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E

earthcast To construct a dome or other feature by building a mound of earth, covering it with concrete and removing the earth.
eco belt A zone round a town, reserved for a range of ecological and sustainable uses, such as smallholdings for organic market gardening, community woodlands, composting projects, wind farms and small-scale biomass power stations. The town and country planning association used the term in 2005.
eco-charrette A charrette focusing on an organisation's environmental and energy-efficiency goals.
ecofact An archaeological find (such as a bone, shell or seed) that derived from something living but which was not modified by human activity. Ecofacts can prove information about how people lived in the past. The word combines ecology and artefact.
ecotecture Ecologically sensitive architecture.
edge-to-edge design The design of the whole area of a street or other public space.
edgeless city Defined in 2003 in a report by the Robert E Lang of the Fannie Mae Foundation as a highly dispersed office cluster, lacking clear boundaries and containing less than five million square feet of office space (Philadelphia and Miami were given as examples). This compares to an edge city, which - according the report - has recognised borders and contains at least five million square feet. Lang commented: 'Edgeless cities are the most dispersed, low-density form of development. They are not mixed-use, pedestrian friendly or accessible by transit, and they can not be remade into traditional downtowns. They represent a new and different urban form.'
electronic footprint The sum of all the electronically recorded data that is kept on any individual. Example: ‘Our electronic footprints are growing dramatically’ (2006). Compare ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT.
elevated railway One that runs on a raised structure, avoiding disrupting traffic and pedestrian movement. Chicago and New York both have examples known as 'the El'.
ell A unit of measurement (equivalent to 45 inches or 1.14 m) used in medieval times, in measuring buildings, for example. A 'royal ell' was equivalent to one yard (0.91 m).
energy descent The conditions that are expected to result from the declining availability of fossil fuels. The ecologist Howard T Odum and the permaculture campaigner David Holmgren used the term in the early 2000s.
Estuary English A form of English spoken in the south east of England (and particularly thought to be associated with places on the Thames estuary) by people attracted by its informality and the sense it gives them of being streetwise. It is essentially 'received pronunciation' with a touch of cockney.
eurythmy Harmony of proportion. Vitruvius identified this as one of the aims of design. From the Greek for good and rhythm or proportion. 
excuse me What one cyclist should say to another when needing to overtake, according to the UK Department of Transport's code of conduct for cyclists issued in 2004. The alternative is to 'give a gentle ring on your bell'.
excuse me What one cyclist should say to another when needing to overtake, according to the UK Department of Transport's code of conduct for cyclists, issued in 2004. The alternative is to 'give a gentle ring on your bell'.
eyecatcher A distant landmark feature.

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There are only two modern styles of architecture: one in which the chimneys smoke, and the other where they do not.
William Lethaby

   
illustration from the Dictionary of Urbanism