The Form of the City
(Cities 190)
Growth and Structure of Cities Program

Carola Hein
chein@brynmawr.edu
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
Spring 2001


SYLLABUS

AIM
This course discusses the development of urban form from the earliest settlements to the contemporary city. It explores the political, economic, social and cultural reasons for city formation and its visual expression. The course will look at the main actors of city planning, its methods and techniques as well as forms of representation. It is conceived as a basic course, to introduce you to some major players in the field and may serve as background for future research or work. It is therefore considered important that you carefully study names, dates, places and visual documents.

REQUIREMENTS
This course requires active class participation and reading. There are two exams with 20% each, a final paper (40%) as well as two assignments and two essays to be prepared in groups for discussion sections (20%). All these should be submitted in a timely fashion.

TEXTBOOKS
You should buy the required books. These books and some other major texts are also available on reserve and/or e-reserve.

 

CLASS SCHEDULE AND ASSIGNMENTS

I.   Introduction

Week 1:   The Nature of Urban Form
(Jan. 22, 24, 26)

Read:
  • START:  Lynch, Kevin, The Image of the City, MIT, 1960



II.   City Form Worldwide/the Question of Urban Origins

Week 2:   Ancient and Arabic Cities
(Jan. 29, 31, Feb. 2)

Read:
  • FINISH:  Lynch, Kevin, The Image of the City, MIT, 1960;
  • Childe, V. Gordon, "The Urban Revolution," Town Planning Review, 21 (April 1950), p. 1-17;
  • Lopez, Robert S., "The Crossroads within the Wall," in: Oscar Handlin and John Burchard eds. The Historian and the City. MIT 1963, p. 27-43;
  • Bianca, Stefano:
    • "Basic Principles of Islam and their Social, Spatial and Artistic Implications," p. 23-48; and
    • "Environmental, Cultural and Historic Shaping Factors of Islamic Architecture," p. 49-72.


Friday, Feb. 2 - Hand in assignment



Week 3:   Asian Cities: From their Origins to the Present
(Feb. 5, 7, 9)

Read:
  • Steinhardt, Nancy, Chinese Imperial City Planning, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, p. 1-28;
  • Jinnai, Hidenobu, Tokyo: A Spatial Anthropology, University of California Press, 1995, p. 7-65.



III.   European Cities

Week 4:   Greek City States, Rome and the Empire
(Feb. 12, 14, 16)

Read:
  • Morris, A.E.J., History of Urban Form:
    • "Greek City States," p. 35-54
    • "Rome and the Empire," p. 55-91
  • Nichols, Deborah L.; Charlton, Thomas H., ed. The Archaeology Of City-states: Cross-cultural Approaches. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997, p. 95-105



Week 5:   Medieval Cities, Renaissance and Absolutism
(Feb. 19, 21, 23)

Read:
  • Saalman, Howard, Medieval Cities, New York, 1968, 11-45;
  • Morris, A.E.J., History of Urban Form:
    • "The Renaissance: Italy sets a Pattern," p. 157-220



1.  Monday, Feb. 26th - Hour examination



IV.   Cities in the Americas

Week 6:   The Cities of the New World and Early American Cities
(Feb. 26, 28, March 2 )

Read:
  • Morris, A.E.J., History of Urban Form:
    • "France: Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century," p. 191-220;
    • "Spain and her Empire," p. 292-320;
    • "Urban USA," p. 321-364.
  • Low, Setha M. "Cultural Meaning of the Plaza:The History of the Spanish-American Gridplan-Plaza Urban Design," in: Rotenberg, Robert; McDonogh, Gary (eds.), The Cultural Meaning of Urban Space, Westport, CT, 1993, p. 75-93.


Friday, March 2 - Hand in assignment



Week 7:   Cities and Colonization
(March 5, 7, 9)

Read:
  • King, Anthony, "Exporting planning: the colonial and neo-colonial experience," in: Cherry, Gordon E. ed., Shaping an Urban World: Planning in the Twentieth Century, London, 1980, p. 203-226



Week 8:   Spring vacation eliminates
March 12, 14, 16

Please discuss your paper proposal with Carola Hein



V.   The Modern City:
Industrial Revolution and the Origins of Modern Planning

Week 9:   The Birth of the Modern City
(March. 19, 21, 23)

Read:
  • START:  Choay, FranÁoise, The Modern City: Planning in the Nineteenth Century, New York, 1970



