Past and future of townscape for a humane urbanism

Molinari, Carla and Spada, Marco (2023) Past and future of townscape for a humane urbanism. In: critic|all; V International Conference on Architecture Design & Criticism, Digital Proceedings, Delft 10-11 October. TU Delft Department of Architecture, Delft, the Netherlands, pp. 215-222. ISBN 9788409547951

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The complexity of the term Townscape is linked to its authorship shared on the pages of the Architectural Review. The first article in the Townscape column was published in 1948 and was written by Gordon Cullen. In 1949 H. De C. Hastings wrote the editorial “Townscape” and thus officially opened one of the most critical campaigns promoted by the British magazine, which will continue for over twenty years thanks to various authors, and culminated in 1961, with the publishing of the book Townscape by Gordon Cullen.
A few years after the publication of Cullen's text, theTownscape agenda became the subject of intellectual battles between critics such as Colin Rowe and Peter Reyner Banham. Then, in the 1970s, the term began to be associated with new forms of historical revisionism until it became the theoretical justification of Poundbury and Nansledan’s schemes promoted by then Prince Charles.
Some recent studies analyse the origins and developments of the Townscape’s agenda (Mathew Aitchison, Clément Orillard). At the same time, no one has yet focused on the historical origins of the term or the future potential of this urban theory, which associates tradition with modernity and rurality with the city, focusing on the richness of the human scale and experience.
This research is based on a literature review of the term Townscape from the XIX century to the present.
By selecting the most relevant publications and comparing the different meanings, this paper aims to reconstruct an awaited framework of the term, its evolutions, nuances, and future potential. The final aim is to suggest Townscape as a fruitful term to theoretically frame the contemporary challenges of urban design, providing possibly innovative and critically sound strategies for addressing the lack of sense of belonging of our townscapes.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: townscape, architectural review, Gordon Cullen, picturesque, urban design
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Marco Spada
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2023 10:46
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2023 10:46

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