L. A. 701 THESIS
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR, ARCHITECTURE, AND ENVIRONMENT
an approach for a better built environment.
This document is submitted as a requirement for a Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of Colorado at Denver; School of Architecture and Planning; Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture.
Carlos Gonzalez Mora, Landscape Architecture Degree candidate, School of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado at Denver
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION......................................... 1
A. Purpose.......................................... 1
B. Concerns......................................... 1
II. THE PROBLEM, THE HYPOTHESIS.......................... 4
A. Sense and Image of Place......................... 4
B. Open Space and Pedestrian Environment............ 5
C. Definition of Hypothesis......................... 6
III. PROCESS.............................................. 7
IV. BEHAVIOR RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS....................... 9
A. Pedestrian Urban Environment Yesterday/Today
Vernacular Architecture........................... 9
B. Influences of the Environment on Human
C. Social Distance and the Built Environment........15
1. Personal Space................................17
2. Personal Status...............................18
3. Personal Safety...............................18
4. Formation of Friends..........................20
5. Group Membership..............................21
7. Cue Searching.................................23
D. Human Needs and the Design Field.................28
E. Human Characteristics and Pedestrian Design......30
F. Psychological Influences of Color and Light......36
G. Steps in Trying to Understand Behavior...........39
V. OPEN SPACE DEFINITION AND CHARACTERISTICS............42
A. Form and Definition..............................42
B. Characteristics and Elements in Open Space.......44
C. Established Standards for Stairs and Walkway
SITE SURVEY AND ANALYSIS
A. Introduction to the Case Study
B. History of the Caracas Metro..
C. Architectural Concepts.........
D. Site Specific (Petare Station)
E. Area Description...............
DEFINITION OF OBJECTIVES AND DESIGN CRITERIA..
A. Research Statements.........................
B. Definition of Objectives....................
C. Design Criteria.............................
1. Structures and Elements..................
2. Entrances Critera........................
3. Concourse Criteria.......................
4. Platform Criteria........................
5. Disabled and Elderly Facilities Criteria
6. Bus Facility.............................
7. Landscape and Open Criteria..............
8. Graphics and Lighting Criteria...........
DESIGN PROGRAM A. Activities and People
1. Users/Use List....
2. Special Events....
3. Eating Places.....
4. Other Activities..
The following thesis is an approach to understanding social behavior in the pedestrian-urban environment and to see how architecture and the built and natural environment influence the way people act. I believe that a design that responds to all aspects of a specific area, such as the people, structures, and environment, gives us a better design product than designs which ignore one of these factors.
Following this concept, the main purpose of this thesis is to find some good design principles or references that will help us in the design of the pedestrian-urban environment as a whole system, and then to apply them in a specific case study.
Our built environment in which we spend most of our lives and which we speak of with pride is, most of the time, a most inhumane and unnatural place where respect for human relationships is lost. With the uncontrolled growth of our cities and the arrival of new technology every day, we tend forget one of the most important elements that created the cities of past -the people.
The structures are only one element of cities and they should respond to and directly reflect the most important element the people who live in them. Given any major city around the world, one notices that the element of human relationships is no longer considered a major factor. It may be true that in our cities today we are losing the balance that made cities of the past and some small towns of today the desirable built environment. Not because they are 100% perfect, but because we can find more humane quality environments in relation to the city today.
The nature of our built environment in the cities we live in influences our behavior, the way we feel about ourselves, and most importantly, the way we relate to each other. The belief that the built environment has a large impact on social behavior is of major concern in the polemics of the modern architecture movements. Many people believe that if we eradicate the bad physical dwellings and the slums in the environment around them; then the new, sanitized houses and surrounding areas would solve the problem of social misbehavior. However, it is a more complex function of the habits and intentions of people, as well as other factors such as architecture, environment and other people that facilitate such behavior, than simply a question of bad surroundings.
Throughout history, we have found that architecture has both served and restrained behavior. We have to realize that the built environment of man remains uncontrolled by the design profession. As a matter of fact, designers often face problems which are not architectural in nature. Many times, the character and complexity of the problems are followed by contra-
dictions among psychological, physiological, activity pattern, and technological requirements.
As designers, we help to form the future behavior of people by the environments we create. At all stages of the design, we make assumptions about human behavior. The failure or success of our designs may depend on the capacity and ability we have to predict this behavior with reasonable precision. It would be impossible to stop the growth of our cities today. However, it is important to realize that something has to be done to bring back the quality of life to our cities.
As an architect and a landscape architect, my personal concern is to understand and create the architecture as a whole. We should pay attention to the space created inside the structures as well as the space around them, and in a parallel way, gain an understanding of the influence of such spaces to the people who use them. We should understand that those spaces have different effects on different people; and one person's place may be a nonplace to others. Today, life depends upon cooperation among people wherever they are in the neighborhood, streets, parks, or workplace. If the design of such places helps make this cooperation possible and easy, people may function more positively in all aspects. If, on the other hand, we do not provide this space character, people will be exposed to unnecessary conflict and friction.
II. THE PROBLEM
A. Sense and Image of the Place
During the last decade, designers have been trying to recreate the image and/or sense of place for places that once had a sense of their own. With the rapid growth of most cities, the image and/or sense of place for many urban spaces has changed for the worse or is almost completely lost.
The image and sense of place includes all of the elements of an area: the people who live in it, their streets, their houses, and the surrounding environment. To separate any of those elements will affect or eliminate the image and sense of such places.
Referring to sense and image of a place, some professionals in the field of architecture agree that there is some relationship between the vernacular environment and the sense and image; and, in most cases, people play the most important role. It is important to understand that man is the center and an integral element of the environment. For this reason, man affects and is affected by the environment.
Today, when doing a project, some designers put more emphasis on the client desires than on the user's needs, forgetting many other factors that are more important in a design method. These factors will later create a series of problems that will cause repercussions and not only affect the structure or specific site itself, but the surrounding area as well. So,
if at the beginning of every major design method, attention was paid to all of the involved elements (architecture, environment, people), then there is no need to worry about creating, losing, or changing the image and sense of place.
Image and sense should be the result of a good design and its quality will reinforce such elements. For an example, let's look at the existing project for the site (Graphic #3). The project obviously was designed thinking only of the metro function wihtout paying attention to the neighborhood or even the surrounding architecture. As we notice, this building could be anywhere. Moreover, a commercial retail activity is incorporated to the building, but on a mezzanine level which is not functional due to the inconvenience of going up as high as three levels and then down again. To make this work, the commercial activity has to be very specific and then it may compete with the existing building creating a conflict in the area.
B. Open Space and the Pedestrian Environment
There has been a common loss of understanding in the relationship between pedestrians and their cities. Buildings out of scale, a confused character, and automobiles prevail on the landscape. The open space that potentially serves as a transition space between buildings and the outdoors is frequently serving only as an extension of the vehicular route, turning away from the pedestrian needs like protection, safety, and comfort. It also does not provide a human environment that will facilitate interaction,
interest, or diversity between people, making this open space a place to pass through rather than as a place to be in.
For these reasons, pedestrians do not have a true relationship with their built environment because such environments have not been designed to help people accomplish their purposes as effectively as possible with a maximum of satisfaction and a minimum of friction and frustration.
C. Definition of Hypothesis
All of the preceeding givens are the basis for the following hypothesis. HYPOTHESIS
A better understanding of social behavior, architecture and environment should be the basis for creating a design method that will guide us throughout the design of a more humane built environment in which we spend all of our lives.
Through the development of this thesis, I will provide some helpful design principles or references, as well as to apply these principles to a specific site. I will attempt to solve and prove the concerns and hypothesis of this thesis.
Because of the complexity of the problem, it was necessary to define a process or methodology to follow throughout this study. The following chart is the general idea of the process; and the explanation of each step will be given in the next stations or chapters.
Due to the scope of the problems, I will deal with most of the elements involved in human behavior and the built environment in general. I will then try to limit myself to the physical aspects of the pedestrian urban environment in relationship to people and reflect them in the final design.
IV. BEHAVIOR RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS
This station is a very important part of the process of this thesis. I will try to give a better understanding of how and why people behave differently in relation to each other and to their built environment.
A) Pedestrian Urban Environment Yesterday/Today/Vernacular Architecture
Walking is the oldest form of transportation. The first primitive human settlements and early cities were shaped according to walking abilities. Because those places were organized according to pedestrian convenience and comfort, many are still characterized by the human qualities of their design.
Walking distances were the basis for determining location, size and shape. For instance, location within walking distance of edible plants, hunting areas, water sources, etc. was a very important factor for the primitive settlements. Later on, with the improvement of agriculture and the domestication of animals, cities were allowed to expand in size because it was easier to get to the food supply. The big cities of yesterday were built to serve and inspire humans with social and religious integration. Sitings, original topography and structures were used to attain these objectives.
Years later, in the medieval period, there was a recognition of the need for communication and interaction between people. Consequently, the plaza
was developed. It was designed as a major open space to serve and compliment some of the important buildings around it. The function of the plaza was essentially as a place for marketing, religious ceremonies, public announcements and recreation. Its size was based on the number of people who might use the plaza. Human convenience and comfort was also important and pedestrians were protected from the natural environment by porticos, colonnades, and canopies.
There was also a preoccupation with the separation of the pedestrian from other types of transportation. For instance, Leonardo da Vinci planned a city where a separate system of streets for pedestrians and other vehicles were the basis of his design. Moreover, the relationship between the height of the building and the width of the street was taken into consideration.
After the invention of the automobile, the perspective of the old cities changed, forcing humans into an unbalanced competition for space in urban areas. The automobile demands more and more space and prevails in the urban structure. Most of us agree that cars brought many advantages to personal mobility. However, it is also responsible for many negative changes to our environment. In our major cities, pedestrian man has been isolated in a limited, narrow space, usually sidewalks, reducing his opportunity for social interaction. This situation worsens in central downtown areas where the concentration of pedestrians 1s increased. Adding to the problem is the increasing volume of vehicular traffic, the development of new building scales like skyscrapers, the enlargement of roads
cutting down the size of sidewalks, etc., making the pedestrian environment an even more Inhumane place to be.
