Arhitectura, urbanismul şi peisajul, dincolo de a fi concepte teoretice şi estetice, schiţează conturul existenţei noastre publice şi private. Tocmai de aceea ele nu trebuie să fie fundalul static al vieţii noastre sociale ci elemente active în conştiinţa fiecărui locuitor al oraşului.
Din acest motiv, tineri din medii diferite: universitate, diverse ramuri profesionale, administraţie locală, şi-au reunit forţele într-un workshop internaţional intitulat: “THE CITY ENVIRONMENT, YOUNG MINDS DRAW THE PUG”, desfăşurat între 17-23 noiembrie la Timişoara, fiind organizat de către Liga Studenţilor din Facultatea de Mecanicî împreună cu Atelierul de Urbanism, Primăria Municipiului Timişoara şi Asociaţia Peisagiştilor din România - AsoP.
Acest workshop este o pledoarie pentru un ambient urban de calitate, într-unul dintre cele mai efervescente oraşe din punct de vedere al contextului urban din România. Tineri români şi străini au încercat să demonstreze că planificarea urbană înseamnă în fond, împletire de concepte, profesii şi idei, integrare şi colaborare. Noul PUG nu trebuie să fie o hartă agaţată în cui ci un instrument pertinent de control şi previziune urbană.
November 2008, Timisoara
CONNECTIVITY – MOBILITY
New development has neglected the traffic development. Transportation does not support the community’s needs anymore. Development implies very good traffic links. This includes strategies to improve the existing transit network and introducing alternative traffic, like a Rapid Transit System inside and outside the city or alternative traffic.
1. Low parking policy.
- Differential pricing for controlling traffic;
In the central area apply high taxes for parking and higher fines. This would lead to less cars in the centre. Lower prices for parking buildings can assure less cars in the public spaces and encourage to park in this special buildings.
- Parking buildings through-out the rings;
Rings will become the fastest ways to travel from one point to the other. According to different needs for services, parking places will be available not far from the destination.
- Taxes for parking more than one car in public spaces.
Following the Austrian model, one unit is allowed to park just one car in the public space. For a second car, you have to pay a tax. In the resting hours you are not allowed to park in residential areas, except your own or in specially design spaces.
2. Alternative traffic
a. Promote cycling.
- provide a bike, for free, if you park your car at the entrance in the city; To encourage cycling, we will give a bike for free while your car is parked in one of the 12 entrance parking buildings. This would mean, for every bicycle, one car that didn’t actually need to enter the city.
- bike sharing system; Assure enough places from where you can take a bike or leave a bike. Those would be special bikes, recognized all over the city.
- assure a network of bicycle lanes; Design bicycle lanes across the city, along the Bega river, along pedestrian areas, or to link Timisoara with other villages, or even with other cities or strategic places. These lanes will be connected in a continuous network, with as less interruptions as possible.
- create a continuous circuit of pedestrian areas across the city; We’ll link the pedestrian areas between them to assure a long circuit for walking. This will include the existing ones, the one along the Bega river, and the new proposed ones.
- connect the river with pedestrian and bicycle lanes; Along the river, we’ll develop the slow lane, that will include slow car and public bus traffic, pedestrian area with points of interest along it, bicycle lanes, the ferryboat system.
- plan plazas to strengthen communities. Assure sufficient plazas for every small scale community. This will increase the involvement of people in their surrounding areas, the quality of life, their satisfaction with the place they live and decrees criminality.
3. Equilibrium between different rhythms of life
- the north will assure the fast circuit, by car, bus, Rapid Transit system or others; In mirror with the slow lane, these will include the internal Rapid Transit System, buss services, taxies and fast car lanes. This is not to be seen in opposition to the slow lane, but as a completion of it, because they serve different types of functions. This will assure the flow needed for office, services or commercial areas.
- the Blue Belt would became the slow lane, for pedestrians, bicycles, slow traffic and ferryboats along the river; Along the river, we’ll develop the slow lane, which will include slow car and public bus traffic, pedestrian area with points of interest along it, bicycle lanes, the ferryboat system. We protect the residential areas against high traffic in this way.
