Reading Summary Spiro Kostof’s book, The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History, begins with an introduction by the. 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.

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As a history of urban forms, The City Shaped is full of a lot of interesting insights into how and why various planners both public and private have chosen certain layouts for cities, and how human patterns of usage both are and aren’t shaped by the forms those planners have tried to choose for them.

Better World Books Ltd Condition: Hundreds of photographs, historical views, and specially commissioned drawings vividly depict a global mosaic of city building: NONE ] [ Writing: 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.

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. Kostof seeks to explain the evolution of urban design through sociological patterns of human settlements dating back to Maya and Mesopotamia. To see what your friends thought of this book, please 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.


Kostof describes the reasoning of different urban developments around the world, and what forces were primary to the resultant urban form. Instead of a typical comprehensive “history of the city,” Kostof finds simple urban forms, such as “the grid” or “the boulevard,” and traces their evolution and interpretation across hundreds of years. Free Tracking Number Included! 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.

Photographs, historical views and specially commissioned drawings vividly depict a global mosaic of city building – the shaping of medieval Siena; the creation of New Delhi as the crown of the Raj, the remodeling of Moscow as the self-styled capital of world socialism and the transformation of the skyline as religious and civic symbols yield to the towers of corporate business.

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Professor Kostof focuses thee a number of themes – organic patterns, the grid, the city as diagram, the grand manner and the skyline – and interprets the hidden order o. Kostof does not deign to actually run any numbers on how spigo 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.


Better illustrations than Mumford’s book but not nearly as interesting to read. Feb 15, kathryn added it Shelves: It is possible however for a city to exist without any one of these points.

The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History

Elena rated it really liked it May 12, shaed Trinder’s Fine Tools Published: Signed and inscribed by author. For any questions feel free to email us. Jobs Talent Finder Active Employers. Tagged urban theory urbanism.

Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. William Hsu rated it really liked it Feb 05, Aug 30, Blair rated it it was amazing Shelves: You certainly won’t look at the next plaza you see in the same way again.

The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History – Spiro Kostof – Google Books

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This was definitely worth the effort. Nov 16, John Andrews rated it liked it Shelves: His conclusion consists of nine points that make up his definition of a city. His books continue to be widely read and some are routinely used in collegiate courses on architectural history.

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