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  • 1. Gál, Csilla V
    Borrowing ideas: The changing form of metropolitan housing in Budapest2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Capitals often serve as national testing grounds for urban planning, policy and design because of their role representing the state. As such, they not only accommodate local reforms and initiatives, but international concepts and practices as well. A strong reliance on imported ideas characterizes small or late-urbanizing nations, as their limited resources necessitate the adoption of tested examples over uncertain experimentation. In planning history, one can trace the adjustment of existing practices in the accommodation of novel ideas in the development of housing. Located at the crossroads of culture, technology, economy and policy, the design and construction of urban housing reflects the complex interplay of these competing forces.This paper focuses on the history of Budapest's metropolitan housing over the past two centuries. Through a close examination of the development of four characteristic housing types, the article sheds light on the local treatment of these foreign concepts by examining the social, cultural and political challenges that accompanied their introduction.The peculiar courtyard tenement of Budapest became the dominant model of urban housing over the course of the nineteenth century. Although its origin was never discerned, this form was both linked to the Viennese Hof and to the local building tradition. Across Europe, the reformed urban block emerged as an appropriate configuration for metropolitan dwelling at the beginning of the twentieth century. Despite their perceived superiority, only a handful of such residences were built prior to the 1930s due to legal, political and financial challenges. The third form of housing, the Zeilenbau, developed out of the German Siedlungen tradition during the interwar period. Even though the returning Bauhaus students promulgated this concept rather early, it did not gain acceptance until after the Second World War. Then, following the brief Social Realist intermezzo, the model was adjusted to meet the narrowly defined goals of the State. The fourth configuration emerged over the past few decades. Influenced by international trends emphasizing tower-living, this type of housing gained a distinctly local character resulting from height restrictions enforced by the city.The examined cases reveal that the metropolitan housing forms of Budapest are based on imported concepts. Furthermore, the paper demonstrates that the driving force behind the local adjustment of these ideas was not the often romanticized local tradition, but the municipal building code and the economic-political elite.

  • 2. Gál, Csilla V
    Revisiting the urban block in the light of climate change: A case study of Budapest2014Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the urban block configuration of free-standing buildings has been deemed superior to other built forms, as it provided the necessities of modern healthy living: sunlight and fresh air. In light of climate change, the dissertation aims to reevaluate these long held beliefs and to reintroduce microclimate as an urban design consideration. The study takes four metropolitan block typologies of Budapest as cases to clarify the microclimate influence of key urban design parameters by means of a numerical simulation study. The effects of built form, orientation, vegetation and facade properties are evaluated for a typical summer day. The cases are assessed on the basis of diurnal potential air and mean radiant temperatures within the urban canopy layer. Numerical modeling is performed by ENVI-met and analysis is conducted with MATLAB. The findings indicate that built form and vegetation are key factors governing the microclimate. During the day, intraurban cool island develops between dense configurations and in tree-shaded urban canopies. Orientation is decisive in configurations with large open spaces, where east-west alignment corresponds with peak radiant and air temperatures. Apart from albedo, facade properties have little effect on the microclimate. The rise of air temperature with facade albedo is the outcome of canopy floor heating, resulting from the increased ratio of reflected shortwave radiation. A short-term field experiment was conducted in Budapest to complement the numerical simulation study and to evaluate ENVI-met. The measurement campaign utilized six air temperature and humidity loggers. Additionally, wind speed, air temperature and humidity were recorded at the pedestrian level during an anticyclonic period. In courtyards, thermal stratification developed by day with cool island intensities up to 7 C. In the case of open configurations, neither cool island, nor stratification was observed. The comparison of measured and predicted air temperatures revealed the strengths and weaknesses of the numerical model. In general, predicted temperatures had a decreased diurnal range with maximum values systematically underestimated. ENVI-met also failed to reproduce the thermal stratification in courtyards. Despite these shortcomings, the predicted trends and the relative microclimate differences between the configurations agreed with observations reasonably well.

