The creator of the Atlanta Beltline, a proposed 22-mile loop of transit and trails that is already changing the face of the city, argues for leveraging existing infrastructure to reconceive how we live in American cities
**Winner, Phillip D. Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment** **A Planetizen Top Planning Book for 2017** After decades of sprawl, many American city and suburban residents struggle with issues related to traffic (and its accompanying challenges for our health and productivity), divided neighborhoods, and a non-walkable life. Urban designer Ryan Gravel makes a case for how we can change this. Cities have the capacity to create a healthier, more satisfying way of life by remodeling and augmenting their infrastructure in ways that connect neighborhoods and communities. Gravel came up with a way to do just that in his hometown with the Atlanta Beltline project. It connects 40 diverse Atlanta neighborhoods to city schools, shopping districts, and public parks, and has already seen a huge payoff in real estate development and local business revenue. Similar projects are in the works around the country, from the Los Angeles River Revitalization and the Buffalo Bayou in Houston to the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis and the Underline in Miami. In Where We Want to Live, Gravel presents an exciting blueprint for revitalizing cities to make them places where we truly want to live.
What makes a great city? City planner and architect Alexander Garvin set out to answer this question by observing cities, largely in North America and Europe, with special attention to Paris, London, New York, and Vienna. For Garvin, greatness is about what people who shape cities candotomakea city great. A great city is a dynamic, constantly changing place that residents and their leaders can reshape to satisfy their demands. Most importantly, it is about the interplay between people and public realm, and how they have interacted throughout history to create great cities. What Makes a Great Citywill help readers understand that any city can be changed for the better and inspire entrepreneurs, public officials, and city residents to do it themselves.
Leading thinkers offer fresh insight into the workings of vibrant, ecological, equitable communities and their economies.
What we can learn from Atlanta's struggle to reinvent itself in the 21st Century Atlanta is on the verge of tremendous rebirth-or inexorable decline. A kind of Petri dish for cities struggling to reinvent themselves, Atlanta has the highest income inequality in the country, gridlocked highways, suburban sprawl, and a history of racial injustice. Yet it is also an energetic, brash young city that prides itself on pragmatic solutions. Today, the most promising catalyst for the city's rebirth is the BeltLine, which the New York Times described as "a staggeringly ambitious engine of urban revitalization." A long-term project that is cutting through forty-five neighborhoods ranging from affluent to impoverished, the BeltLine will complete a twenty-two-mile loop encircling downtown, transforming a massive ring of mostly defunct railways into a series of stunning parks connected by trails and streetcars. Acclaimed author Mark Pendergrast presents a deeply researched, multi-faceted, up-to-the-minute history of the biggest city in America's Southeast, using the BeltLine saga to explore issues of race, education, public health, transportation, business, philanthropy, urban planning, religion, politics, and community. An inspiring narrative of ordinary Americans taking charge of their local communities, City of the Verge provides a model for how cities across the country can reinvent themselves.
In Saving Our Cities, William W. Goldsmith shows how cities can be places of opportunity rather than places with problems. With strongly revived cities and suburbs, working as places that serve all their residents, metropolitan areas will thrive, thus making the national economy more productive, the environment better protected, the citizenry better educated, and the society more reflective, sensitive, and humane. Goldsmith argues that America has been in the habit of abusing its cities and their poorest suburbs, which are always the first to be blamed for society's ills and the last to be helped. As federal and state budgets, regulations, and programs line up with the interests of giant corporations and privileged citizens, they impose austerity on cities, shortchange public schools, make it hard to get nutritious food, and inflict the drug war on unlucky neighborhoods. Frustration with inequality is spreading. Parents and teachers call persistently for improvements in public schooling, and education experiments abound. Nutrition indicators have begun to improve, as rising health costs and epidemic obesity have led to widespread attention to food. The futility of the drug war and the high costs of unwarranted, unprecedented prison growth have become clear. Goldsmith documents a positive development: progressive politicians in many cities and some states are proposing far-reaching improvements, supported by advocacy groups that form powerful voting blocs, ensuring that Congress takes notice. When more cities forcefully demand enlightened federal and state action on these four interrelated problems—inequality, schools, food, and the drug war—positive movement will occur in traditional urban planning as well, so as to meet the needs of most residents for improved housing, better transportation, and enhanced public spaces.
