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عنوان فارسی مقاله

ساختارشناسی و برنامه ریزی شهری: مورد تسمه جنبی

کد مقاله سال انتشار مقاله انگلیسی ترجمه فارسی تعداد کلمات
234 2004 15 صفحه PDF سفارش دهید محاسبه نشده
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عنوان انگلیسی
Urban morphology and planning: the case of fringe belts
منبع

Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)

Journal : Cities, Volume 21, Issue 4, August 2004, Pages 275–289

کلمات کلیدی
- ساختارشناسی شهری - برنامه ریزی - تسمه جنبی - مناظر تاریخی - انگلستان - مدیریت و بازاریابی
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چکیده انگلیسی

Urban morphological concepts are weakly represented in Anglophone city planning. Where local plans in the UK are concerned with historical landscapes, attention is devoted principally to individual buildings, sites and monuments, or small areas of special interest: concepts concerned with the historico-geographical structure of entire cities or sizeable parts of cities are largely ignored. This paper is concerned with one such concept, the fringe belt, focusing on the actions of local planners and others influencing the development of fringe belts after they have become embedded within urban areas. The study of the Edwardian fringe belt of Birmingham, UK, suggests that there has been increased pressure since the 1960s to redevelop fringe-belt plots and use them more intensively, but the fringe belt has retained much of its identity despite its lack of recognition in the local plan. Decision-making about proposals to redevelop fringe-belt plots has frequently been protracted, reflecting the profitability of redevelopment, the large size of many of the plots, the large number of interested parties, and the scope for different interpretations of planning policies. Within the local authority, it has been characterized by changes in policies, and disagreements among those taking and influencing decisions. The piecemeal, poorly co-ordinated pattern of decision making underlines the need for planning to take greater account of the historico-geographical structure of cities.

