Tag Archives: Christopher Alexander

Pattern Language Threads and Fabric design


Among Christopher Alexander’s patterns, some deal with the conflict between car and pedestrian movement. Pattern 49, proclaims looped streets as the most suitable type at the neighbourhood scale followed by connected cul-de-sacs. Pattern 50 asserts that the T-Junctions are the safest type. Pattern 51 sets forth the idea of pedestrian-only streets and pattern 52 recommends a distinct network for pedestrians “where possible”.


Alexander’s invaluable collection of patterns did not propose a diagram of how these would come together in a layout of a neighbourhood or district, as did Le Corbusier (Ville Radieuse), Ebenezard Howard (Garden Cities), Clarence Perry (Neighbourhood Unit), Doxiadis (Ekistics), Frank Lloyd  Wright (Broadacre City).  This lack of a model increases freedom for their application but, unfortunately, also limits their application to sporadic and separate rather than regular and unified. The need that makes these individual patterns so valuable, to codify solutions that work, would also make their assembly into modules of combined patterns valuable. The connected cul-de-sac pattern below incorporates all the above Pattern Language solutions in one repeatable 40 acre module, almost like a computer programmer’s “plug –in”. (for variations on this model  see the Quadrants page, Districts page or the Gallery)