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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Better illustrations than Mumford’s book but not nearly as interesting to read. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. 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. Features News Events Competitions.

Full of information, interpretation, and analysis. His conclusion consists of nine points that make up his definition of a city.

Return to Book Page. 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. Kostof will take a topological concept, like that of the “organic plan” as opposed to that soulless grid; ironically, deliberately “organic” patterns usually require much more advance planning than a grid, and as a result put more constraints on the lives of residentsdescribe its typical usage and variations throughout history, and enumerate examples of how different societies have used that idea, what it meant to them, and what the eventual effects were on the lives of the people who had to live in the end product.

Extremely clear, very thought-provoking. 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.


Mar 02, Anahita added it.

The City Shaped

Cris rated it it was amazing Mar 19, Jobs Talent Finder Active Shaepd. Jason Beske rated it really liked it Oct 16, A fascinating resource for the historical kostod of urban fabrics around the world – essential reading for architects and town planners.

What Urban Design Can Be? What makes them think it will be effective? It is possible however for a city to exist without any one of these points. He puts in a lot of confused ideological-aesthetic verbiage about how skyscrapers are symbols of the excesses of capitalism and how they destroy the character of cities.

The City Shaped

Next Art Deco Architecture. Amparo Leon rated it did not like it Jun 23, About the Author Spiro Konstantine Kostof was a leading architectural historian, and professor at ehaped University of California, Berkeley. Dec 04, Theo ‘coco’ added it. 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 did.

Bob Sitkowski rated it it was ok Apr 13, With hundreds of photographs and drawings that illustrate Professor Thd inno 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.

This rich theory set up in the introduction invites the reader to expand their thinking of urban design beyond the limits of modern city form.

List of Contributors Richard Tobias. I need a free copy of this book? For other cities, their plans were based off the ability to get water to the ideal settlement areas, or to others yet, theirs was politically or commercially driven, like Wurzburg, Germany.

Shaprd 30, Blair rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is my personal blog to express my thoughts and research on architecture and urban design bridging academic and practice. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser.


A Classic, I suppose, textbook for the history of Urban Design, I finally got around to dusting my 14 year old copy off to actually read and now haltingly going through its sister edition, The City Assembled.

My interests are in exploring the sustainability of urban environments. Take boulevards, which used to be primarily roads marking kostov boundary between city and country before they became synonymous with avenues: What forces shaping cities?

He drew an interesting parallel between plans intended for tye, like Jeremy Bentham’s famous Panopticon, and the radial plans of settlements where where power was designed to be at the center.

Nov 16, John Andrews rated it liked it Shelves: His books continue to be widely read and some are routinely used in collegiate courses on architectural history. To ask other readers questions about The City Shapedplease sign up.

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.

Apr 27, Margaret marked it as to-read Shelves: This is quite different from the study of many other fields.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. There are no dity topics on this book yet. Pam rated it it was cityy Mar 16, Anyone interested in the built environment who hasn’t read it.