Continuity and enclosure

The new regional centre at Rouse Hill, Sydney was facilitated by Landcom and built by GPT. It incorporates this Main St, a town square, medium density housing and commercial development. Leading edge for Australian shopping centres! The street features wide footpaths (they need to be up to 7m wide for main streets), narrow carriage way, low kerbs, parallel parking, pedestrian crossing... All designed to keep traffic speed low and favour the pedestrian.  Unfortunately, I was asked to stop taking photographs. While the spaces sound (Main Street) and feel like public spaces - they are privatised. I have sent them an email to ask why?  The centre is built over a huge structured car park which may restrict redevelopment in the future?

Continuity and enclosure: clarity of form

Many of the great cities of the world, Paris included, benefit from a consistency in urban form which encloses the street. In addition, places are improved when there is clarity about their use. These outcomes are enhanced by:

  • streets, footpaths and open spaces overlooked by buildings;
  • clear distinction between public and private space;
  • avoiding gaps in the line of buildings;
  • enclosing streets and other spaces by buildings and trees of a scale that feels comfortable and appropriate to the character of the space; and
  • no leftover spaces unused and uncared for.

(Urban Initiatives, 2003, p. 6).

Derived from the NZ Urban Design Protocol

Place Drivers

  1. Character
  2. Diversity
  3. Accessibility
  4. Fit & function
  5. Animators
  6. Continuity and enclosure
  7. Consistency & variety
  8. Legibility
  9. Structure
  10. Features
  11. Social Fabric
  12. Sustainability

Place Preference

  1. Quality of the public realm
  2. Safety
  3. Creativity
  4. Sensory pleasure

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