Environmental considerations in the architecture of urban spaces
Environmental problems have become an interdisciplinary concern. Many activities
interface between urban planning and environmental conservation and degradation,
therefore it is important indeed to pay attention to this field.
This thesis looks at the parameters and priorities taken into account in urban design
and their implications in the environmental performances of urban spaces. Architects, urban
planners, and landscape designers are dealing with largely pressures that influence or
determine the design and execution criterion in their works.
The interactions among the economic, social, and physical systems with environment
are complex. Urban designers should address new project towards sustainability and good
environmental quality. With this in mind, mental maps have been developed through
interviews, which determine the perception of these professionals about environmental
This research examines the environmental considerations and environmental tools
used in the design of urban spaces. Through two main sources of investigation, interviews
and observation of case studies, this work aims to identify which is the way of thinking of
architects about this topic and whether they transfer the existing environmental tools to
practice, to the real projects.
The interviews sought to understand how feasible and transferable to the practice
environmental theories and tools are. Key concepts, theories and methods from
architectural and urban environmental design were consulted and summarized in a Urban
Environmental Design Matrix (UEDM), compiling the most important variables concerning
the environmental quality in urban spaces.
The observation of case studies considers the design responses towards
environmental friendly projects, the discussion of the research outlines key indicators,
lessons learned, and the outstanding relevance of these projects to architects, and the way
they think and express about environmental considerations.
The result of this investigation is a new, convergent approach towards environmental
considerations in design that combines architectural / urban and environmental aspects,
from the ideological-theoretical perspective and the practical-empirical experience.