ItemHow accessible are neighbourhood open spaces? Control of public space and its management in contemporary cities(Elsevier, 2022-08-22) Chitrakar, Rajjan; Baker, Douglas C.; Guaralda, MirkoPublic spaces are being increasingly controlled and managed by non-government agencies, and their publicness is shifting constantly, prompting concerns about the nature of the public realm in contemporary cities. Using a qualitative single case study analysis with the data collected from observations and interviews, this paper examines how control has been employed as a regulatory mechanism to manage neighbourhood open spaces in Kathmandu by a local community group, which has emerged as a formally responsible body for public space management. Our findings suggest that excessive control of public space is problematic as it diminishes a user’s ability to access open spaces. We analysed this evidence from two lenses. We first considered the transfer of management responsibilities to the community to argue that it has added new challenges to public space management by compromising the public realm. Secondly, from the point of view of the tendency of controlling public space, we maintain that public space managers have to ensure a balance between the need to control the space and making it accessible to the users. Contemporary approaches to public space management should aim for maintaining the public character of an urban place regardless of who owns or controls it. ItemRole of social practices in the design of Kathmandu Valley towns(Melbourne Polytechnic, 2020-11-19) Chitrakar, RajjanThis talk presents a case study of the traditional towns of Kathmandu Valley, the major urban centre of Nepal, to illustrate how these towns have evolved as a constructive conglomeration of the tangible and intangible urban heritage elements. Evidence shows that in these historical towns, the urban heritage elements not only coexist to define a public realm and characterise a social milieu of the built environment, but the heritage elements have also influenced each other as the cities have grown and matured over a period of time. In particular, the presentation will highlight the role of social practices, focusing on such features as organisation of communities and social networks, traditional belief systems and the communal life, in shaping the public spaces that are existing in urban neighbourhoods. The presentation will also discuss how the physical elements present in neighbourhood public spaces relate to the socio-cultural traditions of the local inhabitants that are being practiced till date on a daily basis as well as during major festivals and social occasions. ItemBook review: connecting places, connecting people: a paradigm for urban living in the 21st century by Reena Tiwari (Routledge)(Taylor and Francis, 2020-06-27) Chitrakar, RajjanPlacemaking is being increasingly recognised as a strategy to improve the quality of urban public realm. Placemaking helps to build better communities with an important role to play in achieving sustainable urban development. According to the Project for Public Spaces (2007), strengthening the connection between people and the places they share is central to placemaking. Although there is heaps of literature available on placemaking, this core idea of placemaking has not been covered so much in research. Reena Tiwari’s Connecting Places, Connecting People is a timely response to this need. ItemIntegrating green urbanism into the transit-oriented development in Australia(Ecocity World Summit 2022, 2022-02) Chitrakar, Rajjan; Hogg, Peter; Eshow, DillanCan the combination of green urbanism and transit-orient development (TOD) shrink the environmental footprint associated with vehicular oriented transport? This is just one of the several questions that may be asked when thinking of measures to provide a carbon neutral future. Not only is transport Australia’s one of the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions, but cars alone are accountable for almost half of those emissions. In recent years, the Australian government has made significant investments in the transit systems and the policy agenda has embraced TOD initiatives driven by green concerns. Yet there are some unique challenges in the Australian context. TODs have occurred occasionally in Australian urban development and have not been strategically or statutorily planned. Factors such as rapid transit, density, and mixed use necessary to guarantee the provision of TOD has not yet been put in place in any Australian city. Moreover, while buildings are increasingly consuming more energy in both construction and operation, the execution of green open spaces within and around the TOD is inadequate with the development areas missing on potential environmental benefits and sustainable outcomes. There should be an increased focus on ecological and environmental dimensions of urban development so that the combined effect of pursuing TODs and green urbanism could become a reality in the future. ItemHouse and land: an architectural review of bulk housing in Australia(Alanya HEP University, 2022-05-13) Hogg, Peter; Chitrakar, Rajjan; Bamford, Nick; Herriotts, RosalindAustralia is a suburban nation, and Australians value home ownership highly. The standalone house on a “quarter acre” block is seen as almost a natural birth right. Yet architects only design about 3% of housing in Australia, the vast bulk of Australia’s housing is designed and built by “volume builders” who buy up huge tracts of land on the urban fringe of the major cities and roll out vast areas of new housing every year. This paper examines the role of the volume builder from an architectural perspective, looking at the design and planning of suburban homes and suburbs, as well as at their environmental and urban design performance. Data were collected and analysed from two suburbs in outer Melbourne using observations and interviews with the residents. Our findings indicate that social and environmental outcomes are often poor and suggest ways that these might be improved.