Week 10:   Critique of the modern city
(March 26, 28, 30)

Read:
  • FINISH:  Choay, FranÁoise, The Modern City: Planning in the Nineteenth Century, New York, 1970
  • Engels, Friedrich, The Condition of the Working Class in England, tr. 1958, chap. 3



VI.   Planning and Urban Development in the Early 20th Century

Week 11:   From the Garden City to the Rational City....
(April 2, 4, 6)

Read:
  • START:  Fishman, Robert, Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century, New York, 1977



Week 12:   ....Visions and Realities
(April 9, 11, 13)

Read:
  • FINISH:  Fishman, Robert, Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century, New York, 1977
  • START:  Jacobs Jane, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, 1962



VII.   Planning and Urban Development Since the Second World War

Week 13:   The Science of Planning and its Criticism
(April 16, 18, 20)

Read:
  • FINISH:  Jacobs, Jane, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, 1962


FINAL PAPER DUE:  April 23



Week 14:   In Search for New Forms of Urban Planning and Design
(April 23, 25, 27)

Read:
  • Davidoff, Paul, "Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning, 1965," in Scott Campbell and Susan S. Fainstein, eds. Readings in Planning Theory, Blackwell, 1998, p. 305-22;
  • Ritzdorf, Marsha, "Feminist ThoughtsÖ," in Campbell and Fainstein, 445-50;
  • Fainstein, Susan, "Planning in a Different Voice," in Campbell and Fainstein, 456-460;
  • Garreau, Joel, "The Search for the Future inside Ourselves," in: Edge City, New York, 1991, p. 3-15;
  • Bressi, Todd, "Planning the American Dream," in Peter Katz, The New Urbanism, p. XXV-XLII.



2. Wednesday April 30th - Hour examination



Week 15:   The Present and Future of the City
(April 30, May 2, 4 )




ASSIGNMENTS

1.   Assignments for discussion sessions: (20% of the grade)

Week 1: Discussion in the gallery space in Canaday

Week 2: Discussion of Assignment I
  1. Draw the way from your house (a place you know well or the College you live in) to your high school, the post office, bank, shopping mall or other local landmarks.
  2. Analyze your sketch in a short text. We will discuss your findings in class.
    • What did you see?
    • What did you not see?
    • Was your memory related to a particular means of transport or your age?
    • Is your mental map correct in scale? If not why? etc.


Week 3: Lecture Carola Hein

Week 4: Hand in group essay (2-3 pages) on readings

Week 1-4: Discussion of readings and lectures

Week 5: Review for exam

Week 6: Discussion of Assignment II
  1. Go in groups by one of the following methods
    • walking
    • jogging
    • bicycling
    • train
    • car towards Philadelphia for 30 min.
  2. Organize the group; select a map and an appropriate itinerary.
  3. Highlight it on the map and explain your choices in a short written statement.
  4. Record what you see at the speed that you are moving, what obstacles you meet, etc..
  5. Take photos (not the person who is driving) or sketch.


Week 7: Class discussion

Week 8: Spring vacation

Week 9: Class discussion

Week 5-9: Discussion of readings and lectures

Week 10: Hand in group essay (2-3 pages) on readings

Week 11: Class discussion, Presentation and discussion of projects for the final assignment

Week 12: Class discussion, Presentation and discussion of projects for the final assignment

Week 13: Presentation

Week 14: Review for exam 2.


2.   Final paper due at the beginning of the class on April 23 (40%).
Several options are available:

  1. An essay, composed of visual materials, which applies Kevin Lynch¥s theory of urban legibility to Philadelphia. You may use photographs, drawings, pictures cut out of magazines, xeroxes, or any combination of these. The point is not to compose a guidebook, but to make a thoughtful selection of images (about 15 is usually enough) which illustrates Lynch¥s theory. Text should be kept to a minimum: captions or brief commentary, a short introduction explaining what has been selected and why. Team projects are welcome, but discuss this option with Carola Hein first.

  2. An overlay map, drawn to scale and including a directional arrow, showing a European city in three major phases of its development. Street patterns, location of main public buildings and spaces, and fortifications, if any, should be shown. Suggested cities: London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Vienna. Choose from among these periods: ancient, medieval, Renaissance, early modern, modern. It is not necessary to draw well to select this alternative. Consult Carola Hein about the best materials to use

  3. A paper of ca. 1750-2500 words (7-10 pages) discussing the history of an important street over a significant time span. The text may be accompanied by drawings, pictures, or other visual analysis. Suggested streets: the Strand, London; Unter den Linden, Berlin, lower Broadway, New York City. Consult Carola Hein early in the semester: you must have permission to choose this option.

