Book picks similar to
The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs by Austin Williams
City 2.0: The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There
TED Books - 2013
As a result, we face both a dire emergency and a tremendous opportunity. At their best, our modern cities are hubs of human connection, fountains of creativity, and exemplars of green living. Yet at the same time, they still suffer the symptoms of industrial urbanization: pollution, crowding, crime, social fragmentation, and dehumanization. Now is the time to envision what cities can be and to transform them. This book, produced in partnership with the Atlantic Cities, celebrates 12 promising, provocative responses to this challenge, in realms ranging from transportation to food to art. It asks and begins to answer: How can we transform cities to be sustainable, efficient, beautiful, and invigorating to the human soul? And practically speaking, how do we get from here to there?
Urban Code: 100 Lessons for Understanding the City
Anne Mikoleit - 2011
Considering the urban landscape not from the abstract perspective of an urban planner but from the viewpoint of an attentive observer, Urban Code offers 100 "lessons"--maxims, observations, and bite-size truths, followed by short essays--that teach us how to read the city. This is a user's guide to the city, a primer of urban literacy, at the pedestrian level. The reader (like the observant city stroller) can move from "People walk in the sunshine" (lesson 1) to "Street vendors are positioned according to the path of the sun" (lesson 2); consider possible connections between the fact that "Locals and tourists use the streets at different times" (lesson 41) and "Tourists stand still when they're looking at something" (lesson 68); and weigh the apparent contradiction of lesson 73, "Nightlife hotspots increase pedestrian traffic" and lesson 74, "People are afraid of the dark."A lesson may seem self-evident ("Grocery stores are important local destinations"--of course they are!) but considered in the context of other lessons, it becomes part of a natural logic. With Urban Code, we learn what to notice if we want to understand the city. We learn to detect patterns in the relationships between people and the urban environment. Each lesson is accompanied by an icon-like image; in addition to these 100 drawings, thirty photographs of street scenes illustrate the text. The photographs are stills from films shot in the Manhattan neighborhood of SoHo; the lessons are inspired by the authors' observations of SoHo, but hold true for any cityscape.
The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream
Christopher B. Leinberger - 2007
In The Option of Urbanism visionary developer and strategist Christopher B. Leinberger explains why government policies have tilted the playing field toward one form of development over the last sixty years: the drivable suburb. Rooted in the driving forces of the economy—car manufacturing and the oil industry—this type of growth has fostered the decline of community, contributed to urban decay, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and contributed to the rise in obesity and asthma. Highlighting both the challenges and the opportunities for this type of development, The Option of Urbanism shows how the American Dream is shifting to include cities as well as suburbs and how the financial and real estate communities need to respond to build communities that are more environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable.
The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration, 1966-1999
Ray Suarez - 1999
For most, the home was not a display object but a place to keep the few things they had managed to hold on to from the surpluses produced by their labor. Their material life was made of the things they didn't have to eat, wear, or burn right this minute. A concertina maybe? A family Bible? A hunting rifle?" This life in "the old neighborhood," so lyrically captured by Ray Suarez, was once lived by a huge number of Americans. One in seven of us can directly connect our lineage through just one city, Brooklyn. In 1950, except for Los Angeles, the top ten American cities were all in the Northeast or Midwest, and all had populations over 800,000. Since then, especially since the mid-60s, a way of life has simply vanished. Ray Suarez, veteran interviewer and host of NPR's "Talk of the Nation®," is a child of Brooklyn who has long been fascinated with the stories behind the largest of our once-great cities. He has talked to longtime residents, recent arrivals, and recent departures; community organizers, priests, cops, and politicians; and scholars who have studied neighborhoods, demographic trends, and social networks. The result is a rich tapestry of voices and history. The Old Neighborhood captures a crucial chapter in the experience of postwar America. It is a book not just for first- and second-generation Americans, but for anyone who remembers the prewar cities or wonders how we could have gotten to where we are. It is a book about "old neighborhoods" that were once cherished, and are now lost.
Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs
Ellen Dunham-Jones - 2008
While there has been considerable attention by practitioners and academics to development in urban cores and new neighborhoods on the periphery of cities, there has been little attention to the redesign and redevelopment of existing suburbs. The authors, both architects and noted experts on the subject, show how development in existing suburbs can absorb new growth and evolve in relation to changed demographic, technological, and economic conditions. Retrofitting Suburbia was named winner in the Architecture & Urban Planning category of the 2009 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (The PROSE Awards) awarded by The Professional and Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the Association of American Publishers
101 Things I Learned in Urban Design School
Matthew Frederick - 2018
Students of urban design often find themselves lost between books that are either highly academic or overly formulaic, leaving them with few tangible tools to use in their design projects. 101 Things I Learned® in Urban Design School fills this void with provocative, practical lessons on urban space, street types, pedestrian experience, managing the design process, the psychological, social, cultural, and economic ramifications of physical design decisions, and more. Written by two experienced practitioners and instructors, this informative book will appeal not only to students, but to seasoned professionals, planners, city administrators, and ordinary citizens who wish to better understand their built world.
Order Without Design: How Markets Shape Cities
Alain Bertaud - 2018
Planners make rapid decisions that have an immediate impact on the ground--the width of streets, the minimum size of land parcels, the heights of buildings. The language they use to describe their objectives is qualitative--"sustainable," "livable," "resilient"--often with no link to measurable outcomes. Urban economics, on the other hand, is a quantitative science, based on theories, models, and empirical evidence largely developed in academic settings. In this book, the eminent urban planner Alain Bertaud argues that applying the theories of urban economics to the practice of urban planning would greatly improve both the productivity of cities and the welfare of urban citizens.Bertaud explains that markets provide the indispensable mechanism for cities' development. He cites the experience of cities without markets for land or labor in pre-reform China and Russia; this "urban planners' dream" created inefficiencies and waste. Drawing on five decades of urban planning experience in forty cities around the world, Bertaud links cities' productivity to the size of their labor markets; argues that the design of infrastructure and markets can complement each other; examines the spatial distribution of land prices and densities; stresses the importance of mobility and affordability; and critiques the land use regulations in a number of cities that aim at redesigning existing cities instead of just trying to alleviate clear negative externalities. Bertaud concludes by describing the new role that joint teams of urban planners and economists could play to improve the way cities are managed.
The City of Tomorrow: Sensors, Networks, Hackers, and the Future of Urban Life
Carlo Ratti - 2016
But their evolution has been anything but linear—cities have gone through moments of radical change, turning points that redefine their very essence. In this book, a renowned architect and urban planner who studies the intersection of cities and technology argues that we are in such a moment. The authors explain some of the forces behind urban change and offer new visions of the many possibilities for tomorrow’s city. Pervasive digital systems that layer our cities are transforming urban life. The authors provide a front-row seat to this change. Their work at the MIT Senseable City Laboratory allows experimentation and implementation of a variety of urban initiatives and concepts, from assistive condition-monitoring bicycles to trash with embedded tracking sensors, from mobility to energy, from participation to production. They call for a new approach to envisioning cities: futurecraft, a symbiotic development of urban ideas by designers and the public. With such participation, we can collectively imagine, examine, choose, and shape the most desirable future of our cities.
Walkable City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Places
Jeff Speck - 2018
The goals are often clear, but the path is seldom easy. Jeff Speck’s follow-up to his bestselling Walkable City is the resource that cities and citizens need to usher in an era of renewed street life. Walkable City Rules is a doer’s guide to making change in cities, and making it now. The 101 rules are practical yet engaging—worded for arguments at the planning commission, illustrated for clarity, and packed with specifications as well as data. For ease of use, the rules are grouped into 19 chapters that cover everything from selling walkability, to getting the parking right, escaping automobilism, making comfortable spaces and interesting places, and doing it now! Walkable City was written to inspire; Walkable City Rules was written to enable. It is the most comprehensive tool available for bringing the latest and most effective city-planning practices to bear in your community. The content and presentation make it a force multiplier for place-makers and change-makers everywhere.
