Gate Closing a Vista

Gates can serve a variety of functions, and often more than one function at a time. In this chapter, we will consider the use of gates to close off most of a view, thereby creating a sense of enclosure.

Enclosure is created when buildings touch each other, as had always been the case in cities throughout history. It is only the advent of the automobile that allowed cities to spread out so much that there is open space between most buildings.

Thus, the car, in addition to making life on the street miserable, also permitted the "Garden City" enthusiasts to destroy the comforting sense of enclosure that once prevailed in nearly all cities. The car also forced the construction of very wide streets, which eliminated human scale in virtually all urban areas built in the past 50 years.

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