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Book Review: Public Places Urban Spaces

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Public Places Urban Spaces is an elaborative introduction made on the principles of designing urban practices and theory. It is being authored by the experts’ theorists in the area of urban designing and planning. It has been designed for the 2,600 students who are doing their postgraduate courses in the United Kingdom and 1500 students on the courses who are pursuing postgraduate on the similar subject (Shaftoe, 2012). This edition of the book is being updated with the informative cases in order to show students how the principles have been implemented into practices. The book is now published which is quite colorful, which would be easier for the students and lecturers to get a much stronger and visual packages and the book is having an layout which is easy to use, which in enabling them to apply principles and values about the urban designing to their projects (Cameron, 2010).


Sustainability is the important driving factor in the regeneration of the urban and the development of the urban sphere and this edition is focused on one of the best sustainable designs and practices. Public Places Urban places is a must purchase book for those who are working on the designs of the urban and other professionals who want to get updated and refresh their own knowledge in terms of making their knowledge up to date (Cameron, 2010).  According to the author, this is being the first colorful book which is having a deep illustrations which demonstrates the implementation of the concepts which are thoroughly discussed in the text. The book gives deep explanation about the catalysts for bringing changes and renewal, which discover the local and global processes and contexts within which the designs of urban has been termed as the occurring of place making (Cameron, 2010). The book incorporates the important six important dimensions of the theory of designing of urban practices and theories which further include the morphological, social functional and temporal and this further relates to the discussions of the regulatory and market processes and the ways, which would communicate the urban designs.

The book has thrown light on the broader contexts, which are both local and global. The author in his book showed the boundary between the dimensions and the context, it deals with certain elements and they being connected with arrows, as they are quite puzzling which tend to describe the relationships between the elements of the urban designs. The diagrams which are drawn in the book are often being depicted more complex and it might work for the authors as the helping hand for them to think and now they have been rarely communicated much. The few which are being incorporated in the book is quite valuable, however as the reminder about just how it is hard to make it pin down what the designs of the urban is actually and the way it is about (Cameron, 2010; Shaftoe, 2012).  The way it is easier to tie oneself in the knots in order to make sense out of this.

Carmona, Health and Tisdell gives the definition of the designs of urban as the process of creating better places that would be produced otherwise. Their definition gives two important messages. Firstly, the successful designing of the urban is dependent on achieving the correct processes. Secondly, the present orthodoxy which the courses of urban designs teach these days are being last at the right lines after many decades where the urban and public places are neglected.


This is not a book which gives inspiration through the presentation of the beautiful places; the photographs which are chosen are not being produced well. Readers who are having no interest would be left cold. The authors did their job and they have prepared themselves really quite well while publishing this second edition of the book and taking interviews of the people. That has even digested a lot of materials from this wider field and was successful in presenting the matter more clearly. The analysis of the designing of urban as already mentioned before, which is consisting of the six dimensions which is morphological, social, visual, functional and temporal has been regarded quite highly effective (Cameron, 2010).

The second edition of the Public places, Urban spaces let the readers to navigate through a confusing range of concepts, approaches, methods and systems without running resting on the bottom on the dangerous reefs of the professional myopia or the obscurantism of academic field, which would made them pass on the way (Shaftoe, 2012).

The book has sufficed the matter into quite lucid points, where the authors described in the beginning that the text book is about people, the places where they are staying and its significance. The importance of the urban design in the modern world is being challenged by political and economic constraints (Shaftoe 2012). The book in order to make it approachable is divided into important three parts which incorporate the designers of urban, the second part discusses the modern need for designing urban and the practices involved.  Due to these three important components and the by the using of practices, it would be easier for the learners to grasp the important content from the book and gather ideas about the urban designing concepts. The book followed important steps and procedures in a much more coherent manner along with the opinions from other authors and their definition of the urban designing. However, with the application of such ideologies of the other authors, the book became difficult to comprehend a particular definition to the readers. The introduction despite being catchy, but the main part of the text is being delivered with the opinions of the different authors, which have prevented Cameron to come to a particular conclusion about it.

The book also focuses on the traditions of the thought in terms of urban designs and development. The book over here gave importance to the traditional urban designs and with the help of these designs, the author tried to align it with the modern approaches. It is finally giving a significant. It is the significant contribution made in the books in terms defining both traditional and modern approaches and the way of linking them together to give birth to new ideas while setting a framework for the urban designs (Cameron, 2010; Shaftoe, 2012).  The book thoroughly describes about the advantages which might spoil the environment and also wanted to make the readers aware about the urban designing concepts and the book came across many important steps in order to make the readers aware about the environmental consequences, the books always took initiatives to make the learners mentally prepare for the urban designing concepts. The book through the examples of different countries and their growth, gave a vivid example about the concepts of the urban designs and its importance in this century (Cameron 2010).

Urban Design today gave an overview of the concepts about designing in urban. The authors did a great job while describing the capacity in today’s society on giving a framework of the urban and the process it has adopted to secure development. The book touched on the important theories and the important people who have helped to create a better understanding that the way environment is built and the people has to use it every day. The authors described the advantages of the urban designs is not only a field of framework but also providing benefits to the society with certain benefits. The book determines the importance of the post urbanism, the concept which the other authors have hardly given any importance and by taking into account, the book reveals other two important things such as urbanism in market place and the amalgamation of the modern and traditional framework to give a better framework to the urban designs (Shaftoe, 2012).


Urban Places and Public Spaces, second edition is the book, where the author looked forward to build new designs to the urban locality and the books as a whole spreading awareness to the readers about the changes that are needed to bring developments all together. The book focuses on the growing rate of population and the change of city structure effectively influencing the people’s life. The book successfully addresses the problems in details and gives advices about the growing pollution. The students would learn from this book about its effective practices of the urban designing for the betterment of the future as a whole.



Carmona, M. (2010). Public places, urban spaces: the dimensions of urban design. Routledge..

Matthew Carmona is the professor of planning and designing in urban development at the school of planning. He initially gave lecture in the Nottingham University. In the second edition of the book, he came up with the urban designs in a detailed format, which rendered help to the students who are studying postgraduate learning, which was designed for 2500 students. The book focused on sustainability, which is being an important driving force behind the new urban system.

Shaftoe, H. (2012). Convivial urban spaces: Creating effective public places. Earthscan.

Henry Shaftoe is an architect and in this book he discussed about the basic developments which happened during the last a few decades back. He as well appreciated the workings of Carmona as he found much similarity between their works in this book.


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