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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Urban Design Center Kashiwa-no-ha
Urban Design Center Kashiwa-no-ha

Urban design is the process of designing and shaping the physical features of cities, towns and villages and planning for the provision of municipal services to residents and visitors. In contrast to architecture, which focuses on the design of individual buildings, urban design deals with the larger scale of groups of buildings, streets and public spaces, whole neighborhoods and districts, and entire cities, with the goal of making urban areas functional, attractive, and sustainable.[1]

Urban design is an inter-disciplinary field that utilizes elements of many built environment professions, including landscape architecture, urban planning, architecture, civil engineering and municipal engineering.[2] It is common for professionals in all these disciplines to practice urban design. In more recent times different sub-subfields of urban design have emerged such as strategic urban design, landscape urbanism, water-sensitive urban design, and sustainable urbanism.

Urban design demands an understanding of a wide range of subjects from physical geography to social science, and an appreciation for disciplines, such as real estate development, urban economics, political economy and social theory.

Urban design is about making connections between people and places, movement and urban form, nature and the built fabric. Urban design draws together the many strands of place-making, environmental stewardship, social equity and economic viability into the creation of places with distinct beauty and identity. Urban design draws these and other strands together creating a vision for an area and then deploying the resources and skills needed to bring the vision to life.

Urban design theory deals primarily with the design and management of public space (i.e. the 'public environment', 'public realm' or 'public domain'), and the way public places are experienced and used. Public space includes the totality of spaces used freely on a day-to-day basis by the general public, such as streets, plazas, parks and public infrastructure. Some aspects of privately owned spaces, such as building facades or domestic gardens, also contribute to public space and are therefore also considered by urban design theory. Important writers on urban design theory include Christopher Alexander, Peter Calthorpe, Gordon Cullen, Andres Duany, Jane Jacobs, Mitchell Joachim, Jan Gehl, Allan B. Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, Aldo Rossi, Colin Rowe, Robert Venturi, William H. Whyte, Camillo Sitte, Bill Hillier (Space syntax) and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk.

