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Hexcity

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#1
INTRODUCTION

Hi there good people. I wanted to share an idea with you. As a new member i cant post url for a while so please google out to find the HEXCITY website or see below for a glimps of the plan. As I said before Im not a planner and a lot of the website documents the project using layman's terms.

For those who like to point out what has been done before (100 years exacly), thanks, I have been made aware that hexagonal planning has been seen before - however, not yet implemented. And this is baffling to me. Why a better design cant be implemented? Why are we not learning from good theoretical examples?

Looking at the article Hexagonal Planning in Theory and Practice, by Eran Ben-Josephand David Gordon, and compared it with my design, I can say that HEXCITY exceedes these plans. And some of these original 100 year old plans exceede anything know to man. So I feel im on to something.

HEXCITY

Hex City, also know as Hexagonal Town, is an example of town planning that aims to better serve new and developing cities in the areas of transport, environment, community and connectivity.

Combining the grid plan (typical of New York) with a radial system (typical of Paris), Hex City is a network of large hexagonal zones outlined by arterial roads.

Distilled to its bear minimum, the design is based on three main ideas.

The first idea separates the freeway system from the fabric of local roads and creating a one-way freeway suitable for longer journeys. Shorter journeys are more accessible by bicycle or on foot than by car, thus reducing the convenience of the car to go to the post office. The lack of through traffic and convenience-car-dependancy allowed the residential zones to do without signals too and improve the community as a whole.

Secondly and by far the main ideological shift people are faced with is decentralizing the city centre over a multitude of centers, referred to as nodes. Re-distribute centers of interest and you reduce congestion. The benefit is two fold, people live nearer nodes A and B and traveling to C D E F G H I and J is, quite literally, only a bike ride across the park.

Finally, the whole systems relies on a balance archived by strategic zoning. With an ambitious 50% of land designated as woodland, farmland and recreational land, the design contributes to the environmental aspect of cities and the quality of life of individuals. These huge hexagonal parks, surrounded by six residential areas and six commercial nodes, take centre stage in the cities identity. They differentiate Hex City from existing cities or previous hexagonal town designs and pave the way for new, sustainable, environmentally conscious cities.

Hex City, or any derivative plans that might developed from these ideas, could help model a new era in regional planning. Gone are the days of boldness and the brilliance and magic that comes from such movements. Yet more and more do we see an expensive, quick fix solution to congestion. We can now prevent this from happening. Solutions only come out of understanding the problem, not other known solutions. And as this example promises, one need not be a planner to find solutions.



THE URL IS NOW IN MY PROFILE
 
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Luca

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#2
Among other considerations:

- why are the commercial / productive and reisdential zones so strictly separated
- what if the necessary amlunt of commercial / productive area is considerably greater / less than the amount resulting from 'pure' geometry?
- the residential 'pods' are strung along a fairly linear strip, that makes visiting another aprt of towna much longer than encessary trip? I guess the ratio of parkland to town seems quite exaggerated, a bit like Corbu's 'radiant city', it's not a city at all, more like an edge city.
 
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#3
comments returned

Thanks for your comments, this is the first comment I have recieved from a planner. Im chuffed.

why are the commercial / productive and reisdential zones so strictly separated?
I guess they dont have to be. I will make that clearer on the site documentation. I favour family run businesses, they are encouraged to operate in the residential areas.

what if the necessary amlunt of commercial / productive area is considerably greater / less than the amount resulting from 'pure' geometry?
good question, i never thought about that. Bend the rules, ocupy part of the residential area adjacent to the industrial area.

the residential 'pods' are strung along a fairly linear strip, that makes visiting another aprt of towna much longer than encessary trip?
This is kind of a relative question, right. Distance over speed. The fact that it is further away does not mean that it takes more time. We improve the transport system by thinning out the city. Is that a bad thing? I guess it is.

I guess the ratio of parkland to town seems quite exaggerated, a bit like Corbu's 'radiant city', it's not a city at all, more like an edge city.
Thanks, I hadnt hear of Radiant City

Food for thought: New reading material:
http://www.infoclub.com.np/lifestyle/people/a&e/corb.htm (last paragraph)
http://www.architecture.ca/planningarchitecture/document/document3.html
 

Luca

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#4
exhibition1st said:
Thanks for your comments, this is the first comment I have recieved from a planner. Im chuffed.
Not a planner, just an interested amateur like you
 

Suburb Repairman

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#5
This reminds me a lot of the Radiant City by LeCorbusier (French Planner). From the look of what you posted, your design is very similar to his minus the archologies (les unites) and heavy emphasis on open space preservation. Based on the pattern you show, the roads will remain ground level unlike his and you won't have all of your needs met within a single-building as he described.

