Lessons for Street Plinths
Author: Meredith Glaser
Publisher: Eburon Uitgeverij B.V.
Although rarely explored in academic literature, most inhabitants and visitors interact with an urban landscape on a day-to-day basis is on the street level. Storefronts, first floor apartments, and sidewalks are the most immediate and common experience of a city. These "plinths" are the ground floors that negotiate between inside and outside, the public and private spheres. The City at Eye Level qualitatively evaluates plinths by exploring specific examples from all over the world. Over twenty-five experts investigate the design, land use, and road and foot traffic in rigorously researched essays, case studies, and interviews. These pieces are supplemented by over two hundred beautiful color images and engage not only with issues in design, but also the concerns of urban communities. The editors have put together a comprehensive guide for anyone concerned with improving or building plinths, including planners, building owners, property and shop managers, designers, and architects.
Lessons for Street Plinths
Author: Hans Karssenberg,Jeroen Laven,Meredith Glaser,Mattijs van 't Hoff
The way in which most city inhabitants and visitors interact with an urban landscape on a day-to-day basis is on the street level. Storefronts, first floor apartments, and sidewalks are the most immediate and common experience of a city. These plinths are the ground floors that negotiate between inside and outside, the public and private spheres. Featuring more than one hundred pages of new analysis and a new foreword from Joan Clos, under-secretary-general of the United Nations and executive director of UN-Habitat, this thoroughly revised and expanded edition of The City at Eye Level qualitatively evaluates plinths by exploring specific examples from all over the world. Over twenty-five experts investigate the design, land use, and road and foot traffic in rigorously researched essays, case studies, and interviews. These pieces are supplemented by more than two hundred beautiful color images--sixty new to this edition--that engage not only with issues in design, but also the concerns of urban communities. The editors have put together a comprehensive guide for anyone concerned with improving or building plinths, including planners, building owners, property and shop managers, designers, and architects.
Author: Jan Gehl
Publisher: Island Press
For more than forty years Jan Gehl has helped to transform urban environments around the world based on his research into the ways people actually use—or could use—the spaces where they live and work. In this revolutionary book, Gehl presents his latest work creating (or recreating) cityscapes on a human scale. He clearly explains the methods and tools he uses to reconfigure unworkable cityscapes into the landscapes he believes they should be: cities for people. Taking into account changing demographics and changing lifestyles, Gehl emphasizes four human issues that he sees as essential to successful city planning. He explains how to develop cities that are Lively, Safe, Sustainable, and Healthy. Focusing on these issues leads Gehl to think of even the largest city on a very small scale. For Gehl, the urban landscape must be considered through the five human senses and experienced at the speed of walking rather than at the speed of riding in a car or bus or train. This small-scale view, he argues, is too frequently neglected in contemporary projects. In a final chapter, Gehl makes a plea for city planning on a human scale in the fast- growing cities of developing countries. A “Toolbox,” presenting key principles, overviews of methods, and keyword lists, concludes the book. The book is extensively illustrated with over 700 photos and drawings of examples from Gehl’s work around the globe.
Author: Vivian Gornick
Publisher: Beacon Press
Category: Literary Collections
In a collection of personal essays, the author shares her struggle to achieve both independence and connection with others, reconsiders feminism, living alone, and marriage, and reveals how we can come to know ourselves by participating in the world.
Author: Allan B. Jacobs
Publisher: Mit Press
Which are the world's best streets, and what are the physical, designable characteristics that make them great? To answer these questions, Allan Jacobs has surveyed street users and design professionals and has studied a wide array of street types and urban spaces around the world. With more than 200 illustrations, all prepared by the author, along with analysis and statistics, Great Streets offers a wealth of information on street dimensions, plans, sections, and patterns of use, all systematically compared. It also reveals Jacobs's eye for the telling human and social details that bring streets and communities to life.An extensive introduction discusses the importance of streets in creating communities and criteria for identifying the best streets. The essays that follow examine 15 particularly fine streets, ranging from medieval streets in Rome and Copenhagen to Venice's Grand Canal, from Parisian boulevards to tree-lined residential streets in American cities. Jacobs also looks at several streets that were once very fine but are less successful today, such as Market Street in San Francisco, identifying the factors that figure in their decline.To broaden his coverage, Jacobs adds briefer treatments of more than 30 other streets arranged by street type, including streets from Australia, Japan, and classical antiquity in addition to European and North American examples. For each of these streets he has prepared plans, sections, and maps, all drawn at the same scales to facilitate comparisons, along with perspective views and drawings of significant design details.Another remarkable feature of this book is a set of 50 one square-mile maps, each reproduced at the same scale, of the street plans of representative cities around the world. These reveal much about the texture of the cities' street patterns and hence of their urban life. Jacobs's analysis of the maps adds much original data derived from them, including changes of street patterns over time.Jacobs concludes by summarizing the practical design qualities and strategies that have contributed most to the making of great streets.
