C.J. Burns & A. Kahn
Routledge | 0415949769 | 2005 | PDF | 376 pages | 6 Mb

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One of the trends in twentieth century architecture and planning has been to denigrate and ignore the site, or larger context (both physical and social), surrounding a building or set of buildings.

Focussing on Le Corbusier's designs, Site Matters presents that first considered theory and vocabulary for the inevitable reaction against Modernism in planning, beginning in the 1960s and swelling through the 1980s as architects and planners alike developed a new appreciation of site, reincorporating the wider context into their plans.

Theoretical essays and empirically grounded pieces combine to provide the language and theory of this re-emergence of site, looking at Le Corbusier's designs, contemporary suburbs, and the planning agendas involved at the World Trade Center site.

Groundbreaking and innovative, Site Matters provides valuable theory and vocabulary for planners and architects.


1 Around the Corner: A Photo Essay 1
Lucy R. Lippard
2 Claiming the Site: Evolving Social–Legal Conceptions of Ownership
and Property 19
Harvey M. Jacobs
3 From Place to Site: Negotiating Narrative Complexity 39
Robert A. Beauregard
4 Groundwork 59
Robin Dripps
5 Site Citations: The Grounds of Modern Landscape Architecture 93
Elizabeth Meyer
6 Shifting Sites 131
Kristina Hill
7 Contested Contexts 157
Sandy Isenstadt
8 The Suppressed Site: Revealing the Influence of Site on Two Purist Works 185
Wendy Redfield
9 Neighborhoods Apart: Site/Non-Sight and Suburban Apartments 223
Paul Mitchell Hess
10 Study Areas, Sites, and the Geographic Approach to Public Action 249
Peter Marcuse
11 Defining Urban Sites 281
Andrea Kahn
12 High-Performance Sites 297
Carol J. Burns
Engaging the Field 311
William Sherman
Biographical Information 315


The authors (both of the School of Planning, Oxford Brookes University) promote the use of expert systems - computer programs crystallizing the way experts solve certain problems - and geographical information systems for conducting the impact assessment studies increasingly required for development proposals in Europe and elsewhere. They introduce the three fields, explaining their methodologies and summarizing the literature on their combined use. They then explore the potentials and limitations of the computer technologies for project screening and scooping, modeling air and noise impacts, impacts on terrestrial ecologies and landscapes, socio-economic and traffic impacts, and water impacts.

...must reading on a topic of perennial import for those concerned with the designed environment.--Charles Waldheim, Scapes No. 4, Fall 2005

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