The Contribution of Built Forms and Landscapes in Creating Vibrant Street Life. Cases from CBD of Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababauniversity


Urban planning and design have proven to be an important disciplines in shaping urban life styles, solving problems and giving new ways of living in the urban arena. There are a number of elements that manage the shape and the quality of urban environments. Quality of life in cities is affected by the negative and positive aspects of street activities and functions. The built form is one of the many variables thought to affect physical activity levels. It influences people’s lifestyles. Hence, believing the idea of creating good relationships between streets and their adjacent built forms is the main reason in creating better street life. The main objective of the research is to find out the impact of built forms and landscapes in creating vibrant street life. Therefore; the research analyses the Contribution of Built Forms and landscapes in creating vibrant Street Life by assessing different segment of streets found in the core of the city of Addis Ababa which believed to have a uniquely useful character aiming to learn from existing attributes, identify the gaps, and come up with a contextual urban design recommendations that help to create and maintain a vibrant pedestrian street life in order to make people feel friendly with streets and have some sense about the street they use more than having a concept of considering them as a corridor. As streets are the main public space of the city, the research focus groups are all people who live in the city with special focus on pedestrians. The research uses the case study method by selecting four case study areas by using criteria that are: areas located in the core part (CBD) of Addis Ababa, street with width of twenty meter and above, selecting streets with low rise and high rise buildings, and also picking on streets that entertain different functions and activities, and finally picking on areas which are most frequently used. The case areas are found in Merkato, Beherawy and Piazza areas. The research employs primary and secondary data. Data is collected by using randomly distributed survey questioners within the site. In addition to this, data has been collected from different experts and taken as input for the research. The approach or methodology for this research is the case study method based on qualitative and descriptive methods. In this research, the value of vibrant street life is discussed And the current situation of the existing streets with their landscapes and built forms are analysed by using different criteria. It has made sure that built forms and activities within them have their own contribution in creating vibrant street life. In terms of scale, enclosure and proportion the research has identified that almost all of the case areas have a good sense of enclosure because of the scale and proportion of the adjacent buildings. Considering street frontage in terms of activity and comfort some areas are xii found out to be not convenient for their users because of their over crowdedness but some areas are safe and comfortable to their users because they are diverse in activities and existence of arcade buildings and on the other hand in all areas the number of peoples use the street differ in different times of a day. But also the research found out there are dormant buildings which resulted inactive streets on some areas. In analysing the areas in terms of having clear demarcations for pedestrians all of them have demarcation but in a two different ways; one in a level difference the other by building arcades. In addition by seeing their visual attractiveness and cleanness the research has found a balanced result some have good qualities but some are not good in quality people go there just for necessary activity. In Landscape and street furniture we can say that there is Absence of adequate street furniture’s and facilities in all areas basically they do not consider people with disabilities. In terms of being memorable it is been identified that diverse optional activities and unique features has a potential of making places memorable and easy to identify. Therefore, the research has recommended maintaining the existing good qualities of the streets and to create sense of belongingness, liveable and more attractive; the street and adjacent buildings must hold diverse optional activities instead of necessity activities, should have attractive facades and mixed details, Visual connectivity, staggered built edges, proper Setbacks and proportional scale. Similarly streets must have Street furniture with a clear demarcation between pedestrian and vehicles and Provide easy access for people with disabilities. In general in order to see these design considerations it is recommended to create awareness and structural integration with in stakeholders about the benefit of creating vibrant street life



Creating Vibrant Street Life