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Architecture Citty Planning

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in architecture, art

Mumford ‘s Geographic Plexus

Lewis Mumford was not only a voluminous writer who became an influential literary critic , but also an American historian , known for his study of urban architecture in cities , his emphasis in humanism , technology and science

Considered an authority on urban life and architecture , especially after the publication of his book The Brown Decades , his optimistic view of the human possibilities inherent in the use of mass communication and electricity , soon fell into negativism

Popular consensus in classrooms and history books will espouse Roman city planners as [banner_entry_middle]

shrewd , meticulously planning for the use of its citizens , and as a reflection of their values . Many of those ideas are seen today in modern cities . Lewis Mumford was perhaps the most vocal opponent of this type of municipal planning , and in fact , claimed that the needs and values Roman cities were planned around , were the very reason why Rome fell . As a social moralist of the late- to post-Victorian era , Lewis Mumford saw modern day New York as the clone of ancient Rome , and forecast its eventual demise , as surely as that of the Italian capital

The problem , as Mumford saw it , was Rome ‘s layout . Similar to a military camp , it had two main streets : one going North and South , and the other East and West . Smaller streets divided the town into blocks with the addition of a gated wall . Mumford saw this design as another example of Roman elitism . He thought urban space should be balanced with an organized community life . This was an ideal expression of his own utopian vision , and exemplified in the Medieval villages of Europe , and often reflected in the ancient Greek city designs . He did not consider most of the Middle Ages “dark ages ” but rather a valuable idea , never brought fully to fruition . His recognition of an inherent duality in humankind that waged war with itself , was instrumental in his ideas about city planning , and these opposing human sensibilities were often apparent in the history of architecture

While Mumford was offended by both the politics and the materialism of 5th century Roman culture , he extolled the virtues of ancient Greece where citizens were not controlled by a few powerful entities , and were not enslaved by the politics of greed and personal gain . The Greeks , he said , had a better grasp of cities as extensions of social progress relating to the individual as a member of the group .a geographic plexus , an economic organization , an institutional process , a theater of social action , and an aesthetic symbol of collective unity (The Culture of Cities 480

Indeed , Mumford ‘s idea of city planning involved an underpinning of nurturance

Women ‘s presence made itself felt in every part of the village : not least in its physical structures , with their protective enclosures .Security , receptivity , enclosure , nurture – these functions belong to woman and they take structural expression in every part of the village in the house and the oven , the byre and the bin , the cistern , the… [banner_entry_footer]

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