Start Geo Dictionary | Overview | Topics | Groups | Categories | Bookmark this page.
geology dictionary - geography encyclopedia  
Full text search :        
   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   #   




  A central term in an approach to urban geography that emphasizes classification and mapping of the observable units of urban form. In its early decades, urban geography was principally the study of morphology, that is, the pattern of land uses and built forms, and morphogenesis, the historic stages of land use development including a significant concern with urban origins. Though scarcely noticed, this focus upon genesis, growth, and form was consistent with a widespread Social Darwinism in the social sciences prior to the Second World War.

More recently, this work has been extended, particularly in Britain, in the work of Conzen (1969), Whitehand (1992) and their students. Study of the town plan, its land-use units, and architectural forms together comprised an understanding of the townscape. From an essentially descriptive and classificatory project, work has now expanded to include the roles of the agents and institutions who have shaped the townscape, including property owners, developers, architects and planners, and also strategic planning questions such as urban conservation (Larkham, 1996). The focus of this work has become associated particularly with Jeremy Whitehand at the University of Birmingham, and has increasingly become institutionalized through international conferences, their proceedings (Whitehand and Larkham, 1992) and the launch of the journal, Urban Morphology, in 1997, which has confirmed the interdisciplinary trajectory of this research tradition to include architects and urban planners.

Outside Britain, similar research has been conducted by students of the cultural landscape, notably in Germany and the United States; of this genre, a widely cited example is the interpretation of New Orleans by Peirce Lewis (1976). But there has also occurred a separate development, sometimes associated with the rubric of the \'new cultural geography\'. Influenced more closely by developments in social and cultural theory, notably precedents in anthropology and literary theory, this work has paid more attention to the hermeneutics of the urban landscape. It has explored the metaphor, and the method, of landscape as a text which may be read to reveal the ideas, practices, interests, and contexts of the society that created it (Ley, 1987; Knox, 1991; Pred, 1995). Moreover, such landscapes are not simply products, but may themselves be fully implicated in the ongoing reproduction of society (Duncan, 1990). (DL)

References Conzen, M.R.G. 1969: Alnwick, Northumberland; a study in townplan analysis. London: Institute of British Geographers, Publication no. 27. Duncan, J. 1990: The city as text: the politics of landscape interpretation in the Kandyan kingdom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Knox, P. 1991: The restless urban landscape: economic and socio-cultural change and the transformation of metropolitan Washington, D.C. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 81: 181-2 09. Larkham, P. 1996: Conservation and the city. London: Routledge. Lewis, P. 1976: New Orleans: the making of an urban landscape. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger. Ley, D. 1987: Styles of the times: liberal and neoconservative landscapes in inner Vancouver, 1968-1986. Journal of Historical Geography 10: 40-56. Pred, A. 1995: Recognizing European modernities: a montage of the present. London: Routledge. Whitehand, J. 1992: The making of the urban landscape. Oxford: Blackwell. Whitehand, J. and Larkham, P., eds, 1992: Urban landscapes: international perspectives. London: Routledge.

Suggested Reading Whitehand and Larkham (1992).



Bookmark this page:



<< former term
next term >>


Other Terms : transportation choice models | hyperspace | alienation
Home |  Add new article  |  Your List |  Tools |  Become an Editor |  Tell a Friend |  Links |  Awards |  Testimonials |  Press |  News |  About
Copyright ©2009 GeoDZ. All rights reserved.  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us