UP503 - Site and Physical Planning
Course Materials

1: Understanding Space, Distance and Area

To effectively engage in physical planning requires one to have an intuitive sense of space. Space in this case defined by distance, area, and density. The following exercises are intended to engage you in physically understanding the dimensions and extent of places.

  1. Consider the site on which Temple Buell Hall sits. The first problem is - how do you define it?
    1. Define the space.
    2. What is the length and breadth of the site in feet? Estimate these without resorting to maps. One approach is to figure out the length of your pace in feet and to pace out these distances. The more the number of paces the less accurate your estimate is likely to be. So, is there another repetitive distance you could measure to get a different estimate of these distances? Write up different estimates and how you arrived at them.
    3. What is the area of this site in acres? Use your estimates from the previous step to compute the area. How do you convert square feet to acres? Write up the different estimates of area and how you arrived them.
    4. What do you think of the space? Write some bulleted points about the space.
    5. Based on your definition and bullets - What is a comparable space on or near campus? Is there one? How does it compare to other areas of the campus
  2. Consider the site where the 1 East Main building is located in downtown Champaign.
    1. Define the space.
    2. What is the length and breadth of this site in feet? Again, estimate these without resorting to map. First see if you can estimate this by eye (can you use some regular feature to help in this?), and then pace it out. Record each of these estimates separately. It's less important that these two estimates be the same and more important that you think about how they are similar and different. Write up the different estimates of area and how you arrived them.
    3. What is the area of this site in acres? Use your estimates from the previous step to compute the area. How do you convert square feet to acres? Write up the different estimates of area and how you arrived them.
    4. What do you think of this space? Write some bulleted points about the space.
    5. Based on your definition and bullets - What is a comprable space downtown? on campus? is there one?

Put your answers to the above questions in a pdf document in memo format addressed to Dustin. Use the class assignment naming convention: assign#_lastname.pdf. Place the file in the course assignment dropoff folder ( \\faa-courses.ad.uillinois.edu\urban\fall 2013\UP 503\Assignment Drop Box) by the start of class on Th, 29 Aug.