Over the last 50 years architect Jan Gehl has changed the way that we think about architecture and city planning--moving from the Modernist separation of uses to a human-scale approach inviting people to use their cities. People Cities tells the inside story of how Gehl learned to study urban spaces and implement his people-centered approach in car-dominated cities. It discusses the work, theory, life, and influence of Gehl from the perspective of those who have worked with him in cities across the globe. It will inspire anyone who wants to create vibrant, human-scale cities and understand the ideas and work of the architect who has most influenced urban design.
Written by the chair of the LEED-Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) initiative, Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature is both an urgent call to action and a comprehensive introduction to "sustainable urbanism"--the emerging and growing design reform movement that combines the creation and enhancement of walkable and diverse places with the need to build high-performance infrastructure and buildings. Providing a historic perspective on the standards and regulations that got us to where we are today in terms of urban lifestyle and attempts at reform, Douglas Farr makes a powerful case for sustainable urbanism, showing where we went wrong, and where we need to go. He then explains how to implement sustainable urbanism through leadership and communication in cities, communities, and neighborhoods. Essays written by Farr and others delve into such issues as: Increasing sustainability through density. Integrating transportation and land use. Creating sustainable neighborhoods, including housing, car-free areas, locally-owned stores, walkable neighborhoods, and universal accessibility. The health and environmental benefits of linking humans to nature, including walk-to open spaces, neighborhood stormwater systems and waste treatment, and food production. High performance buildings and district energy systems. Enriching the argument are in-depth case studies in sustainable urbanism, from BedZED in London, England and Newington in Sydney, Australia, to New Railroad Square in Santa Rosa, California and Dongtan, Shanghai, China. An epilogue looks to the future of sustainable urbanism over the next 200 years. At once solidly researched and passionately argued, Sustainable Urbanism is the ideal guidebook for urban designers, planners, and architects who are eager to make a positive impact on our--and our descendants'--buildings, cities, and lives.
Urban designer Mikael Colville-Andersen draws from his experience working for dozens of cities around the world on bicycle planning, strategy, infrastructure design, and communication. In Copenhagenize he shows cities how to effectively and profitably re-establish the bicycle as a respected, accepted, and feasible form of transportation. Building on his popular blog of the same name, Copenhagenize offers entertaining stories, vivid project descriptions, and best practices, alongside beautiful and informative visuals to show how to make the bicycle an easy, preferred part of everyday urban life.
Everyone is calling for smart growth...but what exactly is it? In The Smart Growth Manual, two leading city planners provide a thorough answer. From the expanse of the metropolis to the detail of the window box, they address the pressing challenges of urban development with easy-to-follow advice and broad array of best practices. With their landmark book Suburban Nation, Andres Duany and Jeff Speck "set forth more clearly than anyone has done in our time the elements of good town planning" (The New Yorker). With this long-awaited companion volume, the authors have organized the latest contributions of new urbanism, green design, and healthy communities into a comprehensive handbook, fully illustrated with the built work of the nation's leading practitioners. "The Smart Growth Manual is an indispensable guide to city planning. This kind of progressive development is the only way to fully restore our economic strength and create new jobs, new industries, and a renewed ability to compete in the first rank of world economies." -- Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco "Authors Andres Duany, Jeff Speck, and Mike Lydon have created The Smart Growth Manual, a resource which not only explains the overarching ideals of smart growth, but a manual that takes the time to show smart growth principles at each geographic scale (region, neighborhood, street, building). I highly recommend [it] as a part of any community participant’s or urban planner’s desktop references." -- LocalPlan.org Planetizen Top 10 Books – 2010 On the ninth annual list of the ten best books in urban planning, design and development: "The goal of The Smart Growth Manual is clear from page 1: to create a guidebook for smart growth following the pattern of the Charter for New Urbanism. Duany, Speck and Lydon have achieved that in spades (the Charter is included in the appendix, in case we missed the connection). It even clears up some of the architectural arguments that attach themselves to New Urbanists, such as this segment of Section 14.1, Regional Design; 'While new buildings should not be compelled to mimic their historic predecessors, designers should pay attention to local practices regarding materials and colors, roof pitches, eave lengths, window-to-wall ratios, and the socially significant relationship of buildings to their site and the street; these have usually evolved in intelligent response to local conditions.' In addition to making the old 'traditional vs. modern' argument irrelevant, Duany, Speck and Lydon have truly managed to boil down the best parts of current practices into a highly readable, portable book."