مقدمه انگلیسی

The relationship between urban morphology and planning is poorly developed in the English-speaking world. This is particularly evident in the weak representation of urban morphological concepts in both the theory and practice of planning. Even the fringe-belt concept, which has been the subject of investigation by urban morphologists for over half a century, is rarely referred to by planners, despite the initial recognition of fringe belts as deriving from one of the most obvious products of early European planning: the fortification zones surrounding medieval and Renaissance cities. The term Stadtrandzone (in English “urban fringe belt”, but commonly shortened to “fringe belt”) was first applied by the geographer Herbert Louis (1936) to the zone of extensive land use that developed at the urban fringe during pronounced hiatuses in urban growth, among which those associated with city fortifications were especially obvious. Following renewed urban growth, such low-density zones were generally not acquired for housebuilding, but became successively embedded within the urban area, surviving as recognizably distinct zones separating older from younger residential development. Subsequent researchers gave increasing attention to the fringe belt as a concept—a way of understanding the process of alternating hiatus and growth, and the subsequent processes of transformation of the alternating fringe belts and zones of residential accretion. The classic study was that of the English market town of Alnwick by Conzen (1960). A few years later, the development of three fringe belts and intervening zones of residential accretion was traced in Newcastle upon Tyne (Whitehand, 1967). Thereafter, studies of fringe belts multiplied, as the concept was taken up in several other countries (see, for example, Conzen, 2002, Rodrigo Cervantes, 1999 and Vilagrasa, 1990). Though the fringe-belt concept has been developed almost beyond recognition since it was first formulated by Louis, much of the research has been on chronologies of development, especially over long periods, and little attempt has been made to explore fringe belts in relation to decision makers and decision making, or in relation to plan making and development control. In Great Britain, this is not a consequence of a lack of interest in history amongst planners and others with responsibility for the built environment—the designation of conservation areas, listed buildings and parks and gardens of special historic interest, for example, belies such an explanation. More significant is the lack of awareness of the wider historico-geographical structure of cities. Among those with a custodial concern for the built environment, attention is devoted largely to individual buildings, sites and monuments, or small areas of special interest: the emphasis is on individual features or small areas, rather than the historico-geographical structuring of entire cities or sizeable parts of cities. This deficiency is very evident in UK government publications on historical environments (see, for example, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2001). Since fringe belts are significant elements in the historico-geographical structuring of cities, they merit a great deal more consideration than they have received, both in relation to planning and more generally in relation to the agents and agencies of change in the city. Their significance for environmental awareness is inseparable from their historical development. Of course, they provide practical geographical orientation by providing a sense of position within or on the edge of the city, but at a deeper level of appreciation they provide a historico-geographical frame of reference within which the phases of development, and physical forms, of previous societies are related to the physical configurations of present cities. There is clearly much more to an appreciation of this role than the recognition of individual sites of historical and architectural significance. The fringe-belt concept reflects a more holistic cultural-environmental view of cities: the many individual features that make up the urban scene take on added cultural significance from the way in which they relate to one another and combine to form historically composite urban landscapes. Among the most striking fringe belts in Great Britain are those that came into existence at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, especially during the slump in housebuilding between roughly 1908 and 1925. They are often referred to as Edwardian fringe belts in England, reflecting the propensity of the English to name historical periods after their monarchs. In that country, Edwardian fringe belts separate two physically contrasting housing zones: that of the late-Victorian and Edwardian period, characterized by “bye-law” terraced houses, and that of the inter-war period, characterized by semi-detached houses with “universal” plans. Fringe belts generally, and Edwardian fringe belts in particular, have a number of attributes that make them of contemporary relevance, not least to planning. These include (a) the virtual absence of housing; (b) a sparse road network, with a low incidence of radial roads (i.e. running across the fringe belt), and hence constituting a barrier zone to vehicles, although those radial roads that do exist (being historical arterial roads leading out of the city) tend to be heavily used; (c) large, often well-vegetated plots, frequently containing institutional, sometimes “landmark”, buildings of architectural note; and (d) the fact that they form a boundary between historically and morphologically distinct housing areas. Most of the parameters to which this characterization of fringe belts relates, such as land use, vehicular movement, access and vegetation cover, are taken into consideration in local plans in the UK but, with very rare exceptions (Kropf, 2001), fringe belts themselves are not. While the fringe-belt concept integrates various aspects of the environment, local plans are much more sectional. Paradoxically, fringe belts survive within urban areas as physical entities redolent of the history of cities, but local plans and central government policy documents, including those on historical environments, scarcely mention them. The survival of fringe belts reflects a constellation of factors that has little to do with the recognition of fringe belts as entities. Many of the factors that account for the survival and changing character of fringe belts, such as the dependence on fringe-belt features that develops among other land users in the vicinity and the locational inertia induced by increased investment in sites, particularly by institutions, have been adduced in the past by the analysis of chronologies of landscape change (for example, Conzen, 1968 and Whitehand, 1967) and the application of adaptations of bid-rent theory (for example, Barke, 1990 and Whitehand, 1972). The approach in this paper is a rather different but complementary one, in which greater attention is given to the framework of central, and especially local, government planning, and to the actions and interactions of those influencing, or seeking to influence, decisions about development. This emphasis needs to be seen in the context of a post-war environment in the UK in which the expansion of urban areas has been constrained, the value of potential and actual building land has undergone a marked secular rise (Department of the Environment, 1992, Vallis, 1972 and Valuation Office, 2000) and, especially within the last two decades, central government has placed increasing emphasis on the more intensive development of existing urban areas. By far the most significant constraint on the outward growth of large cities has been the designation of green belts, which has given local authorities powers to resist most types of development, notably the continuous outward spread of housing, thereby creating conditions conducive of the development of post-war fringe belts. However, it is the part played by planning in the modification of fringe belts already embedded within urban areas that is the principal focus in this paper. Pursuit of this goal, as indeed that of seeking to make sense of much that occurs on the ground locally, means getting to grips with a planning system in which the relationship between policy and practice is far from clear-cut. Complexity arises not only from the wording of policy documents but because of the way in which the relationship between policy and practice is mediated by formal and informal interactions, especially between landowners, developers, local authority planning officers, consultees and members of the public. Focusing on the Edwardian fringe belt of Birmingham, England, during the second half of the 20th century, this paper explores four themes, each concerned with the process of land-use change or redevelopment or both: first, the pressures for the intensification of use, for example, associated with the redevelopment of sites for housing; second, the relationship between planning policy and planning decisions; third, the role of informal discussions both between developers and the local authority and within the local authority; and finally, the roles of third parties (i.e. those neither seeking development nor exercising control over it) in the process of landscape change.

