Unique city, with these design tips

  In the eyes of many people, a city is just a place to “eat, sleep, and make money”. For many developed countries that have experienced urbanization for hundreds of years, the meaning of “city” to citizens is much more than that.
  Colors and signs, shaping individual “urban aesthetics”
  Many cities in China have well-preserved European-style buildings and blocks, but the overall aesthetics cannot be compared with the European “original”. Investigating the reasons, the “crisis” is always nothing more than two points: color and signboard.
  Anyone who is in the colorful buildings will naturally think of the dream of Copenhagen’s “Danish fairy tale”; anyone who walks by the dark red brick building by the canal will naturally think of the simplicity and elegance of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. . The unique “image identification color” not only shapes the characteristics of the city, but also highlights the character of the city.
  In fact, it is not only the architecture, but also all aspects of the city highlight the power of color. As long as they see the iconic bright red post boxes on both sides of the road, everyone will immediately realize: This is Britain. The bus and bus ticket vending machines in Luxembourg are all painted in a uniform style. These seemingly random “color bars” are actually specially designed by professional designers in order to show the youthful vitality of the city.
  In terms of the influence on the shaping of the city’s personality, the signs that are comparable to “color” are all over the streets.
  For example, seeing the colorful neon signs that stretch out to the center of the road and the exaggerated “cyberpunk” wind signs immediately reminds of Japan; and matching the antique buildings, the signs of shops in old towns all over Europe are They are all very convergent and low-key. They usually just stick the name directly on the exterior wall of the building with simple fonts, or stick out a small but well-designed wrought iron signboard.
  Not only the colors and signs, but also subway stations, bus shelters, even public toilets, trash cans or fire hydrants, all the necessary public facilities in the city can become a stage to show the personality of the city.
  On the square in Vienna, Austria, the uniquely designed fire hydrant has three functions: in addition to its own fire extinguishing function, it also provides a convenient and sanitary way of drinking water for pedestrians and their pets. The Moscow subway station built in the heyday of the Soviet Union left an impression on the world far more than a “station”, and became a unique existence like a city museum; and bus shelters with different shapes throughout the Soviet Union made this This “traffic aesthetics” extends to large and small towns and villages.
  The purpose of the existence of cities is to make citizens’ lives better; and the ubiquitous “urban aesthetics” will undoubtedly make citizens’ moods better.

Street parking is neat and orderly in Vancouver, Canada

People walking their dogs and boating on the waterfront of Vancouver, Canada

Signs for bicycles and roller skating tracks in Liechtenstein
Feel the nature in the city

  The city is a concept of personal creation. Among all human living environments, the city is undoubtedly the one that is farthest from nature. However, living in a city does not mean that citizens’ daily lives can only be spent in cement forests that have no contact with nature.
  The entire “blank” deliberately left in the middle of the densely populated skyscrapers in Central Park, Manhattan, New York, has long been known. In fact, this is not an example. Similar planning and design can be seen in many European and American cities. For example, in Vancouver, Canada, flocks of Canadian geese and various birds can be encountered in parks by the sea; in the urban area of ​​Liechtenstein, animals such as horses and donkeys often walk side by side with pedestrians and vehicles on the streets.
  In addition to “seeing nature”, the city also provides many opportunities for “experiencing nature”. In a park in Malmo, Sweden, a whole piece of land is divided into grids of different sizes. Citizens who want to experience the fun of cultivation can come here to apply for a piece of land and plant any plants they like. On the lakeside of Geneva, Switzerland, a well-equipped “laboratory” is open every day. Anyone can come here and use complete materials and equipment to study and research the surrounding natural environment; there are also regular events here. Teaching experience activities.
  There are countless trails, bicycle trails, and roller skating trails for citizens to get close to nature. For example, the “EuroVelo” bicycle lane system in dozens of European countries consists of 17 long-distance lanes with a total mileage of more than 90,000 kilometers. The routes passing through the city center are covered with detailed signs along the way, so that residents of all cities along the way can ride bicycles and easily feel the changes in the scenery between the city and the nearby nature.
On-street parking regulations with their own tricks

  People who own cars in our country probably complain the most about “difficult parking in the city center”. Compared with the “restriction of licenses and traffic” in many large cities in my country, the three developed regions of North America, Europe, and Japan have each found a set of parking plans that best suits their national conditions under the premise of unlimited licenses and traffic restrictions.
  Relatively speaking, the scale of North American cities is relatively loose, so it is also the easiest roadside parking in developed countries. Except for very few megacities such as New York, it is not difficult to find parking spaces for roadside toll collectors (commonly known as “meters”) in other cities, and if you want to walk two or three blocks longer, you may even find free parking spaces.
  Regardless of whether “metered” or free parking spaces, long-term parking is generally restricted, so that car owners must “stop and go.” For example, “metering” usually accepts coins for 1 or 2 hours at most at a time, even if you want to park for longer, there is nowhere to pay. The longest single parking time (and the period of time allowed for parking) of free parking spaces is usually written on a nearby sign.
  Even for free parking spaces on the roadside in residential areas where parking is “unlimited”, it is often stipulated that parking is prohibited for certain hours of the week, and the time for prohibiting parking on different streets will be staggered, so that car owners can drive to adjacent streets to park in advance. This has two main purposes: one is to facilitate the operation of road sweeping vehicles, and the other is to prohibit car owners from using roadside parking spaces as “free parking yards” in disguised form.

