Author: Dar Williams
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2017-09-05
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A beloved folk singer presents an impassioned account of the fall and rise of the small American towns she cherishes Dubbed by the New Yorker as "one of America's very best singer-songwriters," Dar Williams has made her career not in stadiums, but touring America's small towns. She has played their venues, composed in their coffee shops, and drunk in their bars. She has seen these communities struggle, but also seen them thrive in the face of postindustrial identity crises. Here, Williams muses on why some towns flourish while others fail, examining elements from the significance of history and nature to the uniting power of public spaces and food. Drawing on her own travels and the work of urban theorists, Williams offers real solutions to rebuild declining communities. What I Found in a Thousand Towns is more than a love letter to America's small towns, it's a deeply personal and hopeful message about the potential of America's lively and resilient communities.
Author: Charles Montgomery
Release Date: 2015-02-05
Genre: City planning
What really makes a good place to live? Journeying around the world from Copenhagen to Bogotá, Charles Montgomery shows that living in densely-populated cities can actually make us healthier, saner and happier people.Happy Citywill change the way you think about urban life. 'Eye-opening, pleasurable, utterly necessary.' Andrew Blum, author ofTubes 'Admirable, readable, stimulating. It raises issues most of us have avoided for too long.' Alan Ehrenhalt, The New York Times 'Excellent . . . a castigating argument for planning urban spaces around the thing they effect the most: people.' Will Dean,Independent 'Rare wit and erudition about the psychology of urban life. A wake-up call.' Nicholas Humphrey, author ofA History of the Mind
As NYC's Transportation Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan managed the seemingly impossible and transformed the streets of one of the world s greatest, toughest cities into dynamic spaces safe for pedestrians and bikers. Her approach was dramatic and effective: she rewrote the rule book and involved local artists in a radical approach to city planning. In Streetfight, Sadik-Khan writes about the struggles she faced while making her approach work, and how it is now being implemented.
Author: Robert Kanigel
Release Date: 2017-08
Genre: City planners
"Chronicles the life of a noted activist who wrote seven groundbreaking books, including her most famous, The Death and Life of Great American Cities; saved neighborhoods; stopped expressways; was arrested twice; and engaged at home and on the streets in thousands of debates -- all of which she won, "--NoveList.
As seen on The Fine Living Channel's, Radical Sabbaticle TV program. The delightfully refreshing true story of one mans walk across America. The book tells of his adventures along the way, as well as reviews some of the historical sights he passes.
This is a guide to producing high quality illustrations in urban design projects and plans. The authors describe high quality material as being clear, relevant, accessible, honest and attractive. Topics covered include context, participation, analysis, outputs, and good practice.
During his three terms as mayor of Curitiba, Brazil in the 1970s and ‘80s, architect and urbanist Jaime Lerner transformed his city into a global model of the sustainable and livable community. From the pioneering Bus Rapid Transit system to parks designed to catch runoff and reduce flooding and the creation of pedestrian-only zones, Lerner has been the driving force behind a host of innovative urban projects. In more than forty years of work in cities around the globe, Lerner has found that changes to a community don’t need to be large-scale and expensive to have a transformative impact—in fact, one block, park, or a single person can have an outsized effect on life in the surrounding city. In Urban Acupuncture, Lerner celebrates these “pinpricks” of urbanism—projects, people, and initiatives from around the world that ripple through their communities to uplift city life. With meditative and descriptive prose, Lerner brings readers around the world to streets and neighborhoods where urban acupuncture has been practiced best, from the bustling La Boqueria market in Barcelona to the revitalization of the Cheonggyecheon River in Seoul, South Korea. Through this journey, Lerner invites us to re-examine the true building blocks of vibrant communities—the tree-lined avenues, night vendors, and songs and traditions that connect us to our cities and to one another. Urban Acupuncture is the first of Jaime Lerner’s visionary work to be published in English. It is a love letter to the elements that make a street hum with life or a neighborhood feel like home, penned by one of the world’s most successful advocates for sustainable and livable urbanism.
