The Human Scale


Interesting, but not surprising, that the Christchurch community preferred lower-rise (6 story) development for their downtown, a scale that is more human-friendly. I wonder if the kind of step-back zoning that we are seeing in areas like Boston’s new Innovation District, where height is limited to this lower range at the street, but buildings are allowed to grow to towers after a certain point is supposed to be a compromise between having a pedestrian scaled street and density. While zoning a 6-story building limit in Christchurch is desirable and feasible, how does this translate to developing cities in China and India, and cities that already have a higher density in their urban fabric, like Boston and New York. Is it possible to design a human scaled street among skyscrapers?

Alison, February 20, 2014