Let's compare some of these ideas with the basis for today's architecture -primitive and vernacular. For instance, let's discuss primitive and vernacular architecture based on man and nature: "As man" his nature, soda! organization, way of life, psychological and social needs, individual and group needs, personality, aspirations, economic resources, physical needs, attitudes to nature and techniques available; "As nature" the physical aspects such as climate, site conditions, existing materials, structural possibilities, landscape, etc. This is the basis for such architecture as it has existed, at one time or another, everywhere that man has lived. Its form was not simply the response to physical factors, but the result of an entire range of socio-cultural factors, selection over existing alternatives, etc. We must also understand that man has lived in many kinds of structures. It is important to notice that differences between structures have existed according to differences in culture, ritual, way of life, social organization, climate, etc.; and it's important to notice some of the similarities related to some of these elements; but more importantly, one should notice them in relationship to man's needs and desires.
In general, even though an absence of theory and beauty pretensions were characteristic of this type of architecture; respect for the site, other people and Interest for the environment as a whole, man-made as well as natural was important in this primitive design. In spite of its simplicity, a heirarchy and distinction was also found when related to the social levels or classes (religion, military, age, etc.).
Today, we are noticing some changes in the strongest characteristics of the primitive and vernacular architecture due to the extensive specialization of modern life. The pure hierarchy is lost, contemplating a general loss of hierarchies with society. All the structures seem to have equal importance.
In the Encyclopedia of Modern Architecture, there is a definition that states, "Form follows function; it is the catch phrase that spells modern architecture. (It) continues to evoke the image of modern as opposed to traditional architecture more readily than any other slogan." However, I do not clearly see the relationship between this statement and most of our envi ronment.
I believe that it is time to look to the past and take from it elemental ideas that can still be of value to us. Let's regain our streets. Historically, they played important roles in our built environment far from the streets existing today. For the streets to function as a true public space, an increase in the pedestrian area is absolutely necessary.
B) Influences of the Environment on Human Behavior
Even though designers work with a valuable information base over processes and products, it is surprising to find that there is so little Information available about their prime concern: human relationships. A lot of research has been done within the human science of man and the increasing volume of studies focus essentially on environment and behavior relation-
ships. However, none of this information has been summarized in a way that could be integrated into the design process and used by designers.
It is true that human behavior is directly influenced by the built environment in which the behavior occurs. Designers have always attempted to maintain environments that exalt the spirit and enhance the sense of good health in people. However, there has been a big gap between their intentions and their accomplishments. There is a belief that people have to be educated to understand and enjoy the environment that designers create, and for that reason, people tend to either not use those areas or misuse them. This attitude from people will continue as long as arrogant assumptions are made on the part of designers.
Behavior is a very Intricate function of design and more emphasis should be placed on its understanding than in the aesthetic value of the form. Rather than focus on the relationship between people and the built environment, the theory of architecture has focused on the relationship between the designers and the objects or spaces they create. There are few design approaches based on trying to understand how the built environment is perceived and it's different meaning for different people. Different people will also perceive different opportunities from the same environment. The essential problem of design is to produce true environments that do not have pretentions and are simple and direct. Environments are formed by a combination of systems of images that are defined as the "pattern of languages." Some of the patterns we use today are incomplete, or "unwhole," and we cannot use them to create "whole environments." To under-
stand this last statement, we need to define two things: 1) "whole
environments;" and 2) "pattern languages." As Christropher Alexander would say, "Whole environments are those which allow all the people in it to become whole as persons by their own efforts...Pattern languages is the process by which an environment, whether whole or unwhole, is always formed from a combinatorial system of images." Certain conditions have to be present in a whole environment:
1. Take into account all psychological needs of society from birth to death;
2. Integrate every factor of the environment (ecology, climate, economy, social problems, human, feelings, etc.);
3. Provide every person access to a shared pool of experience; and
4. Environment must be built by the people who will live in it.
Design should try to maximize the adaptability between environment and people rather than try to get a solution that will fit only people of a specific class. This is because people judge environments by the way they make their life achievements easier. Designers acknowledging one specific group will not only directly affect the other group, but will also create indirect implications over every group of people using the environment. We must pay attention to these problems due to the fact that behavior is affected and usually 1n ways that were not imagined or intended. We know that people often react opposite to the physical cues when they have the opportunity of choosing what they want.
Human behavior is a manifestation of choice. Some behavior may be predicted and expected to occur with some consistency and can be related to the built environment. If we, as designers, could anticipate the way people are likely to behave, we could prevent problems that emerge when the expectations of our plans turn out to be opposite and in conflict with the real world. To achieve the desired effects, our design should work efficiently, exalt the senses, and serve the behavioral needs of the people. An environment that does not satisfy its planned purpose, annoys, frustrates, or puts boundaries on our commitments, and has a direct influence on human behavior.
We must understand that there is a relationship between human behavior and the built environment. First, we must realize that the behavior of patterns, such as feelings and motivations, is necessary to understand the built environment. Secondly, we need to realize that after the environment is built, it will affect human behavior and our way of life.
C. Social Distance and the Built Environment
Our built environment provides the scene and the possiblity for interaction with friends and strangers alike, or it can provide an atmosphere that allows us to simply be ourselves. As performers or spectators in public areas, those who take part can learn that people with similarities are able to behave in many different ways giving pleasure and joy to other people. We must understand clearly who the performers and non-performers, or leaders and non-leaders, are in the public scene with their spaces and
task functions. Man is one of the toughest and adaptable organisms on earth, but there are limitations as to what he can do. One limitation is his sensitivity to crowding. Through the years, psychologists have been attempting to find the "perfect distance" not close enough to produce irritation or friction, but not so far as to produce isolation. People tend to effect their communication with other people by the way they manage this space. Experiencing public areas reduces fear among people so that they not only feel more comfortable around each other, but also with the environment in which the relationship or interaction occurs.
There are certain motivating factors that are related to people in public spaces. We must realize that human behavior is a complicated matter and that these factors may vary according to culture, an individual's personality, status, social system and the way he feels towards other people in a given time. These factors are:
1. personal space
2. personal status
3. personal safety
4. formation of friends
5. group membership
7. cue searching
1. Personal Space. As Individuals, we value our personal space. In our
society people have strong opinions about controlling access to their persons. They want complete control over the space between themselves and other people. The most common distances are: intimate, personal, social and public distance.
Personal distance in personal contact varies from 1-1/2 ft. to 4 ft. This area includes relationships between lovers, family, close friends, children, etc. However, there are exceptions such as when people are forced into closed areas like elevators, subways, buses, etc. Under these circumstances, people tend to protect themselves in a cocoon for the time of contact. In this area, people we do not know are not welcome.
Social distance varies from 4 ft. to 12 ft. In this distance, most people relationships in public spaces occur. This distance is related to working places, social gatherings, restaurants, etc. It is an easy distance from which to see expressions and talk. This area is a distance of importance to designers.
Public distance varies from 12 ft. to 25 ft. It is the distance where relationships are broken. It is possible, within this distance, to pass next to someone we know without having to stop or avoid them if we want to. The far boundary of this distance is used around important people.
Like most things, there are variations on the general rules that affect the design field. Personal space is not an invisible bubble with the person in the center. It has more space in front of this person than behind. The inclination towards avoiding physical contact with other people facilitates some clues about designing places to seat more adequately. For instance, long seats are less efficient than shorter ones because they will not be used to full capacity. What really makes a personal space is the person's freedom in adapting the space to his own needs and desires.
2. Personal Status. People use a range of ways for stating their own self-definitions and for defining themselves to other people. Their movements, clothes, hairstyles, speech, preferences, etc. are part of their self-definition. Even though personal status is not heavily related to open public space, it is of great importance in inside areas. For instance, people try to reflect their status through architecture or the appearance of their houses. When designers deal with this problem, the best thing to remember is that the distribution of floor space, furniture, window location or other amenities is not the only object of designing a functional and attractive space; it is also a matter of creating personal status.
3. Personal Safety. As people, we tend to avoid dangerous situations. Personal safety is one of the major concerns of the human nature. However, this does not mean that people will not take risks. They will take some risk if there 1s some reward involved. Nevertheless, there are many risks that people are not able to see such as radiation and toxic
chemicals. People need some way of identifying those aspects in the environment that may jeopardize their lives. However, it is evident that there are many things that seem to be hazardous, but are actually safe. Let's discuss the principle hazards involved in our daily lives:
a. Clearance hazards Refers to spaces where normal people will not fit, for instance, under stairs, low lighting elements, etc. Such spaces should be inaccessible to people.
b. Object hazards Refers to things that are potentially dangerous because their edges, corners, etc. are sharp (such things as counter and desk corners or traffic sign posts).
c. Collision hazards Refers to potential collisions between people. They are as injurious as car collisions. To avoid the problem, a clear field of vision should be provided wherever traffic ways meet.
d. Stability hazards Refers to surfaces that, for one reason or another, are not stable. For instance, slippery surfaces are frequent causes of injury. As designers, we should avoid potentially slippery surfaces. If it is impossible to avoid, handrails should be used no matter how short the space. Other sources of instability is fear of heights and close environments. It is important to realize that some of these hazards are not covered by existing building codes and so are easy to forget to take into consideration.
Finally, it is important to mention that although people can get injured in many different ways in public open spaces, the principal danger is their proximity to moving vehicles. Anything that will keep these two elements separated will improve pedestrian safety.
4. Formation of Friends. Friends are formed on the foundation of backgrounds and shared interests. In this phase, people contact is an indis-pensible part of the process. People tend to select their friends from the groups they know. If we want to understand the effect of proximity on social contact, it is necessary to understand that the difference lies in the functional aspect instead of the physical distance. Although physical proximity is important, the place where people meet is created by the arrangement of structures, stairways, and exit locations that cause people to move 1n a specific way or pattern.
