Review: The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings throughout History by Spiro Kostof; The City Assembled: The Elements of Urban Form throughout. Spanning the ages and the globe, Spiro Kostof explores the city as a “repository of cultural meaning” and an embodiment of the community it shelters. Widely. Spiro Kostof, “What is a City?” in The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History (Boston, ): To conclude these introductory remarks.

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Photographs, historical views and specially commissioned drawings vividly depict a global mosaic of citybuilding: For example, not all cities that cropped up along major rail stops through the United States stayed occupied for long, or that the ancient Maya rose to such great engineering heights and hierarchical political structures of classes, but suddenly collapsed, as described in Jared Diamonds book, Collapse.

Sep 18, Prajakta Ravi Vemula rated it it was amazing. Bob Sitkowski rated it it was ok Apr 13, You certainly won’t look at the next plaza you see in the same way again. Architecture begins in two dimensions, and results in a three dimensional object, but urban design takes the perceptions and experiences from three dimensional space and introduces the fourth dimension, time.

Apr 27, Margaret marked it as to-read Shelves: Other editions – View all The City Shaped: Nov 16, John Andrews rated it liked it Shelves: About the Author Spiro Konstantine Kostof was a leading architectural historian, and professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Dec 04, Michael rated it really liked it. Kostof has a dizzying array of examples of how seemingly similar patterns can result in very different cityscapes, in the same culture and even in the same city.


Published to overwhelming critical acclaim, this classic study of cities explains how and why cities — among the most enduring and remarkable of all human artefacts — took the shape they saped. Jason Beske rated it really liked it Oct 16, For other cities, their plans were based off the ability to get water to the ideal settlement ctiy, or to others yet, theirs was politically or commercially driven, like Wurzburg, Germany.

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Not that forms are completely neutral, but humans are a lot more adaptable then any other animal, which is why our civic forms don’t play the same role that the honeycomb does to the hive. Amparo Leon rated it did not like it Jun 23, Apr 09, Frank Stein rated it it was amazing. Books by Spiro Kostof. Youssef rated it it was amazing Sep 22, Feb 15, kathryn added it Shelves: To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Mar 02, Anahita added it.

Jobs Talent Finder Active Employers. Kostof does not deign to actually run any numbers on how expensive and environmentally damaging his anti-skyscraper stance is, but if you stop reading before that section or just stick to looking at its pictures you will have read a very interesting and comprehensive survey on an underappreciated topic.

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The City Shaped

His introduction describes the possible origins of urban design through the various human agglomerations, even if it is urbanism in an infantile form. Account Options Sign in. Lists with This Book. Trivia About The City Shaped: Dec 04, Theo ‘coco’ added it. What urban design can do is react to ccity the inhabitants needs are, but it can also instinctively anticipate potential futures in urban form based of the actions and patterns recorded over time.


These nine points are not a city make, however, they do make it possible for a city to take form.

The City Shaped

Some of the best and most interesting parts were where Kostof examined utopian ideals of planning, which have a long history dating back to Plato’s Republic and even before.

Kostof briefly explains the origins of how urban areas were defined as such and how certain areas developed from disparate villages to distinct urban centers supported by less dense agrarian uses for land.

My library Help Advanced Book Search. What is it that makes designers of social systems think that they need to design cities as well? Professor Kostof focuses on a number of themes – organic patterns, the grid, the city as diagram, the grand manner, and the skyline – and interprets the hidden order of urban patterns. Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History, begins with an introduction by the author that sets the context of his book within the relatively young profession and pedagogy of Urban Design.