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The cityscape of a contemporary megapolis: changes of text form/Siu laiku megapolio miestovaizdis: teksto formos pasikeitimai.


The cityscape is the urban construct which as a versatile phenomenon reflects cultural manifestations and transformations.

By considering free human will that affords the opportunity for choice and the socio-cultural nature of human consciousness that reveals the communal character of human needs, it is meaningful to construct the cityscape (as much as possible) in the way it would reflect the fundamental cultural processes and thus answer the population's cultural-psychological demands adequately. The article discusses the problems of the cityscape's formation in the context of particular contemporary cultural situations.

The novelty of the research lies in: a) the reasonable analogy between the specific cultural transformations taking place in the city and the hypertext as one of the expressions of the corresponding cultural processes; b) the employment of the analogy in the process of interpretation of the cityscape's evolution in a concrete cultural context; c) the formation of the direction and landmarks of the cityscape's formation on the basis of the mentioned analogy.

1. The City and the Megapolis

The city is a living organism surviving in a mutable cultural context. From the semantic point of view whose importance to society and culture cannot be overestimated, the main condition of the city's cultural vitality is the meaningfulness of the cityscape. Here meaningfulness is understood as the integrity of permanent and constantly perceived renewable relations between urban manifestations and other forms and contents of socio-cultural life. The city is perceived through the cityscape, i.e. its visual representation. Having the mutual city-culture relation in mind, it becomes obvious that the visualisation of the cultural phenomena in the cityscape is inevitable. However, since human beings possess free will, they may structure the cityscape as a living or lifeless body during the process of its direct or indirect formation. The very possibility of free choice and the fact that the city and the cityscape are and should be experienced and perceived in a similar way by all the members of a cultural community arise the necessity of architectural designing based on the cognition and consideration of the cultural context. Thus, the initial actual question would sound as follows: how might the most common cultural context of the contemporary western City be described?

The model of urban and cultural evolution extended by the philosopher Lewis Mumford claims: the city, similarly to any living organism, undergoes birth, growth, death, and rebirth. The given model of the cyclic evolution is significant since it extends the conception of the cityscape's vitality by embracing both the importance of its meaningfulness in the given cultural context and the urgency of the preservation of the potential modification. During its existence, the urban construct undergoes the following inevitable stages of evolution: those of the eopolis, polis, metropolis, megapolis, tiranopolis, and necropolis (donskis 1993). The peculiar kinship between the city and culture, their inseparability, the very existence of cultural areas allow for the discussion of the common evolution of the integral whole of urban structures in the common cultural space.

For the problems discussed in the article, the most important is the process of the city's transformation into the megapolis. According to Mumford, it is movement that reflects an essential turning point in the existence of the socium, when: a) culture develops into civilization; b) life service transforms into life oppression; c) the city undergoes mutation thus becoming the anti-city with its idols, i.e. centrality, control, magnitude, power, common welfare, progress, etc; d) social alienation replaces social community, and so on.

In other words, the megapolis originates as an expression of alienated culture. As the Lithuanian philosopher Leonidas donskis claims, the megapolis (i.e. the megapolitan cityscape) comes out to be a disintegrated form of the alienated culture, which is spreading as a pointless infection in an urban body (donskis 1993).

The very fact that, in western culture the city undergoes the phase of the megapolitan evolution is testified both by the representation of the mentioned cultural modi operandi and by the obviously chaotic and in most cases practically uninterrupted mutations of the cityscape. For instance, the desire of the majority of the respectful cities to erect more and more contemporary symbols of economic power and common wealth, i.e. the towers of glass that are virtually not a natural consequence in the local cultural character of functional necessities. Their anticultural character is betrayed by the form's detachment from the content and by the absence of semantic informativity: identical buildings can serve as bank offices, commercial centres, and dwellings. The spread of the analogical megapolitan infection may be discerned in the many-storeyed Soviet style dwellings, the style that passed on even into the country settlements.

When revealing the problems of the cityscape's formation from the semiotic perspective, the following question comes into focus: what are the peculiarities of the megapolitan cityscapetext?

