4.241J / 11.330J Theory of City Form

As taught in: Spring 2004

An black and white panoramic photo collage.

An aerial view of the Piazza del Commune in Assisi, Italy. (Image courtesy of Prof. Julian Beinart.)




Prof. Julian Beinart

Course Features

Course Description

Theories about cities and the form that settlements should take will be discussed. Attempts will be made at a distinction between descriptive and normative theory, by examining examples of various theories of city form over time. The class will concentrate on the origins of the modern city and theories about its emerging form, including the transformation of the nineteenth-century city and its organization. It analyzes current issues of city form in relation to city making, social structure, and physical design. Case studies of several cities will be presented as examples of the theories discussed in the class.