Author: Jenny Xie
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, selected by Juan Felipe Herrera For years now, I’ve been using the wrong palette. Each year with its itchy blue, as the bruise of solitude reaches its expiration date. Planes and buses, guesthouse to guesthouse. I’ve gotten to where I am by dint of my poor eyesight, my overreactive motion sickness. 9 p.m., Hanoi’s Old Quarter: duck porridge and plum wine. Voices outside the door come to a soft boil. —from “Phnom Penh Diptych: Dry Season” Jenny Xie’s award-winning debut, Eye Level, takes us far and near, to Phnom Penh, Corfu, Hanoi, New York, and elsewhere, as we travel closer and closer to the acutely felt solitude that centers this searching, moving collection. Animated by a restless inner questioning, these poems meditate on the forces that moor the self and set it in motion, from immigration to travel to estranging losses and departures. The sensual worlds here—colors, smells, tastes, and changing landscapes—bring to life questions about the self as seer and the self as seen. As Xie writes, “Me? I’m just here in my traveler’s clothes, trying on each passing town for size.” Her taut, elusive poems exult in a life simultaneously crowded and quiet, caught in between things and places, and never quite entirely at home. Xie is a poet of extraordinary perception—both to the tangible world and to “all that is untouchable as far as the eye can reach.”
Author: Jane Jacobs
Category: Social Science
Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.
Author: David Harvey
Publisher: Verso Books
Category: Political Science
Explores cities as the origin of revolutionary politics, where social and political issues are always at the surface, using examples from such cities as New York City and Mumbai to examine how they can be better ecologically reorganized.
Author: Kevin Lynch
Publisher: MIT Press
The classic work on the evaluation of city form.
Bombay Lost and Found
Author: Suketu Mehta
Category: Social Science
A native of Bombay, Suketu Mehta gives us an insider’s view of this stunning metropolis. He approaches the city from unexpected angles, taking us into the criminal underworld of rival Muslim and Hindu gangs, following the life of a bar dancer raised amid poverty and abuse, opening the door into the inner sanctums of Bollywood, and delving into the stories of the countless villagers who come in search of a better life and end up living on the sidewalks. As each individual story unfolds, Mehta also recounts his own efforts to make a home in Bombay after more than twenty years abroad. Candid, impassioned, funny, and heartrending, Maximum City is a revelation of an ancient and ever-changing world.
How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
The City from Satellites to Bunkers
Author: Stephen Graham
Publisher: Verso Books
Category: Social Science
A revolutionary reimagining of the cities we live in, the air above us, and what goes on in the earth beneath our feet Today we live in a world that can no longer be read as a two-dimensional map, but must now be understood as a series of vertical strata that reach from the satellites that encircle our planet to the tunnels deep within the ground. In Vertical, Stephen Graham rewrites the city at every level: how the geography of inequality, politics, and identity is determined in terms of above and below. Starting at the edge of earth’s atmosphere and, in a series of riveting studies, descending through each layer, Graham explores the world of drones, the city from the viewpoint of an aerial bomber, the design of sidewalks and the hidden depths of underground bunkers. He asks: why was Dubai built to be seen from Google Earth? How do the super-rich in São Paulo live in their penthouses far above the street? Why do London billionaires build vast subterranean basements? And how do the technology of elevators and subversive urban explorers shape life on the surface and subsurface of the earth? Vertical will make you look at the world around you anew: this is a revolution in understanding your place in the world.
Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Author: Richard H. Thaler,Cass R. Sunstein
Category: Business & Economics
From the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: a revelatory look at how we make decisions—for fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow New York Times bestseller Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and the Financial Times Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones. Using dozens of eye-opening examples and drawing on decades of behavioral science research, Nobel Prize winner Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein show that no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way, and that we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions. But by knowing how people think, we can use sensible “choice architecture” to nudge people toward the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our society, without restricting our freedom of choice. More than 750,000 copies sold
Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood
Author: Peter Moskowitz
Publisher: Nation Books
Category: Political Science
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
How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
Author: Edward Glaeser
Category: Social Science
A pioneering urban economist presents a myth-shattering look at the majesty and greatness of cities America is an urban nation, yet cities get a bad rap: they're dirty, poor, unhealthy, environmentally unfriendly . . . or are they? In this revelatory book, Edward Glaeser, a leading urban economist, declares that cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in both cultural and economic terms) places to live. He travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Using intrepid reportage, keen analysis, and cogent argument, Glaeser makes an urgent, eloquent case for the city's importance and splendor, offering inspiring proof that the city is humanity's greatest creation and our best hope for the future. "A masterpiece." -Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics "Bursting with insights." -The New York Times Book Review
The Education of an Urban Farmer
Author: Novella Carpenter
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Urban and rural collide in this wry, inspiring memoir of a woman who turned a vacant lot in downtown Oakland into a thriving farm Novella Carpenter loves cities-the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parents' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways: a homegrown vegetable plot as well as museums, bars, concerts, and a twenty-four-hour convenience mart mere minutes away. Especially when she moved to a ramshackle house in inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door. She closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop. What started out as a few egg-laying chickens led to turkeys, geese, and ducks. Soon, some rabbits joined the fun, then two three-hundred-pound pigs. And no, these charming and eccentric animals weren't pets; she was a farmer, not a zookeeper. Novella was raising these animals for dinner. Novella Carpenter's corner of downtown Oakland is populated by unforgettable characters. Lana (anal spelled backward, she reminds us) runs a speakeasy across the street and refuses to hurt even a fly, let alone condone raising turkeys for Thanksgiving. Bobby, the homeless man who collects cars and car parts just outside the farm, is an invaluable neighborhood concierge. The turkeys, Harold and Maude, tend to escape on a daily basis to cavort with the prostitutes hanging around just off the highway nearby. Every day on this strange and beautiful farm, urban meets rural in the most surprising ways. For anyone who has ever grown herbs on their windowsill, tomatoes on their fire escape, or obsessed over the offerings at the local farmers' market, Carpenter's story will capture your heart. And if you've ever considered leaving it all behind to become a farmer outside the city limits, or looked at the abandoned lot next door with a gleam in your eye, consider this both a cautionary tale and a full-throated call to action. Farm City is an unforgettably charming memoir, full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmers' tips, and a great deal of heart. It is also a moving meditation on urban life versus the natural world and what we have given up to live the way we do.
