Professor Bird presents a synthesis of the many approaches to the study of a central featuer of modern life - the city, including its distant past and its future. He sees centrality as a mental projection on to space, and discusses the concept in relation to three types of its manifestation in spatial terms: the city as centre of a tributary region; the centres and central areas of cities themselves; and the city considered as a centre or gateway for other distant regions, often overseas.
This book should do much to unravel the funamental similarities between cities of the world while recognizing the myriad variations upon a common theme.
This book was first published in 1977.
Introduction: Conjectures on centrality
1. Centre genesis
2. Evolution of central areas
3. In downtown (1): the framework of order
4. In downtown (2): Measurement, accessibility, change
5. Centre-periphery contrasts
6. Three theory types as variations of city centrality
7. Centrality, perception and the future