2. The Cityscape as Hypertext?

The cityscape-text analogy is applied when analyzing the city from the semiotic point of view. By relying on the above mentioned analogy, it is possible to claim that a culturally significant and most exhaustively investigated textual form might serve as a basis for patterning the cityscape distinguished by the adequate most common cultural peculiarities.

Actually, the hypertext turns out to be such a form of text. Its nature is fully exposed as the result of an expansion of the Internet technologies that are involved in the formation of the alienated culture. The hypertext has been created as a more effective space of intellectual communication (in the name of progress) and presented as its model corresponding social and physical reality more evidently ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] 2004). This textual form as one of the forms of the alienated culture is an expression of the postmodern culture entirely reflecting its most important characteristicts, such as: pluralism, decentralization, fragmentation, and intertextuality ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] 2004).

The hypertext is opposed to the traditional linear textual form employed in the so-called Gutenberg era. It may be pointed out that an apparent transformation of the qualitative features into their antinomies when passing from linear text to the hypertext, testifies to the correspondence of the culture's mutation into the alienated culture displayed in Mumford's model or, according to donskis, of the city's regress into its megapolitan stage of evolution (donskis 1993).

Thus, it may be resumed that the hypertext reflects the contemporary ways of reasoning and perception of information and of environmental characteristicts of the megapolitan culture, which should be employed in the patterning the most typical features of the megapolitan cityscape.

The employment of the megapolitan cityscape-hypertext analogy results in a number of unavoidable questions. Is the contemporary megapolitan cityscape-text truly developing into a hypertext? Do the specificity of the city and the peculiarity of the spatial cityscape allow for the full representation of the hypertextual characteristics or rather extend a new aspect for such analogy and thus enrich it? what new architectural tasks might expose this analogy?

3. The Peculiarities of the Textual Forms in the Space of the Cityscape

The task of this subsection is a consistent evaluation of the expression of the peculiarities of the linear text and the hypertext in the space of the cityscape. Since their characteristics fall into certain dichotomies, which are, in fact, best understood when taken side by side, the most general expression of the mentioned features has been analysed through the comparison of two generalized and, according to Mumford, cardinally opposite models of the cityscape, i.e. the politan and the megapolitan cityscapes. Before proceeding to the spatial analysis, it is urgent to distinguish, at least in a preliminary manner, the most significant differences between the spatial features of the eo/politan and the megapolitan forms. Here, the author means the generalized models of the corresponding phenomena that extend the peculiarities common to all the objects of a certain subgroup. When concentrating on the polis, the orientation is directed to the small Western-European medieval town model inseparable from the neighbouring landscape that is wellknown in the history of urban development. What regards the eopolis, the author relies on the hypothetic reconstruction of the city on its initial ritual grounds, which were constructed by the French mythologist Mircea Eliade (Eliade 1959). With respect to the religious origins of the city (Eliade 1959, Lynch 1981, .... 1991), the eopolitan peculiarities assist in the disclosure of some less distinct yet significant (when compared with the megapolitan ones) features of the politan form. In the discussion of the megapolis and its metastasic expansion, each capital of western or Central-Eastern Europe might serve as an example yet only on condition that the common spatial peculiarities of the cityscape characteristic of all cities are taken into consideration. The most typical characteristics of the eo/mega/politan forms of the cityscape are:

a) the complex of the eo/politan space is relatively small, closed, maximally concentrated and integral, often symmetric, and with clear boundaries. The megapolitan complex, in its turn, is incomparably larger, open, dispersive, and fragmented, without clear boundaries, asymmetric, and demonstrating an organic form.

b) the polis is most frequently perceived from a single well-chosen panorama, which possesses one or several distinct dominants and accents of its separate elements and an integral contrasting background that creates favourable conditions for the visual perception of the most important objects. In the megapolis, various panoramas merely represent the parts of the city. In the panoramas significant for the city's image and its mental picture, the dominance of single objects is replaced by the dominance of their complexes, the so-called urban hills, whose location and boundaries in most cases may be only approximately defined. In fact, the accents, as certain hierarchical groups of the most important objects in the panorama, disappear. Moreover, in the majority of the panoramas, the monotonous background that demonstrates different degrees of visual 'aggressiveness', is dominating. On the whole, after the disappearance of the specialization of the architectural shapes, the difference between single dominants or accents and the background turns out to be less perceptible. The very background, in its turn, also loses its monolithic character.

