Plakat zum Vortrag

© AB Baugeschichte und Denkmalpflege


the urban genome - a universal toolkit for cities

von Hillel Schocken
16. Dezember 2016, 14.00 Uhr, SR 6

"There is something common to all successful urban places around the globe, regardless historical period: they are the most efficient environments for human survival, or "self Actualization", as they offer their inhabitants an unlimited potential of human interaction. In this sense, there is more in common between self-organized favelas and cities like Nice than there is between them and 20th Century planning "experiments", such as Brasilia or Milton Keynes. This common ground reflects the “genetic information” that characterizes successful urban places - the Urban Genome.

The Urban Genome can be decoded into a number of indicators. This lecture will highlight the three that seem to be the most important ones that, together, can serve as a “litmus paper test” for successful urbanism:

- Public Space Allocation per person (PSA) is the area of public space available per person in a study area; indicating the chances that people may enjoy mutual presence in public space;

- Network Density (ND) is the number of junctions in the network of public space; indicating the optional routes one might take from any point A to any point B. ND is key to ensure anonymity in public spaces;

- Average Destination Distance (ADD) is the average distance between public/private space gates, entrances from public space to specific destinations (homes, offices, shops, etc.); it indicates the “click” that transforms anonymity into interaction.

It will be demonstrated how the Urban Genome indicators can serve to analyze existing urban environments and plan successful new ones." 


Kurzvita Hillel Schocken

Hillel Schocken has been Principal at Schocken Architects since its establishment in 1978 leading projects in a large variety of building types and programs including Urban Planning, Museums, Educational facilities, Offices, Housing, Industry and Conservation. Prior to his obtaining his diploma of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London he earned a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. In parallel to his professional activity, Schocken is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the Azrieli School of Architecture at the Tel Aviv University and served as its director between 2004 and 2008. Throughout his career he has been teaching in Architecture schools throughout the country as well as abroad. Schocken is the author of an original urban theory that suggest common characteristics to all efficient urban environments and provide measurable urban indicators that can serve as a basic practical tool for the planning and design of successful urban environments. Schocken served on various juries for architectural competitions and prizes among which The Azrieli Prize for Urbanism of the Council for Beautiful Israel and the Emet Prize for The Arts, Sciences and Culture, Under the auspices of the Israeli Prime Minister’s office. Schocken is a member of the Council for Engineering and Architecture at the Israel Ministry of the Economy and is among the founders of MIU – Movement for Israeli Urbanism and its Mayor’s Institute.