Penn Press logo
Spring 2021 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for spring 2021 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

Explorations into Urban Structure

Edited by Melvin M. Webber

248 pages | 5 1/2 X 8 1/2 | 23 illus.
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512808063 | Buy from Combined Academic Publishers £6.99
An Anniversary Collection volume
View table of contents

"The conceptual explorations presented . . . are probably worth more than all of the practical planning studies laid end to end."—Landscape
The remarkable expansion in metropolitan growth rates has been nearly matched by the phenomenal expansion in the literature commenting upon it. Social scientists of every discipline and politicians of every persuasion have been straining to understand the changing urban scene and searching for effective ways of planning for change. However, these efforts have been typically handicapped by simplistic and unitary conceptions of the metropolis. Most of the commentaries have conceived the metropolis as mappable and discrete settlement, and metropolitan planning has been conceived as willful redesigning of spatial forms.

In this volume, six students of metropolitan development present a challenging reappraisal and fresh conceptual approaches to the analysis of urban systems. Drawing upon the accumulating theory in economics, sociology, political science, geography, and city planning, they reconceptualize urban structure and function, refocusing attention from the forms of population density to the processes of human interaction. They see the urban system as a complex network of functional interdependencies that are reflected in the intricate processes of communication, intergovernmental competition, and market decision.

The authors are concerned primarily with increasing the effectiveness of public policy in this field. The conceptual clarity they bring to that task leads them to approach metropolitan planning with a new respect for the pluralism and diversity that are the distinguishing marks of complex urban processes. It is only through the recognition of these processes that we can hope to overcome the seemingly insurmountable problems of urban planning and renewal.

In an increasingly urban society these problems take on pressing urgency. Explorations into Urban Structure is a timely, thought-provoking, and direction­-setting book about some of the key conceptual and policy issues of our time. Contributors to this landmark volume include John W. Dyckman, Donald L. Foley, Albert Z. Guttenberg, William L. C. Wheaton, and Catherine Bauer Wurster.

Melvin M. Webber was Professor of City Planning and Chairman of the Center for
Planning and Development Research at the University of California, Berkeley. John W. Dyckman was Professor of City Planning and Chairman of the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. Donald L. Foley was Professor of City Planning and of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Controlling London's Growth. Albert Z. Guttenberg was Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Illinois, Urbana; he was associated with Downtown Progress, Inc., the civic group devoted to the renewal of downtown Washington, D.C. William L. C. Wheaton was Professor of City Planning and Dean of the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. Catherine Bauer Wurster was Professor of City and Regional Planning and Associate Dean at the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley; she was a frequent adviser on urbanization policy in the United States and India.

View your shopping cart | Browse Penn Press titles in Urban Studies | Join our mailing list

Penn Press | Site Use and Privacy Policy
Report Accessibility Issues and Get Help | University of Pennsylvania
Copyright © 2021 University of Pennsylvania Press | All rights reserved