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Urban city space featuring glass building with underpass and people walking about, Minding the City Fields notes on meaning in performative urban space in white font near centre.

Minding the City

Field notes on meaning in performative urban space

By (author) Harrison Fraker
By (author) Peter Siostrom
By (author) Atanaska Foteva


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  • Explores how insights from neuroscience are reprioritising urban design theory and pointing to opportunities for how to make sustainable urban design more than a technical approach to climate change, but a more meaningful, even poetic urban experience
  • Ideal for students of architecture, landscape architecture and city planning and the practitioners in those professions who are pursuing the study and practice of urban design. Will be of special interest to large urban design firms, to city planning agencies, public works and planning boards and to the wider design public
Full Description

This book calls attention to the public space of cities. It proposes that the environmental performance of public space is underdeveloped and is primed to play a more integrated role in combatting the urgency of climate change, while also creating a more meaningful experience of the city. The approach is influenced by recent insights from neuroscience that are generating a growing body of evidence for the underlying bodily basis of mind and meaning imply a reformulation of urban design theory.

Minding the City
is an effort to refocus the subject of urban design on the tangible and visceral experience of public space, to remind urban designers that our concept of the city is grounded in bodily experience. It discusses emerging insights from neuroscience and their potential impact on urban design in detail, not as a formula for design, but to bring awareness, a new sensibility to the design process. It uses a set of case studies to illustrate how the insights from neuroscience are operative in how we experience and value the built environment. It finishes with an exploration of the sensory and aesthetic potential of sustainable systems and then illustrates, through a series of urban design studies, how they might be used to create better environmental performance while creating more meaningful, even poetic urban spaces.

About the Author

Educated at Princeton and Cambridge Universities, Harrison Fraker is considered a pioneer in climate responsive architecture and sustainable urban design. He has received major awards over 50+ years of teaching, practice and research, first at Princeton, as chair and founding dean at Minnesota, and Dean at Berkeley. Having retired from full time teaching, he continues to conduct research on his "ecoblock" concept as a professor of the Graduate School and lectures globally on the urgency of sustainable urban design.

Peter Siostrom was educated at the AA in London and received his MArch from Lund University. Currently he is the Director and Founder of the Master program in Sustainable Urban Design (SUDes) at Lund, Chairman of the SUDes Urban Lab and holds distinguished international appointments related to sustainable urban research. He has been the designer of interiors, architecture, urban design, competitions, conferences and exhibitions for over 40 years and lectures globally on sustainable urban design topics.

Atanaska Foteva is an enthusiastic architect with MA (hons) degree in Architecture from Edinburgh University and MSc degree in Sustainable Urban Design from Lund University. After working as a teaching assistant in SUDes Program, she is currently interested in addressing the fragmented identities of contemporary city development, with a keen eye on resilience and sustainability.

Look Inside
ORO Editions
18th Feb 2021
Paperback / softback
World excluding USA, Canada, Australasia & Asia (except Japan; China non-exclusive)
229 mm x 178 mm
240 Pages
220 color
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