Request Inspection Copy

If you are an Academic or Teacher and wish to consider this book as a prescribed textbook for your course, you may be eligible for a complimentary inspection copy. Please complete this form, including information about your position, campus and course, before adding to cart.

* Required Fields

To complete your Inspection Copy Request you will need to click the Checkout button in the right margin and complete the checkout formalities. You can include Inspection Copies and purchased items in the same shopping cart, see our Inspection Copy terms for further information.

Any Questions? Please email our text Support Team on text@footprint.com.au

Submit

Email this to a friend

* ALL required Fields

Order Inspection Copy

An inspection copy has been added to your shopping cart

Urban Code: 100 Lessons for Understanding the City

by Anne Mikoleit and Moritz Prckhauer The MIT Press
Pub Date:
07/2011
ISBN:
9780262016414
Format:
Hbk 112 pages
Price:
AU$55.99 NZ$57.38
Product Status: In Stock Now
add to your cart
Cities speak, and this little book helps us understand their language. Considering the urban landscape not from the abstract perspective of an urban planner but from the viewpoint of an attentive observer, Urban Code offers 100 ''lessons”--maxims, observations, and bite-size truths, followed by short essays--that teach us how to read the city. This is a user’s guide to the city, a primer of urban literacy, at the pedestrian level. The reader (like the observant city stroller) can move from “People walk in the sunshine” (lesson 1) to “Street vendors are positioned according to the path of the sun” (lesson 2); consider possible connections between the fact that ''Locals and tourists use the streets at different times'' (lesson 41) and ''Tourists stand still when they’re looking at something” (lesson 68); and weigh the apparent contradiction of lesson 73, ''Nightlife hotspots increase pedestrian traffic'' and lesson 74, ''People are afraid of the dark.''

A lesson may seem self-evident (“Grocery stores are important local destinations”--of course they are!) but considered in the context of other lessons, it becomes part of a natural logic. With Urban Code, we learn what to notice if we want to understand the city. We learn to detect patterns in the relationships between people and the urban environment. Each lesson is accompanied by an icon-like image; in addition to these 100 drawings, thirty photographs of street scenes illustrate the text. The photographs are stills from films shot in the Manhattan neighborhood of SoHo; the lessons are inspired by the authors’ observations of SoHo, but hold true for any cityscape.

The effect of Urban Code is a multimodal, almost helter skelter, accretive and cumulative, indirect yet structured, obvious and concurrently nuanced, simple while sophisticated, zen-like in its quiet message, yet powerfully provocative in its impact.

'Stephen E. Roulac, New York Journal of Books
Anne Mikoleit is a research scientist and PhD candidate, teaching architecture and urban design in the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich. Moritz Prckhauer is a former research scientist at ETH Zurich and is currently practicing architecture in Zurich.