نتیجه گیری انگلیسی

Like many other parts of urban areas, not least housing areas, fringe belts have generally become more intensively used in the course of time. Of those plots investigated in detail in this paper, only a very small minority have been totally redeveloped for housing, but more have undergone housebuilding on part of their sites. If to these are added sites that have been, or still are, the subject of lengthy negotiation between developers and the local authority, then the amount of change, or potential change, of this type would seem to be greater than that recorded in studies of changes to comparable types of fringe belts in earlier periods (cf. Whitehand, 1972, Fig. 2; Barke, 1990, Fig. 13.6). However, even among the plots investigated in detail, among which contentious sites were overrepresented, the large majority were either still intact at the end of 2001 or subject to pressure for a form of redevelopment that would arguably preserve their fringe-belt character. An indication of the potential profitability of redevelopment on the sample sites is provided by the length of time over which developers persisted in their endeavour to gain planning permission—even longer than has been revealed in studies of low-density residential areas (cf. Whitehand, 1992: p. 166). Furthermore, it was not uncommon for the development ultimately sanctioned to be of higher density than originally mooted, though sometimes an earlier, non-implemented, planning permission was actually for a lower density than was first proposed: an initial permission was sometimes used by a developer as a base from which to negotiate a more intensive development. That there was a far from clear-cut relationship between planning policy and planning decisions, and hence between planning policies and outcomes on the ground, relates in particular to the discretionary nature of the British planning system. Local planning policies were not infrequently circumvented and the attitudes of planning officers sometimes changed radically between initial discussions about a development and its commencement or abandonment. In the course of protracted interactions between an applicant and the LPA’s officers, the resistance of the officers was sometimes broken down. Such changes reflected not only changes in officers’ views, but also in the personnel dealing with the matter. They were prompted by changes in the proposals to accommodate the views of officers, by neglect of sites by their owners, and combinations of these and other considerations. Whatever the relative strengths of these factors, there was a tendency for officers to acquiesce in the face of persistent pressure: it sometimes reflected a change of attitude among one or more consultees and it was often a response to formal guidance, and attitudes, emanating from central government, which also changed, sometimes significantly, over the period during which a proposal was under consideration and discussion. Because of the large size of the fringe-belt plots relative to other types of site, especially house plots, their redevelopment affected a relatively large number of neighbours: commonly at least one boundary bordered, or was on the opposite side of the road from, numerous private householders. In addition, fringe-belt land uses tend to be relevant to several government, quasi-government or non-government organizations and related professional bodies. Not surprisingly, therefore, proposals for fringe-belt plots not only generated large numbers of consultations and representations through the formal development control process but also large numbers of informal communications. These interactions lengthened and, in some cases, influenced the outcome of, the process of decision making, to the frustration of developers. Differences of opinion were not only prevalent between developers and local authority officers, they were also common within the local authority. They occurred between different local authority departments, between officers within the same department, between elected councillors, and between officers and councillors. In the case of no one proposal did evidence come to light that all these differences existed. Nevertheless, the notion of concordance within the local authority had no substance. The significance of third parties varied greatly. Occasionally, national bodies had an influential role—for example, in supporting a proposal on condition that the developer funded improvements either to part of the site not involved in the development or elsewhere—but generally their influence was minor. Local pressure groups depended for their effectiveness on the leadership of energetic and knowledgeable individuals. The large majority of expert opinion that was solicited or volunteered was against redevelopment, most of it emanating from academics. Taken together, these findings reveal not only the wide range of influences at work in a major fringe belt but also the weak theoretical foundations to British planning practice, at least with respect to urban morphological structure. When Birmingham’s Edwardian fringe belt formed around the Victorian city, it did so in an era in which there was little state control over the form of urban development: it was a product of numerous individual decisions by landowners and others taken largely in ignorance of the wider geographical configuration to which they were contributing. Examination of the interactions of those influencing decisions about that same fringe belt nearly a century later, in an era of considerable state control, suggests that much the same observation could be made. Planning policies have influenced change, or lack of it, on individual plots, but the fringe belt’s present character and continuing existence as an entity are arguably no more planned than its creation was 100 years ago. In the case of particular land uses, such as playing fields and allotments, and sites of special ecological or architectural and historical interest, planning policies have played a part in maintaining their character, and thereby, incidentally, aided the continued existence of the fringe belt. But in other cases, the survival of the fringe belt has been more a by-product of market forces, including cases in which occupiers of the fringe belt have been constrained by the lack of alternative sites to which they might move if they are to continue to fulfil their function. Thus, the fact that Birmingham’s Edwardian fringe belt has maintained much of its identity has little or nothing to do with any consciousness of that identity among decision makers. It is largely an undesigned consequence of a great many other influences. This complex, essentially unplanned antecedence in no way diminishes the significance of Birmingham’s Edwardian fringe belt within the morphological structure of the city. Nor, unfortunately, does it guarantee the survival of that particular fringe belt in the future, although in places there is powerful evidence of its resilience. What it does do is underline the need, in British planning, for greater awareness of the historico-geographical structure of cities as entities.

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