Walking can increase socialization while simultaneously enhancing health and contributing to relaxation and recreation. Social contact on foot is easy, but social contact between people in separate cars is almost impossible. If, when designing a space, designers can provide a way to facilitate people occasionally socializing with each other, we may find that we like each other. On the other hand, we will never know if we like each other or not if we avoid contact. Pedestrian urban spaces, specifically sidewalks, have not entirely lost their function as a social contact place. The idea is to attract people out of their cars because making friends is the result of repeated contact. Certain conditions, such as eye contact and willingness to meet, are necessary.
5. Group Membership. Belonging to a specific social group is important to many people. Groups of friends are often very small; and even if a person is a member of a big club, he will not refer to all members as close friends. Small groups offer a better opportunity for an individual to participate in their interests and decisions. Observation of groups in public areas has shown that 2% of the groups contain five or more people, 6% contain four people, 21% contain three people, and 71% are formed by only two people. These percentages gives us clues that arrangements of seating in parks, plazas, indoors and other public places should be created with small groups in mind. However, there are some exceptions, such as special events or religious or political meetings. People tend to form groups in places where forming a group is provided for. If we understand traffic ways and where people need to go, it can be assumed that those areas may be potentially good for forming groups and designs should facilitate such purposes.
6. Territoriality. Territoriality refers to the personal territory of an individual, but is not limited to the defense boundaries. It integrates with other feelings about personal status and personal space. It relates to properties or belongings in which we assume rights that may be transitory 1n nature. For example:
a. Personal items and possessions such as one's house, yard or parking space;
b. Group possessions and properties like one's neighborhood, town or team;
c. Temporary territory, like a picnic table, a chair at a party, or a bench in the park. Designers should avoid territoriality friction when dealing with these types of spaces.
d. Person to person, most friction is related to personal property such as toys or coffee cups. This problem may be serious, but could be avoided if belongings are clearly marked.
e. Group territory, the feeling that people show when sharing things through a group membership. This feeling is very important to designers because of the reaction of people in depending or improving their shared territory. For example, it is difficult to create a sense of neighborhood if its people are not recognized as individual entities. For this reason, it is necessary to create clear boundaries and names.
f. Boundaries refer to imaginary or well defined areas where facilities are shaped and there is a clear indication of what is public and what is private; for instance, a shared deck on a building, a loading dock, or a common driveway.
g. Nobody's territory is an area that a group of people identifies themselves with to help secure that the area is used adequately to avoid damage, misuse or vandalism such as abandoned cars, empty lots or an empty building. Designers should pay more attention to the users, giving them the feeling of participation and involvement; otherwise there may be no feeling of responsibility. By acknowleding this aspect, designers may maximize the potential benefits and minimize the friction over a territory.
7. Cue Searching. There are different times and ways in which this search-
ing occurs. Searching for cues is the way people get information they need to guide their perseonal duties with safety and a minimum amount of effort or trouble. Once they become familiar with the new place, they start moving or acting in a habitual manner. This demonstrates how important it is to provide information to daily newcomers to the area. If, on the other hand, designers do not provide this information, these new people will not understand how to use the space they visit or live in. One way of getting people's attention is to change some familiar element of the environment. One of the primary goals of cue searching is to secure personal safety.
There are some reliable and effective ways of cue searching. For instance, a designer can provide facilities where people can use their senses easily places with enough light or low noise levels. Avoiding sensory overload by subordinating unnecessary information is another method, like providing cues in the form of symbols or signs that caution people of hazards and guide them to their objectives. At this phase, cue searching starts to mix with communication in a concept called "wayfinding," which is the ability to pass through an environment lacking roads, signs, or maps. However, when people must deal with a complex, difficult design, there is a need for assistance in the form of maps, signs, color codes, lines or maybe even another person.
Other cues are abstracts that inform people about social status and creates mental images associated with people and places. These cues may be related
to the quality of materials in buildings or open areas, decorative elements, or landscapes. Cues related to status may be different, determined by culture.
8. Communication. Communication is one of the desires of human nature. People communicate 1n order to get or give information about their world. There are many ways of communicating other than by talking: gestures, expressions, movement. As designers, we create places where communication occurs; so we should provide the qualities of space necessary for this process to occur. Personal communication is important and takes place wherever people meet whether its the street or the classroom. Signs are another way of communicating and, in this case, designers must define what information people need to get and when. To accomplish this, it is important to analyze and satisfy the needs of different groups of people.
Although it is difficult to believe, we can communicate through design. For instance, a building's form and character are able to communicate messages. However, these messages may mean different things to different people. These people can be divided into two groups: those who are familiar with the building or place; and those who are unfamiliar. This kind of communication 1s complicated and difficult to understand because of the different viewers' interest and needs.
There are certain questions that must be answered to determine if the design really satisfies the interests and needs of people:
a. What is it? The answer may be given by a sign or a symbol such as a Jewish star, Christian cross, or even the "Golden Arches." If there is no symbol, then the sign must give all of the necessary information.
b. What services does it offer me? A shopping mall, a motel, a restaurant?
c. How do I get in? Finding the way into a building or around it must be very clear. It may not be a problem in small complexes, but can be a big problem in large ones such as hospitals or university campuses.
d. What will I find inside? This is one of the questions we cannot answer if the people who are passing by can't see inside.
e. How will I be received? Because of the unknown, people are concerned about new experiences that may be embarrassing or cause them to be rejected. One way of solving this problem is to understand who will be using the space and clearly establish an identity that will reassure the potential users.
Although we may find the answers to these questions, we find still another problem how people perceive what we try to communicate. In this case, the problem is predicting the meaning of the design; more specifically, the architecture for the people.
For designers, one of the most difficult tasks is predicting, before construction, how users will perceive and use the space. It is difficult enough to design for the interests and needs of people with similar
backgrounds; but it is more difficult still when designing for people with different backgrounds, socioeconomic classes, health, and age.
A design cannot be used to its full capacity if it has no meaning. There are two primary categories of meaning that designers should be aware of: representational and responsive. Representational meaning reflects a known built environment and anything to which it refers is represented to the human being as a perception, Idea or concept. Responsive meaning is related to the internal response to the internal representation. By considering both meanings, a designer may be able to estimate how people will feel about and behave toward his design. For example:
OBJECT OR SPACE STIMULUS \ PRESENTATION \ RESPONSE \ BEHAVIOR RESPONSE
(Low Rectangular element) /(Image of a bench / idea of seating) /(Feeling of / rest use / decision) / (Seat on the bench)
There are subcategories within the two that may be considered. For instance, presentational and referential meaning are subcategories of the representational meaning.
In representational meaning, forms are not acting as signs. The representation frequently does not occur in verbal form; so with our internal representation we separate the object or space from their context; perceive their textures, colors, and shapes; and understand their status relative to us and other objects as we classify them according to events or objects we
know. This way, we realize their qualities or attributes, at least those that are relevant to us. Most times, our representations depend on our past experiences.
In the field of prediction, the distinction between referential and presentational meaning is extremely important. If designers attend essentially to the presentational meaning, like status, of their designs while users attend essentially to the referential meaning, like purpose and use; then they are likely to disagree in their evaluative, affective and prescriptive responses.
After we form our representations, we usually have other responses related to our representations. One response is the evaluative meaning. Such meaning is related to our first emotions and feelings toward the objects in question. Another type of meaning is the affective meaning which is a response based on experience. If a designer does not understand the users cultural values, he may not be able to predict how his design will affect them. Finally, after representing or evaluating the situation or space,
designers must decide what to do which is known as prescriptive meaning. Design is often prescriptive in the sense that something is possible by the arrangement of form(s). For this reason, prescriptive meaning is known as "disposition to response." In prescriptive meaning, the person not only has to recognize the form, but its use as well 1n order to react. Other processes related to the prediction of space or built environment are mentioned in the following section.
D. Human Needs and the Design Field
Human needs is one of the major concerns in the design field, and with only intuition in mind, designers can't help but design for the user's needs as he sees them. Many times, designers Impose their own values on people for whom they design. Consequently, conflicts between the built environment and people are obvious when the environment does not easily adapt to their behavioral needs.
Needs of a specific group of people should be defined in terms of the facts relating to their social behavior and attitudes, rather than according to what they say they need. One fact is that designers should create environments that accommodate needs rather than conflict with them. Fulfilling needs may bring some uniformity to human behavior.
In the last decade, many researchers in the design field have developed conceptual models for defining these needs. Robert Ardrey, Alexander Leighton, Henry Murray and Peggy Peterson are some of the professionals
that have developed a series of needs related to behavior. The list of needs vary from three main needs, according to Ardrey, to a list of 25 for Peterson. However, the most comprehensive and widely-used is the model developed by psychologist Abraham Maslow.
Maslow explains human needs as a changing process. To completely satisfy the needs is not possible because when one series of needs are satisfied, another set of needs is created. According to Maslow, there are five major hierarchies of needs. They are:
1. "Self-actualization." Fulfilling people's highest needs to make great efforts towards their fullest potential as human beings.
2. "Self-esteem." Related to the ego status achieve status within
3. "Belonging." Related to the need to belong to a group.
4. "Safety." Related to security trying to avoid harm, need for protection.
5. "Physiological needs." Related to maintaining life and health -
food, clothing, shelter.
The final two, safety and physiological needs, are the basis for survival in the built and natural environment.
We must understand that not all of these needs have the same importance and priority at all phases of life. For example, in societies where the need for security and food are more or less satisfied, the need for self-ac-
tuallzation and affection becomes much more important.
Another way of understanding human behavior in the environment is through the psychological processes. There are three major cateogries in this process: perception, cognition, and spatial behavior.
1. Perception is the process of obtaining or receiving input.
2. Cognition is the act of involving the processes of thinking, feeling and remembering.
3. Spatial behavior is the output manifested in a person's actions and responses.
Secondary processes, such as motivation, have a tendency to affect, develop, and modify the way in which we preceive, think and behave. In all of these processes, most of our senses sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, are of prime importance for their development.
