Overview | Method | Nodes | Paths | Morphology | Implementation

The Productive Network - Programming Urban Space

Programming Urban Space - Overview
What we have called our 'distribution network', will in practice become the streets and sidewalks of our city, or the urban circulatory network.  These paths, together with the convex open spaces along them or where several paths meet, make up most of what we think of when we think of urban space.
In addition, the private & semi-private built spaces that bound this circulation network, giving form to the open space, when successful as attractors of activity, become an extension of the public realm and contribute the to the urban experience.

While in our system, our network was generated with the intention of moving food from production cells and wholesale shops to retailers and consumers, these paths will of course take on all kinds of urban circulation, and will need to support the full complement of programmes that make a vibrant city.  

We have identified four categories of public urban programmes, to be accommodated: 
  • - Social Mixing Programmes
  • - Circulation
  • - Recreational/ Leisure / Gathering places
  • - Agricultural Infrastructure
In this section we will look at a strategy for reading the characteristics of the generated networks and how this might inform the distribution of public urban programmes.

Programming Urban Space

Social Mixing Programmes
These are places where people meet and where goods and ideas are produced and exchanged.  This includes shops & entertainment, work-spaces, studios & offices and institutions.  Social Mixing Spaces benefit from accessibility, exposure to sidewalk/street traffic and transparency of materials for communication to this traffic.  These spaces extend the public realm of the street into the bounding architectural volumes enriching the experience of movement through the streets. 
In the interest of avoiding the pitfalls of traditional zoning, we will not differentiate between these various uses but instead encourage a diverse mix, resulting in neighbourhoods that accommodate living, working and leisure and more consistent occupancy throughout the different times of day.

In the interest of reducing fossil fuel dependence, our city will encourage movement primarily by foot, bicycle and public transport.  However, we acknowledge that automobiles, or an evolution of that form, are likely to remain a part of modern life.  Therefore space will be allocated for some sort of  personal transport vehicle, whatever that might become in the next 10, 20 or 30 years.  

Therefore priority will be given to pedestrian paths and bicycles.  Bicycles will require paths and parking racks.  Public transport (Bus, Tram, Train) will require appropriately sized routes with adequate coverage & stops/stations at walk-able (5 min) intervals.  Personal Transport Vehicles will require streets with some sort of protection for pedestrians and finally parking.

Agricultural Infrastructure
In addition to gardens, greenhouses and shops, agricultural production will require facilities for product storage, seed banks, nurseries, etc.. New specialised networks for water and waste collection, treatment, storage and distribution will be needed in order to take advantage of city water runoff and waste and redirect it for irrigation.

Recreational/ Gathering places
Finally, no city would be desirable for habitation without public spaces for gathering, sitting, relaxing, playing or simply people watching.  We will look for opportunities to create loosely speaking, two kinds of recreational gathering spaces - Hardscapes, like urban squares and Green spaces like playing fields and parks.