Others

25 pages
163 views

Hi Rise, I can see you! Planning and visibility assessment of high building development in Rotterdam

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 25
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Share
Description
West European cities like London, Paris, Rotterdam and Frankfurt am Main have seen impressive high-rise developments over the past two decades. The cities with a longstanding tradition of urban management, building regulations and zoning plans seem to feel the need for additional instruments to control the development of what is described by McNeill (2005) as an extremely complex spatial phenomenon . It was only after the emergence of a new type of high building development in the inner cities and suburban centres in the early 1990s that the image of high buildings started to change for the better, not just in the Netherlands but also throughout much of Europe. Even now, high buildings evoke emotions and provoke controversies. This has led them to develop policies for regulating the planning and construction of tall buildings, high-rise buildings and skyscrapers within their territory. This article presents a systematic approach for analysing the visual impact of high building development on a city and its surrounding region, using Rotterdam as a case study. This work is based on a previous analysis that included aspects such as architectural height, year of completion, location and functional use of high buildings in the city. It allowed us to compare the actual high building development with the urban policies in place. The showcase city of Rotterdam demonstrates that a considerable distance exists between policy and reality. The city struggles to deliver a consistent and integrated policy for high-rise urban areas, although the high building developments themselves seem to be ruled by a remarkable internal logic that is not fully recognised in policymaking. By studying the height and completion year, identifying the tall building cluster as it is perceived visually, and by conducting a GISc-based visibility analysis, it provides a context to tall building designs, making the assessment of individual projects more transparant and balanced, and removing some of the emotional elements that often enter into the discussions.
Transcript
  277 12.1 INTRODUCTION Western European cities like London, Paris, Rotterdam and Frankfurt am Main have seen im-pressive high building developments over the past two decades. This has led them to developpolicies for regulating the planning and construction of tall buildings, high-rise buildings andskyscrapers within their territory. So far, these high building developments and policies havereceived little attention from the academic community. This chapter elaborates a framework foranalysing high building development and the visual impact of high buildings on the surround-ing landscape with the city of Rotterdam as a Western European showcase. Itpresents a system-atic approach for analysing high building development in terms of architectural height, year of completion, location and functional use, for use in the comparison of existing buildings with theurban policies that are in place. Comprehensive GISc-based viewsheds were used to analyse the visibility of the high buildings, factoring in both meteorological circumstances and the verticalarea of the buildings. The showcase city of Rotterdam demonstrates that a considerable distanceexists between the vision and reality. The city struggles to deliver a consistent and integratedpolicy for high-building urban areas, while the high building developments themselves seem tobe ruled by a remarkable internal logic that is not fully recognised in policymaking.The impact of tall buildings, high-rises and skyscrapers on neighbourhoods, urban districtsand cities is widely acknowledged by architects, urban planners, politicians and developers all FRANK VAN DER HOEVEN, STEFFEN NIJHUIS HI RISE! I CAN SEE YOU PLANNING AND VISIBILITY ASSESSMENTOF HIGH BUILDING DEVELOPMENT INROTTERDAM  278 Hi Rise! I can see you. Planning and visibility assessment of high building development in Rotterdam over the world. The planning and construction of high buildings is not without controversy. Tallbuildings, high-rises and skyscrapers have the ability, like no other building typology, to polar-ise the public debate on architecture and the built environment, to evoke a sense of urban iden-tity or alienation, to represent the economic growth or decline of a city, and even to become thesymbolic target in armed conflicts or acts of terrorism.Concerns about the appropriateness of high buildings in the (urban) environment, the (iconic)quality of their architecture, and their impact on local real estate markets is increasingly reflect-ed in municipal and metropolitan policymaking. Prominent cities with a longstanding traditionof urban management, building regulations and zoning plans seem to feel the need for addi-tional instruments to control the development of what is described by McNeill as “an extremely complex spatial phenomenon” (McNeill, 2005). There is a tendency in the scientific literature,however, “… to neglect the substantial impact of skyscrapers on urban life. Yet the significanceof these buildings — in terms of height, levels of human occupancy, aesthetic impact and popu-lar representation and use — is in need of careful geographical interpretation” (McNeill, 2005).There are many terms that are used to address high buildings: tall buildings, high-rise buildingsand skyscrapers. Each of those terms has a specific means or connotation, depending on thecontext or the framework in which it is used. To avoid unnecessary confusion this chapter usesconsistently the term high buildings.The chapter starts with placing the developments in Rotterdam in its international context:Western Europe. It then describes the development of high buildings in Rotterdam and thecity’s successive high building policies. It describes in detail the analysis of the visual impact of Rotterdam’s buildings on the surrounding territory by means of GISc (Geographic InformationScience), before drawing conclusions on the same. 12.2 HIGH BUILDING DEVELOPMENT IN WESTERNEUROPE Within this context, this chapter presents an srcinal approach for analysing clusters of highbuildings. Rotterdam serves as a showcase. The city represents a prominent European highbuilding city that has a mature (already revised) high building policy in place. Rotterdam ispart of the Emporis Top 20 of European high building cities (Emporis, 2009), as one of only four Western