Prescriptive Urbanism

New York City   Rebecca Caillouet | Roxanne Sadeghpour

Regulatory policies are often conceived as the primary focus of criticism that is rooted in governmental deficiencies or market failure. Narrowly defined, regulation is set forth through a series of local administrative controls that deliberately preserve previous social and political climates by embedding them into the urban fabric with the intention of managing the form of the city. To this end, the problem lies not with regulation, in and of itself, but with the preserved tracts of the city that are carried through time and forced to exist in climates to which they cannot adapt. These tracts, or residual enclaves, are the physical manifestations of this form of regulation in the built environment, and serve as the primary focus of inquiry into the regulatory network.

Through an improved understanding of the effects of the enclave on the local community, a higher degree of community sustainability can be achieved that addresses municipal economic, environmental and community actions that extend beyond land use and planning. New sustainable regulatory protocols must be informed by past experience as well as a new understanding of human behavior, societal needs, and the limits of regulatory capabilities. The nature of these regulatory initiatives must be posited in a way that constructs and nurtures the residual enclaves as dynamic and robust, and functions in concert with the evolving social and political climates that it currently exists in. At this level, pieces of the past are moving simultaneously with current climates creating a situation that is limiting progress as it pertains to efficient sustainable regulation.

This project seeks to address the effects of the residual enclave by acquiring a new methodology and systems of intelligence to negotiate antiquated modes of regulation. In its current form, the enclave has become a stable fixture within the city and positions the inscribed communities to search for loopholes or illicit means to manage them. These illicit means behave as counterprotocol to the regulatory network and challenge the fundamental elements of its origin.

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