Come to think, it seems much like a very geometric hybrid of Mumford's Garden City and LeCorbesier's Radiant City.

Are the people in the residential pods supposed to find all of what they need (work, goods & services, etc.) in the adjacent commercial nodes? Luca also makes a good point that geometry can limit your abilities to provide all of the commercial services necessary for the residential pods.
 
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#6
I don't think that putting a commercial district inside a roundabout is a very smart idea... a roundabout is not very pedestrian friendly...unless you make overpasses or underpasses, both solutions that are not the optimal. Of course the optimal is an onlevel pass, which is hardly an option in a roundabout.
 

jordanb

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#7
Geometry in city design is a very 18-19th century concept. For reasons others have noted, it's fallen out of favor.

Interestingly, the only geometric figure that became widely implemented is the one never advocated by planners (because it isn't beautiful and doesn't facilitate transportation like other shapes), the rectangle. The rectangle was the product of the necessities of 19th century surveyers who found it much easier to survey straight lines and right angles, and of real-estate developers who liked the uniformity in lot specification as well as the efficient creation of frontage it allowed.
 
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#8
Just a short question, have you given any thought as to what building such a city would cost? All this park space is going to be expensive and not necessarily valuable.
jordanb said:
Geometry in city design is a very 18-19th century concept. For reasons others have noted, it's fallen out of favor.

Interestingly, the only geometric figure that became widely implemented is the one never advocated by planners (because it isn't beautiful and doesn't facilitate transportation like other shapes), the rectangle. The rectangle was the product of the necessities of 19th century surveyers who found it much easier to survey straight lines and right angles, and of real-estate developers who liked the uniformity in lot specification as well as the efficient creation of frontage it allowed.
Rectangular cities are also a lot easier for orientation, so it's not just a big surveyor conspiracy.
 

jordanb

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#9
I use as my source Donald Miller's history of Chicago City of the Century where he writes on page 81 and 82 that Chicago, like all western American cities was gridded "because it was the easiest way to survey and divide land for quick sale and profit."
 

abrowne

     
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#10
I've only had time for a cursory glance but so far it would seem you are designing a transportation network rather than a city. The soul of a deceased transportation engineer rides within you.

Given that you have invested in this form I won't at this time suggest alternative ideas with exception of this: consider swapping the locations of the settlements and the green spaces, so you have rings of green rather than blobs of green. This might create a bit more of an actual settlement rather than disparate parts. Further, have you given any thought to scale?

The one-way road system is also a bit... well, its elaborate. I'm not sure this level of ordered complexity has much on offer, though, besides its complexity.

While utopian and [somewhat] romantic and interesting to think about, I'm not sure at all that the decentralized city is a desirable goal in and of itself. I think it would effectively sever the person from his or her surroundings. What sort of connotations spring to your mind when you use the word centralized? Are they negative?

jordanb said:
I use as my source Donald Miller's history of Chicago City of the Century where he writes on page 81 and 82 that Chicago, like all western American cities was gridded "because it was the easiest way to survey and divide land for quick sale and profit."
Agreed. "Simple" navigation grew from the grid system, not the other way around.
 
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#12
jaws said:
Just a short question, have you given any thought as to what building such a city would cost? All this park space is going to be expensive and not necessarily valuable.

Rectangular cities are also a lot easier for orientation, so it's not just a big surveyor conspiracy.
Are you kidding me, parks not valuable!!?? The plan is for new cities. The parks / woodlands are already there. They are free. The pan is to keep them.

The growth of the city will be as natural of that of a village to a town to a city. We build on demand... in allocated zones.

The arterial roads are at a higher level than the adjoining land. Underpasses are dotted along the way. Only near the roundabout is the road completerlly elevated, by colums, allowing people to travel under them with ease. The Roundabout are as big as they need to be. As a guide, imagine a 1km diameter.

First i want to thank you all for your comment so far. Its really intersting for me to see what other issues are. Please keep this up. Appart for a lack of understanding of the project, the clarity of my documentation, and different ideology, I dont see anything condeming this model. Granted that the effectiveness of the transport system has not been tested.

