URBAN DIVERSITY


CONDITIONS FOR URBAN DIVERSITY


Jane JACOBS has precisely defined the conditions for urban diversity, in "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" (1961).

Mixed use and a dense urban grid structure were the caracteristics of the Traditional City, over the centuries. It combined old and new buildings, offered a variety of pathways, and it worked out well. People lived, worked, walked and met there, they integrated, creating thriving economies and cultures.

Urban diversity with passive solar design - Model by JL Msika

COMMUNITY BASED PLANNING PROCESS


FOR MORE DEMOCRACY IN PLANNING PROCESS

When development proposals are released, sustainability in the broadest, most comprehensive sense is typically not addressed in any meaningful way. The public is left wih no understanding of what is possible, resulting in contentious, compromised solutions where communities are pushed into an adversarial role.

The "ladder of participation" by sociologist Sherry Arnstein (Building Democracy, Graham Towers - UCL Press)

To combine both top-down and bottom-up urban design procedures for real sites establishes trust, avoids mistake, sparing the cost of endless litigation. A community planning process, with open work groups, is quite feasible and usually very successful.

A charette rendering for a sustainable urban grid (watercolor - JL Msika)

PASSIVE SOLAR DESIGN AND THE URBAN FORM



Sketches by JL Msika

So Msika endeavored, since 1992, to fit passive solar design into a dense mixed-use urban context, in order to let the sun's benefits into the city.

Passive solar section lets the sun into the city

Msika has developed such researches and projects for many sites since then, including Paris, Edinburgh and Aomori, and also researched how to bring diversity and urban structure, a new sustainability, to existing suburban housing projects plagued by unemployment, crime and riots. 

Some of these researches are available in Case Studies.

The City should hopefully just be another development of the traditional city, still a meeting place allowing encounters, cultural and economic exchanges. A place where people will enjoy walking, just like they enjoyed walking in Pompeii 2,000 years ago. 

South-east elevation is fully glazed while north-west elevation retains only small windows for cross ventilation. (JL Msika)

The Sustainable City Project proposal involves only existing and proven building technology.

Section by APUR (Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme)

2 sketches by JL Msika