Places for People - Residential areas

© Anne Beer, 2003

Outdoor places in residential areas - an example of people's reaction to their local open spaces

Identifying the key issues in relation to external spaces in a high-rise housing area in the Netherlands
The following example shows another way in which to understand local people's concerns. The key issues listed below are a very brief summary of the major comments made by over 300 local people from Overvecht. Working in small informal groups, they were asked about the good and bad points of the external spaces of their 1960s high-rise estate. They talked about the issues while looking at a large-scale map of their area and stuck pieces of paper on to that with code numbers that linked to their comments, which could be about specific places or general to the whole site.

This does not purport to be a scientific study - it is more a random collection of thoughts produced during focus group meetings. As such, however, it illustrates an approach to working with local people which aims to give both planners and designers an insight into how the local people view their home environment. Such an approach gives a starting point for developing new ideas about the types of space that should be provided and for the development of discussions about renewal of specific parts of the site. It also has the advantage of allowing local individuals to see how their fellow inhabitants understand and want to use 'their' place. (An important issue for all involved in 'planning for real' place design is that often only the more vociferous tend to get their say - the number of focus group meetings helped to overcome that.) The findings suggest a whole range of future research projects which could be set up scientifically to gather quantifiable data about the project area.

For the interest of readers the comments in orange are those added by the author, a designer, as an aide-memoire only. (The original data from which this was derived is held by the Overvecht District Office - discussions about how to regenerate this area are ongoing and at present centre on renewing the built form rather than the external areas).

Contents

Key Issues - click to view responses

Lack of diversity and variety

Lack of 'meeting places'

Problems and opportunities of the Parkland,and the adjacent rural area

Problems and opportunities: Greenspaces within housing areas

Traffic issues

Problems and opportunities: Parkway Roads, Parking Areas and Access Roads

Lack of 'Sense of Place'

Problems of different age groups

Special ideas and features

Identifying possible local 'work' projects

There is a lack of diversity and variety throughout the District of Overvecht

Lack of pride in place

Difficult to feel proud of the local green and open spaces

  • improve so that people can cherish them
  • the idea of a Green Overvecht is a major component of the District's potential to become something special within Utrecht

Appearance

Improve impression of Overvecht

  • Overvecht is dull to look at
  • the District lacks any wild looking areas
  • strengthen its image as a 'good' place in which to live
  • needs to be recognisable as an attractive place in which to live if problems relating to social exclusion are not to take over
  • there needs to be more differentiation in the housing
  • neglect of external environment
  • consider developing north Overvecht as a particularly green looking area and the southern part as a more urban looking area - more active - make them look like different 'places'
  • reduce the regularity of the views

Lack of visual variety and delight

  • described as boring and dull by many local people
  • trees look the same - monoculture and mono age rules
  • little colour in the landscape particularly in winter; the buildings too are colourless

Cannot easily see or experience the other local landscapes

  • the Forts
  • the rural landscape
  • the river landscape

Lack of human scale

  • The human scale should be central to the redesigning of Overvecht
    - including: slower traffic and ultimately lower buildings
    - reduce width of roads
    - make pedestrian crossings which give priority to people not cycles and vehicles

Lack of things to do/places to go

Nothing to do in the local open spaces

  • no round walks utilising the local landscape features

Cannot easily get to the other local landscapes

  • the Forts are perceived as inaccessible and once there, there is "nothing to do"
  • the rural landscape is inaccessible because of the road
  • the river landscape is underused as it is not possible to make a walk directly along the river bank
  • lots of greenspace but needs linking into a more obvious structure - the paths through it need to go somewhere - schools, sports areas, etc.

Lack of nature

No variety of natural habitats across the District

  • area between Polderweg and de Vecht should be kept for nature
  • little variety in wildlife across the District

Lack of art

Little art in Overvecht
This is not entirely true as there are many sculptures - but it is difficult to find them.

