Reading Summary

Reading Summary














Reading Summary

The Neighborhood Unit

The term neighborhood has been used in the article to refer to a family-life community structure that meets universally accepted needs of a community by performing similar function in such a setting. Neighborhoods are distinct in nature in that they possess unique aspects of unity that are devoid of any political affiliations or activity. The unifying factors are mainly in the form of physical, economic and social nature. In the neighborhoods, there are entities that can be termed as political and take the form of villages, towns, cities and counties. They form suitable regions for regional planning and areas for people to live without being subject to specific government conditions.

A neighborhood during the initial stages of developed is usually seen as an embodiment of a set of beliefs and values. It may be termed as a whole unit as well as a subset of an entire system. To be provided with basic services such as sewerage systems, water, and security as provided by security agencies, the achievement of such services is reliant by the efficiency of administration of local municipalities. Residential areas have distinct and well-arranged facilities that serve specific functions in the lives of local community residents they are classified by the author as, an elementary institution, small parks with playgrounds, local shopping outlets and a residential environment.

Guardians or parents usually have an interest in systems of public schools within a given community given that they attach their concerns to the institutions that they children attend. In addition, they also have a particular interest in the playing areas that their children frequent to play and interact with other children in their formative ages. As a form the small shopping outlets, the main concerns of residents is that should be accessible but not proximal or adjacent to their homes. In addition, such outlets should also provide the residents with diversity n terms of items that they occasionally or frequently use in their households.

The article also takes note of the term residential environment to refer to the architecture quality in terms of layout o the houses, vegetation around the homes and other amenities, and the basic arrangement and setback of buildings and other structures within a given resident area. This is the basic design and structural elements that are used towards developing the environment of a home to make up its external atmosphere that gives it its character. People select resident areas or homes that reflect individual personality. The environment a given residential area illustrates the individual values of a person, as they normally want to be associated with the area and its various structural designs (Perry et al., 1933).

The article also takes note that a neighborhood usually has a unit of principles to fit its unique character, style and set of values. The author notes that such principles include boundaries, size, open spaces, institution sites, local shops and an internal street system.

  1. Boundaries: the residential until and its boundaries should be within all its arterial streets and should facilitate easy movement of traffic into and out of the residential unit.
  2. Size: the size of a given residential unit should reflect the population density to include facilities such as an elementary unit.
  • Open spaces: these are formed by recreational spaces such as parks and are developed with an aim of meeting of a given neighborhood.
  1. Institution sites: they form an integral part of neighborhoods. They are developed with an aim of providing educational services by coinciding with the limits of a residential unit. They are located in the central point of a residential area or neighborhood.
  2. Local shops: developed to meet the shopping needs of customers or residents within a given residential unit. They should be developed with respect to the circumference of a residential unit especially in traffic junctions or in adjoining locations with other neighborhoods.
  3. Internal street system: each residential unit should be provided with a street system to ensure optimization in accommodation of traffic load and to facilitate easy movement of traffic into and out of the residential unit.

City Of Tomorrow and Its Planning

The author used architectural synthesis and technical analyses to develop a scheme for a proposed contemporary city that would be home to more than three million inhabitants. The author notes that he developed the contemporary plan to provide solutions to the country by developing a city that was based on the primary principles of planning for modern urban centers (Le, & Etchells, 1971). The author notes that he used the following as the principles of developing the plan for the urban centre:

  1. Site

The author notes that the proposed location was a flat location that would enable expansion and provide immediate solutions for increasing the number of inhabitants as well as to any forthcoming traffic problems.

  1. Population

The author notes that the developed plan was influenced by the type of dwellers who were targeted by the urban setting. A contemporary setting would suit the needs of a middle-income population. Thus, it is clear that the type of residential unit design is influenced by the targeted inhabitants for a proposed plan. The population of the inhabitants of the city was further divided into three primary categories namely:

  1. Citizens who lived and worked within the city
  2. Suburban dwellers who live in the outskirts of the city but work in the industrial or office settings around or within the city
  3. Mixed dwellers, who the author defined as individuals working in the various business segments of the city but live in the outskirts of the city

Planning is important as provided by the author, as it gives the urban setting with a business and residential location for the differing segments of the population (Le, & Etchells, 1971). In addition, it designates an industrial setting within which capital-intensive projects can be undertaken to provide people with employment. Moreover, it ensures that movement and transport of all population is enhanced and made efficient to optimize productivity for the inhabitants of the city.

The density of the population also influences the planning and design style of a proposed city as in this case. It provides avenues for the city to accommodate the growth in terms of population increase and develop of new structures in both residential and industrial settings. Enhanced movement and traffic flow is provided by developing expansive city streets and highways that may accommodate expansive road projects to take up an increase in the number of users on the city roads (Le, & Etchells, 1971).

Locations as provided by the author, garden estates, industrial parks, playfields and parks, educational settings, and enhanced street settings are important foe ensuring augmentation of movement of persons from one location to another (Le, & Etchells, 1971). In addition, it also provides avenues to ensure that decongestion is achieved and space is optimized.




Le, C., & Etchells, F. (1971). The city of tomorrow and its planning. London: Architectural Press.

Perry, C. A., Morrow, C. E., Regional Plan Association (New York, N.Y.), & Russell Sage Foundation. (1933). The rebuilding of blighted areas: A study of the neighborhood unit in replanning and plot assemblage. New York, N.Y: Regional Plan Association, Inc.



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