Streets as Elements of Urban Structure
On Streets offers a superbly illustrated study of the history and sociology of streets, their role in urban life, their design and structure, as well as an actual demonstration project. Following an introduction on the urban ecology of streets by the editor, Joseph Rykwert and Anthony Vidler discuss streets in the past. They are followed by three essays on the structure of streets by William C. Ellis, Thomas Schumacher, and Victor Caliandro. Peter Wolf writes about the impact of different transportation types on street use. The semiology of the street is taken up by Thomas V. Czarnowski and Diana Agrest who focus on the street as the locus of communication and signification in the community. Social scientists Gloria Levitas, Gary H. Winkel, and Robert Gutman's contributions are especially intriguing investigations of the anthropology and sociology of streets, man/environment research, and the architectural profession's nostalgia for street life. Stanford Anderson's own study of neighborhoods in Paris and Cambridge forms the basis for a system of classification for public/private space, while Kenneth Frampton writes about architectural efforts to build alongside streets or to create megastructures with streets inside them. The book concludes with a demonstration project by the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies for Binghamton, New York.