Field Assignment 1 Part 2

Assignment 1 Part 2: Neighborhood and District Boundaries


  1. Lynch - The City Image and it’s Elements link to article
  2. Perry - The Neighborhood Unit link to article


This part of the assignment focuses on the student dominated residential area known as “The Hill.” The Hill is a neighborhood, Kevin Lynch, a famous urbanist, uses the term “district” to describe what we colloquially think of as a neighborhood.

  • Read the article by Lynch. Pay special attention to his thoughts on districts (p. 501-502 and p. 505-506) and the edges of districts (e.g. hard vs. soft, p. 506). The “Hill” is a district.
    1. The first thing you have to do is decide where to start. This assignment involves two walks, one west (toward the mountains) and one north (toward downtown) from a single starting point on The Hill. I’d like you to start your walk from a point that you believe is definitely a part of the The Hill. I’d like you to find this starting point by focusing on the built environment, find the house that for your group, is the quintessential Hill house. Take a photograph of the quintessential Hill House (note the address).
    2. This house will be the origin point for two short walks. One walk to the west (toward the mountains) and one to the north (toward downtown). From the house you have selected walk first west and then north, paying careful attention to your surroundings as you go. Notice the type (and quantity) of cars in the street, pay attention to the number of mailboxes on each building. At what point do you feel you are on longer “on the Hill”, what has changed?
      • Document this transition with photographs. Be sure to note the point where you feel you have left this hill. If there isn’t single point, if its a soft edge, try to identify the beginning and end of the edge.
      • Make a map of your walk. It should include the location of the quintessential hill house and lines west and north indicating the routes you took. The map should indicate the point on the route where you felt you had left the hill. (We recommend using the “My Maps” feature on Google Maps, which will allow you to label points and draw lines, though you may also make your map using another approach or technology if desired.)
    3. Describe both the western and northern edge of The Hill (the point at which you’re no longer on The Hill). In your opinion decide if each boundary (northern and western) is hard or soft. Use imagery (photos/short video clips) to illustrate the hard or soft nature of the each edge. What makes each edge hard or soft?
  • What separates the Hill from downtown Boulder? Could the two places be better integrated? Be sure to use Lynch’s ideas in your answer. For example, are there edges that could be erased/softened? Paths that could be altered?
  • Read Perry, The Neighborhood Unit. In this chapter Perry outlines certain elements that are part of a neighborhood unit (community center, recreation spaces, schools, etc.). Perry was writing about cities as cities were being transformed by the automobile and in his essay tries to identify design principles for cohesive neighborhoods. Note the spaces and institutions marked on the maps included in the Perry reading. Perry includes spaces for living and spaces for play in his idealized neighborhood plans.
    1. Do these kinds of elements/institutions exist on the Hill? Given that the Hill is not really a family-oriented space, what replaces these elements of the neighborhood unit? If you don’t think there are replacements for the types of shared public spaces described by Perry, what are the consequences of not having public spaces for those who live on the Hill? Discuss as a group.
    2. Is Perry relevant for the modern city? That is, does what he describes reflect the kind of neighborhood you’d want to live in? Have the kinds of urban spaces we want to live in evolved in the last 80 years? Discuss as a group.

Final Deliverable

Your primary deliverable for part three is a series of at least 5 slides but no more than 10 slides documenting 1) the quintessential Hill house (the start point of your route) and noting its address. 2) A map showing your route and the edges of the Hill. 3) Photographic documentation of the northern and western edge of the hill, photographs should include captions describing how the picture illustrates the edge. 4) Ideas about connecting the Hill and Downtown.

Please add these slides to your deck from part 1 of assignment 1. This will yield a single slide deck of 15-25 slides. Your slides should be in the class Google Drive.