Author: Michael Larice
Release Date: 2013-05-07
Genre: Social Science
The second edition of The Urban Design Reader draws together the very best of classic and contemporary writings to illuminate and expand the theory and practice of urban design. Nearly 50 generous selections include seminal contributions from Howard, Le Corbusier, Lynch, and Jacobs to more recent writings by Waldheim, Koolhaas, and Sorkin. Following the widespread success of the first edition of The Urban Design Reader, this updated edition continues to provide the most important historical material of the urban design field, but also introduces new topics and selections that address the myriad challenges facing designers today. The six part structure of the second edition guides the reader through the history, theory and practice of urban design. The reader is initially introduced to those classic writings that provide the historical precedents for city-making into the twentieth century. Part Two introduces the voices and ideas that were instrumental in establishing the foundations of the urban design field from the late 1950s up to the mid-1990s. These authors present a critical reading of the design professions and offer an alternative urban design agenda focused on vital and lively places. The authors in Part Three provide a range of urban design rationales and strategies for reinforcing local physical identity and the creation of memorable places. These selections are largely describing the outcomes of mid-century urban design and voicing concerns over the placeless quality of contemporary urbanism. The fourth part of the Reader explores key issues in urban design and development. Ideas about sprawl, density, community health, public space and everyday life are the primary focus here. Several new selections in this part of the book also highlight important international development trends in the Middle East and China. Part Five presents environmental challenges faced by the built environment professions today, including recent material on landscape urbanism, sustainability, and urban resiliency. The final part examines professional practice and current debates in the field: where urban designers work, what they do, their roles, their fields of knowledge and their educational development. The section concludes with several position pieces and debates on the future of urban design practice. This book provides an essential resource for students and practitioners of urban design, drawing together important but widely dispersed writings. Part and section introductions are provided to assist readers in understanding the context of the material, summary messages, impacts of the writing, and how they fit into the larger picture of the urban design field.
It all started with Nathanael Johnson’s decision to teach his daughter the name of every tree they passed on their walk to day care in San Francisco. This project turned into a quest to discover the secrets of the neighborhood’s flora and fauna, and yielded more than names and trivia: Johnson developed a relationship with his nonhuman neighbors. Johnson argues that learning to see the world afresh, like a child, shifts the way we think about nature: Instead of something distant and abstract, nature becomes real—all at once comical, annoying, and beautiful. This shift can add tremendous value to our lives, and it might just be the first step in saving the world. No matter where we live—city, country, oceanside, or mountains—there are wonders that we walk past every day. Unseen City widens the pinhole of our perspective by allowing us to view the world from the high-altitude eyes of a turkey vulture and the distinctly low-altitude eyes of a snail. The narrative allows us to eavesdrop on the comically frenetic life of a squirrel and peer deep into the past with a ginkgo biloba tree. Each of these organisms has something unique to tell us about our neighborhoods and, chapter by chapter, Unseen City takes us on a journey that is part nature lesson and part love letter to the world’s urban jungles. With the right perspective, a walk to the subway can be every bit as entrancing as a walk through a national park.
Author: Samuel I. Schwartz
Release Date: 2015-08-18
Genre: Political Science
With wit and sharp insight, former Traffic Commissioner of New York City, Sam Schwartz a.k.a. “Gridlock Sam,” one of the most respected transportation engineers in the world and consummate insider in NYC political circles, uncovers how American cities became so beholden to cars and why the current shift away from that trend will forever alter America's urban landscapes, marking nothing short of a revolution in how we get from place to place. When Sam Schwartz was growing up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn—his block belonged to his community: the kids who played punchball and stickball & their parents, who'd regularly walk to the local businesses at which they also worked. He didn't realize it then, but Bensonhurst was already more like a museum of a long-forgotten way-of-life than a picture of America's future. Public transit traveled over and under city streets—New York's first subway line opened in 1904—but the streets themselves had been conquered by the internal combustion engine. America's dependency on the automobile began with the 1908 introduction of Henry Ford's car-for-everyone, the Model T. The “battle for right-of-way” in the 1920s saw the demise of streetcars and transformed America's streets from a multiuse resource for socializing, commerce, and public mobility into exclusive arteries for private automobiles. The subsequent destruction of urban transit systems and post WWII suburbanization of America enabled by the Interstate Highway System and the GI Bill forever changed the way Americans commuted. But today, for the first time in history, and after a hundred years of steady increase, automobile driving is in decline. Younger Americans increasingly prefer active transportation choices like walking or cycling and taking public transit, ride-shares or taxis. This isn't a consequence of higher gas prices, or even the economic downturn, but rather a collective decision to be a lot less dependent on cars—and if American cities want to keep their younger populations, they need to plan accordingly. In Street Smart, Sam Schwartz explains how. In this clear and erudite presentation of the principles of smart transportation and sustainable urban planning—from the simplest cobblestoned street to the brave new world of driverless cars and trains—Sam Schwartz combines rigorous historical scholarship with the personal and entertaining recollections of a man who has spent more than forty years working on planning intelligent transit networks in New York City. Street Smart is a book for everyone who wants to know more about the who, what, when, where, and why of human mobility.