Lack of a visible structure

Everything in the District has to 'fit together'

  • eliminate dead corners and 'left over' spaces
  • the external environment should support what the users want, just as much as the buildings

Lack of any 'Sense of Place'

Lack of 'sense of place'

The District could be anywhere in the Netherlands

  • in many parts of the site a person could be anywhere within it - no visual clues to 'the place'
  • spaces too anonymous

Lack of landmarks

Difficult to understand where one is within the site

  • so many buildings are the same (despite the efforts to paint them different colours)
  • easy to "feel lost"
  • lack of local focal points at walking speed and at eye level
  • lack of local focal points at driving speed
  • redesign Einsteindreef and Brailledreef- Zamenhof as entrances to the District
  • consider making more of corner of Zambeziedreef as a landmark

Lack of safe/secure outdoor space

Many people feel unsafe outside their homes and in the parks, particularly at dusk and after dark

  • many older people do not go out at night as they do not feel safe
  • many children are not allowed out of their apartment to play as parents consider the 'outside' unsafe
  • more lighting needed where people cross roads and along any cycle and walkways
  • any dense planting should be well back from edge of walkways
  • Overvecht's main roads so wide that it is frightening to move through the space at night especially for slow moving older people and those with disabilities

Lack of users in greenspace

The lack of people in and moving through many of the spaces increases insecurity

  • busy space is safe space
  • greenspace should be lively
  • parks are not lively enough - improving their usability would attract many more people into them, so they are used in daytime and in the evenings

Lack of sense of history

There is history surrounding and underlying this District - make the local people and visitors aware of this

  • the Museum of Utrecht should be involved in interpreting the Forts
    - historic walking/cycling route possible

Lack of differentiation between public and private space

There is no clear demarcation between private and public space in the areas immediately adjacent to people's homes
- confused ownership/responsibility - who has the right to control use and, therefore, people's expected behaviour in local open spaces

Key Issues - sub menu - click to view responses

Lack of diversity and variety

Lack of 'meeting places'

Problems and opportunities of the Parkland,and the adjacent rural area

Problems and opportunities: Greenspaces within housing areas

Traffic issues

Problems and opportunities: Parkway Roads, Parking Areas and Access Roads

Lack of 'Sense of Place'

Problems of different age groups

Special ideas and features

Identifying possible local 'work' projects

Lack of outdoor 'meeting places'

Nowhere to sit near home

Few places to walk to near the home, lack of places to stop and sit when walking to shops
- places one would hope to meet familiar faces for a chat
- places just to sit and watch the world go by
- places to rest in while the children play
- places which feel safe and no one feels threatened
- places which both old and young feel attracted to use
- few sitting spaces near bus stops

Nowhere to sit on way to and from shops, etc.

Few sitting spaces and fewer still which feel safe and inviting to use on the way to and from the shops/ schools/work
- make lots of small meeting spaces along main walking routes

Lack of community owned outside spaces

Greenspaces need to belong to specific houses

 

Summary of the particular problems faced by the different age groups and culture groups in relation to local greenspaces, and possible solutions

Older people

Many people feel unsafe outside their homes and in the parks, particularly at dusk and after dark
- many older people do not go out at night as they do no feel safe
- no provision for short, middle and longer distance circular walks
-set up a special system to help older people look after the green areas adjacent to their homes

Children

Many children are not allowed out of their apartment to play, as parents consider the 'outside' unsafe
- spaces adjacent to houses are boring for children
- need 'indoor' sheltered play facilities adjacent to the play areas
- more places needed to support informal play near the home
- provide more of the 'controlled' playgrounds and extend their opening hours
Note: many of the present play areas and sports areas are 'brutal' in scale, style and appearance due to perceived need to make them vandal proof

Youths

More meeting places needed for young people but spread these out so as to avoid any dense concentration of young people; place near other facilities, not too isolated
- have special facilities for 12 to 15 year olds - girls as well as boys near the "Speeltuinen" (existing adventure play areas)
- the present hangout areas alienate older people; need new better quality spaces fro youth integrated into the main greenspaces in locations which are well used by the whole community
- eradicate 'youth only' spaces

- set up a system whereby young people can do something useful for their community, so that they too can feel ownership of spaces and places
- allow the young people to feel a sense of achievement through building something and looking after it

Other adults

No specific issues mentioned by the inhabitants - surveys rarely address the particular needs of this age group.

 

Summary of the particular problems of the parkland and the adjacent rural area, and possible solutions

Parkland areas

Encourage more use of parkland
- make the parks more noticeable and greener and in places more open
- more lighting in parks
- more supervision in parks
- more active recreational and play possibilities
- encourage neighbourhood clubs which use the parks
- encourage catering facilities - tea room and ice cream parlour
- areas of concentrated use within the greenspace
- reactivate the open air theatre
- locations with specific 'busy ' recreational functions
- make a bigger distinction between the parks and the surrounding greenspace to draw attention to parkland as different from the housing land
- use more fences
-
-the parklands have the potential to support a greater level of biodiversity