c) the mental model (city image by Kevin Lynch (1981)) of the eo/polis, with regard to the size and spatial characteristics of a medieval European town, is integral with all clearly distinguished and perceived elements of the model: knots-centers that coincide with the arrangement of the vantage points; the roads possessing clear beginnings and ends in the most important knots (1); clear boundaries both of the whole view and of the town's districts, and easyly recognizable districts because of their details betraying the specialization of the craftsmen. The view of the megapolis, similarly to its fragmented whole, is fragmented and hardly eye-embraced as an ensemble. In most cases, the boundaries between the districts, as well as the districts themselves, because of their 'filling' and the similarity of details, grow up in an accidental manner. The vantage points do not coincide with the knotscenters. To say more, the very knots-centers may embrace the area of the whole district or compete with each other. Frequently, the roads have no clear beginning or end, and some parts of the city escape the general mental model of the city. Natural elements turn out to be a significant factor both in the formation of the boundaries of the model's districts similar in their inner characteristics and of individual districts (Chorley, haggel 1967).

d) all types of visual spaces in the politan cityscape demonstrate the closed character beginning with the court yards of possessions, continuing with the solid perimetrically built closed street perspectives, and finishing with the closed Gothic squares in the corners of which the streets meet. The megapolis embraces the spaces of all characteristics (2), yet, actually, by considering the open street perspectives and vast monotonous suburbs, it may be pointed out that openness manifests itself more frequently. Another essential difference should be maintained too: the eopolis demonstrates a clear functional space specialization (3).

e) when considering the cityscape's objects and details, the following essential difference should be discerned: the polis reveals a small shape variety and a great detail variety related with their functions; contrariwise, the megapolis demonstrates a great variety of shape unrelated with concrete functions and the scantiness of details that frequently specify the function. The importance of the transformation should also be emphasized: in the case of the polis, it is the form that points to a certain function, and, in the case of megapolis, it is the detail. Furthermore, the megapolis offers a new type of detail: in it, visual advertisements prevail. These are visually aggressive details that frequently overshadow the building, the part of which they make. It is also important to mention a special type of the advertising detail that needs no building or volume, i.e. the advertisement displayed in a free space.

The interpretation of the above mentioned spatial features of the cityscape in the context of the most frequently mentioned features of the two forms of a verbal text will be presented below.

The basic attributes of the linear text and hypertext ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] 2004, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] 2004) that should operate in the cityscape are as follows:


--Stability/dynamizm; unbroken direction/mutability of direction;.

--Clear structure/amorphic structure;

--homogeneity/intertextuality, the latter functioning as: citation; decentralization and infiniteness; depersonalization;



--Local character/illocality; identity of place/indifference to place.

3.1. The Representation of the Peculiarities of Linear Text and Hypertext in the Eo/Politan and Megapolitan Types of the Cityscape

Is the hypertextual expression apparent in the cityscape? Is it more obvious in the megapolis than in the polis? what elements or parts of the cityscape turn out to be the reflection of the ideology communicated by the hypertext? These questions may be answered only by having evaluated the reflections of the features of the hypertext in the generalized models of the mega/ politan cityscape. Consider:

