The language of the cities

Front Cover

Hosken(1968) explores the nature of the city by explaining the hidden language of urban areas and showing the people how to look at it. By knowing the language of the city we are then able to understand the function, design and organization of it and how it all affects the quality of life within it.

The concept behind it is teaching people how to really see the city that they live in, by learning its language, by taking time too look and to experience things that we usually take for granted. It talks about what we see and how we see it, and divides the elements of the city in categories like, order and unity, scale and space, light and shadow, color and texture and form and movement, but above all it focuses on the people and about what the cities are offering to the people. It describes a city without people as an empty shell. It sees the proof of success of a city from the way that people behave in it. ‘A city well used is the happy sight of people enjoying themselves.’ It sees the success of the city besides fulfilling its functions as a place that brings the joy of seeing and sharing, a place that must enhance life. The language of cities lies in the physical expression of its life and its people, it is the immensely powerful image of man’s future hopes and dreams.


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