It has become conventional to think of urbanism and landscape as opposing one another—or to think of landscape as merely providing temporary relief from urban life as shaped by buildings and infrastructure. But, driven in part by environmental concerns, landscape has recently emerged as a model and medium for the city, with some theorists arguing that landscape architects are the urbanists of our age. In Landscape as Urbanism, one of the field's pioneers presents a powerful case for rethinking the city through landscape. Charles Waldheim traces the roots of landscape as a form of urbanism from its origins in the Renaissance through the twentieth century. Growing out of progressive architectural culture and populist environmentalism, the concept was further informed by the nineteenth-century invention of landscape architecture as a "new art" charged with reconciling the design of the industrial city with its ecological and social conditions. In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, as urban planning shifted from design to social science, and as urban design committed to neotraditional models of town planning, landscape urbanism emerged to fill a void at the heart of the contemporary urban project. Generously illustrated, Landscape as Urbanism examines works from around the world by designers ranging from Ludwig Hilberseimer, Andrea Branzi, and Frank Lloyd Wright to James Corner, Adriaan Geuze, and Michael Van Valkenburgh. The result is the definitive account of an emerging field that is likely to influence the design of cities for decades to come.
The best cities become an ingrained part of their residents' identities. Urban design is the key to this process, but all too often, citizens abandon it to professionals, unable to see a way to express what they love and value in their own neighborhoods. New in paperback, this visually rich book by Alexandros Washburn, former Chief Urban Designer of the New York Department of City Planning, redefines urban design. His book empowers urbanites and lays the foundations for a new approach to design that will help cities to prosper in an uncertain future. He asks his readers to consider how cities shape communities, for it is the strength of our communities, he argues, that will determine how we respond to crises like Hurricane Sandy, whose floodwaters he watched from his home in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Washburn draws heavily on his experience within the New York City planning system while highlighting forward-thinking developments in cities around the world. He grounds his book in the realities of political and financial challenges that hasten or hinder even the most beautiful designs. By discussing projects like the High Line and the Harlem Children's Zone as well as examples from Seoul to Singapore, he explores the nuances of the urban design process while emphasizing the importance of individuals with the drive to make a difference in their city. Throughout the book, Washburn shows how a well-designed city can be the most efficient, equitable, safe, and enriching place on earth. The Nature of Urban Design provides a framework for participating in the process of change and will inspire and inform anyone who cares about cities.
Following the widespread success of For the Love of Cities, this book builds upon the central premise that love of place matters, with more examples from all over the world and practical steps that community leaders, both official and unofficial, might use to kick start the process in their city. This book explores how to build networks of co-creators, how to allay community fears, how to deal with naysayers and bad news, how to find your authentic identity and how little bits of funding can be instrumental in creating big changes.
A journey to the front lines of the battle for the future of American cities, uncovering the massive, systemic forces behind gentrification--and the lives that are altered in the process. The term gentrification has become a buzzword to describe the changes in urban neighborhoods across the country, but we don't realize just how threatening it is. It means more than the arrival of trendy shops, much-maligned hipsters, and expensive lattes. The very future of American cities as vibrant, equitable spaces hangs in the balance. Peter Moskowitz's How to Kill a City takes readers from the kitchen tables of hurting families who can no longer afford their homes to the corporate boardrooms and political backrooms where destructive housing policies are devised. Along the way, Moskowitz uncovers the massive, systemic forces behind gentrification in New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco, and New York. The deceptively simple question of who can and cannot afford to pay the rent goes to the heart of America's crises of race and inequality. In the fight for economic opportunity and racial justice, nothing could be more important than housing. A vigorous, hard-hitting expose, How to Kill a City reveals who holds power in our cities-and how we can get it back
Beyond Mobility is about prioritizing the needs and aspirations of people and the creation of great places. This is as important, if not more important, than expediting movement. A stronger focus on accessibility and place creates better communities, environments, and economies. There are many examples of communities across the globe working to create a seamless fit between transit and surrounding land uses, retrofit car-oriented suburbs, reclaim surplus or dangerous roadways for other activities, and revitalize neglected urban spaces like abandoned railways in urban centers. The authors draw on experiences and data from a range of cities and countries around the globe in making the case for moving beyond mobility.
