TitleUrban design and planning policy
NameBalula, Luis D. (author), Nelessen, Anton (chair), Listokin, David (internal member), Lake, Robert (internal member), Cabral, Joao (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectPlanning and Public Policy,
DescriptionThe rising authority of neo-traditional urban planning and design--either in the United States via New Urbanism or in Europe via the European Urban Renaissance--might provide much needed answers to the failures of Modern Urbanism to produce sustainable urban environments. Nevertheless, the ethos of modernist spatial planning seems to be pervasive on current planning processes despite its many flaws. This study aims at learning how urban design theory--and in particular neo-traditional urban design theory--can inspire and reform extant planning practices so as to counteract incoherent urban growth and promote a more inclusive and sustainable urbanism.
A contextual analysis of the Portuguese planning system and its capacity to incorporate neo-traditional urban design concerns was conducted by various methods. First, a research of relevant legislation helped ascertain the national framework of spatial planning and its rapport with matters of urban design. Second, a nationwide survey was conducted in order to learn about urban development experts’ attitudes towards key principles of neo-traditional urban design. Third, a series of interviews with public officials in charge of urban planning in the city of Évora helped determine major challenges of local development control, and the way current legal and institutional regimes affect urban design quality. Fourth, a spatial survey of Évora's neighborhoods provided an overview of the outcomes of different planning processes. Fifth, a visual preference survey evaluated the preferences of the general public, in particular the residents of Évora, in terms of city image.
Major findings of these inquiries show that while both experts and laypersons seem to support neo-traditional urban design principles, the former are quite inconsistent in their assessments. Moreover, several issues emerged as major obstacles to the improvement of the current planning system, such as the exceedingly bureaucratic proceedings of urban design plans, very limited public participation, or a lack of consistent criteria to review the design quality of urban projects. Ultimately, the data suggests that in order to turn urban design into a successful policy tool it is necessary to promote a concerted effort in the fields of planning and development control, public participation, and environmental education.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 177-187)
Noteby Luis D. Balula
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.