The fragmentation of the cityscape's integral whole. The integral whole of the cityscape is perceived in the city's panoramas and its general mental model. The panoramas of the megapolis get partially fragmentised: because of the size of the city, when compared with a compact medieval town, the panoramas first of all do not embrace the whole town and its most characteristic objects. Because of the same reason, a greater number of nearer and further planes enter the panoramas and, with nature's 'entrance' into the city, the contrast between grey and green (4) becomes less distinct or totally disappears, which, in its turn, weakens the perception of the city as an integral organism. The conceptual picture of the megapolitan type of the city when compared with that of the polis also undergoes fragmentization: because of the vague net of roads, centres, and landmarks, some parts of the city's mental model are not perceived as the integral parts of the same entity (Zaleckis 2002). Despite the mentioned tendencies of fragmentization, the city exists and functions in a continual common space as the sum of objects and phenomena related by the urgent functionalspatialsemantic links. Because of such semantic-functional integrity, the semanticity of perception, cultural determination (Gregory 1970), and, to rely on the geographers, the urban elements operating in space as well as the regularity of the concentration of action toward the centres (Chorley, haggel 1967), the body of the city as will most probably be perceived as a disintegrating system deprived of absolute falling into pieces.

Fragmentization of the road-net and its irregularity; vagueness of the road spaces. The city's roadsstreets are perceived as a part of the conceptual mental model and as a certain type of the cityscape's visual spaces. The fragmentization of the road-net is observed in the conceptual model of the megapolitan cityscape with an expanded area. First of all, because of the weakened relationship between the roads and visual landmarks (Zaleckis 2002), the appearance of the roundabout ways (5), the detachment between the passers-by and the traffic (6), and the absence of geometrical characteristics of the motor roads (7), the megapolitan road-net is considerably more fragmented than the politan one. With the expansion of the street routes, the preservation of integral or consistently altering density, rhythm, and size of objects in the involutes becomes rather complicated, therefore the streets are perceived as the ways of the conceptual picture with difficulty. However, the road-street net's visual spaces having clear boundaries in the polis, in the case of the megapolis, frequently lose their closed character and clarity. Here the street-space is lined in the meandering route through a dwelling district of free structuring whose yard spaces in many places melt into the street space that acquires an implied character. Nevertheless, despite the roadnet fragmentation and, because of the mentioned continuity of the urban space, the natural centripetal tractive forces, the impact of the integral infrastructure on the functioning of the city, and the continuous tendency of the minimization of its distances, as it is in the case of the city's integral whole, the city's road-net is deprived of the complete segmentation into separate hypertextual fragments.

The fading or absence of the attributes defining a clear structure: the vagueness or inconsistency of the hierarchy of places and objects, the evenness of the urban mass (8). Such peculiarities are most distinctly perceived in the panoramas and the conceptual model of the city. In Medieval Europe the town demonstrates a very clear structure of the panoramas: the contrast between the dominants-accents and the urban background (9), distinct hierarchy of the dominants, the opposition between the centre and the periphery, and the obvious boundaries of an urban composition. However, in the megapolitan panoramas, the mentioned characteristics are manifested less evidently: accents and dominants compete with each other, the contrast between the background and the dominants is not so distinct, in many cases, the centre does not conform with the most significant dominants, and the contrast between the periphery and the central part may turn out to be completely imperceptible. When compared with the polis, the conceptual model of the megapolitan city demonstrates the transformation of a monocentric structure into the net of competing centres and of the districts with different fillings into the paste with identical filling, etc. Yet, despite such structural chaotization, and because of the functional necessity, the urge of the mentioned central tractive forces, the uniform communicative infrastructure, and the unavoidable community of the cityscape perception, the megapolitan structure of the cityscape does not undergo the mutation into a hypertextual chaos.

The existence of new, visually active non-volumetric objects. Single objects as well as their elements are perceived in the interior visual spaces of the cityscape. In the megapolitan spaces, an extremely new, visually extremely active, non-architectural (10) type of objects (in its essence, seeking no adjustment to but rather distinction from the surroundings), i.e. visual advertisement appears. Such type of objects introduces the form and content of the cultural phenomenon of an entirely different, directly unrelated with the functioning of the city. It finds expression in the entirely different, in most cases individual spheres of life, and thus, in principal is breaking the monolithic character of the linear body of the city and making it close to the polysemantic hypertext.

