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Human Aspects of Urban Form - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080179742, 9781483156828

Human Aspects of Urban Form

1st Edition

Towards a Man—Environment Approach to Urban Form and Design

Author: Amos Rapoport
eBook ISBN: 9781483156828
Imprint: Pergamon
Published Date: 1st January 1977
Page Count: 448
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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


No. of pages:
© Pergamon 1977
1st January 1977
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Amos Rapoport

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