Soft City: Building Density for Everyday Life
David Sim - 2019
Soft City is about ease and comfort, where density has a human dimension, adapting to our ever-changing needs, nurturing relationships, and accommodating the pleasures of everyday life. How do we move from the current reality in most cites—separated uses and lengthy commutes in single-occupancy vehicles that drain human, environmental, and community resources—to support a soft city approach? In Soft City David Sim, partner and creative director at Gehl, shows how this is possible, presenting ideas and graphic examples from around the globe. He draws from his vast design experience to make a case for a dense and diverse built environment at a human scale, which he presents through a series of observations of older and newer places, and a range of simple built phenomena, some traditional and some totally new inventions. Sim shows that increasing density is not enough. The soft city must consider the organization and layout of the built environment for more fluid movement and comfort, a diversity of building types, and thoughtful design to ensure a sustainable urban environment and society. Soft City begins with the big ideas of happiness and quality of life, and then shows how they are tied to the way we live. The heart of the book is highly visual and shows the building blocks for neighborhoods: building types and their organization and orientation; how we can get along as we get around a city; and living with the weather. As every citizen deals with the reality of a changing climate, Soft City explores how the built environment can adapt and respond. Soft City offers inspiration, ideas, and guidance for anyone interested in city building. Sim shows how to make any city more efficient, more livable, and better connected to the environment.
Design of Cities
Edmund N. Bacon - 1967
. . Splendidly presented, filled with thoughtful and brilliant intuitive insights." —The New Republic In a brilliant synthesis of words and pictures, Edmund N. Bacon relates historical examples to modern principles of urban planning. He vividly demonstrates how the work of great architects and planners of the past can influence subsequent development and be continued by later generations. By illuminating the historical background of urban design, Bacon also shows us the fundamental forces and considerations that determine the form of a great city. Perhaps the most significant of these are simultaneous movement systems—the paths of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, public and private transportation—that serve as the dominant organizing force, and Bacon looks at movement systems in cities such as London, Rome, and New York. He also stresses the importance of designing open space as well as architectural mass and discusses the impact of space, color, and perspective on the city-dweller. That the centers of cities should and can be pleasant places in which to live, work, and relax is illustrated by such examples as Rotterdam and Stockholm.
How to Study Public Life
Jan Gehl - 2013
Jan Gehl has been examining this question since the 1960s, when few urban designers or planners were thinking about designing cities for people. But given the unpredictable, complex and ephemeral nature of life in cities, how can we best design public infrastructure—vital to cities for getting from place to place, or staying in place—for human use? Studying city life and understanding the factors that encourage or discourage use is the key to designing inviting public space. In How to Study Public Life Jan Gehl and Birgitte Svarre draw from their combined experience of over 50 years to provide a history of public-life study as well as methods and tools necessary to recapture city life as an important planning dimension. This type of systematic study began in earnest in the 1960s, when several researchers and journalists on different continents criticized urban planning for having forgotten life in the city. City life studies provide knowledge about human behavior in the built environment in an attempt to put it on an equal footing with knowledge about urban elements such as buildings and transport systems. Studies can be used as input in the decision-making process, as part of overall planning, or in designing individual projects such as streets, squares or parks. The original goal is still the goal today: to recapture city life as an important planning dimension. Anyone interested in improving city life will find inspiration, tools, and examples in this invaluable guide.
Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change
Mike Lydon - 2014
Short-term, community-based projects—from pop-up parks to open streets initiatives—have become a powerful and adaptable new tool of urban activists, planners, and policy-makers seeking to drive lasting improvements in their cities and beyond. These quick, often low-cost, and creative projects are the essence of the Tactical Urbanism movement. Whether creating vibrant plazas seemingly overnight or re-imagining parking spaces as neighborhood gathering places, they offer a way to gain public and government support for investing in permanent projects, inspiring residents and civic leaders to experience and shape urban spaces in a new way. Tactical Urbanism, written by Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia, two founders of the movement, promises to be the foundational guide for urban transformation. The authors begin with an in-depth history of the Tactical Urbanism movement and its place among other social, political, and urban planning trends. A detailed set of case studies, from guerilla wayfinding signs in Raleigh, to pavement transformed into parks in San Francisco, to a street art campaign leading to a new streetcar line in El Paso, demonstrate the breadth and scalability of tactical urbanism interventions. Finally, the book provides a detailed toolkit for conceiving, planning, and carrying out projects, including how to adapt them based on local needs and challenges. Tactical Urbanism will inspire and empower a new generation of engaged citizens, urban designers, land use planners, architects, and policymakers to become key actors in the transformation of their communities.