Beyond the Neighborhood Unit: Residential Environments and by Tridib Banerjee

By Tridib Banerjee

Much of the examine on which this ebook is predicated used to be funded virtually a decade in the past by way of separate supplies from various businesses of the U. S. Public health and wellbeing carrier, of the then nonetheless consolidated division of future health, schooling, and Welfare. the 1st supply was once from the Bureau of group Environmental administration (Public overall healthiness carrier examine provide J-RO J EM 0049-02), and the second one from the guts for experiences of Metropolitan difficulties of the nationwide Institute of psychological future health (Public overall healthiness carrier provide ROJ MH 24904-02). those separate supplies have been valuable due to finances cuts that truncated our unique attempt. We have been lucky to obtain next the aid of NIMH to finish the examine, because it is uncertain undertaking of the scope and purpose of our effort--even as accomplished in abbreviated form-will be funded within the Nineteen Eighties. the unique purpose of this venture, as formulated through our colleagues Ira Robinson and Alan Kreditor, and as conceptualized previous by way of their predeces­ sors-members of an advisory committee of planners and social scientists ap­ pointed by way of the yank Public overall healthiness organization (APHA)-was to rewrite making plans the local, APHA's advised criteria for residential layout. particularly, it was once proposed that the recent learn take the viewpoint of the person by way of residential criteria. Hitherto, the non-public quarter had domi­ nated those issues (i. e. , the designer's predilections, the necessities of developers and fabric providers, and creditors' wishes for personal loan security).

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Additional info for Beyond the Neighborhood Unit: Residential Environments and Public Policy

Sample text

From a more pragmatic standpoint, it has been argued that the physical scale of the neighborhood unit as originally conceived is not adaptable to the present increments of residential development and redevelopment. The neighborhood unit and the related planning standards were subject to further criticisms stemming from the "cultural relativism" argument. Both the intellectual elite and minority leadership have asserted that the concept of a "great American melting pot" is essentially a myth (Glaser and Moynihan, 1963), and that different ethnic values, lifestyles, and preferences must be acknowledged and preserved (Berger, 1966).

Despite these caveats, the document was instantly influential for three reasons: first, it had been developed by experts; second, it presumed to link the built THE NEIGHBORHOOD UNIT AS A DESIGN PARADIGM 25 environment with concerns of health and hygiene; and third, and perhaps more important, because no other "authoritative" standards were available. The document became widely used, and in legitimizing Perry's neighborhood unit concept, it influenced a variety of professional guides. In laying out residential developments, architects, engineers, planners, and landscape architects all refer to books of standards published by their professional organizations.

Indeed, in an age that nourished a belief in physical determinism, it was a logical step in translating ideas into action-in using architectural design to accomplish social ends. The cause of the neighborhood unit was further enhanced by certain complementary paradigms already being promoted at that time by a group of reformist planners and designers. 3). Indeed, as Mumford (1951) has pointed out, even before Perry's neighborhood ideas were fully crystallized, Clarence Stein and Henry Wright had already included many of the principles of the neighborhood unit in their design of Sunnyside Gardens in New York.

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