Author: Jan Gehl,Birgitte Svarre
Publisher: Island Press
How do we accommodate a growing urban population in a way that is sustainable, equitable, and inviting? This question is becoming increasingly urgent to answer as we face diminishing fossil-fuel resources and the effects of a changing climate while global cities continue to compete to be the most vibrant centers of culture, knowledge, and finance. 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.
Author: Teju Cole
Publisher: Random House
A New York Times Notable Book • One of the ten top novels of the year —Time and NPR NAMED A BEST BOOK ON MORE THAN TWENTY END-OF-THE-YEAR LISTS, INCLUDING The New Yorker • The Atlantic • The Economist • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The New Republic • New York Daily News • Los Angeles Times • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Minneapolis Star Tribune • GQ • Salon • Slate • New York magazine • The Week • The Kansas City Star • Kirkus Reviews A haunting novel about identity, dislocation, and history, Teju Cole’s Open City is a profound work by an important new author who has much to say about our country and our world. Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor named Julius wanders, reflecting on his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. He encounters people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey—which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unrecognizable facets of his own soul. “[A] prismatic debut . . . beautiful, subtle, [and] original.”—The New Yorker “A psychological hand grenade.”—The Atlantic “Magnificent . . . a remarkably resonant feat of prose.”—The Seattle Times “A precise and poetic meditation on love, race, identity, friendship, memory, [and] dislocation.”—The Economist
Author: Tommaso Campanella
Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.
City of the Sun, written in 1602, is Tommaso Campanella's contribution to the body of literature concerned with utopia, the philosophical search for the perfect society. Campanella's utopia was based on a form of communism in which all possessions, including women and children, were shared by men. The great city was ruled by a spiritual leader named Metaphysic, whom Power, Wisdom, and Love served, overseeing all aspects of the society. Wisdom ensures that the sciences are properly taught, while Love ensures that men and women breed the most perfect children. Those with an interest in philosophy and sociology will find this book an intriguing take on the structure of an ideal society. Italian philosopher and theologian TOMMASO CAMPANELLA (1568-1639) became a monk at the age of fifteen. He was imprisoned for twenty-seven years for conspiring against the Spanish crown, and it was during this time that he wrote his most important works, including Atheismus triumphatus (1605) and Metaphysica (1609).
Author: Vivian Gornick
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A contentious, deeply moving ode to friendship, love, and urban life in the spirit of Fierce Attachments A memoir of self-discovery and the dilemma of connection in our time, The Odd Woman and the City explores the rhythms, chance encounters, and ever-changing friendships of urban life that forge the sensibility of a fiercely independent woman who has lived out her conflicts, not her fantasies, in a city (New York) that has done the same. Running steadily through the book is Vivian Gornick's exchange of more than twenty years with Leonard, a gay man who is sophisticated about his own unhappiness, whose friendship has "shed more light on the mysterious nature of ordinary human relations than has any other intimacy" she has known. The exchange between Gornick and Leonard acts as a Greek chorus to the main action of the narrator's continual engagement on the street with grocers, derelicts, and doormen; people on the bus, cross-dressers on the corner, and acquaintances by the handful. In Leonard she sees herself reflected plain; out on the street she makes sense of what she sees. Written as a narrative collage that includes meditative pieces on the making of a modern feminist, the role of the flaneur in urban literature, and the evolution of friendship over the past two centuries, The Odd Woman and the City beautifully bookends Gornick's acclaimed Fierce Attachments, in which we first encountered her rich relationship with the ultimate metropolis.