Urbanization requires planning.
Urbanization happens (Figs 11.1, 11.2). Old settlements expand and new settlements are founded. It can be a consequence of increased wealth, population growth or smaller households. This chapter considers the need for new settlements, EID for the urbanization process, how urban land-uses should be fitted together, and how new settlements should be fitted into the landscape.
Buildings have rooms and corridors. Towns have land-uses and streets. The comparison (Fig. 11.3) might lead one to think that urban design is simply architecture on a heroic scale. That would be an error. Towns are organic and buildings inorganic. Where life processes are involved, planning differs. Many of us have houses and families. Both require planning, but only one of them can be strictly controlled, as stern parents will always discover. Architecture or engineering can rest on a single controlling vision; good urbanization requires attention to many visions and many processes. Final designs are not possible.
As discussed earlier, many professional designers, including architects, engineers and landscape architects, have caused aesthetic and ecological chaos by neglecting EID and focusing their attention on the interests of the land-user who commissioned their services, or the professional skill in which they were originally trained. In Geddes’s words:
Each of the various specialists remains too closely concentrated upon his single specialism, too little awake to those of others. Each sees clearly and seizes firmly one petal of the six-lobed flower of life and tears it apart from the whole. (Tyrwitt 1947)
Among the petals which have been seized by overzealous planners and designers are hills, valleys, rivers, parks, lakes (Fig. 11.4), footpaths, roads, housing, commerce and industry. One by one, they have been ripped off and “planned”, regardless of the wider landscape. Urbanization works best when builtform is related to landform and land-uses to each other.