Tuesday, August 10, 2004
The Transect Redux
I had a few questions by e-mail about the Transect, so I added a little bit to the beginning of my post on the Transect and South Kensington, and slightly changed what followed. Here's the new beginning:
The New Urban Transect describes the range of natural and built environments from the heart of the wilderness to the center of the city. The diagrams for the Transect (here and here) show these as Transect Zones: each urban T-zone is a neighborhood with most or many of the needs and activities of daily life within a short five-to-ten minute walk. The Transect reflects the New Urban reaction to the sub-urban way we've been building for the last 50 years, a way of building that not only requires that everyone drive everywhere for virtually everything, but that usually creates non-places where no one wants to walk even if they can. In this sub-urban world, only nature (T-1 and T-2) is worthy of our attention — everywhere else we retreat to our houses, cars and backyards.Continue reading "The Transect"
T-zones have implications for architectural and urban form not so different from the old New York maxim for clothes, “Don’t wear brown in town.” A tower appropriate for Wall Street in Manhattan doesn't fit on the green in Woodstock, Vermont. A wood frame Greek Revival house with a lawn behind a white picket fence doesn’t work on the plaza at Rockefeller Center. The fence is different on Wall Street than in Woodstock: so are the sidewalk, the streetlamp on the sidewalk and the size of the setback from the street. And none of them are appropriate in the middle of the Yellowstone Valley or the wilds of Alaska.
This may all seem obvious, but it is not the way architects, planners, builders and developers have worked for the last half-century. So the Transect and the T-zones are the basis for Smart Codes, which are tools for making better places. Smart Codes reject the fetishized objects of Starchitecture as the goal of building, and replace the system of Zoning that produced American sprawl by zoning virtually everywhere — from city to country — for the same low-density, single-use, auto-dependent zones. The system in which McDonald’s and CVS thought one building type, with the parking out front and the drive-thru on the side, fit all.
When people first learn about the Transect, they often think it means every every urban transect is supposed to have one continuous gradient, like the diagram. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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» The Transect from atlantalarry
In a discussion in the comments section on the posts on Midtown and Downtown I made an offhanded reference to those areas being "T6". It only occured to me afterward that the t1-t6 designation might not be universally recognized. That [Read More]
Tracked on Aug 11, 2004 7:16:15 AM