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SpringerBriefs in Architectural Design and Technology

City Form, Economics and Culture

For the Architecture of Public Space

Authors: Guillén, Pablo, Komac, Urša

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  • Highlights the importance and use of public spaces in cities
  • Discusses how technology and culture influence the rules that shape cities through history
  • Advocates for a walkable city served by high quality public transport following the Japanese experience
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  • ISBN 978-981-15-5741-5
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About this book

This is a book about how cities occupy space. We are not interested in architectural masterpieces, but the tools for reinventing city life. We try to provide a framework for the architecture and design of public space without aesthetic considerations. We identify several defining factors. First of all, history as the city today very much depends on how it was yesterday. The geographical location and the technology available at a point of time both play a constraining role in what can be done as well. Culture, in the form of social norms, laws and regulations, also restricts what is possible to do. On the other hand, culture is also important in guiding the ideas and aspirations that together inform what society wants the city to be. The city needs government intervention, or regulation, to ameliorate the problem posed by a tangle of externalities and public goods. We focus on two comparative case studies: the evolution of urban form in the US and how it stands in a sharp contrast with the evolution of urban form in Japan. We emphasise the difference in regulations between both jurisdictions. We study how differences in technological choices driven by culture (i.e. racial segregation), geography (i.e. the availability of land) and history (i.e. the mobility restrictions of the Tokugawa period) result in vast differences in mobility regarding the share of public transport, walking and cycling versus motorised private transport. American cities are constrained by rules that are much further from the neoliberal economic idea of free and competitive markets than the Japanese ones. Japanese planning promotes competition and through a granular, walkable city dotted with small shops, fosters variety in the availability of goods and services. We hypothesise how changing regulations could change the urban form to generate a greater variety of goods and to foster the access to those goods through a more equitable distribution of wealth. Critically, we point out that a desirably denser city must rely on public transport, and we also study how a less-dense city can be made to work with public transport. We conclude by claiming that changes in regulations are very unlikely to happen in the US, as it would require deep cultural changes to move from local to a more universal and less excluding public good provision, but they are both possible and desirable in other jurisdictions.

About the authors

Associate Professor Pablo Guillen works at the School of Economics of the University of Sydney in Australia. He holds a PhD from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Business School. His research deals with experimental and behavioural economics, focusing on market design and bounded rationality. He is co-author of the book “La caja de memoria de Bogdan Bogdanovic” (with Ursa Komac).
Ursa Komac is a Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design and Technology and the Director of Academic Programs in Architecture at the Western Sydney University. Her research deals with architecture and the city, with a focus on public space and heritage. She holds a PhD from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona. She published a book on Bogdan Bogdanovic (joint with Pablo Guillen). Recently she was a Visiting Research Fellow at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $44.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-15-5741-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-15-5739-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
City Form, Economics and Culture
Book Subtitle
For the Architecture of Public Space
Authors
Series Title
SpringerBriefs in Architectural Design and Technology
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer Singapore
Copyright Holder
The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd., part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-981-15-5741-5
DOI
10.1007/978-981-15-5741-5
Softcover ISBN
978-981-15-5739-2
Series ISSN
2199-580X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VI, 81
Number of Illustrations
9 b/w illustrations, 12 illustrations in colour
Topics

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