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urbanism

urbanism.
1. Term much used in the 1980s, based on Le Corbusier's ideas concerning town-planning.

2. Urban way of life compared with life in the country.

3. Approach to urban design taking into account the need to respond with sensitivity to urban morphologies: the Kriers have been in the vanguard of the movement to respond to urban history and fabric in a more positive and less destructive way than was propounded by International Modernism, the Athens Charter, and CIAM. The Kriers and their colleagues argued that context was important where sites were being redeveloped, and that it was not just a question of one building, but streets, urban spaces, and, ultimately, whole towns that needed careful design to avoid the visual chaos imposed so destructively on so many cities since 1945: they argued in favour of a sensitivity to townscape that had been so thoroughly rejected by Modernists. Urbanism (3) also rejects the concept of zoning advocated by Le Corbusier (for the pleasures of urban life suggest a plurality of activities), and accepts the necessity of keeping the motor-car at bay. According to Jane Jacobs and others, people should live in cities, use them, and walk in them, not clutter and pollute them with cars and other vehicles. Urbanism implies recapturing quality, beauty, pleasure, and civilized living in cities. See New Urbanism; Sixteen Principles of Urbanism.

Bibliography

Architectural Design, lvi/9 (Sept. 1986);
Calthrope (1993);
Choay (1965);
Collins & and Collins (1986);
Glancey (1989);
Hertz & and Klein (1990);
J. Jacobs (1961);
Jencks (1988a);
R. Krier (1979);
Lavedan (1952–60, 1975);
LeGates & Stout (eds.) (1966);
Papadakis & Watson (eds.)(1990);
Jane Turner (1996);
Whittick (ed.) (1974a);

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urbanism

urbanism Urbanism refers to patterns of social life thought typical of urban populations. These include a highly specialized division of labour, growth of instrumentalism (see WORK, SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF) in social relationships, weakening of kin relationships, growth of voluntary associations, normative pluralism, secularization, increase in social conflict, and growing importance of the mass media. In a key paper published in 1938 (‘Urbanism as a Way of Life’, American journal of Sociology
) Louis Wirth sought to ground these patterns in three general characteristics of cities—size, density, and social heterogeneity. However, later research showed that attempts to link social and cultural characteristics deterministically with physical locations are misconceived. See also URBAN SOCIOLOGY.

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