SkeLeton said:
I don't think that putting a commercial district inside a roundabout is a very smart idea... a roundabout is not very pedestrian friendly...
The arterial roads are at a higher level than the adjoining land. Underpasses are dotted along the way. Only near the roundabout is the road completerlly elevated, by colums, allowing people to travel under them with ease. The Roundabout are as big as they need to be. As a guide, imagine a 1km diameter. I guess they look a little small on this image.
http://www.ex1st.com/hexcity/images/h-innerpeople.jpg

Whats a good ratio commercail and industrial to residential?

abrowne said:
Consider swapping the locations of the settlements and the green spaces, so you have rings of green rather than blobs of green. This might create a bit more of an actual settlement rather than disparate parts. Further, have you given any thought to scale?
My reason for putting the grass in the middle was to avoid island, isolated communities. The plan connects communities to others via the commercail centre. http://www.ex1st.com/hexcity/community.html

abrowne said:
The one-way road system is also a bit... well, its elaborate. I'm not sure this level of ordered complexity has much on offer, though, besides its complexity.
No traffic lights, no congestion, no gridlock - the geometry was a result, not the initial idea of this design. This one way hexagonal design with roundabouts and slip roads looks like best solution to me. People thought using computers was complex and foreigh process. We have to move forward.


abrowne said:
While utopian and [somewhat] romantic and interesting to think about, I'm not sure at all that the decentralized city is a desirable goal in and of itself. I think it would effectively sever the person from his or her surroundings. What sort of connotations spring to your mind when you use the word centralized? Are they negative?
There are many centers. Some will be more popular for services, others tourism and leisure, other for retail, others for learning, others for business. The danger of centralization is everyone wanting the same space, and everyone going to the same place. If there were a centre in this city, it would be a park, perhaps the first one built, sorrounded by the most active commercail centers in the whole of the city.
I guess im also interested in regaining ownership of my center. I dont want my neighbour hood brought down by wallmart. If I start a business, I dont want to be financially excluded from my commercail centers. It makes things fair.

abrowne said:
Agreed. "Simple" navigation grew from the grid system, not the other way around.
If so why not give it a try - its never been implemented. People can navigate chaotic cities jsut as well.
 
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jordanb

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#13
exhibition1st said:
The arterial roads are at a higher level than the adjoining land. Underpasses are dotted along the way. Only near the roundabout is the road completerlly elevated, by colums, allowing people to travel under them with ease. Only near the roundabout is the road completerlly elevated, by colums, allowing people to travel under them with ease. The Roundabout are as big as they need to be. As a guide, imagine a 1km diameter. I guess they look a little small on this image.
http://www.ex1st.com/hexcity/images/h-innerpeople.jpg
Elevated roadways tend not to be pedestrian friendly. Yes, they keep the cars seperated from the people, but the cost is that the people are left to scurry around concrete ratholes below the cars.


exhibition1st said:
Whats a good ratio commercail and industrial to residential?
That question is impossible to answer and depends on so many local issues. That's why modern city planning is flexible, to adapt to the needs of the community.

exhibition1st said:
No traffic lights, no congestion, no gridlock - the geometry was a result, not the initial idea of this design. This one way hexagonal design with roundabouts and slip roads looks like best solution to me. People thought using computers was complex and foreigh process. We have to move forward.
Traffic engineers have been designing road systems in an effort to eliminate congestion and gridlock for decades. From what I've seen, Japanese expressways tend to be pretty small (and you should be thankful for that) but in America, they've constructed vast stretches of gently curving and swaying, traffic-light free concrete. And yet, on any given rush hour even the most massive and elegant expressway system grinds into congestion.

exhibition1st said:
If so why not give it a try - its never been implemented. People can navigate chaotic cities jsut as well.
Well, a city is a massive thing. Probably the greatest thing we as people can collectively build. If you were designing a new toaster, you could say "give it a try" or even to some extend, you could say "give it a try" if you were designing a new type of building, or a new airplane. But the city is a type of thing where one aught to tread lightly, and the cost of "giving it a try" is often very, very great.

One thing that I would recommend you do is research the history of planning for a bit. Try reading some of the various theories, and the various successes and failures, especially those in mid-century American cities. Also I would recommend that you give the famous book by Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American CIties a look. Not because Mrs. Jacobs is right about everything (or even most things) but because you seem to have a lack of understanding of the difficulties of the issues you face and her book will perhaps open your eyes to true the complexity of the city.
 
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#14
jordanb said:
Elevated roadways tend not to be pedestrian friendly. Yes, they keep the cars seperated from the people, but the cost is that the people are left to scurry around concrete ratholes below the cars.
Is that not a design issue that can be solved? I imagine that a 4m wide tunnel that passes under 10m of highway will cause a negative effect. But a 20m span/wide bridge, that one can cycle under, party under, that forms the entrance to a massive park... couldnt be more inviting. You stand from the residential side, look through the vast opening into a green forest. I see it as a portal into another world not a dead end rat hole

jordanb said:
That question is impossible to answer and depends on so many local issues. That's why modern city planning is flexible, to adapt to the needs of the community.
Thanks i will bear this in mind when revising the plan.


jordanb said:
Traffic engineers have been designing road systems in an effort to eliminate congestion and gridlock for decades. From what I've seen, Japanese expressways tend to be pretty small (and you should be thankful for that) but in America, they've constructed vast stretches of gently curving and swaying, traffic-light free concrete. And yet, on any given rush hour even the most massive and elegant expressway system grinds into congestion.
Perhaps his is due to the need to travel east on the ONLY highway going east... creating a bottle neck. The HexCity design you can travel around any congestion areas, via longer routes. Granted more roads dont soleve the problem, smart roads would. Smart roads that encourage the people to use of trains that conviniently surface at residential areas only, servicing two commercial areas per station.

