Sunday, February 10, 2013

Towns and Cities : function in form

Towns and Cities : function in form
urban structure, economics and society

This blog will provide a short summary of the contents of a new book to be launched on 3rd September 2015 (Towns and Cities - function in form) and enable readers to provide feedback to the author.

This new book, to be published by Ashgate, presents fresh thinking in urban design, based on the premise that the form of the city naturally arises from underlying social, economic and political influences. The shape of the city at every scale, from the internal configuration of dwellings all the way up to the superstructure of the whole city, can be seen to arise from the interplay between three antagonistic socio-economic tensions. In going about our daily business and in championing particular political objectives, we collectively fashion our cities in terms of their structure and form.  

Furthermore, the analysis in this book in terms of the role of roads and streets and how they function, and the way that public space naturally emerges within the townscape, gives rise to a better understanding of that, heretofore ambiguous, notion of place within the practice of placemaking.  At last, a clear definition of place can be provided. 

In understanding our towns and cities in terms of function in form, we can come to appreciate why every town is a recognisable town, wherever it is.  Different urban environments in different parts of the world, past and present, can come to be seen according to their similarities instead of their differences.

This new book is essential reading for anyone working in town planning, urban design, architecture or transport related disciplines.

Purchase this book at:

The Author

Julian Hart is a respected urban practitioner operating in London, specialising in project delivery of larger urban regeneration and housing projects.  He has worked on numerous major projects across London, including being part of the small client team to secure planning permission for Stratford City (now Westfield and the Olympic Village).  More recently he was responsible for bringing into effect the London Mayor’s Housing Design Standards.  In another capacity, he oversees the housing and regeneration training programmes at Urban Design London and has co-authored a recent publication The New London Vernacular.