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A New Theory of Urban Design (Center for…

A New Theory of Urban Design (Center for Environmental Structure) (original 1987; edition 1987)

by Christopher Alexander (Author), Hajo Neis (Contributor), Artemis Anninou (Contributor), Ingrid King (Contributor)

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1031184,155 (3.73)1
The venerable cities of the past, such as Venice or Amsterdam, convey a feeling of wholeness, an organic unity that surfaces in every detail, large and small, in restaurants, shops, public gardens, even in balconies and ornaments. But this sense of wholeness is lacking in modern urban design,with architects absorbed in problems of individual structures, and city planners preoccupied with local ordinances, it is almost impossible to achieve. In this groundbreaking volume, the newest in a highly-acclaimed series by the Center for Environmental Structure, architect and planner Christopher Alexander presents a new theory of urban design which attempts to recapture the process by which cities develop organically. To discover the kindsof laws needed to create a growing whole in a city, Alexander proposes here a preliminary set of seven rules which embody the process at a practical level and which are consistent with the day-to-day demands of urban development. He then puts these rules to the test, setting out with a number of his graduate students to simulate the urban redesign of a high-density part of San Francisco, initiating a project that encompassed some ninety different design problems, including warehouses, hotels, fishing piers, a music hall,and a public square. This extensive experiment is documented project by project, with detailed discussion of how each project satisfied the seven rules, accompanied by floorplans, elevations, street grids, axonometric diagrams and photographs of the scaled-down model which clearly illustrate thediscussion. A New Theory of Urban Design provides an entirely new theoretical framework for the discussion of urban problems, one that goes far to remedy the defects which cities have today.… (more)
Title:A New Theory of Urban Design (Center for Environmental Structure)
Authors:Christopher Alexander (Author)
Other authors:Hajo Neis (Contributor), Artemis Anninou (Contributor), Ingrid King (Contributor)
Info:Oxford University Press (1987), 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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A New Theory of Urban Design by Christopher Alexander (1987)



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A group of students, lead by Ch. Alexander, run a simulation on planning and developing an area of San Francisco (where the old waterfront highway ran). They apply more or less the patterns described in previous works to grow a city. It makes interesting points, like in how to choose the projects, and triggers some surprising results, like a mostly neoclassical look.

It doesn't offer anything radically new, but is nice to read and gives more thought about the piece-meal growth. It is well illustrated and explained, and it hints that maybe patterns are not the tool to generate live spaces. I haven't read the following books yet, but I feel this is a step towards whatever is explained in "The Nature of Order" books. ( )
1 vote ivan.frade | Sep 29, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Alexanderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Anninou, Artemismain authorall editionsconfirmed
King, Ingridmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Neis, Hajomain authorall editionsconfirmed
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