Epstein, Brasilia Plan
1.) The city is not, cannot, and must not be organized like a tree. I agree with Christopher Alexander in his position of the city plan. Costa’s plan is irrational because it addresses hierarchy over connection. A city is a complex series of connections, and if you limit these connections then you decrease efficiency. “If we make cities which are trees, they will cut our life to pieces.” The first flaw in the plan was to create a monumental axis and a residential axis. Immediately, this requires the citizen to travel long distances and ignores any sort of foot traffic.
Broadacre City: A New Community Plan
2.) Broadacre City was a response to the emerging congestive cities. Wright’s proposal could potential decrease congestion by implementing decentralization in general but it lacks efficiency. What bothers me is the idea of one acre per individual. In Wright’s model, there was a close-knit relationship between home, work and recreation; the spatial order emphasized “economies of scope” rather than “economies of scale.” Like Costa’s plan, Wright fails to address the dynamic complexity of life. The plan is also inefficient in that the numerous single-house developments give rise to an inefficient use of energy.
3.) It seems as if Wright did not, in fact, invent any new approach to urban planning but rather he repackaged the American order of things. During the time that Wright was writing this book, decentralization was already taking place in the form of sprawl due to improvements in communication, electricity, and transportation systems. Wright obviously recognized these trends and implemented an extreme plan that promoted these changes far beyond the way they are even today. The promotion of individuality leads to alienation which defies any movement toward reintegration. In order to have a more influential plan, Wright should have highlighted a need for both city life in some ways and a need for suburban life in other ways.
The City of Towers
4.) Corbusier should stick to what he does best, and that is architecture. The planning of Chandigarh was more of an architectural style than a planning style. Corbusier ignored the basic problems of the human population and rather, focused on the visual form, symbolism, imagery, and aesthetics. The city was heavily segregated by income and civil service rank. Clearly, segregation is not the key to an orderly city. A city planner must first address integration and then focus on monumentality rather than the other way around.
5.) This reading made me agree with Jane Jacobs even more in terms of city planning. Pruitt-Igoe was designed on the basis of a superblock and could be freely positioned in the landscape. The designed failed because it lacked quality and instead strove for quantity. It was ideal for the middle-class, not the poor. The plan didn’t address the site in any way; the buildings could’ve been duplicated anywhere- and that is the fault of the design. When designing for the welfare family, you must first address the physical environment.
Brandon E. Young