Seven Planning Principles for Successful Community Design

Seven Planning Principles for Successful Community Design

By: Jack Bialosky, Jr., AIA, LEED AP   |   @bialosky_arch

Bialosky ClevelandWe asked Jack Bialosky, Jr., AIA, LEED AP, Senior Principal of Bialosky Cleveland to discuss the Seven Planning Principles his firm uses for successful community design. Want to dig deeper? Join us on Wednesday, July 20 at 2 p.m. EST for a free webinar featuring Jack and his colleague David W. Craun, AIA, LEED AP. Principal and Director of Design at Bialosky Cleveland.

Bialosky Cleveland follows seven basic planning principles for community design that we believe apply to all types and all sizes of our projects – from residential to institutional – interior to urban planning. These principles, we believe, help stage a safe pedestrian environment that encourages community interaction and create the sense of place that so many spaces are missing.

1. THE GRID: Regardless of specific form and geometry, spaces should be laid out in a network of pathways to maximize interconnection. This network should follow a hierarchy of primary, secondary and tertiary movements that are defined by the importance of spaces that they connect and the necessary volume that they permit. Read More.

2. SMALL BLOCKS: Individual and collective spaces should be scaled down in such a way as to allow the most convenient access. With a priority always to the pedestrian – the distance between entries and pathways should be limited to encourage maximum circulation with minimum effort. Read More.

3. NO BACKS: Blank walls, limited use zones, and other inhospitable spaces should be avoided in order to promote a safe environment. When these spaces are necessary, due to program requirements, they should be tied to other programmatic uses to stay active and maximize visibility. Read More.

4. ON FOOT: The experience of a place should be defined equally by the entry and approach as well as the arrival. If primary access to a space is by automobile, the experience starts when one steps out of their door and the sequence from parking, or other modes of transportation, to final destination should be convenient to and from as many pathways as possible and choreographed to maximize the pedestrian experience. Read More.

5. TO DWELL: Sidewalk and corridor environments are as much for dwelling as they are for passage and should be places that encourage interaction, collaboration and restoration. The design of lighting, vegetation and furniture all play a key role in allowing indoor and outdoor passages to become places of gathering by making safe, comfortable and convenient spaces. Read More.

6. MIXED UP: The right programmatic blend of uses and the way in which the functions interact should set the stage for a dynamic community environment. The placement and design of vertical and horizontal circulation along with key parings of complementary program uses and cross utilization opportunities should all be taken into consideration in order to create an active place for community to thrive. Read More.

7. SIMPLIFY: Design should be clear, understandable and beautiful – especially public space in order to create a sense of comfort and harmony for the community. Charlie Mingus once said that “Anyone can make the simple complicated; creativity is making the complicated simple.” Read More.

About the Author: 

Jack Bialosky, Jr.Jack Alan Bialosky, Jr., AIA, leads one of the region’s most successful and collaborative architecture firms, as the Senior Principal of Bialosky Cleveland, an AIA Ohio Gold Medal Firm. His success is evidenced by the firm’s many awards and recognitions for excellence in design and honoring practice management, growth, workplace environment, and culture.

After completing his education at Yale and beginning his career in Boston, Jack returned to Cleveland in 1986 to practice at the firm his father founded in 1953. Jack serves as the chair of the Downtown Design Review Committee advocating for high-quality design in Cleveland’s resurgent downtown core. Additionally, Jack serves on the Cleveland Municipal School District Bond Accountability Commission, and the GCRTA’s Art and Transit Committee. A leader in the profession, he is the 2016 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cleveland Chapter Board President and received the 2015 AIA Ohio Mentorship Award for raising a new generation of architects who are leaders in both their workplaces and communities at large.

About the Firm: 

Bialosky ClevelandBialosky Cleveland is one of the region’s most successful architectural design firms, as evidenced by awards that honor the firm’s practice management, design excellence and commitment to community. The multi-disciplinary firm has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects as an AIA Ohio Gold Medal Firm, the highest honor awarded by its peers, in recognition of great depth and breadth, a collaborative environment, and having a cumulative effect on the profession over a substantial period of time.


About the Author

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