Park de Gagel

Park de Gagel does not look like a 'special place': it should be the heart of the northern part of the District
- pond and central" area need much upgrading and improvement to become a special attraction
- more supervision of the park area needed
- improve catering facilities - including a terrace for drinks and snacks
- extend opening hours of the enclosed playground
- artificial snow
(winter play needed)
- better access for wheel chairs and prams
- improve the level of maintenance immediately
- improve the 'furniture' and add more
- more parking needed for visitors
- areas of wet and marshy soil in north need dealing with
-the Park is an ecological desert for an area of this size - increase the range of natural habitats within the Park to enhance biodiversity

- dogs in Park make many people afraid: fence park to keep them out

Park de Watertoren

Park de Watertoren does not look like the focal point it should be in Overvecht: it could be the heart of the southern part of the District
- it must stay green looking and well treed
- animal pasture should be kept and made more like a city farm
- passage of cycles and 'brommers' (mopeds) should be controlled better
-facilities should be improved
- have a terrace for drinks and snacks
- more landmarks needed
- longer opening hours for the successful Bouwspeeltuin (adventure play)
- use proximity to Centre and redesign Park to encourage people out into it, but do so in a way that does not make anybody nervous to go into the Park
- improve access for prams and wheelchairs
- redesign the area near Mosel and Marnedreef to be a part of the Park in which people stay - rather than just pass through; this will make the Park feel safer to use
- improve the present standard of maintenance
and supervision
- the roads through the Park threaten people and discourage its use
- areas of wet and marshy soil need dealing with; these have the potential to be developed into areas with a different sort of natural habitat (different plants and animals)
-the Park is an ecological desert for an area of this size - increase the range of natural habitats within the Park to enhance biodiversity
- dogs in Park make many people afraid: fence park to keep them out

Children's Farm/City Farm

City Farm - the present "kinderboerderij" centres in the parks could be amalgamated and upgraded to make one high quality City Farm with good access for all - this could be associated with green management training schemes for the local people

Park de Klopvaart

More needs to be made of the potential of this linear park - it needs clear connections to other parts of the District
- the edges of the canal have the potential to support a special range of plants and wildlife and to aid in the enhancement of biodiversity in this part of Overvecht

Park de Vechtzoom

Park de Vechtzoom has potential to become somewhere very special within Utrecht City; it needs to be redesigned so that its focus is the river, as a riverside Park
- improve access to Park from the east and south
- have an old people's home overlooking the river and nearby have a children's crèche
- have houses along de Vecht - high quality buildings
- make a crossing over the river for pedestrians and cyclists to Zuilen and the city centre (away from the main roads)
- dogs in Park make many people nervous: fence park to keep them out
- make more open looking: accentuate the river
- use part of hospital site to link Vechtzoom Park into the rest of the District's greenspaces - at present it is as if it is separate
- there are areas within this Park where small extents of natural habitat could be introduced with benefit, but for safety ensure that there is no dense planting near walkways or cycle routes

Norderpark

Make good links to the proposed Norder Park
- safe crossings needed - frightening at present
- more links and entrances
- make Norder park part of Overvecht
- make links from the District's greenspace system into the Park
- consider making a bridge across the main road

Other potential parks

Park Shanghaidreef has a landscape with a special character; to maintain this needs special maintenance and upgrading solutions

Forts

Make something special of the Forts (from the Napoleonic period) - something children can learn from: fort as history, etc.
- make round walks/cycle routes
Link Forts adjacent to the District with others further away - cycle routes with interpretation of points of interest
-the areas forming the Forts have the potential to carry a wider range of natural habitats within the Parkland to enhance biodiversity

Fort de Klop

Make a 'harbour' in the Fort

Fort Blauwkapel

Blauwkapel Fort presents a real opportunity to enhance interest in the area
- it needs to be connected with Overvecht so that it can be perceived as part of the District's greenspace system: at present there is no obvious route to get into it
- it needs picnic places, restaurants and cafes to make it a special place to go to

Key Issues - sub menu - click to view responses

Lack of diversity and variety

Lack of 'meeting places'

Problems and opportunities of the Parkland,and the adjacent rural area

Problems and opportunities: Greenspaces within housing areas

Traffic issues

Problems and opportunities: Parkway Roads, Parking Areas and Access Roads

Lack of 'Sense of Place'

Problems of different age groups

Special ideas and features

Identifying possible local 'work' projects

 

Summary of the particular problems of the Parkway Roads, Parking Areas and Access Roads , and possible solutions - see also Traffic issues

