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The Urban Masterplanning Handbook

ISBN: 978-0-470-97225-0
288 pages
February 2013
The Urban Masterplanning Handbook (0470972254) cover image


A highly illustrated reference tool, this handbook provides comparative visual analysis of major urban extensions and masterplans around the world. It places an important new emphasis on the processes and structures that influence urban form, highlighting the significant impact that public or private landownership, management and funding might have on shaping a particular project. Each of the book’s 20 subjects is rigorously analysed through original diagrams, scale drawings and descriptive texts, which are complemented by key statistics and colour photography. The case studies are presented in order of size rather than date or geographical location. This offers design professionals, developers and city planners, as well as students of architecture and urban design informed organisational and formal comparisons, leading to intriguing insights.

A wide geographical range of contemporary and historic masterplans are featured. These encompass European projects from the 19th century to the present day: Belgravia in London, Sarphatipark in Amsterdam, Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, La Défense Seine Arche in Paris and Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm. In North America, the postwar development of Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan is also the subject of a case study. More recent and ongoing international urban schemes are included, such as Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, Downtown Dubai and the New Central Business District in Beijing.

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Table of Contents




Broadgate, London 24

Masséna Nord, Paris 36

stuyvesant Town, New York 50

Battery Park City, New York 62

Avenue de l’Opéra, Paris 76

Vauban, Freiburg 88

Antigone, Montpellier 100

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin 114

Kirchsteigfeld, Potsdam 126

Spangen, Rotterdam 138

Belgravia, London 150

False Creek North, Vancouver 164

Sarphatipark, Amsterdam 178

Marunouchi, Tokyo 190

Euralille, Lille 200

Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires 212

Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm 224

Downtown Dubai 236

Beijing Central Business District 248

La Défense Seine Arche, Greater Paris 260


Timeline 274

Density Table 275

Figure-ground Diagrams 276

Scale Comparison of all Projects 280

Bibliography 282

Index 284

Image Credits 288

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Author Information

Eric Firley is the author of this book’s companion volumes The Urban Housing Handbook (2009) and The Urban Towers Handbook (2011). Assistant Professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture since January 2011, he is a trained architect and urban designer with work experience in property development and several design practices in Paris and London. Regularly invited to speak at architectural institutions around the world, he has a specific interest in interdisciplinary research and in the relationship between architecture and the urban fabric.

Katharina Grön is a German planner who graduated in 2008 from the Hamburg University of Technology. Already involved in the production of The Urban Housing Handbook, she has developed the graphic concept of the book, including diagrams and custom-made urban plans. She lives and works as a planner and urban designer in Hamburg.

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