4. Create a harbour.
- get the water into the city; The river will be extended into the city where this is possible (for example across the industrial areas adjacent to the river. We’ll create houses linked on one side to the water. It is an opportunity for waterfronts and relaxation.
- providing boat facilities; Create a harbour in the train-station’s neighbour, to assure the inter-modal node of transportation. This is possible in one of the ex-industrial areas. Along the river or along the canals (marinas) provide docks for leaving boats in an organized way.
5. Ferryboat Transport system
- assure the E-W transport; As a fast way of travelling along the E-W axes, ferryboats are an ecological and relaxing option. Along the Green Belt, with interesting scenarios or views, it will make a pleasant travel along the river.
- assure connections with the metropolitan area, along the river; Access to or from the villages by the river. This will ease the connection through the metropolitan area.
- assure connection with the European Green Belt. Travel long distances across Europe, through the Danube river.
6. Complete the 4th ring.
- deriving the heavy traffic away from the city core; The connection is interrupted only by the industrial area. It is far enough from the city to assure a good transit of the heavy trucks, releasing the traffic pressure from the central area.
- completing the network of rings; The network of rings is allowing an easy traffic, decongesting the actual routes. They will be used according to the functions needed.
7. Transform the train-station into an inter-modal node.
- move out of the city the maintenance, depo, and industrial; These lines are node needed anymore in the city, as the trends in other European cities is to move those lanes outside the city. These action will free a significant area for other uses.
- implement a Rapid Transit System (RTS); The Rapid Transit System is needed in two different levels. First at the city level, for the fast lane. Second, at the metropolitan area, to link satellite districts between them, or surrounding villages with Timisoara. And at a 3rd level, connecting Timisoara with the European Rapid Transit System. For this it will be needed another station, close to the actual train-station, because of straight lines regulations imposed by the fast speed.
- connection between train, car, RTS, tramway, bus (into and outside the city), taxi, ferryboat, bikes and pedestrian; The actual train-station will have a multi-layered structure, to link the north with the south. Two of the rings will cross above the train-station. In the close neighbourhood there will also be the harbour, that will connect the E-W axes, and also the car and the internal RTS on the fast lane.Tramways that are not in a bad shape, will be improved in the near future and will continue to be a good option to travelling across the city. The busses that are going outside the city will have their bussstation moved near the train-station. Taxies will also be there. Bikes and pedestrian areas are present in the urban fabric through their matrix.
- include services and commercial facilities. Services and commercial facilities will be included in the inter-modal node, to assure life beyond just the travelling needs. Also people will have to change means of travelling and also might have to wait for a period of time. Services and commercial functions are there to satisfy the needs of the ones who pass the station. These are also addressed to people that get here in a usual day, and create hobbits to have a coffee in the morning, or to eat there, or might want to do shopping before arriving to the final destination, and so on.
- connect the North and the South over the train station.
Green spaces give, in a way, the quality of life. It assures promenades, relaxation, provides healthier communities, strengths them, improves the quality of air, treats polluted water or polluted land. They have a lot more benefits. It is a certain thing we have to improve our existing green spaces and provide new ones in a well thought manner.
1. Extend green spaces
- reinforce the current green belt;
- transform the Bega river into a motor of public spaces; Starting from the Bega river, expand public spaces every not more than 300 meters, to provide points of interest for the pedestrian area and also to strengthen the community.
- ‘greening’ the cemeteries and creating path through them; Cemeteries occupy an important amount of land. Those are quite places with a specific charm. It will become a carbon emission filter for the neighbourhood and a pleasant place to walk in. It will be developed with much care and respect to the dead people. Access will be restricted during the night time.
- assure a network of green spaces; Connect green spaces between them.
- create a surrounding green belt that would act as a precise limit of the intravilan. The intravilan limit will become a 500 meters wide green belt. This will act as an action of densification.
