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Recombinant Urbanism: Conceptual Modeling in Architecture, Urban Design and City Theory Paperback – June 17, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0470093313 ISBN-10: 0470093315 Edition: 1st

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Recombinant Urbanism: Conceptual Modeling in Architecture, Urban Design and City Theory + Urban Design Since 1945: A Global Perspective + Writing Urbanism: A Design Reader (The ACSA Architectural Education Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Academy Press; 1 edition (June 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470093315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470093313
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...will become the first 'cult' book in the field...a dazzling and positive interpretation..." (, Jan 06)

" excellent book..." (Architects Journal, April 2006)

"This book offers a very useful history of ideas of urban design" (Urban Design, May 2006)

“…the first serious attempt to understand contemporary cities…” (Architectural Review, August 2006)

From the Back Cover

Recombinant Urbanism develops the urban-modeling techniques, first pioneered by Kevin Lynch, into a comprehensive framework for the fast-growing discipline of urban design. Covering the origins of urban design in North America and Europe, it discusses the main approaches that have evolved to deal with the fragmented contemporary city. It also looks at the influence of participatory planning processes, zoning codes, imagery, finance, and marketing on urban form. Shane describes how the very same forces at work behind the freedom of the individual have also led to a widespread urban dispersal. In the final chapters, Shane brings his argument up to date with an exciting and innovative vision of contemporary practice, in which urban actors combine urban elements in networked cities. While the urban-planning touchstones of pattern recognition, scaling, urban morphologies, and zoning codes remain at the fore, their role is stressed as a transient one. They are presented as ever-changing structures, subject to constant feedback and alteration by a changing cast of catalytic urban actors.

Providing a sophisticated and potent set of tools for urban designers and urban-design students, recombinant Urbanism also recasts urban modeling as an effective method of augmenting standard architectural design practices in an urban context.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Young on February 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Pragmatic exploitation of cities and their dwellers may be an ineradicable disease that drives the squalor and eventual decline of urban agglommerations, but those who take on diagnosis of the seemingly incurable become saviors if successful. There have been only a handful of modern-era thinkers with the knowledge, insight and creativity on what's wrong with the design of cities and what might be done to make it better, Viollet le Duc, Lewis Mumford, Kevin Lynch among them. It is an unexpected pleasure to encounter a new deep thinker standing on these giants' shoulders in Grahame Shane's magisterial "Recombinant Urbanism: Conceptual Modeling in Architecture, Urban Design and City Theory." The volume is comprehensive on urbanism, historically and intellectually, and will amply reward the student, scholar and professional who reads it in parts or most beneficially, in whole -- more than once. Prepare to be highly educated by this book, not merely advised what to do to get or keep a job or get a project funded by public taxation. If read and comprehended by urban policy makers it will contribute to their escape from real estate development hell, or if not that, it will arm honorable officials against the weasels who want to claim cities as their own profitmaking playpens. Shane wonderfully reminds what it is like to learn from a deeply thoughtful scholar offering open wisdom compared to a city-exploiter pitching secret schemes. Still, one might imagine land developers and good buddy officials searching Shane's compendium for nuggets to use in their next snake oil presentation to suspicious citizen groups rightfully fed up with unceasing demands for bailouts.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tigran Haas on June 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you want the book on urban design, one piece of work that covers it all and gives you depth, insight and outlook on this field like no other - then this is for you! A book that will become a classic in this field. Absoluetly with no competition!
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