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Transcription

So, let me add to the complexity of the situation we find ourselves in. At the same time that we're solving for climate change, we're going to be building cities for three billion people. That's a doubling of the urban environment. If we don't get that right, I'm not sure all the climate solutions in the world will save mankind, because so much depends on how we shape our cities: not just environmental impacts, but our social well-being, our economic vitality, our sense of community and connectedness. Fundamentally, the way we shape cities is a manifestation of the kind of humanity we bring to bear. And so getting it right is, I think, the order of the day. And to a certain degree, getting it right can help us solve climate change, because in the end, it's our behavior that seems to be driving the problem. The problem isn't free-floating, and it isn't just ExxonMobil and oil companies. It's us; how we live. How we live. There's a villain in this story. It's called sprawl, and I'll be upfront about that. But it's not just the kind of sprawl you think of, or many people think of, as low-density development out at the periphery of the metropolitan area. Actually, I think sprawl can happen anywhere, at any density. The key attribute is that it isolates people. It segregates people into economic enclaves and land-use enclaves. It separates them from nature. It doesn't allow the cross-fertilization, the interaction, that make cities great places and that make society thrive. So the antidote to sprawl is really what we all need to be thinking about, especially when we're taking on this massive construction project. So let me take you through one exercise. We developed the model for the state of California so they could get on with reducing carbon emissions. We did a whole series of scenarios for how the state could grow, and this is just one overly simplified one. We mixed different development prototypes and said they're going to carry us through the year 2050, 10 million new crew in our state of California. And one was sprawl. It's just more of the same: shopping malls, subdivisions, office parks. The other one was dominated by, not everybody moving to the city, but just compact development, what we used to think of as streetcar suburbs, walkable neighborhoods, low-rise, but integrated, mixed-used environments. And the results are astounding. They're astounding not just for the scale of the difference of this one shift in our city-making habit but also because each one represents a special interest group, a special interest group that used to advocate for their concerns one at a time. They did not see the, what I call, "co-benefits" of urban form that allows them to join with others. So, land consumption: environmentalists are really concerned about this, so are farmers; there's a whole range of people, and, of course, neighborhood groups that want open space nearby. The sprawl version of California almost doubles the urban physical footprint. Greenhouse gas: tremendous savings, because in California, our biggest carbon emission comes from cars, and cities that don't depend on cars as much obviously create huge savings. Vehicle miles traveled: that's what I was just talking about. Just reducing the average 10,000 miles per household per year, from somewhere in the mid-26,000 per household, has a huge impact not just on air quality and carbon but also on the household pocketbook. It's very expensive to drive that much, and as we've seen, the middle class is struggling to hold on. Health care: we were talking about how do you fix it once we broke it -- clean the air. Why not just stop polluting? Why not just use our feet and bikes more? And that's a function of the kinds of cities that we shape. Household costs: 2008 was a mark in time, not of just the financial industry running amok. It was that we were trying to sell too many of the wrong kind of housing: large lot, single family, distant, too expensive for the average middle-class family to afford and, quite frankly, not a good fit to their lifestyle anymore. But in order to move inventory, you can discount the financing and get it sold. I think that's a lot of what happened. Reducing cost by 10,000 dollars -- remember, in California the median is 50,000 -- this is a big element. That's just cars and utility costs. So the affordable housing advocates, who often sit off in their silos separate from the environmentalists, separate from the politicians, everybody fighting with everyone, now begin to see common cause, and I think the common cause is what really brings about the change. Los Angeles, as a result of these efforts, has now decided to transform itself into a more transit-oriented environment. As a matter of fact, since '08, they've voted in 400 billion dollars of bonds for transit and zero dollars for new highways. What a transformation: LA becomes a city of walkers and transit, not a city of cars. (Applause) How does it happen? You take the least desirable land, the strip, you add where there's space, transit and then you infill mixed-use development, you satisfy new housing demands and you make the existing neighborhoods all around it more complex, more interesting, more walkable. Here's another kind of sprawl: China, high-density sprawl, what you think of as an oxymoron, but the same problems, everything isolated in superblocks, and of course this amazing smog that was just spoken to. Twelve percent of GDP in China now is spent on the health impacts of that. The history, of course, of Chinese cities is robust. It's like any other place. Community was all about small, local shops and local services and walking, interacting with your neighbors. It may sound utopian, but it's not. It's actually what people really want. The new superblocks -- these are blocks that would have 5,000 units in them, and they're gated as well, because nobody knows anybody else. And of course, there isn't even a sidewalk, no ground floor shops -- a very sterile environment. I found this one case here in