Design for a Living Planet: Settlement, Science, & the Human Future

Sustasis Press
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In this brief, accessible volume, the authors — an urban philosopher and a mathematician-physicist — explain the surprising new findings from the sciences that are beginning to transform environmental design in the modern era. Authors Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros explore fractals, networks, self-organization, dynamical systems and other revolutionary ideas, describing them to non-science readers in a direct and engaging way. The book also examines fascinating new topics of design, including Agile, Wiki, Design Patterns and other “open-source” approaches from the software world. The authors conclude that a profound transformation is under way in modern design — and today’s students and practitioners will need to be aware of its implications for our future.

“Lucidly describes what’s coming in the world of design — and what needs to come.” — Ward Cunningham, Inventor of wiki, and pioneer of Pattern Languages of Programming, Agile, and Scrum

“Essential reading for all urban designers.” — Jeff Speck, Author of Walkable City

“Brilliant.” — Charles Montgomery, Author of Happy City

“Inspired, compelling and fascinating… Recognizes that a true architecture can be dug from the facts, insights, and theories, that occur with a broadening of science to include the human being.” — Christopher Alexander, Author of A Pattern Language and Notes on the Synthesis of Form

Some comments on the individual chapters:

“Packed with detail and beautiful in presentation.” — Gil Friend

“Human society must find a path of retreat. Salingaros and Mehaffy point the way.” — David Brussat, Providence Journal

“Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros have written some brilliant articles on how we can co-create cities which are truly resilient, rather than being ‘engineered resilient’.” — Smallworld Urbanism

“For me, this essay was like a flash of insight, and I suddenly saw the world in a new light.” — Oeyvind Holmstad, Permaliv

“We’ve just come across a very thoughtful article by Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros… [who] draw a number of lessons from biological systems and use them to draw conclusions about how resilient human systems must be designed.” — Resilient Design Institute

“Salingaros and Mehaffy take us from the configuration of city spaces to the order of cells in living beings.” — Jaap Dawson, Delft Institute of Technology

“If you wanted to know where the cutting edge was in urban design, it is here.” — Patrick J. Kennedy, CarFreeInBigD

“This is the single most intelligent and illuminating article I’ve seen on Archdaily in 3 years.” — Nìming Pínglùn Zhě, China

Michael Mehaffy is an urbanist and design theorist, and a periodic visiting professor or adjunct in five graduate universities in four countries and three disciplines (architecture, urban planning and philosophy) including the University of Oregon (US) and the University of Strathclyde (UK). He has been a close associate of the architect and software pioneer Christopher Alexander, and a Research Associate with the Center for Environmental Structure, Alexander’s research center founded in 1967. He is currently executive director of Portland, Oregon based Sustasis Foundation, and editor of Sustasis Press.

Nikos A. Salingaros is a mathematician and polymath known for his work on urban theory, architectural theory, complexity theory, and design philosophy. He has been a close collaborator of the architect and computer software pioneer Christopher Alexander. Salingaros published substantive research on Algebras, Mathematical Physics, Electromagnetic Fields, and Thermonuclear Fusion before turning his attention to Architecture and Urbanism. He is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas at San Antonio and has been on the Architecture faculties of universities in Italy, Mexico, and The Netherlands.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Sustasis Press
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Published on
May 30, 2017
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Pages
179
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ISBN
9780989346962
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Language
English
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Genres
Architecture / Sustainability & Green Design
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Cities are experiencing a renaissance today, because we've begun to understand how they really work -- and we've begun to make them work better for people. 

This book is a lively, readable account of two revealing figures in the history of that renaissance: the urban economist Jane Jacobs and the architect Christopher Alexander. Their key insights have shaped several generations of scholars, professionals, and activists. However, as the book argues, this renaissance is still immature, and more must be done to achieve its promise -- especially in an age of rapid, often sprawling urbanization. 

The author is a noted scholar on both Jacobs and Alexander, and a participant in the development of the "New Urban Agenda," a historic United Nations agreement emphasizing the pivotal role of cities and towns in meeting the challenges of the future. As the book documents, Jacobs and Alexander played key roles in formulating the conceptual insights behind the New Urban Agenda, and they continue to offer us crucial implementation lessons for the years ahead. 

