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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

F

facade engineering The Society of Facade Engineering defines its remit as being the design, construction and management of building facades, and in particular issues of building physics relating to matters such as thermal insulation, ventilation, lighting, solar control and acoustics.
false one-way road A two-way road with no-entry signs at one end.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Two companies mandated by the US Congress to provide funding to the housing market. Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) was founded in 1938, and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) in 1970. The companies, which buy mortgages from approved lenders and sell them on to investors, guarantee or own around half the US mortgage market. They were effectively nationalised in the mortgage crisis of 2008.
fat capital The title was given to the former coal-mining town of Easington, County Durham, in 2006 after a survey found that more of its people suffered from obesity than anywhere else in the UK.
feminisation The process in which a city develops a gender mismatch in favour of women. The phenomenon was identified in London and other UK cities (on the basis of 2001 census figures) in 2004. It was ascribed to young women moving to the cities following an increase in the number of female graduates and a corresponding growth in the number of women entering the professions (Dorling and Thomas, 2004).
field recording (sometimes called phonography) Recording sound outdoors (in ACOUSTIC ECOLOGY, for example).
film set The aspects of a development - the facades and rooflines, for example - that are most visible to passers by. As with the set of a film, the structure and uses may not be what they appear.
five-hundred pound gorilla A significant matter that everyone chooses to ignore. The reference is to an imaginary heavyweight gorilla sitting in the corner of a room. Example: 'The fact that the development site had only one point of access was the 500-pound gorilla.'
flash mob A public gathering of strangers who perform a pointless act and then disperse again. The term was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2004.
flash mob A public gathering of strangers assembled at short notice through email and text messages to perform a pointless act (pillow fighting, for example) and then disperse. See also guerrilla gig.
Flemish diamond The urbanised area that includes the cities of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp and Leuven. Compare toxteth diamonds.
flit (Scotland and northern England) To move house.
Florence on the Elbe Dresden, Germany, before the bombing of February 1945.
Fluffya Philadelphia. The name is supposed to represent how locals say the name of their city in Fluffyan, their characteristic speech. Sow Fluffya is South Philadelphia
flying rat A term used by campaigners against pigeons in urban areas to describe those birds. Similarly the author Julian Barnes (2004) has called a squirrel - that often unwelcome visitor to urban gardens - as 'just a rat with PR'.
forage To wander in search of food. Flora Gathorne-Hardy (2003), an advocate of urban foraging, writes: 'All around us in London are the indigenous and exotic plants that have taken root in the city, tapping down into the buried tributaries of the Thames. For the forager, the A-Z is a map of a different city altogether. The roads sink into insignificance, and the pockets of wasteland attract the highlighter pen: allotments, curious dots of old orchards and common lands, the ghosts of ancient woodland such as Theydon Bois. I marked municipal mulberry bushes with stars and the Lea Valley deserved a whole mess of post-it notes, as did Epping Forest.'
forward planning Preparing plans (as distinct from controlling development on the basis of them).
Fosterworld The world as it appears to the architect norman foster. Example: 'Outside the magical realm called Fosterworld, buildings do not need... expensive precision' (Fraser, 2003).
fractal architecture Buildings whose design is inspired by chaos theory, particularly those which show similar patterns (called fractals) at very different scales.
free running The extreme urban sport of running, jumping and climbing over walls, rooftops and other features. Also known as parkour (and PK), from the French parcours du combattant, an assault course. A traceur is someone who takes part in the sport. A clan is a group of traceurs. Flow is a term traceurs use to refer to for their fluid movements. The sport was invented in the Parisian suburb of Lisses in the 1980s by David Belle and Sebastien Foucan. See also hav.
fresh conservatism A movement in architecture in the Netherlands in the 1990s, including architectural practices such as MVRDV, West 8 and Maxwan. Michelle Provoost and Wouter Vanstiphout (2004) explain: 'The "conservative" character... lies in an obvious position aimed at pragmatism and therefore devoid of any revolutionary pretensions, the "fresh" lies in the optimistic nature of their work and the longing for new, communicative, consumer-orientated architectonic gadgets.' Provoost and Vanstiphout credit the Dutch critic Roemer van Toorn with proposing the name.
front-load To bring a particular activity to the start of a process. The term became current in discussing planning in 2004. Example: 'Community involvement should be front-loaded in preparing master plans'.
frontage zone The part of a footway nearest to the buildings that front it. Compare furniture zone.
furniture zone The part of a footway where the street furniture is concentrated. Compare frontage zone.
furniture zone The part of a pavement (usually that nearest the carriageway) on which the street furniture is generally located, leaving the part of the footway nearest the buildings for people to walk in.
futurist One who thinks or writes about the future.
futuristic Seeming to belong in the future.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

When we are dealing with people who have no initiative or civic pride, the task, surely, is to break up such groupings, even though the people seem to be satisfied with their miserable environment and seem to enjoy an extrovert social life.
Wilfred Burns

   
illustration from the Dictionary of Urbanism