one of the superblocks where people had illicitly set up shops in their garages so that they could have that kind of local service economy. The desire of people to get it right is there. We just have to get the planners on board and the politicians. All right. Some technical planning stuff. Chongqing is a city of 30 million people. It's almost as big as California. This is a small growth area. They wanted us to test the alternative to sprawl in several cities across China. This is for four-and-a-half million people. What the takeaway from this image is, every one of those circles is a walking radius around a transit station -- massive investment in metro and BRT, and a distribution that allows everybody to work within walking distance of that. The red area, this is a blow-up. All of a sudden, our principles called for green space preserving the important ecological features. And then those other streets in there are auto-free streets. So instead of bulldozing, leveling the site and building right up to the river, this green edge was something that really wasn't normative in China until these set of practices began experimentation there. The urban fabric, small blocks, maybe 500 families per block. They know each other. The street perimeter has shops so there's local destinations. And the streets themselves become smaller, because there are more of them. Very simple, straightforward urban design. Now, here you have something I dearly love. Think of the logic. If only a third of the people have cars, why do we give 100 percent of our streets to cars? What if we gave 70 percent of the streets to car-free, to everybody else, so that the transit could move well for them, so that they could walk, so they could bike? Why not have -- (Applause) geographic equity in our circulation system? And quite frankly, cities would function better. No matter what they do, no matter how many ring roads they build in Beijing, they just can't overcome complete gridlock. So this is an auto-free street, mixed use along the edge. It has transit running down the middle. I'm happy to make that transit autonomous vehicles, but maybe I'll have a chance to talk about that later. So there are seven principles that have now been adopted by the highest levels in the Chinese government, and they're moving to implement them. And they're simple, and they are globally, I think, universal principles. One is to preserve the natural environment, the history and the critical agriculture. Second is mix. Mixed use is popular, but when I say mixed, I mean mixed incomes, mixed age groups as well as mixed-land use. Walk. There's no great city that you don't enjoy walking in. You don't go there. The places you go on vacation are places you can walk. Why not make it everywhere? Bike is the most efficient means of transportation we know. China has now adopted policies that put six meters of bike lane on every street. They're serious about getting back to their biking history. (Applause) Complicated planner-ese here: connect. It's a street network that allows many routes instead of singular routes and provides many kinds of streets instead of just one. Ride. We have to invest more in transit. There's no silver bullet. Autonomous vehicles are not going to solve this for us. As a matter of fact, they're going to generate more traffic, more VMT, than the alternative. And focus. We have a hierarchy of the city based on transit rather than the old armature of freeways. It's a big paradigm shift, but those two things have to get reconnected in ways that really shape the structure of the city. So I'm very hopeful. In California, the United States, China -- these changes are well accepted. I'm hopeful for two reasons. One is, most people get it. They understand intrinsically what a great city can and should be. The second is that the kind of analysis we can bring to bear now allows people to connect the dots, allows people to shape political coalitions that didn't exist in the past. That allows them to bring into being the kinds of communities we all need. Thank you. (Applause) Chris Anderson: So, OK: autonomous driving, self-driving cars. A lot of people here are very excited about them. What are your concerns or issues about them? Peter Calthorpe: Well, I think there's almost too much hype here. First is, everybody says we're going to get rid of a lot of cars. What they don't say is you're going to get a lot more vehicle miles. You're going to get a lot more cars moving on streets. There will be more congestion. CA: Because they're so appealing -- you can drive while reading or sleeping. PC: Well, a couple of reasons. One is, if they're privately owned, people will travel greater distances. It'll be a new lease on life to sprawl. If you can work on your way to work, you can live in more remote locations. It'll revitalize sprawl in a way that I'm deeply frightened. Taxis: about 50 percent of the surveys say that people won't share them. If they don't share them, you can end up with a 90 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled. If you share them, you're still at around a 30 percent increase in VMT. CA: Sharing them, meaning having multiple people riding at once in some sort of intelligent ride-sharing? PC: Yeah, so the Uber share without a steering wheel. The reality is, the efficiency of vehicles -- you can do it with or without a steering wheel, it doesn't matter. They claim they're the only ones that are going to be efficient electric, but that's not true. But the real bottom line is that walking, biking and transit are the way cities and communities thrive. And putting people in their private bubbles, whether they have a steering wheel or not, is the wrong direction. And quite frankly, the image of an AV on its way to McDonald's to pick up a pack without its owner, just being sent off on these kind of random errands is really frightening to me. CA: Well, thank you for that, and I have to say, the images you showed of those mixed-use streets were really inspiring, really beautiful. PC: Thank you. CA: Thank you for your work. (Applause)

