Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities

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**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.

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About the author

RYAN GRAVEL is the founding principal of Sixpitch and creator of the Atlanta Beltline, the reinvention of a 22-mile circle of railroads that began as the subject of his master's thesis. In September 2016, he was awarded the inaugural Judy Turner Prize. A designer, planner, and writer, he is increasingly called to speak to an international audience on topics as wide ranging as brownfield remediation, transportation, public health, affordable housing, and urban regeneration. Gravel lives with his family in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Mar 15, 2016
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781466890534
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Language
English
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Genres
Architecture / Urban & Land Use Planning
Political Science / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The contributors of Policy, Planning, and People argue for the promotion of social equity and quality of life by designing and evaluating urban policies and plans. Edited by Naomi Carmon and Susan S. Fainstein, the volume features original essays by leading authorities in the field of urban planning and policy, mainly from the United States, but also from Canada, Hungary, Italy, and Israel. The contributors discuss goal setting and ethics in planning, illuminate paradigm shifts, make policy recommendations, and arrive at best practices for future planning.

Policy, Planning, and People includes theoretical as well as practice-based essays on a wide range of planning issues: housing and neighborhood, transportation, surveillance and safety, the network society, regional development and community development. Several essays are devoted to disadvantaged and excluded groups such as senior citizens, the poor, and migrant workers. The unifying themes of this volume are the values of equity, diversity, and democratic participation. The contributors discuss and draw conclusions related to the planning process and its outcomes. They demonstrate the need to look beyond efficiency to determine who benefits from urban policies and plans.

Contributors: Alberta Andreotti, Tridib Banerjee, Rachel G. Bratt, Naomi Carmon, Karen Chapple, Norman Fainstein, Susan Fainstein, Eran Feitelson, Amnon Frenkel, George Galster, Penny Gurstein, Deborah Howe, Norman Krumholz, Jonathan Levine, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Enzo Mingione, Kenneth Reardon, Izhak Schnell, Daniel Shefer, Michael Teitz, Iván Tosics, Lawrence Vale, Martin Wachs.

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.
Like a modern-day Jane Jacobs, Janette Sadik-Khan transformed New York City's streets to make room for pedestrians, bikers, buses, and green spaces. Describing the battles she fought to enact change, Streetfight imparts wisdom and practical advice that other cities can follow to make their own streets safer and more vibrant. 

As New York City’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: Simply painting a part of the street to make it into a plaza or bus lane not only made the street safer, but it also lessened congestion and increased foot traffic, which improved the bottom line of businesses. Real-life experience confirmed that if you know how to read the street, you can make it function better by not totally reconstructing it but by reallocating the space that’s already there.
     Breaking the street into its component parts, Streetfight demonstrates, with step-by-step visuals, how to rewrite the underlying “source code” of a street, with pointers on how to add protected bike paths, improve crosswalk space, and provide visual cues to reduce speeding. Achieving such a radical overhaul wasn’t easy, and Streetfight pulls back the curtain on the battles Sadik-Khan won to make her approach work. She includes examples of how this new way to read the streets has already made its way around the world, from pocket parks in Mexico City and Los Angeles to more pedestrian-friendly streets in Auckland and Buenos Aires, and innovative bike-lane designs and plazas in Austin, Indianapolis, and San Francisco. Many are inspired by the changes taking place in New York City and are based on the same techniques. Streetfight deconstructs, reassembles, and reinvents the street, inviting readers to see it in ways they never imagined.
A globe-trotting, eye-opening exploration of how cities can—and do—make us happier people

Charles Montgomery's Happy City will revolutionize the way we think about urban life.

After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks, and tower dwelling an improvement on the car-dependence of sprawl?

The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, and during an exhilarating journey through some of the world's most dynamic

cities. He meets the visionary mayor who introduced a "sexy" lipstick-red bus to ease status anxiety in Bogotá; the architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris's urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have transformed their lives by hacking the design of their streets and neighborhoods.

Full of rich historical detail and new insights from psychologists and Montgomery's own urban experiments, Happy City is an essential tool for understanding and improving our own communities. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: by retrofitting our cities for happiness, we can tackle the urgent challenges of our age. The happy city, the green city, and the low-carbon city are the same place, and we can all help build it.

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