Perhaps this is due to a centralised city were people want to travel TO and FROM the same point as everybody else. In HexCity, the lack of a unique centre might resolve this issue. The quality of residential land (by that I mean the proximity to nature) is equal all over the city. People, I hope, would rather live closer to work... lets give them road tax breaks. Lets focus on these issues.

jordanb said:
Well, a city is a massive thing. Probably the greatest thing we as people can collectively build. If you were designing a new toaster, you could say "give it a try" or even to some extend, you could say "give it a try" if you were designing a new type of building, or a new airplane. But the city is a type of thing where one aught to tread lightly, and the cost of "giving it a try" is often very, very great.
Absolutely, but we cant stop being resourcefull and bold. This design is only possible as a new city, that grows from 1 hexagon to 7 hexagons... then to 19 hexagons. Perhaps then it is considered a failure and the huge parks can take the load... roads can be build though them, populated with all sorts of things. The risk is not that high. I dont propose to open a brand new city of 100,000 population. If the things works it will grow like a normal city would but with fantastic featuress that will make it successfull. But like most of my arguments, I dont know what will happen, neither do you, but you have abetter idea than me. Which is why I appreciuate your comments, recommendations and further refernces so much. : ) I will read that book... and try to contact her.

Thanks again, this is a very enjoyable debate.
 

Tide

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#15
I have finally had a chance to view your webpage and designs. In concept, like has been stated already, it is very Lecorbu 19th century city in the parks design. I also am at work and cannot give this concept the thoguht it deserves. However, I will tell you the first few thoughts that came to mind.

"This isn't simcity, you cannot lay a perfect grid like this"
"There is a severe lack of housing choices (mostly larger single family DUs)"
"There must be a lot of traffic noise along the arterials"
"This model, like many economic models, fails to incorporate environmental constraints and terrain into it's concept"

That last issue, how this is just a flat featureless plane is what makes this plan inconcieveable. Just by throwing a lake, river, major slope into the mix will change your design and one kink in the design and it does not work as it was intended because modal choices are then compromised which will lead to a disportionate level of say residences to services to job availability.
 
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#16
Thanks for finding some time to look into this.

Tide said:
"This isn't simcity, you cannot lay a perfect grid like this"
"This model, like many economic models, fails to incorporate environmental constraints and terrain into it's concept"
I would like to forward your attention to this page http://www.ex1st.com/hexcity/flexible.html which explains how to accomodate geographical features.

Could you elaborate on the following issues you raised, I dont understand them completely or fail to see the problem.

Tide said:
...disportionate level of say residences to services to job availability.
...severe lack of housing choices (mostly larger single family DUs)
...lot of traffic noise along the arterials
 

nerudite

     
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#17
This city would have an insane amount of taxes to support all of the park space maintenance and all of the infrastructure. There are too many roads without enough uses to support their on-going maintenance (or to make it economically viable to build in the first place). I think the costs would keep an idea like this from ever happening.
 

NHPlanner

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#18
nerudite said:
This city would have an insane amount of taxes to support all of the park space maintenance and all of the infrastructure. There are too many roads without enough uses to support their on-going maintenance (or to make it economically viable to build in the first place). I think the costs would keep an idea like this from ever happening.
Well put. Nice "theory" but would never fly in a politicized, topographic, real world situation.
 

Tide

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#19
*Warning* my math is a little rusty, but I have deduced that the area of one of your residential hexagons (on the smaller side) is 0.96 miles (correct me if I'm wrong). And you state that such a smaller hexagon (.5km by 1km) would suit about 25,000 people. That means your average density is 26,000+/mile. Is that true? If so that is outrageous! You could never accomodate that density in anything but sky high flats.
 

jordanb

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#20
^-- I gotta disagree there. The two and threeflat districts of Chicago approach 20,000 ppsm. Go with Parisian-style six story buildings and you can accommodate well past 26,000 ppsm with ease.

(BTW: IIRC, the highrise districts of Chicago are somewhere around 90,000 ppsm, and manhattan has districts that approach 200,000 ppsm.)
 
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