This chapter examines the relationship

between urban form and sustainable

development. In particular, it outlines a

typology of city forms. The three main

archetypal urban forms discussed are: the

linear city; the city set out in the form of a

grid; and the highly centralized or inward-

looking city. The form of each archetypal

plan may be modified by the prevailing

metaphor: the city as a replica or model of

the cosmos; the city as a machine; or finally

the city as an organism. The grid layout, for

example, has been used to express physically

both the cosmic and the machine city

metaphors (Lynch, 1981). More rarely, as in

Gracehill, it has also been used to express the

community needs of the settlement built

according to the organic metaphor. The

Chinese model city uses a grid to relate the

city to a cosmic structure (Boyd, 1962;

Wheatley, 1971). In Chinese culture the

city is designed as a microcosm of the

universe, but complete in itself. In contrast,

the grid, when used to give form to the city

as a machine, emphasizes the autonomous

parts, each having a distinct function. Devices such as size, scale or the imposing axis are used to give emphasis to the dominance of the motor car or the world of business: they are never used in this context to mirror the universe. This difference can be illustrated graphically by the contrast between a Roman encampment or the project for a contemporary city by Le Corbusier with the Mandala, which sets out the Indian ideal pattern for city structure (Figure 7.1; see also Figures 6.25 and 6.32).