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Since streetscape is a significant component of urban design, Gin has outlined the design principles for us. Thank you, indeed, because I am also interested in streetscape and pay attention to local streetscape every time I travel todifferent cities. Here I want to share some streetscape I photographed recently. (Fig.1)

Fig.1 Streetscape of different cities (Source: author’s own, 2019)

Think of a city and what comes to mind? Its streets. If a city’s streets look interesting, the city looks interesting; if they look dull, the city looks dull. (Jane Jacobs, 1961, p.107)

I completely advocate what Yoshinobu Ashihara, a Japanese architect, argues, buildings and streets must ultimately reflect the intention of a country or a city. Compared the featured image I shoot in Chaozhou, a historic city in China, to the Fig.1, we can identify lots of differences like identity of national culture. So it is of great necessity for urban designers to learn how to design a street. I would like to recommend you a book written by Yoshinobu Ashihara, which is The Aesthetic Townscape.In this book, the author makes a detailed and in-depth analysis of the Japanese street space and the street space of Western Europe by using the Gestalt psychology, as well as explores and concludes the natural and human characteristics, and the aesthetic order of the street and urban space. (Fig.2)

Fig.2 Illustrations of Italy and Japan urban fabric in the Aesthetic Townscape (Source: Ashihara, 1983)

Although there are lots of technical approaches that are helpful to design good street, the most important principle should focus on people. The book inspires and reminds me that the true aesthetic streetscape is achieved by returning the streets originally belonging to the people to the lives of the people.


References:

[1] Ashihara, Y., (1983). The Aesthetic Townscape. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

[2] Jacobs, J., (1961). The Death of Life of Great American Cities. New York: Vintage Books.

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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