Urban permeability

Urban permeability- on plants and plinths

2013-2014, tutor: Donald van Dansik, Academie van Bowukunst Amsterdam, Sanda Lenzholzer, student: Veronika Kovacsova

Urban permeability is introduced as an influencer of human comfort in urban spaces. On one hand open, breathing, absorbing and cooling green spaces in cities, on the other hand accessible, inclusive and lively ground floors of buildings, both types acting as catalysts of social interaction. Two totally different areas in Bratislava are compared: a dense historical centre (Old Town) with scarce porous spaces and a vibrant social citylife and a 1970s prefab mass-housing neighbourhood (Petrzalka) with an excess of unused greenery, and a limited offer of vibrant public spaces. The aim of this project is to show how these two neighbourhoods can reinforce themselves and to investigate and identify measurements that can be taken to fix the missing social and microclimatological links in their urban fabric.
Both neighbourhoods have a similar density of inhabitants, but their urban fabric is totally different. Only 6% of the total surface of Old Town is open and green, and the dominant non-permeable surface area is supporting the development of the urban heat island effect. Petrzalka, on contrary, has a high amount of ground vegetation (about 66%), open corridors for fresh air to enter, but a deteriorating public life due to large distances between buildings, disorientated planning and marginal social functions on ground level for people to pass by and meet. Please find the MLA thesis here.