The City after the Automobile: An Architect's Vision

By Moshe Safdie; Wendy E. Kohn | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8 Planning the Region

Making Places

A memorable place often occupies an important feature in the landscape: a harbor, a bay, a river delta, a lake, a hill within a town -- a physical event in the natural environment. We remember places that are dignified by a unique interaction between the man-made and the natural, places like Naples by the bay, Geneva at the lake's end, Rome on the Tiber's bend, Cape Town with Table Mountain, Amsterdam and its canals, or Ronda, Spain, a city bridging between two cliffs. Not only are these places set in special points in the landscape, but their own construction often amplifies their surroundings: an alignment of buildings on the watershed to overlook views ( Jerusalem), buildings that contain the curve of a harbor (Cannes), an important bridge to cross a river (the Ponte Vecchio). Great urban streets frequently maintain specific relationships to the natural terrain ( Barcelona's Ramblas descending to the bay) and link the most intense urban activity with great parks and gardens ( Fifth Avenue in New York City, the Champs Elysées in Paris, or Regent Street in London).

What we recognize as the special character of a city is the synthesis of an identifiable spatial structure with the unique mysteries and secrets of its site. As we know, many urban centers share the same generic diagram (a grid or radiating

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The City after the Automobile: An Architect's Vision
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also by Moshe Safdie ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Prologue ix
  • Part I Visions of the City 1
  • Chapter 1 the Ailing City 3
  • Chapter 2 the Evolving City 11
  • Chapter 3 the End of the City 27
  • Part Ii Facing Reality 37
  • Chapter 4 the Making of Public Space 39
  • Chapter 5 Working in the City 55
  • Chapter 6 Living in the City 69
  • Chapter 7 Confronting Mega-Scale 85
  • Part III Toward the Future 101
  • Chapter 8 Planning the Region 103
  • Chapter 9 Traveling the Region 123
  • Chapter 10 the Utility Car 137
  • Chapter 11 the City After the Automobile 151
  • Epilogue: Urbana 169
  • End Notes 175
  • Index 181
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