Urban strips : the case of two streets in Łódź, Poland

Hanzl, Małgorzata and Gajek, Maria; (2022) Urban strips : the case of two streets in Łódź, Poland. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 165-172. ISBN 9781914241161

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The phenomenon of an urban strip still requires a more in-depth investigation. An essential element in a city street network, which offers access to its internal system, the strip often features a chaotic, visually polluted space that we are all forced to use. This paper aims to fill in the above gap looking for explanations in the context of a post-socialist European city. To fully understand the spatial problems of an urban strip, the multidimensional approach to the subject is needed. Therefore, we propose the systematic analysis which would enable us to look at the problem from several urban morphological perspectives (Oliveira, 2016). As a starting point, we use the timeless study in the field of strip research (Venturi et al., 1977), which we further extend applying the methodology and findings elaborated for the American strip (Scheer and Larice, 2014; Scheer, 2015). While researching the genesis of the phenomena and the local context, we draw from the studies developed by Polish researchers grounded in the field of historical geography (Koter, 1990). Finally, we look at the perception of space through the lenses proposed by Lynch (1960). By separating and then combining multiple factors that contribute to the strip space, we can obtain a comprehensive depiction. Such an examination uncovers the problems of this space which, despite the passage of time, remain unsolved. We use the typo-morphological approach to the analysis of urban layouts to organize the content, and we present the outcomes as an urban form matrix. The paper addresses the above issues using the case studies of the two urban strips in the third-largest city in Poland — Łódź. The results of the research reveal the organization of these transit areas and their excessive commercialization. At the same time, they enable us to formulate recommendations for the sites' redevelopment.

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