The weakening of the authorial role. An authorial hand may be noticed in the panorama, the mental model, interior visual spaces, single objects, and details. First and foremost, it is important to claim that the author of the cityscape is the socium rather than an individual. By the authorial hand the author of the article means the recognizability of the social expression of a certain culture. Indeed, the closer examination of the medieval cityscape may not evoke doubts that it reflects characteristics, world-outlook or world-experience of a concrete culture. Having in mind the clearly distinctive character of the objects dominating in the integral background of the panoramas, it might be added that the individuality of their constructor was well perceived. However, because of the disappearance of the technological restrictions in the megapolitan cityscape, the local natural conditions lose their role as the main factors determining the architectural expression. Because of the reasons of the growth of the migration of the city inhabitants, and the rise of cultural varieties, where the global architectural fashions turn out to be extremely significant, the pictures of different cities get semblant. For instance, in a contemporary 'forests' of skyscrapers and suburban cotteges, the distinct local culture cannot be recognized. What regards an individual style of expression reflected in the objects, it is observed with difficulty because of several reasons: frequent attempts to dominate at any cost, the postmodernist habits of architectural citation, and the visual dominance of detail complikating the recognition of the type of object.

Dynamism. Bearing in mind the impact of the hierarchical relationship causing the impression of steadiness (the idea extended by the scholar Chris Lofting (Lofting 2004)), the dynamism of the cityscape may be related with the imperceptibility of the hierarchy of its parts or objects. The subject has been discussed in the analysis of the structural evolution of the cityscape. The assertion of the impossibility of the disappearance of the hierarchical expression in the urbanized space points to the rise of the dynamism of the megapolitan urban view, though nevertheless, in principal, the cityscape remains a static object.

Imperceptibility of the existing integral parts of the cityscape. It might be associated with the conceptual picture of the city. As the carried out analysis shows (Zaleckis 2002), with the formation of the uneven net of ways and landmarks of the city's conceptual picture and the decrease of the cityscape's legibility (Lynch 1960), some districts sufficiently large in their area may not be perceived as parts of an integral urban body. Contrariwise, in the compact and easily legible polis, it is scarcely probable.

The perception of the objects or details non-existing in the urban volume or insignificant from the volumetric point of view as considerably important elements of the cityscape. In the mentioned context, the most purposeful is the discussion of the visual inner spaces of the cityscape, of single objects, and, in exceptional cases, of the implied panoramas. Here visually extremely active and aggressive advertisements play an important role, which, in fact, makes a rather insignificant part of the cityscape's volume due to the occupied physical space. Yet, in the observer's perception, it may compete with the volumes dominating in the city. With the various kinds of media having become an inseparable part of human life, the image of the city is often constructed without seeing the object itself. Actually, when trying to form the external image of the city solely out of several accidental familiar objects, a misleading, illusory, implied panorama may be constructed. Such increase of the importance of media in the perception of the cityscape provokes the creation of the illusory character typical of hypertext.

The disappearance of the relationship between the architectural form and content and the unrecognizability of the function of architectural objects. It is perceived solely by distinguishing the individual objects of the cityscape and their elements. In the polis, each type of objects differs in its considerable shape and details, or their abundance. Thus, every object is easily recognizable and, depending on its social or semantic role, is more or less dominant in the integral whole of the cityscape. Practically, in the case of the megapolis, such order is destroyed: with the absence of the form and content relationship, the detail (frequently accindental) becomes the only semantic sign of the building, hence, with the narrowing of the variety of detail, the function of the majority of the buildings turns out to be irrecognizable in their exterior. Therefore an exceptional role falls on the part of the dwellings, which, because of the variety of the inhabitants' demands and immense technological possibilities, acquire the variety of shape and size, thus becoming a compositional element of the cityscape (11). Such representation of the identical contents in a variety of shapes makes the megapolitan cityscape essentially antisemantic and, in the context of the integral whole of the cityscape, transforming the semantic form-content correspondence into a mere play on forms.