  4. A group of three book reports on related titles in the recommended reading list above (total c. 2500 words, 9-10 pages). Consult with Carola Hein early in the semester: you must have permission to choose this option.

  5. You may propose a topic of your own choice after browsing through the reserve and the library. This should be a research paper of 1750-2500 words plus footnotes and bibliography. Consult with Carola Hein early in the semester: you must have permission to choose this option.

3.   Visual Assignments
For the visual assignments, you should prepare a list of the documents you are going to use and explain briefly why you have chosen them. For the written assignments, the proposal should be two or three pages long and summarize your ideas. It should contain a bibliography and references with short explanations.

4.   Some Guidelines for Discussing Images of Cities
NOTE: You should ask yourself these questions about each city discussed in the course. There will be very few cases, however, in which you will have enough information to answer all the questions.

  1. The Images
    What kind of image are you seeing? Is it a map or plan, a view, a photograph? Does it have the same date as the site it represents, or is it a later construct? Who made it and why? - If it is a map or a plan, does it show the entire city or site, or only a portion? Why? - If it is a view or photograph, does it show the entire city or site, or only a part? Why? What is the angle of view? Why was this angle selected?
  2. The City Which Is Depicted
    What is the name and date of the city? Of what civilization and economic system is it a part? What is its approximate population? Its function? What is the location of the city, and its relation to the surrounding territory? What is the topography of the city itself? What is its area? What is the size of its population? Was it planned or unplanned? Partially or in its entirety?
  3. Streets
    Do they form an orthogonal layout (grid) or not? Are they of uniform or variable width? What is the relation of their width and layout to the heights of buildings? To the location of public spaces, major buildings, walls and gates, transportation system?
  4. Location of Functions
    Which areas of the city serve each of the following functions: marketplace, industry, commerce, housing, workplace, government, religion.
  5. Public Spaces
    What kind are they, where are they located, what is their size and shape? What functions do they contain? What is their relation to streets and/or major buildings?
  6. Major Buildings
    What kind are they, where are they located, what are their functions? What is their position in relation to streets and public spaces? How large are they in relation to streets and public spaces? How large and/or dominant are they in relation to each other? In relation to lesser buildings, such as housing?
  7. Walls and Gates
    Are they real or metaphorical? Where are they located? Are they the result or the cause of the placement of streets, public spaces, and/or major buildings?
  8. Transportation Systems
    What kinds of transportation exist in the city? What is their importance for the location of the city? For the location, size and shape of walls and gates, street layout, public spaces and major public buildings? For the location and character of workplaces and residential quarters? Water supply, sewerage, energy: Identify, locate and assess the importance of each of these for the other physical features described above.
  9. Building Technology
    What materials are used in buildings, roads, fortifications? What systems of measurement are employed? Interpretation
  10. Intrepretation
    To what extent do these physical features of the city reflect the economic, social, political, religious and philosophical systems of which the city is a part? What evidence supports your answer to this question?



READING AND RESERVE LIST

REQUIRED READING
(reserve/bookshop)

Bianca, Stefano
Urban Form in the Arab World, Thames and Hudson, London, 2000
  • "Basic Principles of Islam and their Social, Spatial and Artistic Implications," p. 23-48
  • "Environmental, Cultural and Historic Shaping Factors of Islamic Architecture," p. 49-72
Bressi, Todd
"Planning the American Dream," in Peter Katz, The New Urbanism, p. XXV-XLII
Campbell, Scott; Fainstein, Susan
Readings in Planning Theory, Blackwell, 1998, p. 305-22
Childe, V. Gordon
"The Urban Revolution," Town Planning Review, 21 (April 1950), p. 1-17
Choay, FranÁoise
The Modern City: Planning in the Nineteenth Century, New York, 1970
Engels, Friedrich
The Condition of the Working Class in England, tr. 1958, chap. 3
Fishman, Robert
Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century, New York, 1977
Garreau, Joel
Edge City: Life on the Frontier, New York, 1991
  • "The Search for the Future inside Ourselves," p. 3-15
Jacobs, Jane
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, 1962
Jinnai, Hidenobu
Tokyo: A Spatial Anthropology, University of California Press, 1995, p. 7-65
Lopez, Robert S.
"The Crossroads within the Wall," in: Oscar Handlin and John Burchard eds. The Historian and the City. MIT 1963, p. 27-43
Low, Setha M.
"Cultural Meaning of the Plaza: The History of the Spanish-American Gridplan-Plaza Urban Design," in: Rotenberg, Robert; McDonogh, Gary (eds.), The Cultural Meaning of Urban Space, Westport, CT, 1993, p. 75-93
Lynch, Kevin
The Image of the City, MIT, 1960
Morris, A.E.J.
History of Urban Form, Longman 1994
Saalman, Howard
Medieval Cities, New York, 1968, p.11-45
Steinhardt, Nancy
Chinese Imperial City Planning, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, p. 1-28



