Cities expand, upwards and outwards, and their physical structure can last a very long time, not just tens but hundreds of years. Nevertheless, they are rarely designed for expansion. Their layout does not allow for extension or for the retrofitting of infrastructure and can constrain, and often prevent, the growth and change of activities within them - cities are not 'robust' in their design. In other words, change is not planned for but involves costly reconstruction.
The Robust City argues that a robust, expandable and sustainable urban form can be deduced from planning goals. Development should not just follow public transport corridors but should not be allowed beyond walking distance from them. This would create 'green enclaves' that would permit not only recreational access but also the retrofitting of infrastructure and the efficient circulation of motor vehicles. The same principles could also be applied within neighbourhoods and to facilitate the rational handling of urban intensification.
Table of Contents
Preface, Introduction, 1. The Persistence of Form, 2. What Shall We Do with the Private Motor Vehicle? 3. Cities Have Not Been Designed for Expansion, 4. Deriving Form – A Goal-Driven Approach, 5. Deriving Form – A Robust Typology, 6. Beads on a String, 7. A Model for a New City, 8. Application to City Expansion and Intensification, 9. Implications for Development Plans, Conclusion
Tony Hall is an Adjunct Professor within the Urban Research Program at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Since his move to Australia in 2004, he has published a number of significant works on sustainable urban form, including his 2010 book on the demise of the Australian backyard which won the PIA national award for cutting-edge research in 2012.
He was previously Professor of Town Planning at Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK where he is now Emeritus Professor. A specialist originally in transport planning and later in urban design, his 30-year academic career in Britain produced notable publications in the field of design guidance. Rather unusually, he also served as a local councillor and led the City of Chelmsford’s planning policy for seven years. He was instrumental in raising the general standards of design resulting in a government award to the City for the quality of the built environment in 2003.