This book is ideal for students, professionals, government officials, activists, and anyone who is interested in the future of cities.  The author, Michael W. Mehaffy, Ph.D., is currently Senior Researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and Director of the Future of Places Research Network.  He is a popular educator, speaker and author with periodic appointments in seven graduate institutions in six countries, and a consultant in sustainable urban development with an international practice. This is his third book.

FEW TECHNOLOGICAL ACHIEVEMENTS are as impressive as the ability to see our own planet from outer space. The beautiful sphere suspended against the black void of space makes plain the bond that the billions of us on Earth have in common.

This global consciousness inspires space travellers who then provide emotional and spiritual observations. Their views from outer space awaken them to a grand realization that all who share our planet make up a single community. They think this viewpoint will help unite the nations of the world in order to build a peaceful future for the present generation and the ones that follow.

Many poets, philosophers, and writers have criticized the artificial borders that separate people preoccupied with the notion of nationhood. Despite the visions and hopes of astronauts, poets, writers, and visionaries, the reality is that nations are continuously at war with one another, and poverty and hunger prevail in many places throughout the world, including the United States.

So far, no astronaut arriving back on Earth with this new social consciousness has pro- posed to transcend the world's limitations with a world where no national boundaries exist. Each remains loyal to his/her particular nation-state, and doesn’t venture beyond patriotism - "my country, right or wrong" – because doing so may risk their positions.

Most problems we face in the world today are of our own making. We must accept that the future depends upon us. Interventions by mythical or divine characters in white robes descending from the clouds, or by visitors from other worlds, are illusions that cannot solve the problems of our modern world. The future of the world is our responsibility and depends upon decisions we make today. We are our own salvation or damnation. The shape and solutions of the future depend totally on the collective effort of all people working together.


Prefabrication offers a simple path to the green home of your dreams, and in her latest book, Prefabulous author Sheri Koones highlights the many ways of using prefabrication to create almost-off-the-grid homes—houses that are not only environmentally friendly but often operate at nearly zero annual energy cost.
Taking energy from the grid when necessary and returning any excess energy produced, almost-off-the-grid homes function on a fraction of the energy required by most houses, and additionally are more comfortable, healthier, quieter inside, and far cheaper to operate. As energy costs continue to rise, the almost-off-the-grid house proves its worth.
Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid profiles more than 30 of the most energy-efficient homes in the United States, and this hardworking guide reveals how homeowners can achieve similar results with floor plans, the latest, most efficient technologies, and multiple images of the exterior and interior of each home.

Praise for Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid:

Recipient of the 2013 Robert Bruss Gold Book Award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE)

“You can build a high quality, environmentally friendly and efficient home at a reasonable price with a look and feel of a traditional home. Advancements like those used in our house and the other houses in this book will transform the homebuilding industry.” —Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

“The time has come to throw out the old stereotypes and to embrace prefab building techniques as the way of the future—and the best approach for today. For anyone wanting to create a house that’s sustainable in every sense of the word, this book is an excellent place to start.” —Sarah Susanka, architect and author of The Not So Big House series

“I'm passionate about prefab because I know that it can spark an incredibly positive change in the building industry and dramatically reduce costs and construction duration. Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid is an enlightening guide on using prefab to create your own affordable, energy-efficient home.” —Bruce Ratner, chairman and chief executive of the Forest City Ratner Companies

“Sheri Koones highlights the many ways of using prefabrication to create almost-off-the-grid homes that are not only environmentally friendly but often operate at nearly zero annual energy cost. . . . This is an easy-on-the-eyes guide that includes floor plans and multiple images of the exterior and interior of each home. It is not a manual for green construction, but a general overview of aspects of prefab and green construction. And it does that well.” —Natural Life magazine

“If you’re ready to do something about your energy dependence, or if you enjoy stories of people who’ve bucked the trends, you owe it to yourself to give Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid a look. Beautifully illustrated, it ends with a great resources list for the homes showcased.” —Examiner.com

“Indispensable guide to creating the ideal, almost-off-the-grid home. . . . This text is both timely and tempting to anyone interested in inhabiting a more comfortable and cost-efficient abode.” —Bask

“This attractive coffee-table-style book, the third in Koones’s Prefabulous series, features 32 prefabricated houses that, to a greater or lesser extent, boast environmentally friendly, efficient, and renewable-energy elements.” —Publishers Weekly
 
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