E. Human Characteristics and Pedestrian Design
The quality of our pedestrian environment depends on our understanding of human characteristics and capabilities. Psychological preferences, body dimensions and human locomotion are components that dictate how a person will pass through the built environment. We have already mentioned psychological needs and their influence on the built environment.
This section will deal with the aspects related to standards about the human body and human locomotion. There are many poor examples of pedestrian built environments due to the lack of understanding of the relationship of these components. This problem is compounded in environments where people are required to concentrate in large groups.
There are five major conditions related to the pedestrian built environment. They are flow volume, speed locomotion, density, headway and queue.
1. Flow volume refers to the number of pedestrian passing a given point in a unit of time. This element determines the width of the pedestrian way and is expressed as "pedestrians per foot of width per minute, (PFM)."
2. Speed locomotion refers to the distance per unit of time (feet per minute).
3. Density refers to the number of pedestrians per unit of area (square feet area per pedestrians).
4. Headway refers to the time and distance separating pedestrians.
5. Queue refers to the time of waiting for service. Its length and duration will depend on traffic flow characteristics (elevators, waiting lines).
Although these elements will not be studied in depth, it is good to have a general notion about the concepts which are commonly used when dealing with pedestrians.
* Average Speeds. Walking speeds may vary over a wide range of factors. Average speeds among different groups range from 254 to 270 feet per minute. However, speed declines with age. Some of the average speeds are as follows:
Average Â£ 260
Stairs ^ 175
There is a wide range of potential variablity 1n pedestrian free-flow walking speeds such as: reaction to environment, psychological factors and trip objective. Designers are more concerned with the design qualities of walkways, but their attention should be directed to the human need for space; not only in relationship to available space for normal locomotion, but in relationship to the pedestrian's visual and phychological interaction with the built environment. *
* Forward Vision. One of the most critical dimensions is the forward space. It determines the speed of the trip, experience, quality of walking, and pedestrian flow. One of the most desirable is the 15 feet (4.57 meters) distance which allows for a clear view over the ground ahead for comfortble adjustments to changing conditions, serving a capacity of 1,000 people/hour channel.
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There are some walking distance standards related to the pedestrian and the built environment. These include:
1. 1,000 ft. (305 mts) is a distance that a man can walk easily and with pleasure.
2. 1,500 ft. (457 mts) is a distance that a man can walk, but for which he probably would prefer to use another form of transportation if the weather is present.
3. Over 1,500 ft. (457 mts) are distances beyond the architectural scale in the ordinary sense of the term.
4. Over 1 mile (1,600 mts) are distances considered too large as a townscape unless it is provided with a source of transportation.
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* Factors Affecting Speed and Capacity. Although we can understand these standards, there are some outside conflicts that interfere with these traffic flows and we may need to increase the space in order to avoid potential conflict. A conflict 1s defined as any shuffling, stopping or breaking of the normal walking speed.
Some of the factors that tend to reduce normal speeds are primarily stairs and slopes over 6%. Studies have shown that stairways reduce walking speeds to about 1/3 the normal speed a level that constrains traffic flows. The problem lessens with ramps as more people are able to use them without major difficulties.
Other common factors that affect walking speeds and the capacities of sidewalks or other pedestrian environments are:
* walking to window shop
* walking to catch a bus
* walking from home to work
* walking with a lover
* walking to school
* other types of use expectations
* interruptions (such as drive in businesses, store entrances, stairs, uneven pavements)
* sidewalk width
* volume (speed and space decreasing)
* walking distances (increasing the capacity will decrease speed and affect long walks)
When we design for the pedestrian, we should also keep in mind the differences between cars and pedestrians, especially in areas where both are present.
1. Pedestrians moving in different directions are not divided.
2. Pedestrians are less worried than motorists about the laws of the road.
3. Pedestrians are more difficult to predict than motorists owing to the variety of their purposes.
4. Pedestrians do not pay attention and travel in defined lines.
* Pedestrian Safety. Pedestrian safety is of major concern to designers. It is a combination of a complex number of interactions constantly changing and influenced by a changing environment. It is also subject to the mental and physical state of the pedestrian and the driver. Some pedestrian accidents are obvious, but we have no simple answers to them. Some of the causes of those accidents are:
1. Pedestrian and auto conflict at intersections.
2. Careless drivers
3. Age young and old people are more likely to have accidents
4. Poor visibility at night due to bad street or car lighting
5. Wide roads increase the risk of accidents
6. Badly defined crossing areas
7. Bad weather
9. Taking risks
Based on these most common accidents, some measures have been adopted to avoid or improve conditions. For instance:
improved pedestrian and driver education;
2. improved law enforcement;
3. improved crosswalk applications;
4. improved visibility through lighting or space
5. clarified pedestrian/drive actions with traffic signs;
6. improved signal timing;
7. increased pedestrian/driver sight distance;
8. improved pedestrian signal color, display, message.
F. Psychological Influences of Color and Light
Two other factors directly influence human behavior: light and color. As designers, we manipulate the aesthetic qualities of a place to create a mood; but we only offer a message or stimulus that must be processed by a person in order for the mood to happen. The use of light and color play an important role in this phase.
Color. The use of color makes it easier for us to see objects. It helps the eye in understanding shapes and stimulates us to look longer at particular objects. Color has the power to influence our psychological and physical state. Moods like passion and spirituality, pleasure and relaxation, and tension and Irritation can be encouraged by the use of color. The perception and effect of color are used in a number of ways. One way is to give a sense and feeling of harmony and security; another is to deliberately create the opposite effect. Bright colors produce a sense of aggression and tension while soft colors produce a more peaceful mood. Age
also plays an important role in color perception and preference. As we can see, they all relate to the behavior process. Bright colors, such as red and yellow, are preferred by children; teenagers prefer earthtones and pastels; and adults go for less saturated colors like green and blue.
Color is used to create illusions. By using a certain color, we can produce an illusion of a larger or smaller space. Cool, dark colors are focused on by the eye in a way that make them appear to move away from the viewer; but colors with longer wavelengths, like red, yellow or orange, produce the effect of moving toward the viewer.
What follows are some of the psychological responses to different colors:
Red excitement, stimulus, defiance, hostility, contrariness, activity, passion, intensity, fierceness, happiness, heat, and sometimes irritation.
Blue calmness, soothing, security, tenderness, peacefulness, comfort, sadness, melancholy, dignity, contemplativity, restfulness.
Gray no strong emotion quiteness, imaginativeness, curiousity -serene, sophisticated atmosphere.
Light. Light directly Influences color because light is color while simultaneously changing color. In any design, the use of artifical and natural light should be an Integral part of the design and not something considered after the structure has been designed. It should form an integral aspect of the schematic, preliminary and final design development.
Identification of needs and potentials for illumination related to planned activities and goals should be one of the first steps of the design program. The effective use of light is a traditional hallmark of an aesthetic experience in design. However, there is no clear understanding of lighting to enhance the human experience in design.
Some effects of light on people are similar to those mentioned in color. For instance, highly lighted areas or rooms make them appear larger. However, if overcrowding is unavoidable 1n those areas, the effect will seem less oppressive if we lower the light levels. As we can see, light relates to the illusion of larger or smaller spaces.
The problem of establishing lighting design concepts is not simple and may depend on the needs of every specific case. For instance, the requirements for illuminating particular areas must be based on the design activities or uses as well as the Intended visual and psychological experiences desired for those areas. Different types of activities and design objectives may require different illumination or systems of illumination. In light design, designers should consider the alternatives of intensity, color performance and light direction when developing the program. The phenomenon of light is usually taken for granted and we are often unaware of the nature of light in a space until we are in it. All of these elements, variation within a changing context and 1n discrete requirements of behavior, purpose or preference, should be taken Into account as early as possible.
What is really important is that there are different activities and psychological states of mind that must be placed, sometimes in different times and settings, and sometimes in both at the same time. We must understand that any one lighting plan may not be appropriate for all settings and that the use of the same criteria may not be appropriate for evaluating lighting plans for different settings.
G. Steps in Trying to Understand Behavior
Paying attention to all of these factors and elements, we can establish certain steps to follow for the understanding of the human and behavior and consequently the space 1n which behavior takes place. Then, perhaps we can find an easier way to design for people. These steps may or may not be applicable to every site and some changes may be required in some cases.
STEP 1 Observation of site activities
a. Create a hierarchy of the different activities according to how many times each one occurs.
b. Create a hierarchy of different users according to how many times each user appears.
c. Identify where the most popular activities occurred and where the different users were found.
STEP 2 Observation of popular places
a. In relation to climatic factors (shade, sun)
b. In combination with physical attributes (topography, colors, defined spaces, etc.)
c. In relation to functional units (food vending areas, clock towers, etc.)
d. In relation to other people (children playing, congregating areas, corners, etc.)
STEP 3 Observation of specific behavior 1n specific areas. Doing this, we can learn why people reject or select places for fulfillment of certain activities.
STEP 4 Observation of people enjoying themselves in deteriorating-looking places. This way we can discover what qualities are placed in order above those satisfying aesthetic needs.
STEP 5 Observation of children playing. This way we can learn why they choose those specific areas.
STEP 6 - Observation of repeated behavior for possible relation to well
STEP 7 Observation of natural, Involuntary activities to understand how flexible space may be used.
STEP 8 Observation of facilities used contrary to the designer's idea. This way we can learn if there is anything in the design that explains it being used contrary to its purpose.
STEP 9 Observation of damaged or misused areas, and then differentiation between malicious behavior and adaptation changes to make the area more responsive to the behavioral needs of its users.
STEP 10 Observation of areas not used at all. This way we can find out what makes an area inhospitable.
There are many models made with the intention of understanding human behavior and its relationship to the built environment in order to attain a better built environment. These are the most used elements in those models.
V. OPEN SPACE DEFINITION AND CHARACTERISTICS
This station deals with open space. There are two sections included: Section "A" will attempt to give a definition of open space and its relationship to the pedestrian urban environment as well as to describe some of its most common characteristics and elements; Section "B" will describe the most common standards for walkways, stairways, and handicap design.
