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Sociable Space in a City of Life: the Case of Hanoi
Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Technoculture, Humanities and Planning.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Technoculture, Humanities and Planning.
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesisAlternative title
Sociala rum i en levande stad : en fallstudie i Hanoi (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

ABSTRACT This study, Sociable Space in a City of Life ¬ the Case of Hanoi, is a diploma work by Mr. Mikael Bäckman and Ms. Maria Rundqvist, for the Master’s Programme in Spatial Planning presented at the Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden. It was carried out as a Minor Field Study and a scholarship awarded by SIDA has partly financed it. The study began in Sweden, early 2003, when we learnt that Hanoi in Vietnam was the scene for large-scale housing developments and that there where discussions among experts about pros and cons of this modernisation process. The field study and the major background research were completed during a six months long stay in Southeast Asia. A large part of this stay was spent in Hanoi, Vietnam. To broaden our experiences of dense urban environments we also went to Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. We arrived in Asia in September 2003 and left six months later in February 2004. The study introduces and investigates Sociable Space as a planning concept and explores aspects to consider when people-friendly urban environments are to be planned. It is to a large extent based on observations and experiences from our field studies in Hanoi. As a case study, a central urban area; Nguyen Cong Tru in Hanoi, which is about to undergo total reconstruction, is used. Two conceptual proposals created for this area aim to exemplify how different design approach in the physical structure affects the possibilities for sociable spaces to emerge in the urban environment. The study describes how the sociable spaces of the urban environments are dependant on certain physical and experiential fundamentals. The physical structure is one of the key elements behind the possibility for sociable spaces to emerge. The structure creates the arena for various activities and functions. Together with the structure, the functions set the conditions for where people stay in motion and where people linger. From our experiences of various urban environments and from observations of people making use of them, we formed our ABC’s of the Sociable Space: A. The Structure of the urban environment sets the arena for various functions and influences people’s direction of movement and choice of transportation means. B. Functions such as service, commerce or greenery for example, answer to people’s needs in one way or another and attract people to use the urban environment. C. Activities taking place in the outdoor environment are dependant on both structural and functional aspects to occur. These three parts: Structure, Functions and Activities are interlinked. A pedestrian-friendly structure is an important precondition for activities to emerge and the structure further work as an arena in which various functions are active. The various functions and activities taking place in the urban environment are sorted out in the study, to be able to handle them in a planning process. The following broad categories are identified as sources of activities taking place in the urban environments: Service & Commerce Greenery & Recreation History & Aesthetics These three categories comprise the multitude of factors that attract people to inhabit the urban environment. If one or more of these sources are present, various outdoor activities then have the possibility to emerge. The activities in turn, we have categorized into five groups: 1. The street as a living room 2. Daily delivery of serendipity and expectedness 3. When the occasional intervenes 4. A space for challenge and learning 5. Harmony and contrast All these aspects of the urban environment are necessary to keep in mind when one studies the sociability in existing neighbourhoods or plan for new sociable environments. The sociable spaces of the urban environment are spaces where people without effort can meet and interact; spaces in which we can learn from others and grow by experiences. These spaces must be designed for accessibility by pedestrians and must further appeal to all our senses and meet our needs. A city should have a people-friendly design all over and the sociable spaces should not be confined to ‘islands’ surrounded by its opposite. The more the structure forces (or encourages) people to use private vehicles to transport themselves to work, to school and home again, the more difficult it will be to move about in the city on foot. Heavy traffic creates barriers and hazardous environments for young and old. If people can not move about on foot in the urban environment it will never have the possibility to become people-friendly. One thing we have learnt while performing this study is that if one wish to create truly people-friendly environments then nothing can be simpler; - plan for man and not for man’s cars!

