1972-02-01

The Iconography of Urban Systems 720652

This paper argues that without a clear technically-based philosophy for structuring our cities, an iconography of systems equal to their growth and movement and change, our planning efforts are doomed to failure. Neither the architect, in his preoccupation with individual projects and mere pieces of cityscape, nor the engineer, in his willingness to slice into the living tissue of the city without understanding its socio-environmental pathology, is trained to cope with our problems of urban design. Yet is is the vast technical networks of movement that are the lifeblood of our cities, and have the most promise of providing an infrastructure capable of ordering growth and change in our cities. However, urban sociologists are preoccupied with problems of social diagnosis, architects reject technology as a conceptual skeleton for their esthetic games, and engineers seem unable to grasp the vast esthetic implications of transportation technology in the cityscape of tomorrow.

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