JING HUANG , pp. 65. DSN/School of Planning and Media Design, 2012.
As a by-product of speedy urbanization and economic distribution, the nature of public life is
changing with the process of privatization. "Public spirit" is losing somehow and there are less
necessities for us walkers to use the public space. Not just carrying vehicles and sidewalks but
also the main part of public space, the streets, serves as the borders as well as the vital organs.
However the priority access to vehicles has diminishing this function with the possibility as
"public spaces" for multiple human activities. Compared to macro-spaces, the conventional
character of micro-spaces have given a much vital and flexible experience to walkable distance.
An efficient city which is friendly to people provides interconnected networks that creates
different scale of public spaces, accordingly meet different levels of human needs. Alleys and
narrow lanes used to dominate the urban spaces before the cars do. They've proved the
circumstance that they serves more vibrant and livable spaces that offer social and economic
benefits, including walkability and connectivity, and better living experience.
With these considerations, this paper will give the thinking about walkable neighborhood based
on the theory of friendly city. Meanwhile, as the most represented developing city, Beijing is
facing the serious problem of declining on-street activities and automobiles vs. walking conflict.
So the question is: how to rebuild an area that carries heavy traffic under the framework of
Friendly city, with a special focus on walkability in the context of Beijing? In other words is, how
to create a pedestrian-friendly city that also facing towards to the future. The aim of this paper is
to seek a walkable solution to reclaim back the vital life to Beijing, with an ultimate expectation
towards friendly city.
Since this is a scientific paper deals with walkability, a scientific method will be must.
Triangulation of theory review, a particular case study, and site observation will together
contribute to the structure of methodology. The theory review covers an elaboration on social
life in public spaces, a study of friendly theory from two different literature under the framework
of New Urbanism. After that a case study on recent sustainable project--Nordhavn in
Copenhagen--will be made to complement the whole theory system. An observation and
comparison of the site will followed up in order to get better understanding from the dimension
of walkability and prepare for next step work. In design part, a complex proposal and solution in
applying walkable strategies to a car-dominated place will try to answer the question which
came up at the beginning. In the end the author will give a neutral evaluation towards design
outcome incorporate with the conclusion of the walkability in social, ecological, economic and