History of Urban Form

Spring 2020
Spring 2019
Richard Dagenhart
ARCH 4151
ARCH 6151

Understanding cities, the largest and most complex artifacts in human history, is essential as we face the challenges of building a sustainable future. This course is taught from historical vantage points across the globe, recognizing that urban form is shaped by many influences - ecological, technological, cultural, political and economic. Our framework for examining the form of cities, their histories and their present situations is morphological, that is, having to do with urban form and structure: " How territory is organized into public and private domains - in some form of lots and blocks and streets - the most persistent part of urban form and the fundamental framework for urban sustainability as cities change over time. " How the public domain - streets and public spaces and public buildings - are formed or designed for different purposes and different times, and as their situations change over time as settings for social, civic and political actions. " How the private domain of buildings and gardens fit within larger cultural, technological and economic contexts and, with few exceptions, change more frequently than either the public domain or the form of lots and blocks and streets. This three-part urban structure sets the stage for the everyday lives of citizens and denizens alike, enabling their accessibility and mobility, or not, enabling diversity, or not, and enabling resiliency with changes over time, or not.

 

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