A. Form and Definition
The structure of our built environment entails many different elements. One such element 1s open space. Many other elements, such as architecture, landscape, people, and transportation systems are of equal importance to the overall built environment structure. Therefore, the planning of all of these elements is essential for the well being of the structure.
However, the kind of open space that will be discussed in this document is related to our built environment. It is a critical element of any major city. Uses such as residential areas, commercial areas and offices are influenced by the open space which connects them and vice versa. This urban open space is more active than the traditional open space that deals with benches, playgrounds, and lawn areas.
These open areas include a broad variety of places as well as uses. Building and neighborhood plazas, city streets and sidewalks, and urban
parks are some examples of our urban open space. Careful design is important in order to provide for a satisfactory open space in our cities. Designs that are sensitive to the user's needs are more successful designs.
In low density areas, this open space provides access to experiences that are not normally available to them on their own premises. These experiences could be active or passive. This open space could be a dynamic element in any community or neighborhood, and should match the needs of the service area at all age levels. On the contrary, in high density areas, it is vital for the movement of people and goods. It is the scene for the public life of the city. Many of its original uses, such as trade and religious events, have changed in recent times but have never disappeared. In its original form, this open space was a pedestrian way; but when cars invaded it, this space became hazardous and people had to move to the sidewalks. However, some attempts have been made in certain areas, like pedestrian malls and large shopping facilities, to return this space to the people and try to demonstrate that people are willing to walk if it is worth their while.
Space is basically formed by the relationship between objects, structures or natural elements and the person who perceives them. However, some elements are not planned and our spaces are often created unintentionally. In open space, planning, texture, scale, and hierarchy of space are very important. Open space today can be divided into two major areas: one for people and one for automobiles. However, to create a space in which people can move freely should be the first step in the design of open space.
This space could be divided into two categories: space for movement and space for non-movement. Space for movement includes activities such as strolling, playing games and sports, and parades. On the other hand, relaxing, eating, waiting, watching people, reading and speechmaking are some of the activities included in movement spaces. There is a basic criteria for the design of such spaces. For movement, it is desirable that the area be flat, spacious and free of any obstacles. However, space for non-movement should have lighting, benches, landscaping and other pedestrian amenities that makes the space more attractive.
In designing this open space, identification of the projected and/or potential uses is a major key of determining the size of the space, form of the structures, texture of pavement and elements, height of the building, etc. It is also important to connect spaces with one another, and in some way to give them some some order and hierarchy, but integrating all of them in a continuous unit instead of disgregating their character or activities.
B. Characteristics and Elements in Open Space
There are certain conditions and characteristics that define our open space. One of these characteristics, and one of the most important, is its scale (horizontal and vertical). This is essentially the existing relationship between the building or structures and the space between them. For instance, some of the most commonly used are: the Renaissance, Da Vinci's ideal relation of D/H = 1; the Barroque period where D/H = 2;
and Le Corbusier's Idea of D/H =/> 10. We can explain this in another way: the balance between building heights and its separating distance, where "1" represents the sense of enclosing, "2" the balance, and "3" the sense of standing apart.
The feeling of enclosure is obtained when a wall exceeds a person's height and breaks the visual continuity of the floor. For instance, low walls (under 3') are essentially used as dividers of areas and do not have much to do with producing an enclosed feeling except for young children. However, when a wall becomes 4' or higher, it screens a great part of a person's body, creating a sense of personal security.
Exterior space may be formed by a single space, two spaces or by a wide number of spaces. In any case, it is possible to create a hierarchical order in the space. One way of creating this spatial order is to establish areas 1n terms of the functions and uses of the space.
1) exterior > semi exterlor/interior > interior
2) public > semi public/private > private
3) for large groups > medium > for small groups
4) amusement oriented > intermedium > quiet
5) sports oriented > intermedium > passive
Provides node that compact space is considered very effective in emphasizing space hierarchy.
Other important elements in exterior space are: the topography, views, edges, and material. When we have the opportunity, a good approach is to take full advantage and make the best use of the topographical conditions of the site, creating an exterior space rich in variety as well function and the sense demanded by such a space. In its composition, we can also control the view, giving the space a sense of variety and anticipation of framing the visual angle. By combining most of the aspects mentioned before, we can add variety to the space by hiding objects that will be visible depending on the person's movement. This will make things visible for a second, concealing them for a while and then showing them again. There are two basic ways of dealing with open space: one way is to expose the whole space a the very outset and consequently make a strong impression on the people; the second is to design the space, but show it gradually. Depending on the space, one way may be more successful than the other.
One major element in open space design is to provide a sense of direction. Sometimes we have existing landmarks that help us in designing the space. When this is not the case, creation of powerful objects may be required.
Focal points play an important role in open space; and other than the physical environment, 1t is people who really create focal points. It is the place where the greater variety and number of community inhabitants can be observed. The focal point in any area is where the action is, and people really like these areas. This is the place where people are exposed to a greater number of events than any other place. It does not guarantee that the activities around will be improved (business), but it will provide
better opportunities for informal contact and the creation of such a system. Focal points should be reachable by everyone in the community. There are certain principles for designing focal points:
1) Central location is a key and such locations should take a minimum amount of effort and travel to reach from any part of the community.
2) To make focal points as rich as possible without the necessity of a social commitment and people going there to see or do things in a formal sense.
3) To make focal points traffic intersections where necessary functions are in them. Sometimes these areas already exist in communities, but do not function as focal points for lack of design.
4) Focal points should provide enough area where people can sit. By planning this, people can sit without obstructing traffic flow.
5) Focal points should have no or few visual boundaries.
Related to these principles, and most of the other characteristics of open space, we can say that open space tends to promote equal and honest conduct, relations and attitudes. For instance, they promote the environment for a a great number number of encounters and relationships of long or short durations, unplanned or planned, without any specific goals other than socialization. We can also find that different kinds of people and their co-presence may generate a reconsideration and reevaluation of statements that are the basis for prejudiced reactions. In addition, a variety of social relationships and contacts are inevitable in sharing such
facilities and services. So, these areas tend to diminish the rejection and inattention to the mentally and/or physically impaired. Combining all of them, we can say that all people will be enriched in their view of other people by the recognition of the wide range of emotions, behaviors and relationships that each is capable of.
Finally, let's mention some other purposes of this specific open space:
1) To link all community services of the service area. (Medical, professional, entertainment, and commercial facilities)
2) To link all social services of the service area. (Parks, plazas, schools, playground, and cultural facilities)
3) To replace underused streets, by partially changing the vehicular character to a pedestrian character.
4) To serve as a buffer zone between different types of uses on the site while simultaneously serving as an integrating factor.
C. Established Standards for Stairs and Walkway Designs
Most of these standards are applied worldwide and can be found in any design book and in some building codes. These standards involve the
application of some traffic engineering principles and consideration of human dimensions and convenience. They have also been determined on the basis of pedestrian spacing, walking speed and some other factors mentioned earlier.
All of these standards were developed based on design criteria for pedestrian ways. These criteria are based on safety, security, convenience, continuity, comfort, and system attractiveness: Safety refers to movement with protection from cars; Convenience refers to the provision of the most direct routes free from delay; Continuity and Comfort refer to the way in which we link space in order to maintain continuity and comfort to the
user; and Attractiveness refers not only to the aesthetic value, but the
sense of excitement that should be created by the built environment.
Stairway Design. For this, we should expand the consideration of human characteristics because, as mentioned 1n the previous chapter, stairs
require more energy and greater safety. The following aspects are most commonly used 1n stairway design:
a. Adequately-sized areas should be placed at the approaches of
stairways to facilitate pedestrian queueing.
b. Clear and visible location and direct access to the levels they connect.
c. Well lit.
d. Maximum riser height of 7", to reduce energy and increase traffic efficiency.
e. Stair riser, tread, and railing should be designed to help human locomotion, especially in the case of the disabled.
f. When the stairway is placed within a corridor, the controlling design factor for the pedway section 1s the capacity of the lower section.
g. Avoid open risers and noisings.
h. Assure drainage where open.
1. Top tread should be flush with continuing pavement.
j. Have an alternate way (ramp) for disabled use.
k. Uniform grade/constant tread rise relation.
Although these standards are the most common when dealing with disabled people, the list grows and covers other aspects. At the time of design, we have to be conscience of coping with temporary disabilities. In this group are included people coping with: broken bones, recovering from surgery, pulled muscles, age, and pregnancy. The minimum design standards for the disabled pedestrian embraces walks, ramps, entrances and stairs.
It is Important to note one major conflict that exists between the two major disabled groups: those who are blind and those who are in wheelchairs. The problem is that the blind rely on cues such as narrow lanes of travel or curbs at intersections for orientation; however those in wheelchairs require and look for unobstructed, clear, passageways.
a. Should be at least 5' wide and have a maximum gradient of 5%.
b. Close to maximum gradient should provide flat areas for resting.
c. Should have non-slip surfaces.
d. Should be a continuous, common surface, uninterrupted by steps or sudden level changes.
e. When frequented by the blind, change in pavement texture should be used to provide a sensory signal of direction and key locations.
f. When walks have to cross roadways, ramps should be provided.
a. Should not have slopes exceeding 8%.
b. Should provide handrails on at least one side and should be at least 32" in height from the ramp surface.
c. Should have non-slip surface.
d. Should provide rest areas every 30' and at the beginning and end of the ramp.
a. Should have a maximum riser of 7", but between 5" and 6" would be more desirable. The tread width should be at least 11".
b. Should provide handrails at least 32" from the tread surface and should extend beyond the end of the stair at least 18".
c. Should have non-slip surfaces.
d. Should have plain faces and not open risers. Rounded stair hosing recommended.
e. Should have minimum lighting of 5 foot candles.
a. Should indicate location by an appropriate symbol or sign.
b. At least one entrance should be appropriate for wheelchair use and on an accessible level to elevators.
c. Should be operable with a minimum effort and appropriate closing time for wheelchair use.
d. Should have a clear opening of 32" minimum.
e. Should provide level surfaces of at least 5' x 5' on both sides of the entrance.
