Human Aspects of Urban Form

Human Aspects of Urban Form

Towards a Man—Environment Approach to Urban Form and Design

1st Edition - January 1, 1977

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  • Author: Amos Rapoport
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483156828

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Human Aspects of Urban Form: Towards a Man-Environment Approach to Urban Form and Design examines the way people perceive the city, the effects of urban forms on people, and the role of images. By adopting a man-environment approach, this book seeks to understand the importance of cities for human behavior or satisfaction. This text also considers the way given urban configurations fit people's psychological, cultural, and social needs. This book consists of six chapters and begins with an introduction to many of the concepts related to human dimensions of urban form and design. Urban design is discussed as the organization of space, time, meaning, and communication. The chapters that follow focus on the nature of the environment, cultural differences, role of values, and the concept of environmental perception as it is being used, along with the concept of image and schema. The three meanings of ""perception"" are then analyzed: the notion of environmental quality and preference as a variable concept and its constituent parts; various aspects of environmental cognition and its relation to design; and perception proper and its various aspects. Discussion then shifts to social, cultural, and ethological concepts that clarify the nature of urban space organization. This book concludes with a chapter stressing the need for people to get involved in the environment, the relationship of activity and form, and notion of open-ended design. This reference material will be of interest to students and practitioners of urban design and planning.

Table of Contents

  • Preface and Acknowledgments


    1 Urban Design as the Organization of Space, Time, Meaning and Communication

    The Meaning of Space

    Rules of Organization

    The Choice Model of Design

    Cultural Variability of Urban Environments

    The Role of Values in Design

    Environmental Perception

    The Perceived Environment

    The Excessively broad Meaning of "Perception" in the Literature

    Evaluation, Cognition and Perception

    The Distinction between Evaluation, Cognition and Perception in the Urban Environment — an Example

    Pros and Cons of Making These Distinctions

    The Filter Model

    The General Concept of Image and Schema

    The Development of the Concept of Image

    2 Perception of Environmental Quality — Environmental Evaluation and Preference

    Components of Environmental Quality

    Habitat Selection and Migration in Response to Environmental Preference

    The Variability of Standards

    The Problem of "Slums"

    Squatter Settlements

    3 Environmental Cognition

    Urban Images

    Cognitive Schemata and Mental Maps

    The Construction of Mental Maps


    The Subjective Definition of Areas

    Subjective Distance — Space and Time

    Subjective Urban Morphology

    4 The Importance and Nature of Environmental Perception

    The Multisensory Nature of Perception

    Information Approaches - Sensory Deprivation and Overload

    Density and Privacy in Sensory Terms

    Environmental Complexity

    The notion of Noticeable Differences

    Effects of Scale and Speed of Movement

    5 The City in Terms of Social Cultural and Territorial Variables

    Clustering and Urban Enclaves

    Socio-cultural Aspects of the City

    The Relevance of Ethological Concepts in the City

    Public and Private Domains

    Behavior Setting System

    The House-Settlement System

    6 The Distinction between Associational and Perceptual Worlds

    Symbolism and the Urban Environment

    Environment as Communication

    Culture, Symbols and Form as Ways of Coping with Overload

    Cross-Cultural View of the City — Differences in Form and Cultural Landscapes

    Designing for Cultural Pluralism

    The Involvement of People in Their Environment and Its Consequences



    Index of Names

    Index of Places

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 448
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Pergamon 1977
  • Published: January 1, 1977
  • Imprint: Pergamon
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483156828

About the Author

Amos Rapoport

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