Site overview

Introduction.

     Do paths warrant serious design attention?
            Are paths critical to cities and the Earth as a whole?
Are paths the primary component of landscapes?
            Are paths like roads or bike paths?
            Why choose me as your walking guide?

 I. Why and where we walk and pause
     Meanings of path
            – Conceived, trod, constructed
            – Continuous empty tubes across the landscape

     An overall model of the walk/not-walk decision
          A hierarchy of human needs
          Our thinking shapes our paths
          Habitat theory: a primal brain modifies our path choices
          The ape in us seeks refuges and prospects [Example: Rousham]
 
     Resulting path attributes to design for:
           Safety
          Comfort
          Access to sun and shade
          The senses
               Viewing: cinema, sightlines, and viewsheds
               Hearing: murmurs, bangs, and traffic noise
               Smells, odors and perfumes
               Touchable closeness [Example: Manitoga]
  
    The importance of lingering
          Pedestrians demand details
          Edges and the edge effect
          Seating                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Standing and leaning
          Open spaces –their size
          Open spaces– their shape
          Walking/sitting conflicts
          How open are open spaces?
          Character of open spaces

II. 10 path types. 8 for walking
 
     Type 1: Destination Paths
     Intermediate Goals
         Enhancing destinations [Example: Blenheim Palace]
     Type 2: Strolling paths
          Personal or social
          Promenades and malls

Easy access, easy choices
          A world apart [Example: Japanese tea gardens]
          Time-sensitive paths
          Wholly pleasing venues
          Invitations to explore
     Type: Narrative Paths
          Path-story interactions
          Manipulating sequence or time [Example: The Vietnam War Memorial]
          Scaled sequencing
          Networks as narrative forms
          Path directionality [Example: Rousham]
          Narrative means to spirituality and community
     Type: Display paths
          Information and timing
          Narratives vs. databases [Examples: Botanical gardens]
     Type: Sacred paths
     Type: Perimeter paths
     Type: Exercise routes
     Type: Aesthetic paths [Example: Sissinghurst’s Yew Walk]
     Type: Hidden paths [Example: Maintenance paths]
     Type: Blocked paths
          Thwarting desire lines
          Obstacles and impediments
 
III. Wayfinding and orienting
          A major function of paths
     Aids to orientation
          – Early and often
          – Heightened visibility
          – Directional clarity
          – Signage
     Kinds of wayfinding
          Type: Relating to landmarks
          Type: Relating to datums and other referents
          Type: Sequential or route knowledge [Example: Asticou Azalea Garden]
          Type: Vectorial wayfinding
          Type: Relating to the Integration Core
               – Depth
               – Network intelligibility
          Type: Configurational wayfinding
     Aids to wayfinding
          – Re-duplication
          – Design hierarchy
          – Gender-appropriate signals
          – Levels of familiarity [Example: Manitoga]
 
IV. Paths in cross-section
 
     Ceilings
          Open skies and enclosed passages
     Treadways
          Surface/mass relations
          Embedded, attached, and detached surfaces
          Solid, open, and reflective surfaces
          Layered patterns
     Relative treadway elevations [Example: Manitoga]
          Above, at, and below grade
     Relative slopes
          Paths’ apparent speed
     Edges and verges
          Transverse changes
          Legible ambiguity
          Layered and raised edges
     Borders
          Two types
          Border roughness
          Zones of influence
      Designing illusions
          Overlap and vertical layers
          Light and shadow as volume
          Size and elevation
          Forced perspective [Example: Dumbarton Oaks]
          Atmospheric perspective
     Lengthening paths and the walking experience [Example: Rousham]
 
Movement along paths
     Path widths and hierarchy
     Walkway impediments
     Walkway traffic flow
          – Speeds on foot
          – Distances between walkers
          – Calculating path capacities
     Durations and distances of walks
 
V. Segments, nodes and networks
 
     Path segments, straight vs. curved
               Expressions of path direction
               Edges and centerlines
               Treadway planes and patterns
          Curvilinear paths
               Spirally curved walking
               Coordinated curves [Are paths like streams?]
               The length of curved paths
          Straightness, its meaning and impacts
               Old city paths vs. new
               The attraction of existing paths
               Wide if straight

     Nodes
          Intersections
               Forks
               Tees and crossings
               Stars and ronde-pointes
Landings
          Terminuses
          Exedras
          Intermediate nodes
          Gateways

     Nodes and networks
          – Network impacts on nodes
          – Inter-nodal impacts: The gravity model
          – Nodal impacts on networks

     Networks
          Open areas
          Line paths
          Spirals
          Loops
          Bi-nodal clusters
          Braiding [Example: Innisfree]
          Axes
          … Making the axis diagonal [Example: Naumkeag]
          … Bending the axis
          … Zigzagging the axis
          … Breaking the axis [Example: Eckbo in Denver]
          Grids, uniform and deformed [Example: Chelsea Physick Garden]
          Dendritic networks
          Optimal network forms [Example: Jekyll at Munstead Wood]

          Network Characteristics
               – Mesh size
               – Connectivity
               – Circuitry
               – Efficiency and redundancy
 
VI. Slope impacts

     How we cross slopes
          – Minimizing exertion [Example: Naumkeag]
     Ramps [Example: Switchbacks at Stourhead]
     Stairs
          – Risers and treads
          – Varying leg movement
          – Minimizing mental fatigue
          – Distractions in the steps and to the sides
          – Transitions to slopes

     Surface drainage
          Rules of thumb
          Handling downhill flows
          Natural surface trails
               – Erosion, compaction, and displacement
          Flat ground problems

     Ecological Impacts
          Potential harms of paths
               – On soil
               – On vegetation
               – On animals
               – On water
          Factors mitigating trail impacts
          Ecological benefits of paths
          The regional spatial solution
               – Timing of the regional pattern
               – Relating paths to the regional pattern [Example: Portland, Maine]
          Locating paths on-site Example: Manitoga]

VII. Designing paths
 
     Sequence
          Including paths from the start
          Considering regional contexts
          Assessing the Site
               – Route corridors and alternates
               – Focus on potential negative impacts
               – Concentrating or dispersing paths
          Management and maintenance [Several examples]
    
     Settings
          Walkable communities [Examples: Lucca, Italy, and Portland, Oregon]
          Reclaiming streets for pedestrians [Example: Woonerfs]
          Street crossings {Example: Poynton, England]
               Overpasses and tunnels [Example: Zurich]
          Alleys
          Mass parking lots
          Linear parks [Example: The High Line]
          Elder Housing
               – Attracting residents outdoors
          Campuses [Example: Albano, Sweden]
          Large-lot residences
               – Typical kinds of paths
          Rural Countryside
          Back Country
 
     Appendix: Treadway materials