Although the objective of these standards is to make any facilltiy accessible to and usable by the disabled pedestrian, they will provide direct service benefits to all pedestrians. Public areas, and especially public transportation systems, must dedicate more attention to accommodate the disabled and guarantee them the full satisfaction of using every public facility.
VI. SITE SURVEY AND ANALYSIS
This station deals with the site specifics of the case study and will describe site inventory and analysis. Some specifics will be described in this
document and supplementary information will be given in graph form (plans).
A. Introduction to the Case Study
Venezuela is located in the northern section of South America. It has an area of (+/-) 352,143 sq. miles and a population of (+/-) 18 million. Its
capital city, Caracas, was founded in 1567 and is located in the north central part of the country (See graphic #1). It has an altitude of (+/-) 2,900' above sea level and a year round temperature between 75 and 80 degrees Farenheit. The city 1s separated from the coast by a mountain range whose highest point is (+/-) 8,660' above sea level. The city's population is approximately 4.5 million.
The specific site is a terminal station of the Caracas Subway System (Petare Station). Its projected capacity will serve 17,000 persons/hour. To have a better understanding about the subway system in question, a brief history is probably 1n order.
B. History of the Caracas Metro
The oldest antecedent of the Caracas Metro goes back to 1947, when the idea of a fast, mass transit system for the city was first considered. The
government of the city designated a committee formed by Venezuelan engineers and an international consultant firm to study the different transportation systems for mass transportation and look for possible application to Caracas. In 1965, the Ministry Office for Transportation was established to study transportation and investigate the technical possibilities, and the economical and financial aspects of the new transit system for the Caracas metropolitan area.
In 1968, the engineering began for Line 1 from Catia to Petare. At the same time, the economic studies began and a financial plan was defined. Later, in 1977, a new office was created to act as a private firm to maintain the system C.A. Metro de Caracas. In 1978, after a long selection process, the contract for construction of the system was given. Finally, 1n January 1983, the first section of the Caracas subway was unveiled and opened to the public from Catia to Chacalto. The configuration of the base system is formed by four major lines: Line 1, Catia-Petare; Line 2, Caricuao-SIlencio; Line 3, La Rinconada-Centro; and Line 4, El Valle-Plaza Venezuela. The four carry on overall distance among them of 37.56 miles (60.1 K). (See Graphic #2)
The line containing the case study area 1s the principle line of the system (Line 1). It runs in the east-west direction and serves the most developed area of the city. It has 23 stations, 14 of which are actually in use (Catia-Chacaito). The remainder of the system in currently in construction and will be opened to 85% capacity in 1992. Lines 1, 3, and 4 will be open to full capacity; and Line 3 will be partially open.
One must recognize that the construction of the metro system offers a unique opportunity to not only solve the problem of providing a new transporation service, but also to efficiently guide urban growth and properly utilize available resources as well as to provide a desirable form for our built environment.
C. Architectural Concepts
One of the most important, and interesting, characteristic adopted by the metro company is the consideration of the architecture of the stations as individual entitles. The stations do not share similar architecture; therefore each station design will have the opportunity to respond to the conditions and specific needs of the site specific and its users while simultaneously reinforcing the Identity of each station and breaking the architectural monotony.
Another aspect of the company's policies is to not only provide transportation to the people, but to also provide areas of interaction among people all along the system. Consequently, two major pedestrian malls are already in service: one 1n the Catia area which is about a half mile long; and another in Chacaito-Plaza Venezuela, one and a quarter mile long. Great commercial activity has been developed 1n these areas and others are to be developed 1n the future for the same purpose. (See Photos 1, 2, 3 and 4)
Other concepts have been created to reinforce the architecture and uses of the system. For instance, sculptures and colors are used to help reinforce the character of the architecture and open space. (See Photos 5, 6, 7, and 8.) Also the creation of a cultural plan, providing activities related to the open space of system such as exhibitions, music and shows, will provide the opportunity for soda! interaction.
At the beginning of the "Caracas Metro" study, the experiences of other cities with the same newly built transportation system were taken into consideration. These cities included Sao Paulo, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; and London, England. At the same time, the services of a consultant firm with experience in public transportation, Alan M. Voorhees & Associates, Inc., PBTB, London Transport, were requested.
D. Site Specific (Petare Station)
The selection of Petare Station as the site for my design project was based on the difference in character of this station to the other 23. This site has specific conditions that are unique to the entire subway system. Briefly, the area has a diversity of social, economic and cultural classes as well as a different architectural character.
There are three major zones within the area; each with its own character. (See Plan #6.) The first zone, on the north and northwest sides of the station site, is essentially formed by a 10 year old high rise development oriented to the middle and middle high income people (see Photos 9 and
10). The second zone, on the northeast and east side, is a non-controlled, lower class development barrios (see Photos 11 and 12). The third zone Is the most important. It 1s located on the south side and is formed by the original town of Petare, which was founded during the 17th century. Petare has a historical architecture that represents the vernacular character of the site and the country. Because of its importance, a brief history of Petare follows.
The town of Petare was founded on February 17, 1621. Due to the Spanish influence, the traditional approach to urbanization was based on the grid and plaza system. Not all Spanish-American towns were adaptable to the perfect grid system as was the town of Petare. This was because of the conditions of its site, particularly the topography. However, the concept was applied.
Perhaps I should elaborate on the meaning of the term "vernacular architecture." The term "vernacular" is derived from the Latin word "verna" which means "a slave raised in the household of his master." The study of its meaning suggests the singularities of the vernacular architecture: it 1s molded to the simlliarity of another. Although our vernacular architecture was based on designs from another part of the world, it was modified. It was not only conceived for the people, but it also suffered some changes related to the climate. This change achieved a harmonious effect with the surrounding landscape.
The creation of this new town was based on the idea of an agricola -self-sufficient society. The plaza was the heart of the town with the most Important structures around it, such as the church. The agriculture base was coffee and sugar cane. When relating to the Petare of today, it is evident that the layout scheme is the same, keeping the volumetric values and urban space characteristics of the colonial period (see Photos 13, 14, 15, and 16).
E. Area Description
This section will better describe the characteristics and qualities of the three zones found in the area and the way people socialize within them.
Zone 1. As mentioned, this area 1s formed by "La Urbina," a 10 year old highrise development north of the site. This new development has the same characteristics of many projects along the city. Although we can find some good examples of architecture, the overall quality is not the desired environment.
Due to its planning, open space for soda! contact within the community is almost non-existent. Other than the teenagers who gather on street corners or 1n front of buildings, people (adults and children) socialize inside the building or in their apartments. Each building provides a multi-use area indoors and outdoors, but access 1s restricted to owners only. Very few open spaces, with pedestrian and play amenities, are provdied in the zone. It is more of a development planned around cars than around people.
There are two typical street design concepts applied to the site. One concept, found along the main streets, has a R.O.W. of approximately 80' (25 mts.). On these major streets, commercial activities are developed on the access level of buildings. Most commercial activity is restricted to daily need only (bakeries, pharmacies, hardwares, etc.). These streets also represent boundary lines between the two sides of the street. The second concept is basically the same with the only difference being that the R.O.W. 1s approximately 60' (18 mts.) and commercial activity in not allowed. To better understand this zone, refer to Plan #8.
Zone 2. As mentioned, this area is located to the east. It 1s essentially formed by what we call "barrio." It is primarily a group of very basic units in precarious condition, based in basic needs (protection from the elements, physical needs, food, rest, etc.)
Within this zone, there is no well-established definition of space either public or private. Space is created by enclosures between the buildings. They were built following the conditions of the site, such as topography, drainage and vegetation, but without planning. With the exception of some paved and dirt roads, and stairways, no sidewalks or pedestrian ways are defined. The way to follow is the choice of the individual. Even though the conditions of the site are very poor, some vegetation exists in the open space where people interaction among this group is very noticeable and important. This is due to the condition of the houses and existing patterns of socialization. (See Plan #9.)
Zone 3. This zone is the most important due to the existence of one of the
oldest and traditional ways of social contact of our vernacular towns. There are three major forms of social contact. The first, the most casual and in small groups of two to three people, occurs through the window-sidewalk relationship. The second, when more than four and less than 10 people socialize, is produced inside the house in the "courtyard" or "patio." The last, when more than 10 people socialize, is reserved for the provided public place in the community the Plaza.
These characteristics are in some ways strongly related to the way our vernacular architecture and the layout of the town was arranged. First, the architecture was created by the possibilities and necessities of people different from us, but conceived to characterize the specific environment of the region. In the houses, without apparent aesthetic effect and with limited available space, social life is concentrated on and focused in the court or patio area. This architecture was not only created for man, but for a very defined light and climate as well, accomplishing an effect of harmony with the surrounding landscape.
Philosophically, our vernacular architecture can be defined as the composite of our wood roofs ("cana amarga" or "bitter cane"), adobe, clay, and Spanish tiles that add a nice touch to the buildings while simultaneouly providing an efficient insulation against the rain and the tropical sun. The long, continuous facades protect the house and the pedestrian by the overhangs. The great, airy hall around the interior patio expresses the
stable idea that prevails over our architecture: to protect and defend ourselves from rain, glaring tropical light, and stifling air; as well as to provide for the simple desire for shadow and rest.
The second characteristic 1s related to the layout of the town its use of narrow streets without considering the influence of the automobile, and with few pedestrian amenities such as trees, lights, benches, etc., and finally, the plaza. This design concept (that I call the "Plaza Concept") was the design base for old cities and towns in Venezuela. For reasons already mentioned, the plaza concept forces people to go to the plaza and reinforces one of its basic uses social contact. (See Plan #10.)
