Vertical Zoning Through the Ages

Ivar Krasinski
Founding Partner / Design Director
EDGE, Dubai

This presentation discusses precedents for vertical zoning as it relates to TODs (transit oriented developments), and reviews the economic impact of horizontally-zoned vs vertically-zoned. This presentation analyzes the social implications of vertical vs. horizontal zoning.

Vertical zoning has many historical precedents going as far back as the Romans, and these continue their influence into the current era. The lessons of vertical zoning are repeatedly discovered, abandoned, and found again. The cities of our era can benefit greatly from the lessons of the past, creating vibrant, economically and socially heterogeneous communities.

With the TOD approach to urban planning becoming more and more prevalent, vertical zoning has many applications as it relates to such developments. The model in question reviews precedents of tall structures stacked directly adjacent to transit, vs models which rely on transit users walking in order to use commercial offerings.

Case studies of various TODs and an analysis of why they thrive or fail, are the main part of this presentation. Both theoretical models and real-life examples can teach us a lot about the impact of zoning, economic and social sustainability, and both types are discussed in the presentation. The creation of an efficient economic engine should be at the heart of all developments, but unfortunately the impacts of zoning are overlooked. This presentation brings the importance of these issues to the forefront. The TOD approach to tall buildings has many benefits and vertically-zoned TODs are the ideal model for polycentric cities, especially to mitigate negative impacts of worldwide horizontal sprawl.