RECOMMENDED READING
(on reserve)

Especially Recommended as Background Reading

Hall, Peter
Cities in Civilization, Pantheon Books, 1998
Scully, Vincent
American Architecture and Urbanism, New York, 1969

Recommended for Background Reading and Reference

Abu-Lughod; Hay, R.
Third World Urbanization, New York, 1979
Bianca, Stefano
Urban Form in the Arab World, Thames and Hudson, London, 2000
Blakely, Edward J.; Snyder, Mary Gale (eds),
Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States, Cambridge, MA, 1997
Clark, David
Urban World/Global City, London 1996
Fathy, Hassan
Housing for the Poor, 1973
Fishman, Robert
Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century, New York, 1977
Gallagher, Winifred
The Power of Place, New York, Poseidon Press, 1993
Gutkind, Erwin
International History of Urban Development, 7 vols, 1964-8
Hall, Peter
Cities of Tomorrow, Cambridge, MA, 1988
Hall, Peter
The World Cities, London, 1984 (3rd ed.)
Hayden, Dolores
Redesigning the American Dream, MIT, 1985
Hayden, Dolores
The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 1995
Jackson, Kenneth
The Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States, Oxford University Press, 1985
Jacobs, Allan
Great Streets, Cambridge, MIT, 1993
Jacobs, Jane
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, 1962
Jones, Emrys
Towns and Cities, New York, 1966
Katz, Peter
The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community, New York, McGraw Hill, 1994
King, Anthony
Urbanism, Colonials and the World-Economy, Cultural and Spatial Foundations of the World Urban System, London, 1990
Kostof, Spiro
America by Design, New York, 1987 (video series; book)
Kostof, Spiro
The City Assembled, Boston, Little Brown, 1992
Kostof, Spiro
The City Shaped, Boston, Little Brown, 1991
Lavedan, Pierre
Histoire de l¥urbanisme, 3 vols., Paris, 1926-52, 1959
Lynch, Kevin
The Image of the City, MIT, 1960
McCamant, Kathryn; Durrett, Charles; Hertzman, Ellen
Co-Housing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, Berkeley, CA 1994
Marling, Kral Ann (ed.)
Designing Disney's Theme Parks: An Architecture of Reassurance, Paris/New York, 1997
Olsen, Donald
The City as a Work of Art, London, Paris and Vienna, New Haven, 1986
Peattie, Lisa
Planning: Rethinking Ciudad Guyana, Ann Arbor, 1987
City of Philadelphia
Philadelphia: A New Urban Direction, Saint Joseph¥s University Press, 1999
Reps, John W.
The Making of Urban America: A History of City Planning in the United States, Princeton University Press, Princeton New Jersey, 1965
Rotenberg, Robert; McDonogh, Gary (eds.)
The Cultural Meaning of Urban Space, Westport, CT, 1993
Schinz, Alfred, The Magic Square
Menges, Stuttgart, London, 1996
Warner, Sam Bass
Streetcar Suburbs: The Process of Growth in Boston 1870-1900, Cambridge, MA, 1962
Warner, Sam Bass
The Private City: Philadelphia in three periods of its growth, Philadelphia, 1968, 1987
Wright, Gwendolyn
Building the Dream: a social history of housing in America, New York, 1981
Wright, Gwendolyn
Moralism and the Model Home: domestic architecture and cultural conflict in Chicago, 1873-1913, Chicago, 1980
Wright, Gwendolyn
The Politics of Design in French Colonial Urbanism, Chicago, 1991




Last rev. = 11 June 2001