Horizontal architecture, as an alternative to vertical construction (tall buildings), refers to structures that spread over larger horizontal areas. This architectural approach involves designing buildings with lower floors and wider plots of land. Horizontal architecture can play a significant role in urban areas concerning social equity and urban transformation.
Social equity means that all individuals in society have equal access to economic, social, and cultural opportunities and living conditions. Horizontal architecture can contribute to social equity in the following ways:
Accessibility: Unlike tall buildings, horizontal architecture can be less reliant on higher floors and stairs. This allows for accessible housing and work areas for disabled individuals and the elderly, enhancing their participation in society and improving their quality of life.
Social Engagement: Horizontal structures can promote social interaction by offering more green spaces and open areas. Parks, gardens, and social spaces enable people to come together, interact, and foster solidarity.
Diversity and Mixing: Lower-rise buildings can encourage people with different income levels to live in the same area, fostering better understanding and social cohesion among different groups in society.
Urban transformation is the process of improving and enhancing existing urban areas and structures, often both physically and socially. Horizontal architecture can contribute to urban transformation projects in the following ways:
Land Use and Density: Horizontal construction allows for efficient land use and facilitates a more homogenous spread of buildings. This enables more effective utilization of vacant and underused spaces in the city.
Integration with the City: Lower buildings can better integrate the city. Having fewer skyscrapers and tall buildings may increase physical interaction among city residents and reduce regional disparities.
Sustainability: Horizontal architecture can support the preservation of green spaces and the creation of environmentally-friendly areas, contributing to a more sustainable urban transformation.
However, it’s crucial to emphasize the importance of a balanced and inclusive process that considers planning, policy-making, and community involvement in the connections between horizontal architecture, social equity, and urban transformation. To support social equity and urban transformation, appropriate design and practices should be implemented, taking into account the needs and interests of the community.