- promote events in green spaces. Close the car traffic along the Bega river on Sunday.Have temporary cultural events in the central green belt to encourage people to express themselves and be informed in the middle of the community.
As virtually every part of the city grows, one piece remains fixed: the supply of land. That’s why we must use our space more efficiently to accommodate growth while preserving and enhancing the city’s quality of life. It is critical that we fiind ways to provide the residents with room to live, work, and play. We must create healthier and more transit-accessible communities by unlocking the potential of underutilized housing capacity, underutilized or unfinished parks and contaminated land. The initiatives to produce housing, create open space, and redevelop brownfields will ensure our growth is healthier and sustainable.
1. Emphasize the identity of the urban fabric.
- defining the urban fabric; Conclude how the radial structure meets the grid structure.
- preserve and improve existing qualities. Mediate the intersections between the two types of urban fabric. Create new connections to allow densification.
2. Adopt outdated buildings to new use and create landmarks.
- Emerge the atmosphere; Strengthen the special characteristics of the space.
- Bring water into the city; Evoke the old image of the city (a swamp) in a controlled and aesthetic manner, by canals.
- Add value to the space by relating to the special characteristics of the place. Preserve the valuable value of existing buildings, so that people will connect easier to the new created spaces. This will make them feel like they belong to that space and to that community.
3. Regulate mixed uses.
- combining different functions to keep places alive; It is a proven thing that without mixed use, places tend to have a ‘dead period’, a period of the day in which they are not used by anybody. This is not a good way of using a space or a building and we are trying to avoid this, and getting the best from that place or building.
- increasing densification inside the surrounding green belt;
- optimise densification to different areas; Specify exact areas where densification is appropriate and impose densification into those specific areas. In the areas that lower densification is the characteristic and value of the space, preserve these characteristics, as identity.
- adapt the new to the existing parameters. Contextualize new buildings to the existing built situation as much as possible, to assure homogeneity, densification, a clear image. Keep existing heights where the case calls for this. Also consider typologies.
5. Create a coherent image of the waterfront.
- consider the existing architectural value; Preserve existing values.
- use modulated buildings at the scale of the existing ones; Along the waterfronts, build modulated buildings. This will have as a module only the size, image and style will be designed case by case, in a free way of expressing diversity, identity and personality. They will include mixed functions and mixed social classes.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ASPECTS
After the communist period we had some difficult adaptation steps to do. Now, our society is almost prepared to accept another way of living. We now need to concentrate on giving a strong identity and strength the community. We need to live together without discriminations, to encourage the locally produced goods, to ensure the well being of the surrounding villages and of the city’s citizens. Also the process of urban planning needs public awareness and public participation.
1. Encourage local production through the surrounding villages or the surrounding Green Belt.
- providing incentives; Creating an agriculture market-place only for locally produced goods. Also give incentives to the people from the surrounding villages, if they come to sell their products in the city. The effects are: fair trade, new jobs, encouraging agriculture, biodiversity, healthier products, lower carbon emissions (due to elimination of product transportation from longer distances), and so on.
2. Implement urban planning awareness programs.
- create programs for the education system; Create partnerships with schools to show pupils what can mean public space for them. For smaller children do games that make the space better in a way they can feel this. Enhance to physical contact with the public space. Create tree planting programmes. For 5-8 grades, encourage exposition or other activities that would promote them. In this way they will feel that the public space is promoting them and would create a pleasant memory about public spaces in general. For students, do interdisciplinary, intercultural workshops about creating or adopting public spaces, to understand their importance.
- promote public participation; Inaugurate an urban planning office as a ‘store’ in a circulated place, close to the centre, where people could know about what is under discussion at that time and express their opinions.
- involving professionals. Involve different professionals in the decision making process regarding urban planning projects.
3. Encourage social diversity.
- mix different types of housing (social housing, middle class housing and luxurious) and uses. For the next 5 years, mix different types of housing in same areas, blocks, or even in the same buildings (e.g. the modulated buildings across the riverfront).