  • 3. Gál, Csilla V
    Urban design and building regulation changes in the transformation of the urban block: A design analysis though the lens of urban climatology in Budapest2011In: City Weathers: Meteorology and Urban Design 1950-2010 / [ed] Michael Hebbert, Vladimir Jankovic and Brian Webb, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hungary witnessed limited climatic considerations in the practice of architecture and urban planning in the past. The omission of urban climate related issues was — and still is — essentially the outcome of the prevailing technocratic approach. This negligence, coupled with the growth in motor vehicle ownership, changing building design and air-conditioning practices, contributed to the the deterioration of the urban atmospheric environment over the last decades. The efforts to improve dwelling conditions over previous centuries, culminated in several waves of urban design and planning reforms. The outcome of these changing forces was the evolution of the Budapest urban block. During the twentieth century, its development followed the line described by Ernst May (‘from the block to the slab'), only to surpass it with hybrid forms in the twenty-first. This paper, focusing on the transformation of the Budapest urban block, sets forth to provide a historic cross section from the period of the city’s late industrialization to present day. The analysis of this process is facilitated though the identification and use of urban block typologies: each representing distinct urban design and regulatory paradigms. By reviewing the main forces that influenced the emergence of different urban block typologies, and subsequently, presenting an analysis of the resultant configurations, the author aims at introducing climatic considerations into urban design. Downtown urban blocks are at the center of this study, as they represent the most crucial section of the city. These blocks are not only exposed to the highest intensities of the urban heat island effect, but are also facing drear consequences due to the lack of urban green spaces. Because the study aims at addressing urban living and urban environmental concerns, the analysis is focused on existing metropolitan housing models. The first part of the paper presents the evolution of aesthetic, hygienic, structural and other concerns that contributed to the development of Budapest urban block, as well as, identifies the four developed typologies. The second part of the paper presents an analysis by juxtaposing the main regulatory principles and the resultant typologies, in an attempt to pinpoint measures that both effects micro-climate, as well as, are within the control of urban planning, design or architecture. The aim of this analysis is to bring forth the readily available regulatory measures that could become climate- sensitive design guidelines in the future. The outcome of this paper aims to inform policy makers, urban planners, architects and other building professionals regarding the necessity of the inclusion of climate- sensitive design principles into our current design and regulatory practices. In order to extend our understating of this subject -- regarding the casual relationship between urban design parameters and the resultant microclimates --, the author argues for further microclimatic investigations. These subsequent studies will clarify and support the emerging climate-sensitive urban design guidelines, which in turn could ameliorate the existing microclimatic conditions.

  • 4.
    Miedena, Elke
    et al.
    Chalmers Tekniska Högskola.
    Lindahl, Göran
    Chalmers Tekniska Högskola.
    Elf, Marie
    Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing. Chalmers Tekniska Högskola.
    Conceptualizing health promotion in relation to outpatient healthcare building design – a scoping review2018In: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, ISSN 1937-5867, E-ISSN 2167-5112Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: This review explored different conceptualizations of health promotion in the context of, and in relation to, outpatient building design.

    BACKGROUND: Today's healthcare organizations are implementing holistic healthcare approaches such as health promotion, while simultaneously increasing their outpatient services. These health promotion approaches, focused on empowering people to take control of their health, are expected to have implications for the outpatient healthcare building design. Yet there is limited knowledge what these may be. A review of the literature on the current state of the art is thus needed to enable and support dialog on future healthcare building design.

    METHOD: A scoping review of 4,506 papers, collected from four databases and three scientific journals in 2015, resulted in 14 papers relating health promotion to building design and outpatient healthcare. From the subsequent content analysis, multiple common themes and subthemes emerged.

    RESULTS: The review reveals diverse range of health promotion interpretations, three health promotion perspectives (health behavior, health equity, and sense of coherence), associated design approaches, design objectives, health-related outcomes, building features, and solutions.

    CONCLUSIONS: While diverse health promotion perspectives might merely represent variations in focus, these differences become problematic when relating to building design. To support further dialogs on development of health promotion in, and in relation to, the build environment, there is a need to strengthen the health promotion vocabulary. Further research is needed to compare different design approaches and how these can be combined to minimize contradicting implications for building design.

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