Urban planning  

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The Appian Way as it appeared in Piranesi's imagination (1756), from Antichita Romanae
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The Appian Way as it appeared in Piranesi's imagination (1756), from Antichita Romanae

"Learning from Las Vegas published studies of the Las Vegas Strip undertaken by a 1970 research and design studio Venturi taught with Scott Brown at Yale's School of Architecture and Planning. Learning from Las Vegas was a further rebuke to orthodox modernism and elite architectural tastes. The book coined the terms "Duck" and "Decorated Shed" as applied to opposing architectural building styles." --Sholem Stein


"[God's Own Junkyard] is a deliberate attack upon all those who have already befouled a large portion of this country for private gain and are engaged in befouling the rest." --God's Own Junkyard (1964) by Peter Blake, preface


"Hong Kong's Kowloon Walled City is particularly notable for its disorganized hyper-urbanization and breakdown in traditional urban planning to be an inspiration to cyberpunk landscapes." --Sholem Stein


"Baron Haussmann’s urban renewal of Paris [...] was motivated by the desire to open up broad thoroughfares allowing for the rapid circulation of troops and the use of artillery against insurrections." --Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography (1955) by Guy Debord


"Virilio developed what he called the "war model" of the modern city and of human society in general and is the inventor of the term 'dromology', meaning the logic of speed that is the foundation of technological society. His major works include War and Cinema, Speed and Politics and The Information Bomb in which he argues, among many other things, that military projects and technologies drive history."--Sholem Stein

The Acropolis of Athens (1846) is a painting by Leo von Klenze of the Acropolis of Athens. It is an idealized reconstruction of the Acropolis and Areopagus in Athens
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The Acropolis of Athens (1846) is a painting by Leo von Klenze of the Acropolis of Athens. It is an idealized reconstruction of the Acropolis and Areopagus in Athens
Capriccio With the Colosseum by Bernardo Bellotto
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Capriccio With the Colosseum by Bernardo Bellotto
A Paris street - set design for Act II of Puccini's La bohème by Adolfo Hohenstein
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A Paris street - set design for Act II of Puccini's La bohème by Adolfo Hohenstein
Rue de la Colonie (1900) - Eugène Atget
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Rue de la Colonie (1900) - Eugène Atget
"Machines for living:" for various critics, including Tom Wolfe, the Pruitt-Igoe housing project illustrated both the essential unlivability of Bauhaus-inspired box architecture, and the hubris of central planning.
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"Machines for living:" for various critics, including Tom Wolfe, the Pruitt-Igoe housing project illustrated both the essential unlivability of Bauhaus-inspired box architecture, and the hubris of central planning.

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Urban planning, also known as town planning, city planning, regional planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications and their accessibility. Traditionally, urban planning followed a top-down approach in master planning the physical layout of human settlements. The primary concern was the public welfare, which included considerations of efficiency, sanitation, protection and use of the environment, as well as effects of the master plans on the social and economic activities. Over time, urban planning has adopted a focus on the social and environmental bottom-lines that focus on planning as a tool to improve the health and well-being of people while maintaining sustainability standards. Sustainable development was added as one of the main goals of all planning endeavors in the late 20th century when the detrimental economic and the environmental impacts of the previous models of planning had become apparent. Similarly, in the early 21st century, Jane Jacob's writings on legal and political perspectives to emphasize the interests of residents, businesses and communities effectively influenced urban planners to take into broader consideration of resident experiences and needs while planning.

Urban planning answers questions about how people will live, work and play in a given area and thus, guides orderly development in urban, suburban and rural areas. Although predominantly concerned with the planning of settlements and communities, urban planners are also responsible for planning the efficient transportation of goods, resources, people and waste; the distribution of basic necessities such as water and electricity; a sense of inclusion and opportunity for people of all kinds, culture and needs; economic growth or business development; improving health and conserving areas of natural environmental significance that actively contributes to reduction in CO2 emissions as well as protecting heritage structures and built environments. Since most urban planning teams consist of highly educated individuals that work for city governments, recent debates focus on how to involve more community members in city planning processes.

Urban planning is an interdisciplinary field that includes civil engineering, architecture, human geography, politics, social science and design sciences. Practitioners of urban planning are concerned with research and analysis, strategic thinking, Engineering architecture, urban design, public consultation, policy recommendations, implementation and management. It is closely related to the field of urban design and some urban planners provide designs for streets, parks, buildings and other urban areas. Urban planners work with the cognate fields of civil engineering, landscape architecture, architecture, and public administration to achieve strategic, policy and sustainability goals. Early urban planners were often members of these cognate fields though today, urban planning is a separate, independent professional discipline. The discipline of urban planning is the broader category that includes different sub-fields such as land-use planning, zoning, economic development, environmental planning, and transportation planning. Creating the plans requires a thorough understanding of penal codes and zonal codes of planning.

Another important aspect of urban planning is that the range of urban planning projects include the large-scale master planning of empty sites or Greenfield projects as well as small-scale interventions and refurbishments of existing structures, buildings and public spaces. Pierre Charles L'Enfant in Washington DC, Daniel Burnham in Chicago, Lucio Costa in Brasilia and Georges-Eugene Haussmann in Paris planned cities from scratch, and Robert Moses and Le Corbusier refurbished and transformed cities and neighbourhoods to meet their ideas of urban planning.

