hospital
itself provides medical services.
The sectors eligible for ppp are:
Roads and bridges, railways, seaports, airports, inland
Urban transport, water supply, sewerage, solid waste
management and other physical infrastructure in urban
Infrastructure projects in Special Economic Zones and
internal infrastructure in National Investment and
International convention centres and other tourism
Capital investment in the creation of modern storage
capacity including cold chains and post-harvest storage.
Education, health and skill development, without annuity
Oil/Gas/Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage facility
(includes city gas distribution network).
Oil and Gas pipelines (includes city gas distribution
Irrigation (dams, channels, embankments, etc).
Telecommunication (Fixed Network) (includes optic fibre/
wire/ cable networks which provide broadband /internet).
Common infrastructure in agriculture markets. And
Soil testing laboratories
Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR is being implemented entirely
on public-private partnership (PPP) basis, with the state
government holding a minority equity stake
"Beauty, Humanism, Continuity between Past and Future".
Traditional Architecture Group. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
Batty, M. (2009). Cities as Complex Systems: Scaling, Interaction,
Networks, Dynamics and Urban Morphologies. In Encyclopaedia of
Complexity and Systems Science. Springer.
Salat, S., and Bourdic, L. (2011). Power Laws for Energy Efficient and
Resilient Cities. Procedia Engineering, 21, 1193–1198.