Parkway roads and the main highways

Make the landscape of the main roads so that they give a strong visible structure to the District
- add housing along Carnegiedreef
to make it look more urban
- use the spaces set aside along the major roads as ecological corridors, but ensure that only low growing flowering meadows are created where people cross through the areas on foot or cycle

Parking areas and access roads

Many of the parking areas are 'brutal' in appearance
- lack any intricate 'doorstep' meeting and waiting spaces
- lack of plant material
- many trees look unhealthy
- lack of 'delight'
- lack of privacy for bottom windows
- make more interesting
- make a better quality environment
- people would like their own parking bay
- parking areas have to be safe places for people and cars
- parking areas take too much space - consider garages (note: safety implications)
- make parking areas more private"- have barriers to restrict access and differentiate from other road surfaces
- make more urban street-like areas
- residents do not want to see too may cars at once
- reduce hard area; provide more private spaces
- there is space within many of the Parking courtyards to develop small areas of wildlife gardens; although these are not naturalistic habitats they can support a range of insect (e.g. butterflies) and bird life

 

Summary of the particular problems and opportunities associated with the greenspaces within and near the houses and apartment blocks and in the Central area, and possible solutions

Doorstep greenspaces and open space

Municipal landscape solutions of the type and style found next to almost all the housing within the District cannot function as a landscape to support the activities of those who live in the housing blocks
- outdoor recreational opportunities are needed near the home
- make the "binnenhoven" more interesting and greener
- the quality of the greenspaces needs improvement and they need linking into the main greenspace structure
- make greenspaces near buildings more usable- this will increase social control
- more supervision of spaces needed
- make a small local park, Rio de Janierodreef, fit into adjacent greenspaces
- investing in these spaces outside the housing will increase social and economic value
- make the spaces next the home multifunctional and more usable
-
- children and older people to be encouraged to work together to tidy and maintain their local spaces, perhaps even on a regular basis
- the present lack of private space is not compensated for by the extent of public space within the District - they are two different things; more private/'controlled' space is needed
- strengthen open and greenspace near homes - make good public/private distinction
- more multi- functional and flexible use of spaces needed
- do not segregate people, rather encourage interaction
- make the spaces next to the buildings more beautiful and perhaps more productive
- use the local community to reorganise and improve its greenspaces
- many of these spaces have 'shadow' problems from the high buildings and large trees; redesign to make maximum use of sunny corners in the winter/ spring and summer periods
- many of these spaces are very overlooked which deters people from using them as general daily spaces; redesign to allow much more diversity of spaces and so increase the number of people using the areas
- add lighting for evening/night safety - not municipal lamp posts but special garden lighting

- it would be possible to have small specialist vegetable/ herb growing areas within any redesigned 'Doorstep Greenspaces'
- there is space within many of the greenspaces adjacent to housing to develop small areas of wildlife garden; although these are not naturalistic habitats they can support a range of insects (e.g. butterflies) and bird life which can be a source of delight for those living nearby
- it would be possible to build small winter gardens (conservatories) adjacent to places occupied by older people; these could be heated in winter by waste heat from building blocks
- consider local storage of water from roofs for watering plants in these spaces

Allotments

There is a need for places to grow vegetables within the housing areas, despite the large area of allotments to the north of the District
- possibility of different ethnic groups growing specialist vegetables/herbs near their homes could be explored, as could using waste heat from building blocks to warm small greenhouses

Private gardens

Making screens too high around the private gardens gives a fenced in feel for passers-by
- in many places it would be possible to redesign the garden boundaries to reduce the number of small, left over plots of grass between the footpaths and the garden fence

Local Centres

The local centres need redesigning totally - make more focal points - concentrate more activities there
- do not leave empty premises: if no takers change into housing quickly
- consider setting up workshops for young local entrepreneurs

Sports facilities

Create more very local sports possibilities
- little features like jeux de boules
- sports clubs need encouraging as places to meet
- existing sports facilities need improving
- raise the quality of the local landscapes around the sports fields: make more friendly; improve lighting; investigate having more supervision and increase use by sports clubs

Ice rink area

Make more of the proximity to the ice rink and develop the potential of that part of the City to support day recreation; add a cinema - there is good parking there