European cities that made it onto this list: London, Paris, Rotterdam and Frank-furt am Main. The leading position of the city of Rotterdam is furthermore underscored by DEGW’s report on London’s Skyline, Views and High Buildings (DEGW, 2002) commissionedby the Greater London Authority. The London policy document uses the same four European  279 cities to compare established European practices of high buildings policymaking: London,Paris, Frankfurt and Rotterdam.There are many other cities worldwide with a substantial number of high buildings. Those inEurope, however, make up a special case. The development of tall buildings, high-rise build-ings and skyscrapers in Europe is embedded in a environment very different to that of America, Australia, Asia or the Arabian Peninsula. The European cities and their surrounding culturallandscapes have evolved gradually over centuries, if not millennia. Their built heritage, whennot ravaged by war, is substantial. The relatively slow pace of development, due to a moderateeconomic growth rate, provide the time that is necessary for careful consideration. The well-developed practice of local democracy allows for the involvement of many political parties,stakeholders and pressure groups in the decision-making process. Among them are organisa-tions and individuals that place strong emphasis on the importance of preserving the value andquality of the built heritage that was put in place by previous generations.High buildings have been controversial in the Netherlands for years, if not decades. In the1960s and 1970s, large modernist residential estates were planned and built in the outskirtsof many Dutch cities and towns. These buildings had a negative impact on the public opinion.It was only after the emergence of a new type of high building development in the inner citiesand suburban centres in the early 1990s that this image started to change for the better, not justin Holland but also throughout much of Europe (Sudjic, 2005). Even now, high buildings evokeemotions and provoke controversies (Taillandier, Namias and Pousse, 2009). Some citizens andpoliticians seem to reject tall buildings altogether, regardless of the quality of their design, theirposition in the city or their contribution to the skyline. On the other hand, various enthusiastsand interest groups seem to embrace each new development without much criticism, as longthe proposed building is higher than existing high buildings.These controversies may very well explain why a substantial number of towns and cities havefelt the need to regulate the planning and construction of this specific building type. Because allbuilding activities are regulated in the Netherlands, policy makers and civil servants need a sol-id framework that helps them to approve or disapprove a specific high building proposal. Thepolicy document that emerged in the Dutch context is called  Hoogbouwbeleid (High BuildingPolicy) or  Hoogbouwvisie (High Building Vision). The high buildings policies bear resemblanceto a number of policy documents recently produced in the United Kingdom and Germany: theGuidance on Tall Buildings by English Heritage and the UK Commission for Architecture andthe Built Environment (CABE and English Heritage, 2007), London’s Interim Strategic Plan-ning Guidance on Tall Buildings, Strategic Views and the Skyline in London (Mayor of London,2001), Birmingham’s Planning Policy Framework for Tall Buildings (Birmingham City Council,2003), the  Hochhausentwicklungsplan Frankfurt am Main ( Stadtplanungsamt Frankfurt am  280 Hi Rise! I can see you. Planning and visibility assessment of high building development in Rotterdam Main, 2008) and the  Hochhausentwicklung in Düsseldorf   Rahmenplan (  Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf, Stadtplanungsamt , 2004). In this chapter these policy documents are addressed as‘high buildings policies’.Height regulation is a key component of such policies. Height may be measured in many dif-ferent ways: architectural height, floor-to-ceiling height, floor-to-floor height, highest occupiedfloor height, main roof height, observation deck height, observation floor height, roof heightand tip height (Emporis, 2009).Because the architectural height is internationally considered to be the official height for pri-mary ranking purposes (Emporis, 2009) this article considers only the architectural height.The architectural height is defined as “the vertical elevation from the sidewalk level outside of its lowest exposed floorplate, to its highest architectural or integral structural element. Theseinclude fixed sculptures, decorative and architectural spires, ornamental fences, parapets,balustrades, decorative beacons, masonry chimneys, and all other architecturally integral ele-ments along with their pedestals” (Emporis, 2009). 12.3 HIGH BUILDING DEVELOPMENT IN ROTTERDAM Over the years, Rotterdam has carefully cultivated an image as a ‘city of architecture’. Historicarchitecture is not Rotterdam’s strong point. Few buildings were left standing after the bomb-ing and fire of May 1940, and most of those were modern buildings from the 1920s and 1930s.The city had to rebuild its centre from scratch. It seized this opportunity to experiment witharchitecture and urbanism, which is why the Rotterdam city centre now contains numerousmonuments and icons from the modern and modernist period, sometimes referred to as ‘recon-struction architecture’.Discussions about the appropriateness of high buildings did surface from time to time, butnever reached a climax, as they did in cities with historic centres. High buildings are now gen-erally accepted and most are concentrated in the city centre. While Rotterdam as a whole usesmodern and modernist architecture to promote itself, high buildings are an essential ingredientin the profile of the city centre: the skyline, including the famous Erasmus bridge, has become atrue icon of the city (Ulzen, 2007).Rotterdam’s semi-official history portrays a hundred-year prelude from the late nineteenthcentury, with the completion of the Witte Huis (1898; 42 metres) to the so-called ‘first wave’of high buildings in the mid-1980s. It suggests that at the beginning of the 21st century, thecity was on the verge of this ‘second wave’ of high buildings, which would feature super high
Related Documents
View more...
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks
SAVE OUR EARTH

We need your sign to support Project to invent "SMART AND CONTROLLABLE REFLECTIVE BALLOONS" to cover the Sun and Save Our Earth.

More details...

Sign Now!

We are very appreciated for your Prompt Action!

x