Contents

History

Although contemporary professional use of the term 'urban design' dates from the mid-20th century, urban design as such has been practiced throughout history. Ancient examples of carefully planned and designed cities exist in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, and are particularly well known within Classical Chinese, Roman and Greek cultures (see Hippodamus of Miletus).[citation needed]

European Medieval cities are often, and often erroneously, regarded as exemplars of undesigned or 'organic' city development.[citation needed] There are many examples of considered urban design in the Middle Ages (see, e.g., David Friedman, Florentine New Towns: Urban Design in the Late Middle Ages, MIT 1988). In England, many of the towns listed in the 9th century Burghal Hidage were designed on a grid, examples including Southampton, Wareham, Dorset and Wallingford, Oxfordshire, having been rapidly created to provide a defensive network against Danish invaders.[citation needed] 12th century western Europe brought renewed focus on urbanisation as a means of stimulating economic growth and generating revenue.[citation needed] The burgage system dating from that time and its associated burgage plots brought a form of self-organising design to medieval towns.[citation needed] Rectangular grids were used in the Bastides of 13th and 14th century Gascony, and the new towns of England created in the same period.[citation needed]

Throughout history, design of streets and deliberate configuration of public spaces with buildings have reflected contemporaneous social norms or philosophical and religious beliefs (see, e.g., Erwin Panofsky, Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism, Meridian Books, 1957). Yet the link between designed urban space and human mind appears to be bidirectional.[citation needed] Indeed, the reverse impact of urban structure upon human behaviour and upon thought is evidenced by both observational study and historical record.[citation needed] There are clear indications of impact through Renaissance urban design on the thought of Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei (see, e.g., Abraham Akkerman, "Urban planning in the founding of Cartesian thought," Philosophy and Geography 4(1), 1973). Already René Descartes in his Discourse on the Method had attested to the impact Renaissance planned new towns had upon his own thought, and much evidence exists that the Renaissance streetscape was also the perceptual stimulus that had led to the development of coordinate geometry (see, e.g., Claudia Lacour Brodsky, Lines of Thought: Discourse, Architectonics, and the Origins of Modern Philosophy, Duke 1996).

The beginnings of modern urban design in Europe are associated with the Renaissance but, especially, with the Age of Enlightenment.[citation needed] Spanish colonial cities were often planned, as were some towns settled by other imperial cultures.[citation needed] These sometimes embodied utopian ambitions as well as aims for functionality and good governance, as with James Oglethorpe's plan for Savannah, Georgia.[citation needed] In the Baroque period the design approaches developed in French formal gardens such as Versailles were extended into urban development and redevelopment. In this period, when modern professional specialisations did not exist, urban design was undertaken by people with skills in areas as diverse as sculpture, architecture, garden design, surveying, astronomy, and military engineering. In the 18th and 19th centuries, urban design was perhaps most closely linked with surveyors (engineers) and architects. The increase in urban populations brought with it problems of epidemic disease,[citation needed] the response to which was a focus on public health, the rise in the UK of municipal engineering and the inclusion in British legislation of provisions such as minimum widths of street in relation to heights of buildings in order to ensure adequate light and ventilation.[citation needed]

Much of Frederick Law Olmsted's[3] work was concerned with urban design, and the newly formed profession of landscape architecture also began to play a significant role in the late 19th century.

Modern urban design

Ebenezer Howard's influential 1902 diagram, illustrating urban growth through garden city "off-shoots"
Ebenezer Howard's influential 1902 diagram, illustrating urban growth through garden city "off-shoots"

Urban planning focuses on public health and urban design. Within the discipline, modern urban design developed.

At the turn of the 20th century, planning and architecture underwent a paradigm shift because of societal pressures. During this time, cities were industrializing at a tremendous rate; private business largely dictated the pace and style of this development. The expansion created many hardships for the working poor and concern for health and safety increased. However, the laissez-faire style of government, in fashion for most of the Victorian era, was starting to give way to a New Liberalism. This gave more power to the public. The public wanted the government to provide citizens, especially factory workers, with healthier environments. Around 1900, modern urban design emerged from developing theories on how to mitigate the consequences of the industrial age.

The first modern urban planning theorist was Sir Ebenezer Howard. His ideas, although utopian, were adopted around the world because they were highly practical. He initiated the garden city movement in 1898 garden city movement.[4] His garden cities were intended to be planned, self-contained communities surrounded by parks. Howard wanted the cities to be proportional with separate areas of residences, industry, and agriculture. Inspired by the Utopian novel Looking Backward and Henry George's work Progress and Poverty, Howard published his book Garden Cities of To-morrow in 1898. His work is an important reference in the history of urban planning.[5] He envisioned the self-sufficient garden city to house 32,000 people on a site 6,000 acres (2,428 ha). He planned on a concentric pattern with open spaces, public parks, and six radial boulevards, 120 ft (37 m) wide, extending from the center. When it reached full population, Howard wanted another garden city to be developed nearby. He envisaged a cluster of several garden cities as satellites of a central city of 50,000 people, linked by road and rail.[6] His model for a garden city was first created at Letchworth[7] and Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire. Howard's movement was extended by Sir Frederic Osborn to regional planning.[8]

