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Figure-ground: history and practice of a planning technique

Hebbert, M; (2016) Figure-ground: history and practice of a planning technique. Town Planning Review , 87 (6) pp. 705-728. 10.3828/tpr.2016.44. Green open access

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Abstract

Figure-ground plans show the footprints of buildings and the pattern of unbuilt voids in urban space. Compared historically they reveal the erosion of the public realm over time and provide an analytical basis for tissue repair. The paper traces the communicative power of figure-ground technique to its roots in gestalt psychology, and follows its revival from Colin Rowe’s studio at Cornell through to controversies in post-reunification Berlin. The impact of computerisation is discussed and the paper ends with illustrations drawn from current practice in the representation of urban past, present and future.

Type: Article
Title: Figure-ground: history and practice of a planning technique
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3828/tpr.2016.44
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2016.44
Language: English
Additional information: This article was published open access under a CC BY license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1533039
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