views updated May 21 2018

townscape. Portion of the urban fabric that can be viewed at once. It was a term much used from the 1940s, analogous to in the Architectural Review, and by Thomas Wilfrid Sharp (1901–78) in his The Anatomy of the Village (1946), intended to encourage the enhancement of the urban environment in Britain. Many historic towns have pleasing townscapes revealed as the pedestrian moves through sequences of spaces, and the AR's campaign proposed that the study of townscape (pioneered by Geddes, Parker, Sitte, and Unwin) would provide precedents for urban redevelopment as well as for the new towns that were planned in Britain after the 1939–45 war. However, protagonists of International Modernism rejected the concept as Picturesque, leading to abandonment of its application since 1945.


Anno Domini, xlvi/9 (Sept. 1976), 534–6;
G. Burke (1976);
Co&C (1986);
Cullen (1973);
Me. Miller (1992);
Sharp (1946);
Sitte (1965);
Tugnutt & and M. Robertson (1987)


views updated May 18 2018

town·scape / ˈtounˌskāp/ • n. the visual appearance of a town or urban area; an urban landscape: the building's contribution to the townscape an industrial townscape. ∎  a picture of a town.