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The Design Concept of Village Planning

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Town planning is a broad concept, which is concerned with both the environment and human being. The unity and harmony between them is a fundamental condition of the existence of man. Determining the shape and form of a town or a city is a big problem, whi

Town planning is a broad concept, which is concerned with both the environment and human being. The unity and harmony between them is a fundamental condition of the existence of man. The development of human existence began with caves, huts, separate dwellings and progressed to form whole settlements and then towns and cities. However, the architect and town planner has always been concerned with the proper functions and aesthetics of the town and the architectural development became a scientific and multifaceted art. Determining the shape and form of a town or a city is a big problem, which has to solved with due account of technical, social, economical and cultural factors.

A town or a city is a complex dwelling-place, which emerges and grows as society develops. It changes its shape and form according to the development and changing needs of human beings. However, similar to the concept of ‘Metabolism’ in architecture which discusses the changing form of a building according to the changing needs of human, a town can metaphorically be seen as a growing living organism, which forms its shape according to the many external factors affecting its development over time. However, the principle of minimal and optimal configuration can be used as a medium to discuss the problems of town planning.

The principle of minimal configuration is that which determines the shape and size of natural forms like crystals and living organisms. The shape and size of their bodies could be seen as a direct result of the most economical balance of the external natural forces acting on them. The principle of minimal configuration can, however, explain the problems of town planning. If one regards every urban feature such as street, square, block, house, or even every brick, together with the density and orientation, as a direct result of forces acting upon them, then one would be perfectly able to explain the shape and size of towns. In town planning, where planners and architects deal with many human factors and where many forces are not the inevitable product of natural forces but the result of human decisions, the idea of minimal configuration should be replaced by that of the optimum configuration.

The optimum configuration is the result of assessing the value of all the natural and physical pressures or forces that will operate in a town or a city. The many different factors that determine the optimum configuration of a street or a neighbourhood, such as the aesthetic, the climatic, or hygienic, may often be found to conflict with one another. Because the optimum configuration for any one factor may be quite different from that for another, the planner cannot consider all these factors at once. However, the only possible way to overcome it is to take the separate factors one by one and to determine the optimum configuration of the neighbourhood with regard to each one of them.

One may then resort again to drawing plans, where a plan of the optimum economic configuration, for example, can be superimposed on that of the optimum hygienic configuration. This will enable planners to see at once, graphically represented, the whole of the problem. In fact, if planners consciously emulate the principles of the unconscious processes of minimal configuration that formed the shape of crystals or any living organism, then their creations will become the graphical representation in space of the forces that acted upon them. In addition, the city will become a living, not only lived-in, symbol of the intimate union between form and the spirit that has created it.

11 comments

Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
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Posted on Feb 27, 2012
Christy Birmingham
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Posted on Feb 27, 2012
Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
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Posted on Jun 7, 2011
Ron Siojo
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Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
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Pearl Wilson
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Aunty Ann
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Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
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deepblue
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James R. Coffey
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Posted on Jun 3, 2011

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Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy

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