Historic city image and Townscape tradition D.PAPA
Author: PhD. Dorina Papa
Affiliation: POLIS University
A pleasing experience related to the city perception is one of the most important qualities of the urban environment. Since antiquity, this element of appeal and appreciation of the city was considered as crucial in city and architecture treatises. Aristotle sustained that the city should be built in a way to transmit happiness. This atmosphere is evident in the traditional cities, in which monuments, residential buildings, squares and roads make up together a harmonious whole.
Referring to the visual quality of traditional cities, in his influential book “The Art of Building Cities” (1889, 1945) Camillo Sitte states that they transmit a sense of nostalgia that remind us of happy times and argues that this feeling of nostalgia is perceived due to the artistic harmony of the city image. The art of building discussed by Sitte includes the idea of the city as an arrangement of its parts into a harmonious whole. This design unity that characterizes traditional ensembles is the key element of visual appeal. Unity happens at different scales. Elements composing the urban structure must be interrelated visually and contribute to reliving the overall image as a whole.
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