In the early 1900s, urban planning became professionalized. With input from utopian visionaries, civil engineers, and local councilors, new approaches to city design were developed for consideration by decision makers such as elected officials. In 1899, the Town and Country Planning Association was founded. In 1909, the first academic course on urban planning was offered by the University of Liverpool.[9] Urban planning was first officially embodied in the Housing and Town Planning Act of 1909 Howard's ‘garden city’ compelled local authorities to introduce a system where all housing construction conformed to specific building standards.[10] In the United Kingdom following this Act, surveyor, civil engineers, architects, and lawyers began working together within local authorities. In 1910, Thomas Adams became the first Town Planning Inspector at the Local Government Board and began meeting with practitioners. In 1914, The Town Planning Institute was established. The first urban planning course in America wasn’t established until 1924 at Harvard University. Professionals developed schemes for the development of land, transforming town planning into a new area of expertise.

In the 20th century, urban planning was forever changed by the automobile industry. Car oriented design impacted the rise of ‘urban design’. City layouts now had to revolve around roadways and traffic patterns. In 1956, 'Urban design' was first used at a series of conferences Harvard University. The event provided a platform for Harvard's Urban Design program. The program also utilized the writings of famous urban planning thinkers: Gordon Cullen, Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, and Christopher Alexander.

In 1961, Gordon Cullen published The Concise Townscape. He examined the traditional artistic approach to city design of theorists including Camillo Sitte, Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin. Cullen also created the concept of 'serial vision'. It defined the urban landscape as a series of related spaces.

In 1961, Jane Jacobs published ' The Death and Life of Great American Cities. She critiqued the Modernism of CIAM (International Congresses of Modern Architecture). Jacobs also crime rates in publicly owned spaces were rising because of the Modernist approach of ‘city in the park’. She argued instead for an 'eyes on the street' approach to town planning through the resurrection of main public space precedents (e.g. streets, squares).

In the same year, Kevin Lynch published The Image of the City. He was seminal to urban design, particularly with regards to the concept of legibility. He reduced urban design theory to five basic elements: paths, districts, edges, nodes, landmarks. He also made the use of mental maps to understanding the city popular, rather than the two-dimensional physical master plans of the previous 50 years.

Other notable works:

Architecture of the City by Rossi (1966)

Learning from Las Vegas by Venturi (1972)

Collage City by Colin Rowe(1978)

The Next American Metropolis by Peter Calthorpe(1993)

The Social Logic of Space by Bill Hillier and Julienne Hanson (1984)

The popularity of these works resulted in terms that become everyday language in the field of urban planning. Aldo Rossi introduced 'historicism' and 'collective memory' to urban design. Rossi also proposed a 'collage metaphor' to understand the collection of new and old forms within the same urban space. Peter Calthorpe developed a manifesto for sustainable urban living via medium density living. He also designed a manual for building new settlements in his concept of Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Bill Hillier and Julienne Hanson introduced Space Syntax to predict how movement patterns in cities would contribute to urban vitality, anti-social behaviour and economic success. 'Sustainability', 'livability', and 'high quality of urban components' also became commonplace in the field.

Current trends

Jakriborg in Sweden, started in the late 1990s as a new urbanist eco-friendly new town near Malmö
Jakriborg in Sweden, started in the late 1990s as a new urbanist eco-friendly new town near Malmö

Urban design seeks to create sustainable urban environments with long-lasting structures, buildings and overall livability. Walkable urbanism is another approach to practice that is defined within the Charter of New Urbanism. It aims to reduce environmental impacts by altering the built environment to create smart cities that support sustainable transport.[1] Compact urban neighborhoods encourage residents to drive less. These neighborhoods have significantly lower environmental impacts when compared to sprawling suburbs.[11] To prevent urban sprawl, Circular flow land use management was introduced in Europe to promote sustainable land use patterns.

As a result of the recent New Classical Architecture movement, sustainable construction aims to develop smart growth, walkability, architectural tradition, and classical design.[12][13] It contrasts from modernist and globally uniform architecture. In the 1980s, urban design began to oppose the increasing solitary housing estates and suburban sprawl.[14]

Principles

L'Enfant's plan for Washington DC
L'Enfant's plan for Washington DC
Gehl Architects' project for Brighton New Road employing shared space
Gehl Architects' project for Brighton New Road employing shared space

Urban planners frequently act as urban designers when preparing design guidelines, regulatory frameworks, legislation, and advertising. Urban planners also work in urban design with architects, landscape architects, transportation engineers and industrial designers. They must also deal with ‘place management’ to guide and assist the use and maintenance of urban areas and public spaces. Public agencies, authorities, and the interests of nearby property owners manage public spaces. Users often compete over the spaces and negotiate across a variety of spheres. Input is frequently needed from a wide range of stakeholders.