This plaza concept has been of major interest to designers. However, the approach many designers take to the problem is not the most appropriate. I do not have the answer, but many contemporary plazas are designed after the Spanish missions or old world town squares; areas that were originally designed as as meeting areas for religious purposes, marketing, and sometimes as the only source for getting water for community use far from our present needs. A designer who intends to replicate or apply this concept should be aware of the facts and be prepared to modify the early concept to accommodate the needs that either never existed in the past or were less Intense. Never expect the plaza space by itself to solve the problem.
A year before the first phase of Line 1 was to open (December 1981), the C. A. Metro de Caracas began a program to educate people about the metro system. This was of primary concern to the administration of the company because of a preoccupation about the reaction of the people toward the system.
The first step towards user education was to create a series of visits for elementary and high school students. Through those visits, the personnel of the metro explained everything about the system and how it works. The second step was to approach the people who lived in the Immediate area of the stations. An open Invitation was extended to all public and private institutions until the concept was embraced by most of the people that would be involved with the system. Meanwhile, major newspaper, TV and radio campaigns were reinforcing the education program.
One of the most noticeable characteristics of the system, for those who visit and know the metro, is the user behavior toward the system. Around and inside the metro facilities, users acquire a series of behavior attitudes completely different from the one they have in other areas. Why this change? The answer may not be simple; but through a given thinking toward the problem, there is a relationship between the people's behavior toward the metro system and their behavior towards other systems. One reason may be that people assault and attack other systems such as buses and cars, because they feel that such systems assault and attack them; and
the new system is different. Whatever the reason, the most important thing to remember is that this program is working. Some say it's working because the people of Caracas have taken the metro as a mascot and want to protect it, keep it clean and working.
I received good Information from the metro company concerning the users that affect the site specific of this project. There is a wide range of users involved in the system and their principle reasons for using the metro facilities are as follows:
1) Approximately 70% of the users do not have access to a private automobile.
2) The other 30% use the facility because it is more secure and comfortable.
3) Another reason is because of the "no driving day" law which is necessary in Caracas.
4) The final reason is that it is faster than using a car.
After using the convenience of the metro, 70% walk, 20% take a cab, and 10% take the bus to finish whatever the purpose of their trip was.
Five major groups form the total figure for the use of the system. They are: 1) professionals and technicians; 2) office employees; 3) students; 4) construction workers; and 5) others. The last group is varied and formed by the unemployed, retired, housewives, merchants and craftsmen.
The origin and destination data is necessary to know where users come from and where they go. To get this data, an indepth study was required and developed based on the following information:
1) location of the main pedestrian attractions such as shopping areas, office, public buildings, and schools (where people are going)
2) location of main pedestrian generators such as transit stations and major residential areas (where people are coming from)
3) time periods in which major pedestrian flows occur
4) existing and potential routes between major destinations.
(Exact figures and pedestrians influences on the site are given in Plan #4, 5 and 6.)
VII. DEFINITION OF OBJECTIVES AND DESIGN CRITERIA
A. Research Statements
In order to continue, and before developing the program for use/users and conditions for the site, statements about the research definitions of goals and objectives, and design criteria are very important to state for the creation of the parameters that will control such a program. This will be the main content of Station 4.
As I suggested at the beginning of this document, the provision of a built environment in which a true relationship between an environment and its people occurs is the main goal that preceeds all of the objectives of this thesis. The intention of the environment 1s to accommodate, coordinate, identify and arrange for the past, present and future needs of a specific area in relation to its people.
There are two main objectives related to this goal: the first one is to determine and meet the needs of the area; the second is to determine and meet the demands of the area. The first objective is related to the five major needs of Abraham Maslow as described in Station 3 (D): "self actualization," "self-esteem," "belonging," "safety," and "physiological needs." All are psychological in nature and concerned with satisfaction and expression. The second objective is mostly physical in nature and concerned with places, time and activities. By combining the two, we can create new ways of expression through motivation and facilitation.
These two objectives suggest that the built environment is a man-made system of spaces which are interposed between the active and changing subsets of people and between these people and the encroaching environment. When properly arranged, these systems of space facilitate three main functions:
1) Maintaining the physicological state necessary for people to achieve their goals;
2) Allowing and providing for people to perceive opportunities for defined patterns of behavior necessary to attain their goals; and
3) Supporting, in some way, the psychological state necessary for people to achieve their goals by fulfilling some symbolic and productive function.
B. Definition of Objectives
To fulfill the requirement for these functions, some objectives, in relation to the peole and the space, must be defined.
In relation to the people, we should look to individual and social needs that affords means for creative expression and contribute to the full life of all people by:
1) serving all ages
2) providing equal opportunity for the financial capacity of all people
3) providing equal opportunity to both sexes and family
4) providing for the satisfaction for the desire for social relationships
5) based on the specific needs and interests of the people
6) being sensitive to changes in the conditions and needs
7) providing a range of individual choices in different types of activities
8) providing passive and active kinds of activities
9) extending leisure time activities and interests originating in school
10) relating to other activity programs in the system and/or city
11) providing year round activities
12) guaranteeing safety conditions (psychologically)
13) making people prevail over the automobile
In relation to space, we should provide environments that encourage and facilitate people's activities by:
1) creating unique environments (if possible) that take advantage of existing conditions
2) maintaining, as well as reinforcing, the sense of history
3) providing protection from the elements (rain, sun, etc.)
4) reinforcing or creating subtle and/or dramatic views
5) reinforcing and providing new vegetation
6) keeping well maintained environments
7) reducing noise or other types of pollution on the site
8) promoting social relationships within the town (public events and activities
9) providing tactile qualities (variation in paving patterns, color, etc.)
10) providing freedom from auto intrusion or domination
11) providing places to rest (sitting areas, lawns, etc.)
12) providing a variety of stores (inexpensive to exclusive)
13) providing eating, dining and drinking establishments
14) providing amusements, especially for children
15) providing shopping near subways, bus stops and other traffic generators or major employment areas
16) providing restrooms
17) providing entertainment
18) providing good window shopping
19) providing something to do at no or low cost
20) guaranteed safety for people, especially children
21) creating unique elements (clocks, play areas, level changes)
22) separating of unrelated activities so they don't interfere with each other accidently. Interference can be avoided by use of different space by time.
23) provide flexibility of the space
These are the most common objectives related to the built environment. However, to be more specific about my site, I will divide the site into different uses or activities for the definition of the design criteria.
C. Design Criteria
It is the intent of the overall criteria to establish basic references for the development of the site structures, elements and open space which should be consistent with the goals, objectives and standards of this study, as well as being responsive to the unique site conditions and character of the vicinity environment. Therefore, the site plan would not be an arbitrary decisions, but the response ofthe total design.
1. Structures and Elements
The most direct and economic access to any place (structured open space) is the on-grade access. It is obvious that this condition requires the minimum number of vertical circulation elements and has the fastest travel time and shortest travel distance. Also, it should be placed through public space. Safety and convenience for the pedestrian are the basis for the following criteria:
1) Pedestrians should have the right of way over the automobile in the immediate area of the station.
2) Safe and direct approaches should be provided from adjacent roads into the station area with a minimum unobstructed walk of 1.80 mts. (approximately 5.9 ft.) wide.
3) Crossing areas must have good visibility for pedestrians as well as for drivers.
4) Crosswalks should be emphasized by the use of contrasting materials (brick, rock, paint, etc.)
5) A refuge of at least 1.5 mts. (4.9 ft.) should be provided when streets are wider than four lanes at the crossing area.
6) If over- or under-passes exist, they should be open, well lit, and avoid all unnecessary turns and hidden areas.
7) Isolated or hidden walkways should be avoided.
8) No pedestrian ways should have a slope greater than 5%.
9) To control pedestrian circulation areas from the hazards of automobiles, barriers should be provided.
10) Crossing signals should be provided where pedestrians are required to cross more than one lane of traffic, especially on two way streets.
11) Access should be as direct as possible when physical barriers do not exist.
12) Access should be provided either by an underpass or an overpass when physical barriers do exist.
13) Decisions between overpasses and underpasses should be made with the thought 1n mind that although underpasses have less visual Impact, they are more expensive. The opposite is true for overpasses.
14) A pedestrian hierarchy of movement separating, but not isolating the vehicular aspects should be developed. This separation may be achieved by separating systems by time, horizontal distance and vertical distance.
These, and other types of separation should be considered for special reasons such as:
1) When children are forced to cross busy streets to get to school and other areas.
2) When people are forced to cross busy streets to reach commercial areas, transportation, or recreation facilities.
3) Areas where a large volume of cars and people have to share space.
4) Areas that are part of the community open space.
2. Entrances Criteria
This 1s related to the structures. Visually, they link the pedestrian system because of the time Involved in these areas (open doors, flow volume, queueing, etc.)
1) All structure entrances should be easily recognized and directly accessible from the common open area.
2) Provide protected waiting areas related to all structure entrances.
3) Structure entrances should be placed and functionally oriented toward its site functions as well as to reinforce flow patterns.
4) Station entrances should be clearly identified by a name or symbol placed 1n a distinguished area.
5) Station entrances should provide enough space to manage all expected capacity service without having a conflict of crowding.
6) Structure entrances should be well lit overnight (safety).
7) Station entrances should function independently and should be closed to the public during non-operating times.
3. Concourse Criteria
This is the control space in the station. It is the area whose main function is to accommodate the fare collecting equipment. It should have a direct, simple flow pattern and a minimum of interference.
1) In this area, seats and/or waiting areas should not be provided. They should be left to the outside of the station.
2) Other equipment or machines that do not belong to the system should not be allowed in this area (such as a vending machine).
3) Flow patterns should be maintained with a right-hand orientation.
4) This area should be as open as possible, allowing natural light and ventilation, but also protected from the natural elements.
5) Because of the number of people, the minimum ceiling height should be 4 mts. (approximately 13.12 ft.).
4. Platform Criteria
This is the area where the loading and unloading of passengers occur. When the train arrives, the function of the platform changes from a waiting area to an activity area. The area must handle both functions without any problems. For safety and security, this area should be as open as possible and with the least number of visual obstructions.
