Traditional urban plans use definitive design systems, without the flexibility required to deal with the complexity and change that characterize contemporary urban societies. To conceive urban plans with increased flexibility, a shape grammar-based design methodology is proposed which is capable of producing various design solutions instead of a single rigid layout. In this approach the plan is a design system encoding a set of alternative solutions, rather than a single, specific solution. This methodology was developed on the basis of the analysis of existing plans and on a series of experiments undertaken within the controlled environment of design studios. Results show that shape grammars produce urban plans with nondefinitive formal solutions, while keeping a consistent design language. They also provide plans with explicit and implicit flexibility, thereby giving future designers a wider degree of freedom. As a result, they are particularly appropriate for dealing with complexity and change throughout the legal lifespan of the plan. Finally, they provide students with a concrete methodology for approaching urban design, fostering the development of additional design skills.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Environmental Science(all)