Principles of Intelligent Urbanism


Principles of Intelligent Urbanism (PIU) is a theory of urban planning composed of a set of ten axioms intended to guide the formulation of city plans and urban designs. They are intended to reconcile and integrate diverse urban planning and management concerns. These axioms include environmental sustainability, heritage conservation, appropriate technology, infrastructure efficiency, placemaking, “Social Access,” transit oriented development, regional integration, human scale, and institutional integrity. The term was coined by Prof. Christopher Charles Benninger.

  1. Principle One: A Balance with Nature emphasizes the distinction between utilizing resources and exploiting them. It focuses on a threshold beyond which deforestation, soil erosion, aquifer deterioration, silting, and flooding reinforce one another in urban systems, destroying life support systems. The principle promotes environmental assessments of ecosystems to identify fragile zones, threatened natural systems and habitats that can be enhanced through conservation, density, land use and open space planning.
  2. Principle Two: A Balance with Tradition integrates plan interventions with existing cultural assets, respecting traditional patterns and precedents of style. It respects heritage precincts and historical assets that weave the past and the futures of cities into a continuity of values.
  3. Principle Three: Appropriate Technology promotes materials, building techniques, infrastructural systems and construction management that are consistent with peoples= capacities, geo-climatic conditions, local resources, and suitable capital investments. The PIU focus on matching interfaces between the physical spread of urban utilities and services, watershed catchments, urban administrative wards and electoral constituent boundaries.
  4. Principle Four: Conviviality sponsors social interaction through public domains, in a hierarchy of places, devised for personal solace, engaging friendship, romance, householding, neighboring, community and civic life. It promotes the protection, enhancement and creation of “open public spaces” which ae accessible to all.
  5. Principle Five: Efficiency promotes a balance between the consumption of urban resources like energy, time and finance, with planned achievements in comfort, safety, security, access, tenure, and hygiene levels. It encourages optimum sharing of land, roads, facilities and infrastructural networks to reduce per household costs, increasing affordability and civic viability.
  6. Principle Six: Human Scale encourages ground level, pedestrian oriented urban arrangements, based on anthropometric dimensions, as opposed to Amachine-scales.= Walkable, mixed use urban villages are encouraged, over mono-functional blocks and zones, linked by motor ways and surrounded by parking lots.
  7. Principle Seven: Opportunity Matrix enriches the city as a vehicle for personal, social, and economic development, through access to a range of organizations, services and facilities, providing a variety of opportunities for education, recreation, employment, business, mobility, shelter, health, safety and basic needs.
  8. Principle Eight: Regional Integration, envisions the city as an organic part of a larger environmental, economic, social and cultural geographic system, which is essential for its future sustainability.
  9. Principle Nine: Balanced Movement promotes integrated transport systems composed of pedestrian paths, cycle lanes, express bus lanes, light rail corridors and automobile channels. The modal split nodes between these systems become the public domains around which cluster high density, specialized urban Hubs and walkable, mixed-use Urban Villages.
  10. Principle Ten: Institutional Integrity recognizes that good practices inherent in considered principles can only be realized through the emplacement of accountable, transparent, competent and participatory local governance. It recognizes that such governance is founded on appropriate data bases, on due entitlements, on civic responsibilities and duties. The PIU promotes a range of facilitative and promotive urban development management tools to achieve intelligent urban practices, systems and forms.

A Guide to Creating Great Cities at Eye Level


The result of a collaborative effort between five editors and 43 professionals from around the world, a new open-source book documents the essential concepts and strategies for creating great cities at eye level - along the ground floor (“plinths”).

Ground floors, or “plinths,” are the most crucial parts of buildings for creating great cities. They define the way a city’s public and private spaces interact, and are essential to creating commodious pedestrian environments. “The ground floor may be only 10% of a building, [but] it determines 90% of the building’s contribution to the experience of the environment,” say editors Hans Karssenberg & Jeroen Laven.  

The City at Eye Level.
download the whole book as a pdf. (215 pgs)[free]

planetizen, 13.01.13.


City Strategies

by Olalekan Jeyfious

Killer graphic output focused on the intersection of art and architectural representation. Incredibly beautiful work. I sense the influence of Lebbeus Woods, Wes Jones, and Neil Denari at work here, yet the work is utterly fresh and vibrant, not at all derivative.

From Archinect:

This series contains abstracted planimetric drawings and eerily-serene cityscapes that suggest the changing contours of urban settlements. They represent an idea of a degenerate futurism, yet one might find similar typologies and scenes in places such as the favelas of Brazil and North Africa, and in overpopulated cities such as Lagos, Mexico City, and Mumbai. Though outputted digitally, the drawings possess a textured and painterly quality as a result of combining hand-drawn sketches, industrial textures, surfaces of deteriorated paper, and digital architectural models.
A constant interplay between digital and analog processes is important in my work, resulting in a highly layered set of documents. The drawings presented here started out as digital images that were outputted, sketched and drawn over, and scanned back into the computer in order to be retraced, textured, and layered.

first spotted via The Vague Redhead

(Source: markcareaga)



A thriving metropolis unfolds in Maciek Janicki’s Paper City.

Fun video of a paper city’s growth!

VIA - ©


Venice Under Water from The Atlantic InFocus

Will this be all of us in 30 years? At least they look happy!