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Editorial Notes

Golden Spiral City – A Concept

spiral header

In geometry a golden spiral is a logarithmic spiral whose growth factor is related to the golden ratio. A golden spiral gets wider by a factor of φ for every quarter turn that it makes.

The golden ratio is found all throughout nature, in plants, animals and even in the human body. One of the most common examples of the golden spiral in nature is the shell of the Nautilus. Artists and architects have used it to proportion their works, in architecture the the golden rectangle, where in the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is based off of the golden ratio has been used for centuries. Notable examples include Michealangelo’s works, classical Greek temples and the Great Mosque of Kairouan. Le Corbusier utilized its proportions for his modulor system.

The Golden Spiral Plan

The Golden Spiral City plan utilizes, cycle paths and pedestrian greenways, canals, a light rail transit network, a street network and a major urban boulevard for access to the central core. As one approaches the city centre the block sizes get smaller and densities increase. The cycle paths and pedestrian greenways are shown in green, the Light Rail Transit network in red. The blue indicates the canal network, the light black the street network and the dark black shows the graceful curve of the boulevard into the central area.

Street Diagram Curved Major Road Colour

Canal Diagram 120 Large Colour no scale

Street Diagram Pedestrian Intersection Colour no scaleThe cycle paths and pedestrian greenways allow residents to use active transportation to move through the city. Providing an extensive network of seperated bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways. These routes also create a series of linear parks that thread through the city leading to larger green spaces at the intersection of the pedestrian routes.

In order to keep these paths active and safe they are designed with lane-way style housing and studio spaces. This achieves two goals, by keeping eyes on the street the pedestrian network doesn’t become a dangerous place after dark by insuring that there will be traffic from residents. These types of housing and studio spaces are also intended to keep the selection of  rental spaces diverse and accessible.

Discussion

3 Responses to “Golden Spiral City – A Concept”

  1. Interesting – I’m a student of linguistics who also likes architecture and design and after going on a walk and finding a pinecone I decided to get down to brass tacks and actually understand how the fibonacci sequence/ golden ratio actually works.

    After reading this site for a while (it’s very good):
    http://www.maths.surrey.ac.uk/hosted-sites/R.Knott/Fibonacci/fibnat.html#seedheads

    I realized that the way we plan our cities in grid format and our office buildings and things like this probably leaves us very limited.

    My hunch was that doing things in more natural ways might help us and make getting around faster, easier, and more interesting. The fibonacci sequence / golden ratio are all about giving maximum ‘space’ to things in nature, seeds on flowerheads for example).

    Very cool ideas here!

    Posted by Matthew | 10/07/2011, 3:16 pm
  2. Hey Matthew

    Thanks for the feedback, the idea that we could try using nature was part of the basis behind my idea for this theoretical plan. The hard end at the outside edge makes it problematic to actually use the concept but some the flower head is a great example of how it might be possible to use the sequence better for planning.

    Posted by Dan | 22/08/2011, 8:12 pm
  3. I’ve been thinking about this exact idea the last two nights, and the possibilities are endless. You could just keep expanding that spiral, moving from the city to industrial, natural, agricultural areas etc. (not necessarily in that order). High income housing could even be built using the spiral.

    I’ve been using the fibonacci proportion to design and build furniture for myself for a while. It just keeps growing..

    Posted by Julian | 28/12/2012, 4:01 am

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