Intelligent Urbanism in City Planning and Urban Design
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.
Principles of Intelligent Urbanism
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.
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.
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.
Principle Four: Conviviality sponsors social interaction through public domains
In a hierarchy of places, devised for personal solace, engaging friendship, romance, house-holding, neighboring, community and civic life. It promotes the protection, enhancement and creation of “open public spaces” which are accessible to all.
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.
Principle Six: Human Scale
Encourages ground level, pedestrian oriented urban arrangements, based on anthropometric dimensions, as opposed to machine-scales. Walkable, mixed use urban villages are encouraged, over mono-functional blocks and zones, linked by motor ways and surrounded by parking lots.
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.
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.
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.
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.