  Compared to North America, European cities have narrower streets and tighter parking spaces on the roadside. Therefore, on-street parking fees in central Europe are often very expensive. For example, the “metered” in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, charges up to 5 to 7.5 euros per hour (about 37 to 56 yuan). The high cost makes many car owners voluntarily give up driving into the city, but choose to change to the subway at the “P+R” (park + transfer) parking lot on the outskirts of the city. In order to encourage the use of the subway, such “P+R” parking lots are usually very cheap-also in Amsterdam, parking in the “P+R” parking lot for 4 days only costs 11 euros, which is less than the cost of 2 hours in the city center.
  The most stringent parking restriction is the island nation of Japan. As early as 1962, after the outbreak of private cars in Japan caused serious urban management problems, Japan promptly promulgated a law commonly known as the “Garage Law”-except for light vehicles with strict restrictions on size and displacement (ie, “K-car” ) In addition, to purchase any other vehicles, you must provide proof of purchase or lease of legal parking spaces around your residence-this eliminates the root cause of treating the road as your own garage. Temporary parking spaces on the roadside in the city center, in addition to high fees, strictly limit long-term parking.
  Contrary to the restrictions on parking places for ordinary people, many countries have exempted many parking restrictions for people with disabilities who must rely on vehicles for transportation, and have reserved a large proportion of special parking spaces for the disabled in all parking lots to ensure that they do not care. You can “stop as you go” wherever you go.

The “repaired as old” old town in Warsaw, Poland

Signboard with a sense of design in the old town of Bremen, Germany

  All the above parking systems are accompanied by severe penalties. For example, the author was once in Vancouver, Canada, and was punished by the police for parking “too close to the intersection”. The total cost of towing, parking and ticketing was as high as more than 1,000 yuan; Greece’s tactics to rectify disorderly parking are even more severe-offenders are required to pay in addition to fines. , The vehicle involved in the accident will also be revoked for one month; the most severe parking penalty is still in Japan: even if it is a legal parking space on the roadside, if a single parking is more than 12 hours (8 hours at night), the owner will violate the “garage” Facing criminal charges, the maximum sentence is 3 months.
  The meticulous regulations and severe penalties have allowed limited parking resources to be provided to the people most in need, and it has also ensured that the limited road resources are not blocked by illegally parked vehicles.
The thickness and spirit of the city

  Every visitor to Warsaw, Poland will marvel at the old town with its original appearance from the 14th to 18th centuries intact alongside the Gothic architecture and the Baroque church. However, many people don’t know that this “old city” was built from ruins in the middle of the 20th century.
  During World War II, Warsaw was raged by war, and more than 85% of the buildings in the Old City were razed to the ground. After the war, in order to restore the charm of the past, Warsaw established the “Capital Reconstruction Office”, and the mayor himself took command. From the ruined walls and piles of rubble, people picked up all the remnants of the old building, and found the panorama of Warsaw painted by an 18th-century painter, and started this ambitious reconstruction project as a blueprint. All the remnants that can be used are re-used, and the remaining missing parts are reconstructed according to the style on the screen using traditional construction methods. Therefore, in many places in Warsaw, you can see the vicissitudes of old parts being placed in newly repaired buildings.

  The “metering” charges in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, are as high as 5 to 7.5 euros per hour (about 37 to 56 yuan).

A century-old tram used as a city bus in San Francisco, USA

  In 1980, the Old Town of Warsaw, as a city almost completely in need of reconstruction, made an exception and was selected as a World Heritage Site. The report of the International Council of Antiquities (ICOMOS) appraised that the Warsaw Old Town “is a symbol of the world’s outstanding cultural reconstruction and has great historical significance.”
  The story of Warsaw is not an isolated case. The story of “post-war reconstruction” took place in countless cities in Europe. For example, in Germany, there are at least three cities, Berlin, Dresden and Frankfurt, which have restored the original appearance of the old city in the rubble.
  Not all cities have a history of thousands of years, as in Europe, but this does not mean that they cannot have a profound sense of history. On the streets of downtown San Francisco, the streetcars used as public transportation, the antique shape always attracts the attention of passing tourists. However, they are not simple antique vehicles, but real old trams collected from more than a dozen cities in eight countries on five continents, most of which are hundreds of years old.
  The fare of this kind of tram is exactly the same as that of the local ordinary bus, and the route is mainly designed to serve the locals. In other words, this is not just a “tourist attraction” that pleases tourists, but really condenses the history of trams on the five continents of the world into the daily trips of citizens. In order to make these old trams, which often only have “empty car shells” left in operation when they are collected, the local area has taken painstaking efforts to repair them again and again. On the premise of preserving the original appearance, these “antiques” can satisfy the modern needs. Strict safety and comfort standards for public transportation.
  Feng Jicai once said: “City, if you regard it as a kind of spirit, you will respect it, defend it, and cherish it; if you regard it as just a substance, you will use it indefinitely and transform it arbitrarily. , Destroy it as you like.”
  The “spirit ” of the city ​​is a value worthy of our in-depth thinking and exploration.