Manmade Structures And Human Satisfaction Cultural Studies Essay

Experience from Manmade Structures and human Satisfaction

Student: Constantinos Pavlou

History and Theory of the City ARCH-301

Lecturer: Elenore Zippelius

January 21, 2013

Journals on cities are concerned with the functional effects of city life on the human being, relating the urban experience and activities found in a complex city in relation to the citizens. In this essay I will clarify the sources and mechanisms of city satisfaction. This will be based on my personal understanding and concept of urban experience, how residents and analysts see the city, I investigate the city features affecting it and the overall city satisfaction. A working city should provide a sense of convenience and health, physical or mental, and a sense of borders (somewhere porous or solid boundaries) and there openness, I see how objects affect them and finally satisfy someone. Findings show that systems and limits affect city satisfaction both directly and indirectly by the experience in a city. Amenities are considered and grasped when planning for city layout, density and uniformity or relation between spaces. The effects differ between the types (cultural background) and age groups of people.

Supporting the idea and experience of living in cities cannot be described only in terms of density or identical codes between cities. Features, such as basic and symbolic qualities shape the urban experience and city satisfaction through different parallel co working mechanisms and systems.

• How is a city structured? How is a city perceived?

Master plans of cities are built up in layers of networks that root off in different groups (clusters) or areas. These clusters make up the neighbourhoods or certain areas of a city. Of course cities are not planned or designed as a single whole; a city is built and changed through a long course of time. A pleasant community is a clear but flexible structure for the guidance of positive change and public benefit in a city. The city plan considers long-term and short-term outcomes for a neighbourhood.

Community planning helps Cities broaden objectives established for the entire city and regions, but still recognize the specific issues and advantages of each area.

The world’s major cities have a gradual development through time, layers and different financial phases in time make up these cities. Technology and materiality depends on the financial level and cultural or political state of the cities; this is clearly reflected on the city layers through time.

For example, Melbourne’s CBD area the capital of Victoria is uniformly laid out in a grid pattern that is made up of multiple central city suburbs, which are clusters of grids that surround the central grid (Melbourne) area. Each surrounding grid suburb has its own distinct flavour with different uses and each one has a major node (grounds or structures) that completes the city. Different businesses, dwellings and groups of people live and work there. Melbourne's tram network is the second largest the second largest in the world and is the only one remaining out of all Australian cities. Melbourne's central tram network is constantly extending out to the outer suburbs. The city is famous for its classic 1950s tourist trams contrasting with the cities new high-tech trams. Due to Flinders street station, one of the world's busiest railways stations there is a constant flow of pedestrians in the heart of the city. Melbourne is one of the youngest of all world major cities, but has a strong financial, sporting and cultural vibe. The phenomenal growth of Melbourne in the 1850s till the 1880s was due to one of the biggest gold rush in the world’s history, which brought in a huge flood of migrants that is reflected on the architecture of the historical buildings in the city. Melbourne is home to the world's third largest Greek population and it is rated as one of the world's most multicultural cities.

What is place identity or sense of place/ and personal identity of collective memory?

All our senses are stimulated when we first visit a new City; we tend to frame certain areas, spaces or objects in our minds and attach the images with the other pleasant or unpleasant senses that were roused during our visual experience. The city is a complex and layered manifestation of urban form. The introduction of an alien in discussion with the city is read as a two-dimensional collage made up of varied fragmented objects that the architectural and urban history has left behind. Where the collaged elements vary and are unique they seem encapsulated.

Walking the cities whether it is moving up on the hierarchy or down along the cities patterns one comes to realise the city is made up of multiple elements that make up the roots through the cities grid. The buildings, the pavements, the roads that make up the cities grid guide you through various phases of certain areas of the city. For example, the traffic on the roads makes up the boundaries between the both edges of the road.

Having levels in the height of the ground creates the feeling of a closed area or the feeling of exclusion from the rest (Rockefeller Centre NY, Irish Hunger Memorial NY). With levels in the ground the spaces importance is highlighted just as well as having a fountain or a statue (monument). "Optical mechanics" puts limits (border) on free open space by outlining the ground to avoid perceptual disorientation (textures on the path). Buildings and urban fabric is vitally important for orientation, design is to bring some sort of order out of chaos.

Urban area interactivity varies through the course of the day; the pathways, the pavements, the parks and etc make up most of the daily activities of the urban city. By night a city transforms into a more concentric layout of activities with its bright lights highlighting these areas or distinctively highlighted if more private for its closed group of customers.

Walking through a cityscape for the first time typically around areas like parks you tend to find interlinking shops or quick stops for snacks that associate with the areas activities. Or along river banks you find a row of restaurants and cafes, it is clear what is in ones interest when it is time to relax or dose off while having a break from the cities work tempo. Along major cities like Yara River in Melbourne, Sydney Harbour, Battery Park in New York City and along River Thames in London you tend to come across this group of shop fronts or restaurant/cafe facades. Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, A Pattern Language (Oxford University Press, 1977)

Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building (Oxford University Press, 1979)

Gordon Cullen, The Concise Townscape (Architectural Press; Reprint edition March 24, 1995)

Aldo Rossi, The Architecture of the City (MIT Press; New edition, 1984)

Colin Rowe, Fred Koetter, Collage City (MIT Press; new edition 1978)

Alan Blum, The Imaginative Structure of the City (McGill-Queen's University Press, June 2003)

Thomas H. Russ, Site Planning and Design Handbook (McGraw-Hill, 2002)