2017 PROSE Award Winner: Outstanding Scholarly Work by a Trade Publisher In the vein of Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Edward Glaeser’s Triumph of the City, Jonathan F. P. Rose—a visionary in urban development and renewal—champions the role of cities in addressing the environmental, economic, and social challenges of the twenty-first century. Cities are birthplaces of civilization; centers of culture, trade, and progress; cauldrons of opportunity—and the home of eighty percent of the world’s population by 2050. As the 21st century progresses, metropolitan areas will bear the brunt of global megatrends such as climate change, natural resource depletion, population growth, income inequality, mass migrations, education and health disparities, among many others. In The Well-Tempered City, Jonathan F. P. Rose—the man who “repairs the fabric of cities”—distills a lifetime of interdisciplinary research and firsthand experience into a five-pronged model for how to design and reshape our cities with the goal of equalizing their landscape of opportunity. Drawing from the musical concept of “temperament” as a way to achieve harmony, Rose argues that well-tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, well-being, and the ever-unfolding harmony between civilization and nature. These goals may never be fully achieved, but our cities will be richer and happier if we aspire to them, and if we infuse our every plan and constructive step with this intention. A celebration of the city and an impassioned argument for its role in addressing the important issues in these volatile times, The Well-Tempered City is a reasoned, hopeful blueprint for a thriving metropolis—and the future.
What makes the city of the future? How do you heal a divided city? In Radical Cities, Justin McGuirk travels across Latin America in search of the activist architects, maverick politicians and alternative communities already answering these questions. From Brazil to Venezuela, and from Mexico to Argentina, McGuirk discovers the people and ideas shaping the way cities are evolving. Ever since the mid twentieth century, when the dream of modernist utopia went to Latin America to die, the continent has been a testing ground for exciting new conceptions of the city. An architect in Chile has designed a form of social housing where only half of the house is built, allowing the owners to adapt the rest; Medellín, formerly the world’s murder capital, has been transformed with innovative public architecture; squatters in Caracas have taken over the forty-five-story Torre David skyscraper; and Rio is on a mission to incorporate its favelas into the rest of the city. Here, in the most urbanised continent on the planet, extreme cities have bred extreme conditions, from vast housing estates to sprawling slums. But after decades of social and political failure, a new generation has revitalised architecture and urban design in order to address persistent poverty and inequality. Together, these activists, pragmatists and social idealists are performing bold experiments that the rest of the world may learn from. Radical Cities is a colorful journey through Latin America—a crucible of architectural and urban innovation. From the Hardcover edition.
The Chicago Housing Authority s Plan for Transformation repudiated the city s large-scale housing projects and the paradigm that produced them. The Plan seeks to normalize public housing and its tenants, eliminating physical, social, and economic barriers among populations that have long been segregated from one another. But is the Plan an ambitious example of urban regeneration or a not-so-veiled effort at gentrification? Is it resulting in integration or displacement? What kinds of communities are emerging from it? Chaskin and Joseph s book is the most thorough examination of the Plan to date. Drawing on five years of field research, in-depth interviews, and data, Chaskin and Joseph examine the actors, strategies, and processes involved in the Plan. Most important, they illuminate the Plan s limitations which has implications for urban regeneration strategies nationwide."
Taras Grescoe rides the rails all over the world and makes an elegant and impassioned case for the imminent end of car culture and the coming transportation revolution "I am proud to call myself a straphanger," writes Taras Grescoe. The perception of public transportation in America is often unflattering—a squalid last resort for those with one too many drunk-driving charges, too poor to afford insurance, or too decrepit to get behind the wheel of a car. Indeed, a century of auto-centric culture and city planning has left most of the country with public transportation that is underfunded, ill maintained, and ill conceived. But as the demand for petroleum is fast outpacing the world's supply, a revolution in transportation is under way. Grescoe explores the ascendance of the straphangers—the growing number of people who rely on public transportation to go about the business of their daily lives. On a journey that takes him around the world—from New York to Moscow, Paris, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Bogotá, Phoenix, Portland, Vancouver, and Philadelphia—Grescoe profiles public transportation here and abroad, highlighting the people and ideas that may help undo the damage that car-centric planning has done to our cities and create convenient, affordable, and sustainable urban transportation—and better city living—for all.

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