Abstract [sv]

SAMMANFATTNING Studien, Sociable Space in a City of Life ¬ the Case of Hanoi behandlar planerandet av människovänliga urbana miljöer och introducerar konceptet ”Sociable Space” som ett analys- och planeringsverktyg. Med begreppet ’Sociable Space’ avser vi, fritt översatt från engelskan, företeelsen ’människovänliga rum’. Den urbana miljön har en förmåga att attrahera oss att vistas i den om den utformats så att den på ett eller annat sätt möter våra olika behov. Till skillnad från begreppet offentlig plats eller offentligt rum (Public Space) rymmer begreppet ”Sociable Space” en tydlig ståndpunkt. ”Sociable Space” innefattar ett människovänligt, socialt rum utformat för att möta människors olika behov och inte bara en offentlig miljö i vilken människor tillåts vistas. Studien grundar sig i observationer av människor och urbana miljöer, främst i Sydostasien, men exempel är även hämtade ifrån Sverige. Studien rymmer två konceptuella planförslag för ett centralt beläget område i Hanoi. Dessa planförslag baseras på våra idéer kring ”Sociable Space” och skiljer sig främst åt vad det gäller förhållningssättet kring bilens och människans framkomlighet. Planförslagen syftar till att visa hur man som planerare kan arbeta med människors behov och hur staden kan planeras för att kunna möta dessa. Med hjälp av konceptet ”Sociable Space” diskuterar studien hur den fysiska strukturen i staden påverkar möjligheten för olika funktioner att etablera sig. Dessa funktioner, i sin tur, lockar människor att ta den urbana miljön i anspråk. Lite förenklat förklarar vi det i studien: A. Strukturen i den urbana miljön fungerar som en plattform för en rad funktioners etablering. Strukturen påverkar även människors rörelsemönster och val av transportmedel. B. Funktioner som t.ex. service, handel eller rekreation svarar på olika sätt mot människors behov och attraherar oss att använda den urbana miljön. C. Aktiviteter i sin tur, är beroende av både strukturella och funktionella aspekter för att kunna uppstå. För att kunna arbeta med konceptet i planeringssammanhang har vi kategoriserat den mängd av funktioner och aktiviteter vi observerat. De olika funktioner som ryms i staden har vi grupperat enligt följande: Service & kommers (Service & commerce) Grönområden & rekreation (Greenery & recreation) Historik & estetik (History & aesthetics) Dessa tre grupper av omfattar den mångfald av funktioner som lockar oss att befolka den urbana miljön. Med hjälp av en eller flera av ovan nämnda funktioner har sedan en rad aktiviteter möjlighet att uppstå. Vi har delat in den oändliga mängd av aktiviteter som utförs i den urbana miljön i fem huvudkategorier: 1. Med gatan som vardagsrum (The street as a living room) 2. En daglig dos av serendipitet och förväntan (Daily delivery of serendipity and expectedness) 3. När det tillfälliga tar plats (When the occasional intervenes) 4. En plats för utmaning och lärande (A space for challenge and learning) 5. Harmoni och kontrast (Harmony and contrast) Dessa aspekter, struktur, funktion och aktivitet är beroende av varandra och formar sammantaget helhetsupplevelsen vi får av staden som antingen människovänlig eller motsatsen människoovänlig. När staden är rik på sociala, människovänliga rum skapas en stad för människor, inbegripet alla våra behov. Resultatet blir inte bara en stad att leva i utan också en stad av liv.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. , 139 p.
Keyword [en]
sociable space, public space, urban planning, urban environment, social life, people-friendly, city-scape, high-rise buildings, density, traffic, public transports, Hanoi, New Urban Area, urbanism, urbanity, development, refurbishment, sociala rum, offentliga rum, trafik, kollektivtrafik, täthet, bebyggelse, utveckling, stadsplanering, gaturum, platser, planering, höghus, MFS
National Category
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-3277Local ID: oai:bth.se:arkivexDFF239AD220915AAC1256FB500420C48OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-3277DiVA: diva2:830578
Uppsok
Technology
Supervisors
Note
The authors, Mr. Mikael Bäckman and Ms. Maria Rundqvist, can both be reached through the website: http://www.mangoarchitects.com/ or through the email address: maria@mangoarchitecs.com and mikael@mangoarchitects.comAvailable from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2005-02-27 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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