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0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick delivery
I ordered this book off amazon which i was not expecting to arrive until the 22nd april but fortunately it was early which is not expected.
Published on 17 April 2009 by Ms. G. Robinson

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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A useful handbook on urban design methodology for students.
'Responsive Environments' was one of the first publications to draw together the many strands of urban design thinking into a coherently structured handbook aimed primarily at urban design students. It sets in context the pioneering work of the American planner Kevin Lynch's 'the Image of the City' of 1959 and Jane Jacob's groundbreaking work 'The Death and Life of Great...
Published on 30 Oct 2001


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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A useful handbook on urban design methodology for students., 30 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Responsive Environments (Paperback)
'Responsive Environments' was one of the first publications to draw together the many strands of urban design thinking into a coherently structured handbook aimed primarily at urban design students. It sets in context the pioneering work of the American planner Kevin Lynch's 'the Image of the City' of 1959 and Jane Jacob's groundbreaking work 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities' of 1961. Togehter with Gordon Cullen's 'Townscape' and Colin Rowe's 'Collage City' these were the publications which established Urban Design as a distinct discipline. RE synthesises many of the issues raised in these works as a series of steps in analysing urban design problems. Written by a group of tutors at Oxford Brookes School of Architecture the book is aimed primarily at students and broadly follows the structure of the Oxford's urban design course. It is also useful to the urban design practioner as a check-list to ensure that all the main issues of urban design problems have been addressed. Issues of context, permeability, paths edges, etc are explained and illustrated with reference to student projects based mostly in Oxford and Reading.
The Oxford School of Urban Design is primarily associated with its strong advocacy of perimeter blocks, that is a courtyard form with development facing outward onto the surrounding streets. This development model has the advantage of buildings addressing the public realm at the street level with private open space enclosed within the court. It avoids the problems associated with the backs of buildings and service areas being exposed to public view and blank gable ends of housing facing the street. Perimeter housing blocks were developed as the usual form of social housing in several European countries at the beginning of the 20th century and the form has been taken up by urban designers of today to such an exteent that is has become a universal model of urban structuring. The perimeter block is not however a universal panacea for all situations and students need to be especially careful not to treat it as such but use it only where circumstances are appropriate.
'Responsive Environments' lives up to its title as a manual for (urban) designers and when first published in 1985 had the field pretty much to itself in the UK. Since the Urban Taskforce Report of 1999 there have been a number of guides to urban design published in response to the higher profile of urban design resulting from the Lord Rogers' Report. Recent publications include 'By Design', 'The Value of Urban Design' and 'The Urban Design Compendium', all glossy publications published by the DETR which set high standards in terms of presentation with colour diagrams and photographs. By contrast 'Responsive Environments' now looks somewhat dated. Although the latest edition was issued in 2001 some of the information needs updating particularly the construction costs and values in Chapter 2.4 'Calculating Project Values'.
Readers of 'Responsive Environments' may also wish to acquire the new handbook written by the University of Westminster urban design tutors called 'Approaching Urban Design' which broadly outlines the urban design masters course at the University of Westminster.
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0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick delivery, 17 April 2009
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Ms. G. Robinson (cheshire england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Responsive Environments (Paperback)
I ordered this book off amazon which i was not expecting to arrive until the 22nd april but fortunately it was early which is not expected.
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Responsive Environments
Responsive Environments by Paul Murrain (Paperback - 1 Dec 1985)
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