Liveable streets in the context of East and West: a new perspective

Mandhar, Manish and Watt, Kathleen (2011) Liveable streets in the context of East and West: a new perspective. Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, 5 (6). pp. 553-566. ISSN 1833-1874

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"Liveability" is commonly treated as a universal concept and cities around the world are being judged in accordance with universal criteria. The aim of this paper is to provide a critique of Western notions of liveability, especially those underpinning international city benchmarking exercises. Despite being represented as universal, performance indicators in these rankings are actually socially-constructed, rely heavily on Western values and standards of living and are inherently biased in favour of Western cities. A city's liveability is largely judged by quantitative measures that are statistically driven with little scope for comprehending the quality of cities or streets in other ways. This view of liveability pays little attention to the qualitative aspects of the street, particularly the relationship between the street and its users. The paper argues that there is a close relationship between a liveable city and the vitality of its streets, since a city will be liveable only if its streets are liveable. Eastern streets are inclusive, multicultural, socially cohesive, economically-vibrant and full of life. In our view these are qualities that make them more worthy of the term "liveable" than Western streets. Included in the paper is a comparative analysis of Eastern and Western streets to show that the activities and street life that many Western authors aspire to already exists in the East. We believe a new perspective is needed that acknowledges liveability as a relative, even subjective, concept that can only be evaluated using qualitative forms of assessment. © Common Ground, Manish Mandhar, Kathleen Watt, All Rights Reserved.

Additional Information:Liveable streets in the context of East and West: a new perspective
Keywords:Liveability, Liveable City, East, West
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K440 Urban studies
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
Relation typeTarget identifier
ID Code:7901
Deposited On:08 Mar 2013 20:03

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