Water areas

Make a water plan - water is a beautiful element in any scene; water areas should be treated carefully and in conjunction with the greenspaces through which they flow - make the link between water and green into a special feature
- housing by water is a missing element here - have an area like Waterrijk Boskoop
- the water areas have the potential to be the core for introducing a wider range of naturalistic habitats

de Vecht river

Make more of de Vecht river
- de Vecht river needs to be perceived as part of the District of Overvecht, a distinctive element in it
- a pedestrian route is needed along the river edge and a bridge for cycles and pedestrians over the river

de Klop canal

New urban villa housing along the canal suggested

de Watertoren canals

de Watertoren canal system needs improvement

The Centre

More needs to be made of the Centre of the District; it needs to be a special place
- free parking is an advantage
- needs a sports facility - allow football/kick about, etc. to be played - perhaps on roof of parking garage or warehouse. Needs to be well lit and with lots of people around if it is to work and not become a threatening place
- improve the quality of all the public spaces in and around the Centre
- make more high quality open space outside
- need special elements to give sense of being in a particular 'place' - a style of design, style of furniture, paving and signing
- make more of the outside spaces and the canals
- make a special square
- use proximity to Park de Watertoren and redesign to encourage people out into the Park - but do so in a way that does not make anybody nervous of going into the Park
- build student flats nearby
- connect station with shops - make into a promenade with shops
- poor link between offices, shops and the road - redesign
-business is taking more and more land and now parking has become a problem - this needs sorting out

The Station

More needs to be made of the station to encourage people to use the train system - it needs to appear more important
- make more of the route between the station and the Centre

Schools

Too much litter is produced by school children - this problem needs solving
- make more of the schools' facilities for the whole community; this could be organised by the Wijkbureau
- make a public biological garden near a school for children and adults - all segments of the community to be involved in making this facility, so they learn to work together to make their environment better and more stimulating
- encourage links with local businesses
- improve school yards - make greener

 

Special ideas and features suggested for the District by the local people, which impinge on greenspace and its use

Pride

Allow local people to feel proud of Overvecht
- communicate this pride to others
- people need to identify with their home environment

'Drop-in' centre

Somewhere a local person can go just to make a suggestion about a place or about a facility and to inform the District when a particular maintenance activity needs to be increased in frequency

Information

Need to keep local people informed as to changes

Use of Cycles

Encourage local people to use their cycles
- cycle track users should have priority over cars within the housing area

Local work projects

Keep local youngsters busy
- the present level of youth unemployment is having an impact on local people's feelings of safety when they are outside their homes
- encourage local small enterprises to start, and use local labour
- encourage more local involvement in the market and particularly ethnic groups who might initially sell specialist foodstuffs
- provide more opportunity to work from home or in small local workshop in blocks of flats/disused buildings - more flexibility by planners needed to enable this multi-use of land
- encourage a telework complex
- catering facilities in the Parks could be small local businesses if given financial incentives
- recycling businesses could be encouraged on appropriate sites and with good controls
- could encourage more car servicing facilities
- link small local businesses and schools
- encourage small business, e.g. bookshop, into Centre - the shops are not varied enough
- make training opportunities for those who want to learn to work with 'green'
- provide cheap and easy access to basic workshop space for local inhabitants wanting to start a business

Set up a "Stichting" (Foundation) to help older people stay in their homes

There is a need for a special organisation which older people can contact to get help with gardening and maintenance and with little jobs such as: laundry, shopping, joinery etc.
- need a contact point to phone
Provide a 'Work Pool' for all ages so people can volunteer to help others and ask for help when they need it

Use Forts as special places and features

Have facilities in the Fort areas : work places, play areas, recycling facilities/shops, bed and breakfasts

Art Route

Have a special 'Art Route' through the District:
- permanent and temporary exhibitions outside and on walls, with the possibility of visiting artists in their studios or buying art
- opportunities for youth to work with artists - an Art Centre
- could become economic activity - art courses for all age groups

Cars

Overvecht should remain a place in which cars can move freely - as distinct from the traffic control necessary in other high density developments
- traffic drives too fast along some roads and some are congested
- improve the links to Overvecht North
- the new District Traffic Plan has too many slow roads

Liveability

Make everywhere more liveable to increase social cohesion
- increasing use of parks makes them safer
- more catering facilities - cafes, restaurants, but not too near homes because of noise
- be positive about keeping the District clean of litter - find a means of monitoring it
- the present level of litter in parts of the site detracts from liveability
- blowing litter could be caught in hedges as long as they are regularly cleaned; empty yellow bins more often

Key Issues - sub menu - click to view responses

Lack of diversity and variety

Lack of 'meeting places'

Problems and opportunities of the Parkland,and the adjacent rural area

Problems and opportunities: Greenspaces within housing areas

Traffic issues

Problems and opportunities: Parkway Roads, Parking Areas and Access Roads

Lack of 'Sense of Place'

