The End of the Suburbs
According to Fortune’s Leigh Gallagher, powerful social, economic, and demographic forces are converging to render the suburbs unnecessary, and even undesirable, for an everincreasing number of Americans.
Gallagher introduces us to a cast of innovators who are redefining the American dream away from the traditional bucolic subdivision. She reveals why the decline of the suburbs isn’t a tragedy, but will ultimately lead to stronger, happier, and healthier communities for all of us
The best streets in the world's villages, towns, and cities—whether modest or grand—continually remind one that simplicity is part of the recipe for success in this art. The advice of Victor Dover and John Massengale, their historic examples and their own designs, reflect that simplicity.
Seeing the Better City
In order to understand and improve cities today, personal observation remains as important as ever. While big data, digital mapping, and simulated cityscapes are valuable tools for understanding urban space, using them without on-the-ground, human impressions risks creating places that do not reflect authentic local context.
The Geography of Nowhere
The Geography of Nowhere traces America's evolution from a nation of Main Streets and coherent communities to a land where every place is like no place in particular, where the cities are dead zones and the countryside is a wasteland of cartoon architecture and parking lots. In elegant and often hilarious prose, Kunstler depicts our nation's evolution from the Pilgrim settlements to the modern auto suburb in all its ghastliness. The Geography of Nowhere tallies up the huge economic, social, and spiritual costs that America is paying for its car-crazed lifestyle. It is also a wake-up call for citizens to reinvent the places where we live and work, to build communities that are once again worthy of our affection. Kunstler proposes that by reviving civic art and civic life, we will rediscover public virtue and a new vision of the common good. "The future will require us to build better places," Kunstler says, "or the future will belong to other people in other societies."
Speck, coauthor of Suburban Nation (2000), believes America has a problem—actually, lots of problems—that can be solved by improving walkability in our cities. Public health, sustainability, and even the lagging economy, he argues, can be boosted by making cities more friendly for pedestrians. Drawing on his background as a city planner and architectural designer, Speck lays out a 10-step plan for changing the way we build and think about our public spaces. The steps are wide-ranging, from planting more trees and narrowing roads to investing in well-planned public transit systems and designing visually interesting buildings. An engaging book with a powerful message and achievable goals.
The Architecture of Community
Leon Krier is one of the best-known—and most provocative—architects and urban theoreticians in the world. Until now, however, his ideas have circulated mostly among a professional audience of architects, city planners, and academics. In The Architecture of Community, Krier has reconsidered and expanded writing from his 1998 book Architecture: Choice or Fate. Here he refines and updates his thinking on the making of sustainable, humane, and attractive villages, towns, and cities. The book includes drawings, diagrams, and photographs of his built works, which have not been widely seen until now.
The Sprawl Repair Manual
The Sprawl Repair Manual demonstrates a step-by-step design process for the re-balancing and re-urbanization of suburbia into more sustainable, economical, energy- and resource-efficient patterns, from the region and the community to the block and the individual building. The Sprawl Repair Manual is a much-needed, single-volume reference for fixing sprawl, incorporating changes into the regulatory system, and implementing repairs through incentives and permitting strategies. This manual specifies the expertise that’s needed and details the techniques and algorithms of sprawl repair within the context of reducing the financial and ecological footprint of urban growth.
The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City
In The Great Inversion, Alan Ehrenhalt, one of our leading urbanologists, reveals how the roles of America’s cities and suburbs are changing places—young adults and affluent retirees moving in, while immigrants and the less affluent are moving out—and addresses the implications of these shifts for the future of our society.
Urban and regional planners, elected officials, and other decisionmakers are increasingly focused on what makes places livable. Access to the arts inevitably appears high on that list, but knowledge about how culture and the arts can act as a tool of economic development is sadly lacking. This important sector must be considered not only as a source of amenities or pleasant diversions, but also as a wholly integrated part of local economies. Employing original data produced through both quantitative and qualitative research, Creative Communities provides a greater understanding of how art works as an engine for transforming communities.
For a decade, Suburban Nation has given voice to a growing movement in North America to put an end to suburban sprawl and replace the last century’s automobile-based settlement patterns with a return to more traditional planning. Founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk are at the forefront of the movement, and even their critics, such as Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard, recognized that “Suburban Nation is likely to become this movement’s bible.” A lively lament about the failures of postwar planning, this is also that rare book that offers solutions: “an essential handbook” (San Francisco Chronicle).
The Language of Towns and Cities
The final word on the language of urban planning and design. The Language of Towns & Cities is a landmark publication that clarifies the language by which we talk about urban planning and design. This magnificent volume is the fruit of more than a decade of research and writing in an effort to ameliorate this situation. Abundantly illustrated with over 2,500 photographs, drawings, and charts, The Language of Towns & Cities is both a richly detailed glossary of more than seven hundred words and terms commonly used in architecture and urban planning, and a compendium of great visual interest. From "A" and "B" streets to Zero Lot and Zeitgeist, the book is at once comprehensive and accessible.
Charter of the New Urbanism
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities, and healthier living conditions. Thoroughly updated to cover the latest environmental, economic, and social implications of urban design, Charter of the New Urbanism, Second Edition features insightful writing from 62 authors on each of the Charter's principles. Real-world case studies, plans, and examples are included throughout.
Americans Against the City
In this provocative and sweeping book, Conn explores the anti-urban impulse across the 20th century, examining how the ideas born of it have shaped both the places in which Americans live and work, and the anti-government politics so strong today. Beginning in the booming industrial cities of the Progressive era at the turn of the 20th century, where debate surrounding these questions first arose, Conn examines the progression of anti-urban movements. Concluding with an exploration of the New Urbanist experiments at the turn of the 21st century, Conn demonstrates the full breadth of the anti-urban impulse, from its inception to the present day. Engagingly written, thoroughly researched, and forcefully argued, Americans Against the City is important reading for anyone who cares not just about the history of our cities, but about their future as well.
Living Streets provides practical guidance on the complete street approach to sustainable and community-minded street use and design. Written by an interdisciplinary team of authors, the book brings insights and experience from urban planning, transportation planning, and civil engineering perspectives. It includes examples from many completed street design projects from around the world, an overview of the design and policy tools that have been successful, and guidance to help get past the predictable obstacles to implementation: Who makes decisions in the right-of-way? Who takes responsibility? How can regulations be changed to allow better use of the right-of-way?
The Great Good Place
The Great Good Place argues that "third places" - where people can gather, put aside the concerns of work and home, and hang out simply for the pleasures of good company and lively conversation - are the heart of a community's social vitality and the grassroots of democracy.