Infrastructure design in new communities: efficiency, comprehensibility, accessibility, variety, and adaptability
Sanford, Thomas Jean
Britton, Earle V.
Master of Architecture
Design and planning schemes concerning primarily physical factors of an urban area have specific effects, which can be anticipated, upon living patterns In a community. In search of these effects, this thesis examines the infrastructure. representing one part of physical urban design, of nine contemporary planned community examples. For convenience the examples are divided into two scales: (1) the neighborhood scale and (2) the new town scale of community planning. The nine examples were chosen to represent a wide range of contrasting Infrastructure concepts -- planned communities differing in many social and economic goals, English and American communities -- all contemporary to this century. In section 200 of the thesis infrastructure Is defined as the spatial pattern and physical structures which interrelate and organize all physical parts of a community. To examine the infrastructure of planned new communities, an evaluation framework is established consisting of five criteria: (1) efficiency, (2) comprehensibility, (3) accessibility, (4) variety, and (5) adaptability of infrastructure. In Sections 300 and 400 specific design concepts for each community example are studied using these criteria. It Is shown, first concept by concept, that by responding to these criteria Infrastructure design has a positive influence and effect, which can be anticipated, upon the original land development, social patterns, and growth of these new communities. At the conclusion of both the neighborhood and new town sections, these infrastructure design concepts are summarized. The range of concepts discussed include: physical community patterns, activity distribution concepts, and visual qualities of the communities. It is shown that infrastructure concepts at the new town scale, because of the larger numbers of people and quantities of land involved, can have wider effects upon community living patterns than at the neighborhood scale. In conclusion of the thesis the five criteria are used to draw together from all the examples general infrastructure design concepts and general effects again upon the original development, social patterns, and growth of a new community. It is shown that by infrastructure design it is possible to increase the accessibility of all community activities, shopping, recreation, working, and education, for all residents; to reduce or eliminate daily commuting for work for many people; and to Increase the diversity of these activities and facilities in a community. These points are among the effects, which can be anticipated, community planning can have upon urban living patterns.