Towns, townscapes and squares
An appreciation of landscape – the aesthetic quality of the countryside – has been part of our culture for at least two hundred years, but its urban equivalent – townscape – is a relative newcomer. The urban theorist and graphic delineator of towns Gordon Cullen drew our attention to ‘townscape’ in a series of articles in the Architectural Review about thirty years ago. His subsequent book, The Concise Townscape, remains a valuable introduction to the subject. What Cullen and others have sought to show is that towns have aesthetic qualities just as rich as the countryside, and that the recording and preserving the poetry of the urban scene is as important as protecting the beauties of the landscape.