Author: Gabe Klein
Publisher: Island Press
Release Date: 2015-10-15
There has been a revolution in urban transportation over the past five years—set off by start-ups across the US and internationally. Sleek, legible mobility platforms are connecting people to cars, trains, buses, and bikes as never before, opening up a range of new transportation options while improving existing ones. While many large city governments, such as Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C., have begun to embrace creative forms and processes of government, most still operate under the weight of an unwieldy, risk-averse bureaucracy. With the advent of self-driving vehicles and other technological shifts upon us, Gabe Klein asks how we can close the gap between the energized, aggressive world of start-ups and the complex bureaucracies struggling to change beyond a geologic time scale. From his experience as a food-truck entrepreneur to a ZipCar executive and a city transportation commissioner, Klein’s career has focused on bridging the public-private divide, finding and celebrating shared goals, and forging better cities with more nimble, consumer-oriented bureaucracies. In Start-Up City, Klein, with David Vega-Barachowitz, demonstrates how to affect big, directional change in cities—and how to do it fast. Klein's objective is to inspire what he calls “public entrepreneurship,” a start-up-pace energy within the public sector, brought about by leveraging the immense resources at its disposal. Klein offers guidance for cutting through the morass, and a roadmap for getting real, meaningful projects done quickly and having fun while doing it. This book is for anyone who wants to change the way we live in cities without waiting for the glacial pace of change in government.
In the spirit of Gretchen Rubin's megaseller The Happiness Project and Eric Weiner's The Geography of Bliss, a journalist embarks on a project to discover what it takes to love where you live The average restless American will move 11.7 times in a lifetime. For Melody Warnick, it was move #6, from Austin, Texas, to Blacksburg, Virginia, that threatened to unhinge her. In the lonely aftermath of unpacking, she wondered: Aren't we supposed to put down roots at some point? How does the place we live become the place we want to stay? This time, she had an epiphany. Rather than hold her breath and hope this new town would be her family's perfect fit, she would figure out how to fall in love with it--no matter what. How we come to feel at home in our towns and cities is what Warnick sets out to discover in This Is Where You Belong. She dives into the body of research around place attachment--the deep sense of connection that binds some of us to our cities and increases our physical and emotional well-being--then travels to towns across America to see it in action. Inspired by a growing movement of placemaking, she examines what its practitioners are doing to create likeable locales. She also speaks with frequent movers and loyal stayers around the country to learn what draws highly mobile Americans to a new city, and what makes us stay. The best ideas she imports to her adopted hometown of Blacksburg for a series of Love Where You Live experiments designed to make her feel more locally connected. Dining with her neighbors. Shopping Small Business Saturday. Marching in the town Christmas parade. Can these efforts make a halfhearted resident happier? Will Blacksburg be the place she finally stays? What Warnick learns will inspire you to embrace your own community--and perhaps discover that the place where you live right now . . . is home. From the Hardcover edition.
In this important collection, eighteen renowned writers, including David Remnick, Zadie Smith, Rebecca Skloot, Rory Stewart, and Adam Gopnik evoke the spirit and history of some of the world’s most recognized and significant city squares, accompanied by illustrations from equally distinguished photographers. Over half of the world’s citizens now live in cities, and this number is rapidly growing. At the heart of these municipalities is the square—the defining urban public space since the dawn of democracy in Ancient Greece. Each square stands for a larger theme in history: cultural, geopolitical, anthropological, or architectural, and each of the eighteen luminary writers has contributed his or her own innate talent, prodigious research, and local knowledge. Divided into three parts: Culture, Geopolitics, History, headlined by Michael Kimmelman, David Remnick, and George Packer, this significant anthology shows the city square in new light. Jehane Noujaim, award-winning filmmaker, takes the reader through her return to Tahrir Square during the 2011 protest; Rory Stewart, diplomat and author, chronicles a square in Kabul which has come and gone several times over five centuries; Ari Shavit describes the dramatic changes of central Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square; Rick Stengel, editor, author, and journalist, recounts the power of Mandela’s choice of the Grand Parade, Cape Town, a huge market square to speak to the world right after his release from twenty-seven years in prison; while award-winning journalist Gillian Tett explores the concept of the virtual square in the age of social media. This collection is an important lesson in history, a portrait of the world we live in today, as well as an exercise in thinking about the future. Evocative and compelling, City Squares will change the way you walk through a city. Contributors include: David Adjaye on Jemma e-Fnna, Marrakech • Anne Applebaum on Red Square, Moscow and Grand Market Square, Krakow • Chrystia Freeland on Euromaiden, Kiev • Adam Gopnik on Place des Vosges, Paris • Alma Guillermoprieto on Zocalo, Mexico City • Jehane Noujaim on Tahrir Square, Cairo • Evan Osnos on Tiananmen Square, Beijing • Andrew Roberts on Residential Squares, London • Elif Shafak on Taksim Square, Istanbul • Rebecca Skloot on American Town Squares • Ari Shavit on Rabin Square, Tel Aviv • Zadie Smith on the grand piazzas of Rome and Venice • Richard Stengel on Market Square, Grand Parade, Cape Town • Rory Stewart on Murad Khane, Kabul • Plus contributions by Gillian Tett, George Packer, David Remnick, and Michael Kimmelman; illustrations and photographs from renowned photographers, including: Thomas Struth, Philip Lorca di Corcia, and Josef Koudelka