Fantastic Read #1 - Public Places, Urban Spaces

If you are indeed studying architecture, or have a keen interest in it and wish to learn more, I will be introducing a series of posts dedicated to a few books that I have read that have helped me gain further insight into the topic.

To start of this series, I want to share a book great for understanding architecture and its relevance within the cityscape. I purchased this book in my second year of study, and I find it very interesting to read. I recommend it because it is very straight forward and so, easy to understand. It covers a wide range of topics, and it really makes you more aware about how decisions made within the built environment of our cities affect our day to day life.

Did you know how safe we feel in a place depends not only on the police and the camera, but also the atmosphere a place feels? In a country like Nigeria, we go on and on about lack of policing, but I tell you, it is time to start looking at the architecture of our cities, and whether they make us feel safe.

I mean, how open the public spaces are, which provide many options, routes out and into the city even, which subconsciously frees our minds, we are subsconsciously aware that if anything was to happen, we would not be boxed in, with no exit.

Our road networks are not only dangerous because of the pot holes, or bad drivers, but also because it is very easy to become boxed in.

If there was an accident and someone needed to be rushed to the nearest hospital, we know that this limited road network will pose a significant threat on that person's survival.

I rate this book:

- In terms of topics that it covers: 5/5
There are several considerations, digital means of safety & natural means of safety and plenty of real life examples.
- In terms of images and examples: 4/5
Most examples are European or American, but there is a wide range to choose from, making the book easy to comprehend.
- In terms of usefulness: 5/5
This book was the backbone to a module I took in Urban Design Theory, and contains a surplus of information in sufficient depth, enough to give a person the feeling that you have truly learnt something after reading it.

I definitely recommend this for the budding designer.

The formal synopsis:
"Public Places - Urban Spaces is a holistic guide to the many complex and interacting dimensions of urban design.

The discussion moves systematically through ideas, theories, research and the practice of urban design from an unrivalled range of sources. It aids the reader by gradually building the concepts one upon the other towards a total view of the subject.

The author team explain the catalysts of change and renewal, and explore the global and local contexts and processes within which urban design operates. The book presents six key dimensions of urban design theory and practice - the social, visual, functional, temporal, morphological and perceptual - allowing it to be dipped into for specific information, or read from cover to cover. This is a clear and accessible text that provides a comprehensive discussion of this complex subject.

* Learn all you need to know about design of urban spaces from this one-stop introductory guide
*Gain a comprehensive overview of the topic through the authors' holistic approach
*Complex ideas are presented logically for ease of understanding."

Link to book on

If you have any books to suggest please email me at: tjdesignz [at]
Fantastic Read #1 - Public Places, Urban Spaces Fantastic Read #1 - Public Places, Urban Spaces Reviewed by NG on 8/20/2011 09:00:00 am Rating: 5

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