Vagueness of the differences between various places and the monotony of the urban filling. Such phenomenon is observed in the urban panoramas, the city's mental model, and visual spaces. Having in mind that the scope of attention is limited (Gregory 1970) and that, principally, the variety of the cityscape is perceived on the basis of differences, the filling of the megapolitan cityscape, inspite of its frequent distinction by a great medley of the objects of a similar scale, is nevertheless perceived rather as an unvarying mass, but not as a sum of different objects. On the other hand, large monotonous suburbs and the districts of manystoreyed dwelling houses are also perceived as districts with identical filling. However, in principal, the urban objects cannot get fully levelled because of the following reasons: functional differentiation of objects, the tractive forces of centres that alter the intensiveness of the architectural filling, etc.

The carried out analysis allows to claim that, with the city's approaching the megapolitan stage of evolution, various peculiarities of hypertext manifest themselves in the megapolis' cityscape. Actually, the strongest manifestations are the following ones:

a) non-semanticity whose most important 'carrier' is a dwelling;

b) the loss of integrity caused by active visual advertisements;

c) depersonalization determined by the disappearance of the cityscape's cultural characteristics;

d) illusority created by the advertisements: the virtual image of the cityscape constructed by the media and the cityscape's decreasing legibility.

Partially manifesting peculiarities of the megapolitan cityscape are:

a) the fragmentation of the conceptual (i.e. mental) model of the city caused by its size;

b) chaotization of the steady structures (12);

c) the dynamism and illocality of the cityscape.

Despite the representation of the mentioned hypertextual peculiarities, the cityscape is not capable of the entire transformation into a hypertext. The basic reason is this: in fact, the city as a cultural expression in the continuum of time and space is not capable of being deprived of all the features of linearity.

3.2. Is the Linear Cityscape the True Goal of Architectural Construction?

The result of the hypertextualization of the megapolitan cityscape demonstrates philosophical and practical-architectural significance.

When interpreting the achieved results from the philosophical point of view, the twofold role of the city comes into focus: having given birth to an alienated culture that threatens to destroy its own sacred ritual roots by acting as the stage of the anticultural expression, the city as a phenomenon manifesting itself in the common and in principal social space turns out to be the final, indestructible citadel of the linear culture and thus the guarantee of its rebirth. With the hypertext arising as the space of an effective individual interaction, the city always remains the space of the interaction between the society and the individual, hence manifesting itself both as the agent of an alienated culture and its counterbalance.

From the practical point of view, the achieved results formulate the corresponding tasks for the urban experts and architects. As mentioned before, it should be pointed out that one of the urgent goals of urbanistics is the formation of a living, i.e. perceptible and interpretable cityscape retaining the potential of its own renewal. Having in mind the social origins of culture and the semantic field formed by it, it should be stressed that the living cityscape is, in fact, at least partially a linear cityscape. Inspite of the fact that, actually, the peculiarities of the hypertext cannot be fully expressed in the three-dimensional space of the city, the cherishing of its linearity does not lose its importance. The reason lies in man's free will that is capable of the narrowing or extending the linearity of the cityscape (13) and, at the same time, in the psychological acceptability of the urban space (de Jung 1999) and its significance as a cultural artefact (Cole 1996).

Having recognized the importance of the development of the cityscape's linearity, it is urgent to admit that, with the alterations of the city's cultural situation and its form, the means of the linear structuring employed in the polis, to a considerable extent, do not fit in the case of the megapolis. Therefore, the quest for a new spatial form of linearity comes out to be a current task for the urban experts and architects.

The paper focuses on the cityscape-text--verbal text analogy that allows for the exploration of some cityscape formation problems and that should serve as the fundamental agent in the model construction of the proper cityscape of the megapolis. With respect to the very fact of the megapolis' cityscape hypertextualization and certain content community of cultural texts, the structuring of the adequate cityscape model on the basis of verbal text analysis becomes logical. In such a case, the initial step in further research would be the quest for the specific verbal text explicating the characteristics of both linear text and hyper text. The main landmarks in this process are as follows:

a) in such a text-in-search the properties of hypertext and linear text should operate without denying each other;

b) it should demonstrate a sufficient cultural substance, i.e. reflect the most common and most profound cultural contents;

c) it is also desirable that such a text-in-search, should be born in the situation of cultural transformation characteristic of the megapolis formation.