While there are some professionals who identify themselves specifically as urban designers, a majority have backgrounds in urban planning, architecture, or landscape architecture. Many collegiate programs incorporate urban design theory and design subjects into their curricula. There are an increasing number of university programs offering degrees in urban design at the post-graduate level.

Urban design considers:

  • Pedestrian zones
  • Incorporation of nature within a city
  • Aesthetics
  • Urban structure – arrangement and relation of business and people
  • Urban typology, density and sustainability - spatial types and morphologies related to intensity of use, consumption of resources and production and maintenance of viable communities
  • Accessibility – safe and easy transportation
  • Legibility and wayfinding – accessible information about travel and destinations
  • Animation – Designing places to stimulate public activity
  • Function and fit – places support their varied intended uses
  • Complementary mixed uses – Locating activities to allow constructive interaction between them
  • Character and meaning – Recognizing differences between places
  • Order and incident – Balancing consistency and variety in the urban environment
  • Continuity and change – Locating people in time and place, respecting heritage and contemporary culture
  • Civil society – people are free to interact as civic equals, important for building social capital

Equality issues

Until the 1970s, the design of towns and cities took little account of the needs of people with disabilities. At that time, disabled people began to form movements demanding recognition of their potential contribution if social obstacles were removed. Disabled people challenged the 'medical model' of disability which saw physical and mental problems as an individual 'tragedy' and people with disabilities as 'brave' for enduring them. They proposed instead a 'social model' which said that barriers to disabled people result from the design of the built environment and attitudes of able-bodied people. 'Access Groups' were established composed of people with disabilities who audited their local areas, checked planning applications and made representations for improvements. The new profession of 'access officer' was established around that time to produce guidelines based on the recommendations of access groups and to oversee adaptations to existing buildings as well as to check on the accessibility of new proposals. Many local authorities now employ access officers who are regulated by the Access Association. A new chapter of the Building Regulations (Part M) was introduced in 1992. Although it was beneficial to have legislation on this issue the requirements were fairly minimal but continue to be improved with ongoing amendments. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 continues to raise awareness and enforce action on disability issues in the urban environment.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Boeing; et al. (2014). "LEED-ND and Livability Revisited". Berkeley Planning Journal. 27: 31–55. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
  2. ^ Van Assche, K., Beunen, R., Duineveld, M., & de Jong, H. (2013). Co-evolutions of planning and design: Risks and benefits of design perspectives in planning systems. Planning Theory, 12(2), 177-198.
  3. ^ "Frederick Law Olmsted". fredericklawolmsted.com.
  4. ^ Peter Hall, Mark Tewdwr-Jones (2010). Urban and Regional Planning. Routledge.
  5. ^ "To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform".
  6. ^ Goodall, B (1987), Dictionary of Human Geography, London: Penguin.
  7. ^ Hardy 1999, p. 4.
  8. ^ History 1899–1999 (PDF), TCPA, archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-27.
  9. ^ "urban planning".
  10. ^ "The birth of town planning".
  11. ^ Ewing, R "Growing Cooler - the Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change" Archived 2010-12-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on: 2009-03-16.
  12. ^ Charter of the New Urbanism
  13. ^ "Beauty, Humanism, Continuity between Past and Future". Traditional Architecture Group. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  14. ^ Issue Brief: Smart-Growth: Building Livable Communities. American Institute of Architects. Retrieved on 2014-03-23.

Further reading

  • Carmona, Matthew, and Tiesdell, Steve, editors, Urban Design Reader, Architectural Press of Elsevier Press, Amsterdam Boston other cities 2007, ISBN 0-7506-6531-9
  • Larice, Michael, and MacDonald, Elizabeth, editors, The Urban Design Reader, Routledge, New York London 2007, ISBN 0-415-33386-5

External links

This page was last edited on 25 February 2019, at 13:04
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