Problems of different age groups

Special ideas and features

Identifying possible local 'work' projects

 Traffic Issues

Safe walkways

Structure the walking routes
- there should be a safe walk linking the parks and major greenspaces - with bridges over the main roads and priority to pedestrians along the route
- a crossing over de Vecht river is needed
- round walks are needed - use de Vecht and the Forts as focal points on one route; if such a walk passed the Centre then walkers could pick up a picnic there - link activities along the main routes
- connect station with shops - make into a promenade with shops
- make lots of small meeting spaces along main walking routes some with interesting things to do/ experience
- consider easily walkable bridge over Carneigiedreef
- make all crossings friendly to people of all ages

Safe cycle ways

Lay out a high quality cycle route with links to business areas, the Centre and out into the surrounding town and rural area
- have cycle parking facilities at Overvecht station and at major bus stops
- need clear signing and easily recognised route ways for the cyclists
- provide smooth surfaces cycle route - coloured for easy identification
- need good cycle route from station to business areas - this should be as straight as possible to allow for maximum speed
- all road crossing points should be cycle and wheelchair friendly
- for safety along the Carnaigiedreef the cycle way should be two way - along this road the cars ignore cycle priority, but this has to change - cars must be slowed down

- a cycle way is needed along Brailledreef
- the green crossing light for cycles should give them priority for longer at all main road crossings

- have a crossing over de Vecht river in the area of the Park
- connect station with shops

Vehicular traffic

Traffic noise is a problem in the housing adjacent to the main through roads
- make all crossings friendly to people of all ages
- slow vehicles down if they move through the District - allow them to go fast round the edge of the District, so as to change driver road use patterns
- improve signs
- reduce Carnegie, Einstein and Zamenhof-dreef to 1 lane width to make cars move at very low speed through the District
- Overvecht should be a slow traffic zone and safe for non car users

- Hanoidreef has a vehicle 'rat run' problem
- Karlmarxdreef and Albert Schweitzer dreef have become part of the City ring road system - traffic in the District needs reorganising accordingly
- redesign Einsteindreef - make it more for people and remove the barriers to north/south movement
- traffic jams on the roads leading to the District slow down access
- more slow roads needed: too many are over dimensioned and encourage speeding
- consider easily walkable bridge over Carneigiedreef
- can Albert Schweitzerdreef be lowered so that walkers and cyclists can easily and safely bridge it? - consider building over the road at high density to pay for lowering
- traffic changes have not been well managed - often an improvement in one place causes a problem in another
- Loevenhiutsedijk is not a logical entrance to Overvecht - needs rethinking
- Overvecht is cut off from the main town of Utrecht

Public Transport

Needs improving
- buses - lots more bus stops/picking up points
- bus system needs to be designed to meet user, not bus company, needs - add a circular bus route through the Wijk (District)
- facilitate park and ride as well as parking cycles at station

Housing issues

Housing

Overvecht is dense enough - it does not need more people, but the whole District needs restructuring to work better for its inhabitants, particularly the outdoor spaces
- could gradually add more low rise housing as high rise removed
- the 10 storey flats feel threatening
- the outside environment is increasingly alienating
- a lot of older people are in ground floor flats and the view out the window is often dismal
- consider making Overvecht an example of residential living in the future - Note: this has to be made to work if Compact City idea is to be achieved
- give people more gardens
- add penthouses to blocks of flats - roof gardens
- knock some flats together to make bigger and provide more diverse living units
- create more mixed development
- more houses along de Vecht and near sport fields needed
- any more closure of balconies needs careful consideration
- consider using the building walls for art
- housing should be in sustainable buildings in sustainable greenspace

Key Issues - sub menu - click to view responses

Lack of diversity and variety

Lack of 'meeting places'

Problems and opportunities of the Parkland,and the adjacent rural area

Problems and opportunities: Greenspaces within housing areas

Traffic issues

Problems and opportunities: Parkway Roads, Parking Areas and Access Roads

Lack of 'Sense of Place'

Problems of different age groups

Special ideas and features

Identifying possible local 'work' projects

Summarised by A. R. Beer 2001 © Utrecht City 

External areas

High density housing

A change of approach

User zones

The doorstep

User reactions

  Design approach

The home

The garden

Corridors

 

See also the information on Designing for Children's Play in Housing Areas

Designing for the
l
ess able bodied

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Text and illustrations (unless stated otherwise) © Anne R. Beer, Map21 Ltd, 2001, all rights reserved.
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Latest update 13 Dec 2003