In this week’s session, Deland Chan spoke about Urban Planning. We went over the basics of planning, local government, and how planning has been used for good and bad (redlining, Euclidean zoning, etc.). As an Urban Studies major, I still learned a few new facts that I had not known before. For instance, the city of Houston does not have zoning, instead they have codes that govern how property is divided or use incentives to guide development.
Afterwards, Roy Chan went over the Chinatown Plan. It essentially froze Chinatown’s buildings in place from the 1980’s because that was when the San Francisco Planning Department lowered the height limits. If Chinatown was still zoned with the rest of downtown, it would have been instantly wiped out.
For our afternoon activity, we did a few activities from the handbook. We went outside to observe the people, movement, sounds, and how the space is utilized. It was interesting to actually stop at a busy street and pay attention to where people walk and who they talk to. I think I will continue using the handbook as a guide to make observations in the future.
- Maggie Dong