|Ph.D Student||Kallus Rachel|
|Subject||The Idea of Neighborhood: a Study in Conceptual Dynamics|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Hubert Law-Yone|
The concept of the neighborhood, being crucial to the design and planning of the urban environment, appears and reappears in contemporary theories of architecture and planning as a key idea. At first glance, there seems to be general agreement as to its basic connotation since its application in the field is accompanied by very little professional argument. However, it will be shown ‘‘that on closer examination, the connotation of the idea of neighborhood in the theory is far from being uniform or fixed. The idea is subject to a complex process of theoretical formulations, revisions and usages which make it fuzzy and difficult to grasp.
This thesis aims at initiating a discussion on the idea of the neighborhood in architecture and planning. It is not concerned with the neighborhood as physical object but rather attempts to look at the theoretical, i.e. abstract meaning which lies behind its manifestation. This essay therefore, assumes an interpretative mode in its approach to the concept of neighborhood, attempting to open up the assumed closure in theory to reasoned discourse. The goal therefore, is not to arrive at a definition of the neighborhood, but to outline an analytic approach which will examine its ever-changing sense in architectural/planning thought.
The first line of discussion deals with the neighborhood as a modern planning phenomenon. The idea of neighborhood is then seen as a pure planning device which evolves in order to accommodate current needs and problems. The second line of discussion looks at the content of the idea of neighborhood, as an ideal which emerges within a given context. Thus the idea is viewed as theoretical construct which is oriented to give meaning to the steps leading towards the achievement of goals. Finally, the third line of approach examines the interpretation of the idea of neighborhood as revealed in architectural and planning texts. This analysis takes a deconstructive approach in the examination of textual matter.
Subsequent to the discussion, the idea of neighborhood is shown to be an expression of changing ideology in architecture and planning. Thus the neighborhood is seen to be far from being clearly defined and rigid ideal but rather a flexible notion that essentially follows and adapts itself to changing trends and practices in the field of architecture and planning.