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Examples

Urban design

While the two fields are closely related, urban design differs from urban planning in its focus on physical improvement of the public environment, whereas the latter tends, in practice, to focus on the management of private development through planning schemes and other statutory development controls.

Although contemporary professional use of the term 'urban design' dates from the mid-20th century, urban design as such has been practiced throughout history. Ancient examples of carefully planned and designed cities exist in Asia, India, Africa, Europe and the Americas, and are particularly well-known within Classical Chinese, Roman and Greek cultures (see Hippodamus of Miletus). European Medieval cities are often regarded as exemplars of undesigned or 'organic' city development, but there are clear examples of considered urban design in the Middle Ages (see, e.g., David Friedman, Florentine New Towns: Urban Design in the Late Middle Ages, MIT 1988).

Throughout history, design of streets and deliberate configuration of public spaces with buildings have reflected contemporaneous social norms or philosophical and religious beliefs (see, e.g., Erwin Panofsky, Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism, Meridian Books, 1957). Yet the link between designed urban space and human mind appears to be bidirectional. Indeed, the reverse impact of urban structure upon human behaviour and upon thought is evidenced by both observational study and historical record. There are clear indications of impact through Renaissance urban design on the thought of Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei (see, e.g., Abraham Akkerman, "Urban planning in the founding of Cartesian thought," Philosophy and Geography 4(1), 2001). Already René Descartes in his Discourse on the Method had attested to the impact Renaissance planned new towns had upon his own thought, and much evidence exists that the Renaissance streetscape was also the perceptual stimulus that had led to the development of coordinate geometry (see, e.g., Claudia Lacour Brodsky, Lines of Thought: Discourse, Architectonics, and the Origins of Modern Philosophy, Duke 1996).

The beginnings of modern urban design in Europe are indeed associated with the Renaissance but, especially, with the Age of Enlightenment. Spanish colonial cities were often planned, as were some towns settled by other imperial cultures. These sometimes embodied utopian ambitions as well as aims for functionality and good governance, as with James Oglethorpe's plan for Savannah, Georgia. In the Baroque period the design approaches developed in French formal gardens such as Versailles were extended into urban development and redevelopment. In this period, when modern professional specialisations did not exist, urban design was undertaken by people with skills in areas as diverse as sculpture, architecture, garden design, surveying, astronomy, and military engineering. In the 18th and 19th centuries, urban design was perhaps most closely linked with surveyors and architects. Much of Frederick Law Olmsted's work was concerned with urban design, and so the (then-new) profession of landscape architecture also began to play a significant role in the late 19th century.

Modern urban design can be considered as part of the wider discipline of Urban planning. Indeed, Urban planning began as a movement primarily occupied with matters of urban design. Works such as Ildefons Cerda's General Theory of Urbanization (1867), Camillo Sitte’s City Planning According to Artistic Principles (1889), and Robinson’s The Improvement of Cities and Towns (1901) and Modern Civic Art (1903), all were primarily concerned with urban design, as did the later City Beautiful movement in North America.

'Urban design' was first used as a distinctive term when Harvard University hosted a series of Urban Design Conferences from 1956 . These conferences provided a platform for the launching of Harvard's Urban Design program in 1959-60. The writings of Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen and Christopher Alexander became authoritative works for the school of Urban Design.

Gordon Cullen's The Concise Townscape, first published in 1961, also had a great influence on many urban designers. Cullen examined the traditional artistic approach to city design of theorists such as Camillo Sitte, Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin. He created the concept of 'serial vision', defining the urban landscape as a series of related spaces.

Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961, was also a catalyst for interest in ideas of urban design. She critiqued the Modernism of CIAM, and asserted that the publicly unowned spaces created by the 'city in the park' notion of Modernists was one of the main reasons for the rising crime rate. She argued instead for an 'eyes on the street' approach to town planning, and the resurrection of main public space precedents, such as streets and squares, in the design of cities.

Kevin Lynch's The Image of the City of 1961 was also seminal to the movement, particularly with regards to the concept of legibility, and the reduction of urban design theory to five basic elements - paths, districts, edges, nodes, landmarks. He also made popular the use of mental maps to understanding the city, rather than the two-dimensional physical master plans of the previous 50 years.

Other notable works include Rossi's Architecture of the City (1966), Venturi’s Learning from Las Vegas (1972), Colin Rowe's Collage City (1978), and Peter Calthorpe's The Next American Metropolis (1993). Rossi introduced the concepts of 'historicism' and 'collective memory' to urban design, and proposed a 'collage metaphor' to understand the collage of new and older forms within the same urban space. Calthorpe, on the other hand, developed a manifesto for sustainable urban living via medium density living, as well as a design manual for building new settlements in accordance with his concept of Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Bill Hillier and Julienne Hanson in The Social Logic of Space (1984) introduced the concept of space syntax to predict how movement patterns in cities would contribute to urban vitality, anti-social behaviour and economic success. The popularity of these works resulted in terms such as 'historicism', 'sustainability', 'livability', 'high quality of urban components', etc. become everyday language in the field of urban planning.

List of urban planners

List of urban planners chronological by initial year of plan.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Urban planning" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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