Books Of India Blog

Book Review: Principles of Urban Structure, by Nikos Salingaros

Vajra Books | ISBN: 9789937623322 | £22.50 paperback

Is a city best viewed as an organic, self-evolving construct, or is the primary influence that of central planners? These often contradictory views shape the way that people view the urban environment. Principles Of Urban Structure provides a refreshing view of contemporary city development by looking at individual structures within a city, and the interrelationship they have with each other. It therefore sidesteps the big picture and looks at the constituent parts, leading, ironically, to a new and deeper understanding of the whole.

The author’s primary concern is industrial and post-industrial development in the period following World War II. In India this has seen a phenomenal expansion in urban centres, both as places of work and places to live. Nikos Salingaros applies concepts such as fractal development and comparative scale to various models of contemporary urban planning, shedding new light on the questions of sustainability, practicality and aesthetic beauty.

The Principles in this book can be applied to cities anywhere in the world, but they are especially poignant for the booming urban centres of the developing world, where overcrowding, pollution and chronic strain on infrastructure are necessitating creative new approaches to planning. Published in 2014, it is interesting to read this book against the backdrop of recent urban developments in China, such as garden cities, and how these structural changes may affect the urban landscape of the coming 50 years.



Title – Principles of Urban Structure

Author – Nikos Salingaros

Price – £22.50




Target Readership

Principles of Urban Structure is a book about architecture, environmental policy and urban planning. It covers matters such as logistics, building, waste management and other topics in a sweeping and detailed narrative. It is an academic book and one primarily aimed at students and teachers involved in the theory of urban planning – but some technically minded general readers will find it interesting as well.
For bookshops with an architectural section, or academic libraries, this book offers a new, contemporary perspective to city planning that links the largest scale urban structures with the smallest.

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