David Bergman proposes thinking about cities in terms of five parameters: the generic point, area “as signifier of culture,” volume as “the power of the state exercised on a building,” time as “a pathway for development,” and capitalism as “a technology for development.” He discusses the contemporary city as a construction of economic policies and zoning regulations designed to increase capital investments. He discusses the urban mapping achieved by Nolli’s map of Rome. Bergman talks about the parameter of time as a pathway for urban development. When speaking about the parameter of volume, Bergman stresses how floor area ratios and zoning envelopes are manipulated by capital
and commerce. He contrasts urban growth over time in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Butte, and Detroit. Bergman describes capital as the fifth dimension of urban development, and the force that creates cities and spurs economic growth. Bergman argues that all architectural proposals are economically evaluated accoding to four measures: net operating rate, capitalization rate, rate of return, and total rate of return.