The Concise Townscape
"Townscape" is the art of giving visual coherence and organisation to the jumble of buildings, streets and spaces that make up the urban environment. Its concepts were first developed by Gordon Cullen in The Architectural Review and were later embodied in the book TOWNSCAPE (1961) which instantly established itself as a major influence on architects, planners and others concerned with what cities should look like. Its interest, however, goes far beyond the professional sphere. Some may see it as an important contribution to art and architectural history since, for the first time, it explores the fact that certain visual effects in the grouping of buildings were based on quite definable, if often spontaneous, aesthetic principles. Others may find that it teaches them to appreciate, as no other book has done, what it is that makes a town "work" architecturally. A third group may want to study it for Cullen's superb drawings of city scenery - a skill at which he is the acknowledged master.