1. The analogy between the cityscape, the linear text, and the hypertext might be successfully applied as an attempt at distinguishing and patterning the tendencies of the evolution of the megapolitan urbanized environment in a corresponding cultural context that determines them. Such analogy reveals the problems of the cityscape's construction, describes some important goals of its formation, and specifies the landmarks in the quest of the adequate urban means.

2. From several perspectives, the megapolitan cityscape turns out to be similar to the hypertext. The most important carriers of the cityscape's hypertextualization are the following ones:

--dwellings that acquire the most various and, in many cases, accidental architectural forms and ruin the form-functional content correspondence in the cityscape;

--Multiform advertisement transforming the cityscape into the multiplex conglomerate mass and constructing the impression of its virtual reality;

--Media offering deformed virtual images of the city;

--dominating identical architectural forms and details depersonalizing the cityscape.

3. Nevertheless, in principal, the cityscape cannot lose its original linearity because of the peculiarities of the city's spatio-cultural expression. From the philosophical point of view, this statement reveals the importance of the city as a potential cradle of culture and the guarantee of cultural revival even within the anticulture that was given rise by the same urban development. From the practical urbanistic perspective, it inspires new architectural-urbanistic tasks, i.e. the preservation and cherishing of the cityscape's linearity.

4. In spite of the fact that the urbanized space cannot entirely be deprived of its linearity, the formation and cherishing of the cityscape's linearity comes out to be an important task. The reason lies in man's free will that may both diminish and increase the degree of linearity of the cityscape and hence the significance of the urban space as a cultural artefact.

5. It should be stressed that a new cultural context of the city's existence requires the adequate new linear and/or hypertextual forms. The quest for such forms should also be based on the cityscapetext

--verbal text analogy. The general landmarks for such a verbal text that should serve as a foundation, on which the hypothetic megapolitan cityscape model might be constructed, are the following ones:

--in such a text-in-search the properties of hypertext and linear text should operate without denying each other;

--it should demonstrate a sufficient cultural substance, i.e. reflect the most common and most profound cultural contents;

--it is also desirable that such a text-in-search should be born in the situation of cultural transformation characteristic of the megapolis formation.

doi: 10.3846/tpa.2010.06

Submitted 26 March 2010


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(1) E.g. town gate, the market square, etc.

(2) I.e. closed, semi-closed/semi-open, and open.

(3) E.g. according to Marshal McLuhan, a square is the place of allround communication, the function, which is lost in the case of megapolis (McLuhan 2003).

(4) According to Jacques Le Goff, this dichotomy is the central one for the people of western culture (Le Goff 1992).

(5) The roads merely leading into other roads but not from one centre to another, as it is in the case of the eopolis.

(6) Because of the difference in the speed of motion, the lack of common landmarks, and the traffic roads' solely spot-type contact with another filling of the city's mental picture, the observer perceives them as a net to a great extent separate and related only in several points.

(7) The observer grasps a straight street segment as an integral unit most easily.

(8) E.g. absence of centres, the disappearance of the boundaries between certain spaces, etc.

(9) Formed of dwelling houses of similar form and size.

(10) E.g. not discoursing in the language of archit.

(11) E.g. a dominant, accent, part of the background, etc. Hypothetically, it is possible to imagine a sufficiently structured composition of the panorama or the conceptual model of the megapolis formed merely by dwellings (however, it is impossible in the case of the polis).

(12) The disappearance of hierarchy; the weakening of the linearity of ways; decentralization; lack of the integrity of the boundaries between the parts, etc.

(13) To be more precise, its favourability or infavourability to the inborn linear structure of the environmental perception.

Kestutis Zaleckis

Dept of Architecture and Land Management, Kaunas University of Technology,

Studentu g. 48, 52367 Kaunas, Lithuania


KESTUTIS ZALECKIS Dr, Assoc Prof, Dept of Architecture and Land Management, Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Studentu g. 48, 52367 Kaunas, Lithuania. E-mail:

Doctor of architecture. Research interests: urban history, cityscape complexity and evolution, history of military architecture.
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Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EXLT
Date:Mar 1, 2010
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