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The Making of the Urban Landscape

J. W. R. Whitehand

ISBN: 978-0-631-19198-8 September 1993 Wiley-Blackwell 256 Pages

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Urban landscapes are an important part of the daily lives of most of the population of the western world. Buildings, streets, gardens and parks are a fundamental means by which we orientate ourselves within cities, and contribute significantly to our daily levels of efficiency and well-being (or lack of them). The creation and maintenance of the urban environment accounts for a sizeable proportion of public and private expenditure. Yet despite the controversy surrounding a few special places, the people and forces responsible for shaping ordinary town and city landscapes have rarely been systematically investigated and are poorly understood.

By viewing urban landscapes in relation to the individuals and organizations responsible for their creation, this book supplies a crucial missing dimension to urban landscape history and a sharp insight into the dynamics of contemporary urban change.


1. Introduction.

2. Commercial Cores.

3. Institutional and Public Areas.

4. Residential Areas.

5. Urban Landscape Management.

6. Conclusion.



"The clear message I wish to give is that the author has been successful in exploring this approach to the making of the urban landscape: what is offered here is an example of how to get an insight into the activities of those who are at work in changing the face of our towns, and the excellent bibliography tells us where to turn for supporting material. This is strongly recommended for the shelves of the library." Applied Geography

"The book is clearly presented in a technically correct style, with good maps, diagrams and illustrations. The volume can be recommended to those requiring detailed and up-to-date examples of urban morphological change with which to compare their own research." Planning Perspectives

"Commended to urban geographers, planners, developers and conservatists alike." Urban Studies

"A thoughtful and new approach to looking at the physical development and management of urban landscapes." The Professional Geographer

* About the people - developers, planners, local governments and landowners - behind town and city architecture.
* The result of detailed research into city and town records.
* Reveals how little democratic control over development there is - and why.
* Explains why some urban environments are appalling disasters, others good places to live.