1) The edges of the platform should be emphasized to bring attention to a potentially hazardous area. This area should be marked with a clear material band of 50 cm. (approximately 19.6 Inches).
2) A minimum horizontal distance of 2.5 mts. (approximately 8.2 ft.) should be provided between the edge and any other element on the platform. This distance will allow two persons to travel 1n opposite directions and pass a standing person without going into the platform danger area.
3) Seating areas should be placed at the ends of the platform.
4) Elements like information centers, phones, trash receptacles, etc. should be grouped and have low profile design.
5. Disabled and Elderly Facilities Criteria
The Idea of this criteria is to make the station and all related facilities accessible to the physically disabled and elderly without loss of space, function or facility where the general public is concerned.
1) Elevator access to every level of the station should be provided.
2) The disabled elevator Interior, control, graphics, etc. should be the same for all stations.
3) A clear approach of 1.80 mts. (approximately 5.9 ft.) should be provided in front of the elevators.
4) Elevator minimum interior dimensions should be 1.80 x 1.80 mts. (5.9' by 5.9') to allow space for two wheelchairs.
5) Access to disabled facilities should be under the control and supervision of an attendent.
6) Visible and audible signal indications should be provided at elevators' approaches for Indication of arrival.
7) Elevators should insure a leveling accuracy of 1/2 cm. (approximately 1/4"). Doors should remain open for at least seven
seconds and be equipped with the appropriate safety code features.
8) Special graphics for Identification of disabled facilities (symbols, color codes, etc.) should be provided.
9) Emergency information via special graphic provisions to increase
audio systems for hearing disabilities should be provided.
10) Braille information systems about facilities and floor layouts should be provided for visual disabilities.
11) Special attention should be given to achieve the best level of lighting in areas where the greatest potential of danger exists (platform edges, escalators, etc.) to help those with sight disabilities who are not totally blind.
The Idea of these criteria 1s to supplement the design standards for the disabled given 1n Station 3 (C).
6. Bus Facility
This facility is Included 1n the criteria due to the incorporation of a bus station in the site. As the transfer from the subway system to the bus system is a breaking point in the trip, the transfer should be quick and easy. However, an alternative of the enjoyment of the site should be present.
1) A quick and easy change between the subway and the bus system should be attained by making the walkway between them as short and direct as possible.
2) Bus passengers should not be required to cross traffic ways for unloading and loading purposes.
3) Bus stops should be oriented toward right hand unloading and loading.
4) Bus roads should permit passing of standing buses.
5) Bus stops on adjacent streets should be placed outside of driving lanes.
6) A protected waiting area with seating for passengers should be provided.
7) A holding area for buses waiting to be loaded should be provided.
7. Landscape and Open Criteria
This will be the area of transition that will incorporate the site into the communities. This are plays an Important part in the impact of the system on the neighborhoods as well as on the users. The criteria for most of these elements related to this open space (graphics, lighting, etc.) will be incorporated into this section. The recommended criteria for this open space is:
1) Site design (building, open space) should blend with the surrounding area.
2) The design should create a better scenery and view with openings left within the right of way of site approaches.
3) Selected materials for the site should facilitate minimum maintenance.
4) Landscaping should serve to guarantee the integration of the structures into the planned development of the area in which they are located.
5) Plant material should be hardy, drought and disease resistant in order to minimize maintenance.
6) Design should guarantee pedestrian convenience.
7) Protected areas for street vendors should be provided.
8) Use of surface textures to warn pedestrians of traffic hazards should be used. People Involved in conversations may be unaware of the hazards of their surroundings.
9) Reinforce the natural gathering places for people in the neighborhood, streets, plazas, site, etc.
10) Orient idling accommodation towards the action.
11) Be aware of action just outside of the site's surrounding area. Most designs turn their backs to their edges missing some of the most Interesting people sites in the area.
12) Provide facilities that encourage walking.
13) Provide weather protection.
14) Provide places for people to stand outside the stream of traffic.
15) Provide places to sit outside the stream of traffic.
16) Provide places for children to play.
17) Provide seating wherever a chance meeting appears.
18) Provide appropriate ambient conditions that favor effective personal communlcation.
19) Keep viewable distances short. People are encouraged by short distances.
20) Seating should be flexible to adjust to fit preferences.
21) If seating is not flexible, it should be arranged so people can
sit at an angle of approximately 90 degrees to each other.
22) Minimize or avoid outside noises that interfere with conversations.
23) Provide an acoustical setting, free of distortion and reverberation.
24) Incorporate the elements of the pedestrian network into the whole system.
25) When possible, enlarge covered walkway systems.
8. Graphics and Lighting Criteria
These are the elements that most engage the eye, have the greatest Impact and recognition, and work at both conscious and subconscious levels. They cover a wide range of parameters including vehicles, stations sites (subways, buses), adjacent neighborhoods, etc. Graphics and lighting are an extension of the site design and should be consistent throughout the system and unify it. Their objective is the presentation of information to allow maximum clarity and basis of movement. Recommended criteria for signs and graphics include:
1) They shall humanize the site and system by indentifying its symbol, name, color, etc. and give it a recognizable image.
2) They shall assist the movement of people at each point of decision, serving to guide the movement through the site in an orderly and simple sequence with a minimum of hesitation.
3) Maps, diagrams, displays, etc. shall serve to orient the movement at all times 1n the site and 1n relationship to the adjoining neighborhoods.
a. provide "you are here" maps at key locations
b. provide transit maps and schedules at transit locations
c. provide directional signs for Important locations and events, points of Interest
d. provide signboards for community communications
4) All graphics should be consistent throughout the system for better recognition by the user.
5) Certain signs should have priority over other signs (create a hierarchy to attain the prime goal of efficient movement of people).
6) Messages on signs should be clear, concise and simple to understand.
7) Signs should be kept to a minimum to avoid confusion.
8) Signs should reinforce architecture and landscape elements in identifying accesses, exits, traffic routes, etc.
9) Instructional and regulatory signs for vehicular traffic (Stop, 10 mph, One Way, etc.) should be very clear and marked with pavement markings or standard signs.
10) System symbols and Indentification and directional signs should be specially lit for night use.
11) Lighting arrangements for pedestrians should be in scale to the human body.
12) Rows of lights should be used to indicate direction of movement.
13) Additional lighting should be considered for areas where the light is not sufficient to give a sense of security or safety.
14) Lighting arrangements should be made with pedestrian and driver aware of the organization of the site.
15) When designing light fixtures and elements that may be within the reach of pedestrians, the threat of vandalism and personal injury should be considered.
16) In meeting areas, good lighting that illuminates faces of people should be provided.
17) Lighting arrangements should utilize a minimum number of poles.
Although a defined criteria 1s given for very specific points, the success of the design will depend on the carefully controlled balance of all the criteria as they relate to both the neighborhood and the system. Some conditions have to exist in order to make the criteria work and for this reason we must combine them. Based on this study and the criteria, we can say that the character of the site is the result of many issues and how successful the designer 1s in getting this character is very important to the design of the desirable environment.
After this character is accomplished, we may say that we are successful.
VIII. DESIGN PROGRAM
A. Activities and People
This part of the thesis will describe the users and uses found after the analysis of the site. Some of the activities are related to specific dates and are not essentially the daily type of activities. However, they are included to guarantee that the design will serve year round activities. Also, the relationship between users and uses, and between the uses themselves will be included. Some names may be in Spanish because they do not have a translation. Most of the program is briefly mentioned here, but some details are given 1n the plans.
The most common users found 1n the site are:
1. Children who go to school, play and do other types of activities
2. People that are either coming or going from work
3. Old people who may not drive, but have time to walk and may be able to do some dally chores and enjoy the outdoors.
4. Commuters who live within one mile of work and walk to save money while benefiting from exercise.
5. People who live in the immediate neighborhood
6. Outsiders who visit the site for the existence of regional services and commercial activities.
The activities given here are related in one way or another to the users. Some of them exist 1n some neighborhoods. To better understand the users and the uses, they will be divided into groups and then will be related to each other to see their relationship to the site design.
1. This user/users 11st is given based on the most common ones found throughout the study area, and their intensity is not hte smae in the
three different zones.
Users Uses Spare Time Activities
Children marvel yoyo perlnola spinning top typical playground area some sort of sports activity kite flying ping pong Easter games (sack races) school activities (folk dances, clay modeling, painting, other arts and activities) movies
Teenagers baseball and other sports ping pong chess/checkers cards movies watching other people
Adults chess/checkers dominos/cards boccie (bolas criollas) movies watching other people
2. Special Events
These events are related to specific festivities that are celebrated throughout the country and involve the population. Although there are specific places for celebration, some local activities are found around the city.
national days (5th of July, Carabobo War, Bolivar Day, etc.) carnivals (parades, games, etc.)
Easter week (religious ceremonies, games, palm leaf pick up, etc.) Christmas (Christmas music, fireworks, roller skating, etc.)
3. Eating Paces
These include the only formal eating places found in the area and they are the most popular ones in the country, hot dog stands
chicha (popular fermented drink) raspados (frosted ice)
dulces criollos (typical kind of sweet snack) arepas/empanadas (meat or cheese pie) jugo de cafa (sugar cane juice) cachapas
4. Other Activities
Other activities relate to specific types of activities that are periodially part of the life of the area.
commercial activities, shops (dally needs, regional scale) mercado, market (regional scale) restaurants and bars
public transportation (regional scale subway, bus station) high school (regional scale) industrial activities (regional scale) historic district
political, religious, and other types of meetings public concerts 5 and 6 (weekly horse races) outdoor movies
facilities (i.e. telephone, bathrooms, newsstands, government buildings, etc.)
The major reason for this design program is to gain a data base from which to arrive at Initial design statements for the area. Additional inventories, more comprehensive in nature (economics for instance), will be required for realizing an accurate feasibility and development if final Implementation 1s undertaken.
A better understanding about the design, activities, and location of activities is given in Plan #11-