The role of urban design in developing communities

Bob Giddings

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The research that underpins this paper is based in European city centres. As the 20th Century unfolded, many of these cities began to lose their identities. The international style of architecture and emphasis on urban roads, created a situation in which morphological, cultural and stylistic variations were bulldozed out of history — generating buildings and spaces that could be almost anywhere. This research finds its origins in city structuring and how the careful expression of focal buildings that represent society, contextual buildings that represent more commonplace uses, squares for the assembly of citizens and streets for access — together create city centres that are not only legible but also support the psyche of communities. The proposition is that as people move between the symbols of society on a daily basis, they are psychologically reassured about the strength and stability of the particular city. Such places are attractive to visitors and citizens alike — reinforcing the political, spiritual, legal, social, economic and environmental frameworks that constitute success in the present and optimism for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2007
EventCIB World Building Congress - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 14 May 2007 → …


ConferenceCIB World Building Congress
Period14/05/07 → …


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