Urbanism creates the spatial conditions needed for society to function. The distinction between the public and private domains is fundamental to civil society. The core task of urbanism within that society is designing the urban ground plan, which defines the way land is divided into public and private zones.
When that design is being created, developments in the programme and the utilization of space in the city play a role as the public space is designed and furnished and the rules for building are formulated. These four aspects of the task of urbanism (designing the urban ground plan, the programme and utilization of space, the design of public space and the rules for building) should be seen in relation to a fifth aspect: the way the territory is reshaped. How can a new expansion or modification of a city take account of the special conditions and the consequences for the territory itself?
Urbanism provides an overview of the foundations of urbanism as a discipline and discusses the relevance of those fundamentals to the challenges of the twenty -first century. This work is based on the centuries of experience and tradition as well as current practice in Dutch urban planning, yet its relevance extends far beyond national borders.
About the authors
Han Meyer is an emeritus professor of Urbanism at Delft University of Technology. Before his appointment at TU Delft, he worked for the Urban Renewal Project Organization of the City of Rotterdam. During the last decade, he has focused on urbanism in river delta regions.
MaartenJan Hoekstra is an assistant professor in Urbanism at tu Delft as well as a linguist. He wrote a dissertation on the development of the relationship between language and drawing in urban design.
John Westrik was an associate professor of Urbanism at tu Delft. He was also an urban design expert with the Urbanism & Social Housing Department of the City of Rotterdam and a member of spatial quality teams in various other cities.