Neighborhood Analysis: South Side Flats
"Toward an Urban Design Manifesto", written by Allan Jacobs and Donald Appleyard, was their response to the direction they felt the field of urban planning was headed due to the practices of the Charter of Athens developed by the Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM). The article outlines the concern to update urban planning methods to alleviate current problems in urban environments. Jacobs and Appleyard identify eight urban problems as well as propose seven goals for urban life. Most importantly, they describe five characteristics that must be present, as prerequisites for a sound urban environment (Jacobs et al. 2011).
The South Side Flats is a neighborhood of the city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Developed by a mostly Eastern Europe immigrant, working class in the late 1800's, the residents worked in the steel mill located in the community as well as other surrounding factories. Remnants of the original architecture and urban life can been seen in the still existing architectural styles of the houses and churches as well as the factories that have become office buildings, bars, and condominiums through adaptive reuse. Using Jacobs and Appleyard's five physical characteristics, I will determine if the South Side Flats demonstrates the qualities for a sound urban environment.
The five characteristics Jacobs and Appleyard emphasize that must be present in a sound urban environment are: livable streets and neighborhoods, a minimal density of residential developments and intensity land use, integration of activities that leads to reasonable proximity to each other, buildings that define public space, and many, many separate, distinct buildings with complex arrangements and relationships. Throughout the article, Jacobs and Appleyard stress that these five qualities are not exhaustive and not the only description of a city. They state they simply believe these five qualities are essential to building toward the set...
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