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Homework answers / question archive / Assignment #2: Urban Planning Planning the Ideal Town The purpose of this assignment is to develop your understanding of zoning and how it shapes neighborhoods and cities

Assignment #2: Urban Planning Planning the Ideal Town The purpose of this assignment is to develop your understanding of zoning and how it shapes neighborhoods and cities

Management

Assignment #2: Urban Planning

Planning the Ideal Town

The purpose of this assignment is to develop your understanding of zoning and how it shapes neighborhoods and cities. Working individually, you will search for and learn about zoning practices from other cities as they relate to (1) residential, (2) commercial, (3) industrial, (4) urban service, (5) agricultural, and (6) specialty activities. Here are a few resources to get you started:

This video identifies and describes six things planners need to get right to create an attractive city.

This booklet, published by the City of Edmonton, explains what zoning is and defines each of the activity groups above.

And this video goes over the basics of zoning code. 

Zoning Map 

After watching the videos, attending the lectures and reading Chapters 7 & 8 in the textbook, you should be familiar with the concept of zoning and the general principles of urban models.

Most new developments (new residential areas, commercial and industrial areas) are planned well before they are actually developed and built. The plan for these areas are developed at varying levels of specificity. In some cases (usually for areas that won't be developed for a long time), a plan may simply designate major roadways and services and large blocks of different uses (residential, industrial, parks, school sites, commercial sites). In other cases, plans will be very detailed with highly specific zoning that might include details such as the kind of architectural elements that buildings must contain (i.e. the use of cedar shakes on roofs).

The task in this assignment is to plan your ideal town. In real life, most planning that is done at present is to plan new developments for existing municipalities, but in this case, you will have the opportunity to plan a new town. Note that Strathcona County is currently planning to build a new urban growth node (a New Town) which, would be one of the first new urban communities built in Alberta in over 50 years (see http://www.strathcona.ca/files/files/at-gms-bremner-backgrounder0610.pdf).

Working individually, you will draw a zoning map (land use map) and develop zones for a town of 15,000 people. A map of zoning for the Town of Stony Plain is available here to give you an example of such a town. Blank maps with arterial roadways have also been provided for you as a base to work from (you must choose one - one has mostly straight arterial roads, while the other has curvilinear roads).

Before developing your town, you will need to think about some overarching design principles. What kind of people will live in your town? What are their needs and wants? Will most people live in houses or apartments or a mix? If so, what mix? Will you have a traditional downtown street, strip malls, or one massive big box centre? Will you have many small parks or one large park? What kind of recreation activities will meet the needs of your residents? How can the current blocks of land (green, brown and grey areas) be re-conceptualized for new land uses?

You are encouraged to think creatively and come up with original and interesting new kinds of residents, land uses, and patterns or relationships between land uses. Have fun. Be creative.

Once you have your principles outlined, you need to develop zones so that you can communicate what you would like specific areas to be filled in with (by future developers). Normally zones are developed using very careful legal language, but for this assignment, you can use common phrasing that communicates your idea. Note that zones usually identify uses (residential, commercial, industrial, parks, environmental reserve, agricultural, etc) and may also identify some elements of design, such as the types of buildings and their character.

When you are finished take a clean, clear picture of your map and upload the image file (.jpeg, .gif, .png ...) to the 'Urban Planning Assignment Submission' folder (look on the main eClass for this course page under Week 10 or click on the green link on the right side of this page).

Additional Background for Zoning Activity

The following are some examples of how you can describe your zones (and the colours you should use to represent the zones):

Very High Density Residential Zone - This zone will consist of apartment towers at least 30 stories tall and as high as 150 stories. All buildings will have stores, cafes, other services or restaurants at the base (no business offices).

Low Density Residential Zone - This zone has standard 'detached' houses.

Small Scale Commercial (Business) Zone - This zone allows stores, services, and restaurants in buildings up to 3 stories high. The 2nd and 3rd floor can have offices, other businesses, or residences.

Community Parks Zone - This zone allows for green spaces, parks, playgrounds, etc.

You must include examples of these zones but you are encouraged to add other types of zones or create new ones that meet the needs of your particular population.

 

Notes:

  • Don't try to make too many zones as you may run out of time. 3-5 residential zones, 3-5 commercial zones, and no more than 5 other zones should be plenty. You can also identify some sites by their use (i.e. school), especially if it is for government use.
  • You do NOT need to draw any additional roadways on your map, just indicate the uses for the area. You can assume that the developers will build roadways into their designs, so it is fine to simply colour in some zones in an area and to presume that roads will run to them.
  • Have fun and be creative. Don't be afraid to plan a very ambitious town like nothing that exists.
  • Once you have decided on the key areas of your map, work on the detailed design and colouring of it. Provide a legend for the colours you've used.
  • Note, that the example town Map for Stony Plain is far more detailed that what you will end up drawing.

Blank maps are here and here (choose one).

 

 

Marking Rubric

Component

Weight

At least three required zones have been included

/3

Zones are linked in a cohesive manner (location makes logical sense)

/10

Effective use of colours  to identify zones

/2

Maps shows creativity and innovative thinking

/10

TOTAL

/25

 

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