Urban Transformation: Understanding City Form and Design
How do cities transform over time? And why do some cities change for the better while others deteriorate? In articulating new ways of viewing urban areas and how they develop over time, Peter Bosselmann offers a stimulating guidebook for students and professionals engaged in urban design, planning, and architecture. By looking through Bosselmann’s eyes (aided by his analysis of numerous color photos and illustrations) readers will learn to “see” cities anew.
Bosselmann organizes the book around seven “activities”: comparing, observing, transforming, measuring, defining, modeling, and interpreting. He introduces readers to his way of seeing by comparing satellite-produced “maps” of the world’s twenty largest cities. With Bosselmann’s guidance, we begin to understand the key elements of urban design. Using Copenhagen, Denmark, as an example, he teaches us to observe without prejudice or bias.
He demonstrates how cities transform by introducing the idea of “urban morphology” through an examination of more than a century of transformations in downtown Oakland, California. We learn how to measure quality-of-life parameters that are often considered immeasurable, including “vitality,” “livability,” and “belonging.” Utilizing the street grids of San Francisco as examples, Bosselmann explains how to define urban spaces. Modeling, he reveals, is not so much about creating models as it is about bringing others into public, democratic discussions. Finally, we find out how to interpret essential aspects of “life and place” by evaluating aerial images of the San Francisco Bay Area taken in 1962 and those taken forty-three years later.
Bosselmann has a unique understanding of cities and how they “work.” His hope is that, with the fresh vision he offers, readers will be empowered to offer inventive new solutions to familiar urban problems.
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To Observe Some Observations of Copenhagens City Form at the Time of Global Change
To Measure Vitality Livability and Sense of Place
To Transform Rebuilding the Structure of the Inner City
To Define Urban Design Principles for City Streets
To Model Authenticity Modeling and Entitlement
activities Allan Jacobs boulevards buildings built Christianshavn City and Regional city blocks city design city extension city’s connect Copenhagen Courtesy density Department of City Donald Appleyard downtown Oakland ecological emerged estuary European Space Agency existing Figure Francisco Bay Area Frederiksstad freeway geometry Google Earth 2005 harbor high-rise hill housing human inner city Jan Gehl Kellersberger King’s Lake Merritt land landscape livability Livable Streets live maps million inhabitants natural neighbor neighborhood observed Ocean Parkway Octavia Boulevard ěrestad park pattern Pearl River Delta pedestrians plaza population properties proposed Randstad Regional Planning residential residents River San Francisco Bay satellite scale sense of place shoreline shows sidewalks social Source Space Agency 2001 square street grid structure tion tower traffic volumes transformation transit trees UC Berkeley units per acre Unpublished student urban design urban form walk world’s largest cities