What is a quarter?
The area in which you can walk, in which you will hopefully find a stop for a frequent public transport within the appropriate radius, an area with a few 1,000 to a few 10,000 inhabitants, in Vienna: a “Grätzl”. Quarters are arrangements of buildings with public and private space in between, the space that actually defines what is called a city, settlement or place. Residential quarters are those in which, when you leave the house, you can go outside, but at the same time get into the urban space and among the people. These include open spaces, parks, habitats for plants and animals, air corridors, vertical and horizontal green spaces on buildings, infrastructure such as workplaces and living in a good mix or a short distance from each other, shopping, health, all services …
And how do I move around the city?
The quarter as a meeting place for its users while they are on foot or using various means of transport. Here and there the concept of separating traffic flows has already been revised, turned into its opposite and formalized as a “meeting zone” under traffic law. Potential of the encounter zone … Praise to the “Gstettn”, the fallow land! “A place that can do nothing and therefore can do everything.” (Ulla Unzeit). A place whose meaning is invalid and has not yet been overwritten by any new interpretation or use.
Quarters already begin in the building: communal areas, ground floor zone
Experiences from the lockdown in spring 2020: what makes my immediate surroundings (more) livable? Balcony offensive. New living requirement “home office”.
Real estate development can be district development: what to do with unused properties that are simply ugly, are located in industrial areas, but are, for example, only 10 years old?
Sustainable supply in the neighborhood (= materials, food, water, air, energy). Urban farming in vacancy? (Interim use).
Are there “quarters” in rural areas?
Yes, but there they may be called town centers. In any case, the same characteristics or functional profiles can be observed as in urban quarters: moving in, moving out, commuting in, commuting out, infrastructure of all kinds, the absence or disappearance of important infrastructure. Regional structures in the country: the farmer as local supplier, the local employer, the trusted doctor in the locality, the social environment, the neighborhood help.
Are there any attempts to find measured values and concepts for rural areas analogous to the “2000 W” concept for urban quarters?
Viktor Bukovszki from ABUD Kft Budapest will share our Six lessons learned by considering social sustainability in plus-energy neighborhoods.