Walkable Cities: Revitalization, Vibrancy, and Sustainable Consumption

SUNY Press
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Examines how cities of various sizes on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are making walkability improvements a part of their overall urban revitalization strategy.


Walkable precincts have become an important component of urban revitalization on both sides of the Atlantic. In Walkable Cities, Carlos J. L. Balsas examines a range of city scales and geographic settings on three continents, focusing on the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), Latin America (Brazil and Mexico), and the United States (Phoenix and New York City). He explains how this “pedestrianization of Main Street” approach to central locations (downtowns and midtowns) has contributed to strengthening various urban functions, such as urban vitality, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, tourism, and more. However, it has also put pressure on less affluent, peripheral, and fragile areas due to higher levels of consumption and waste generation. Balsas calls attention to the need to base urban revitalization interventions on more spatially and socially just interventions coupled with sustainable consumption practices that do not necessarily entail high growth levels, but instead aim to improve the quality of city life.


“The notion of commercial urbanism is both novel and engaging, since much of the vibrancy of cities comes from commerce, consumption, and entertainment. The idea itself is a major contribution of the book.” — Tridib Kumar Banerjee, University of Southern California

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About the author

Carlos J. L. Balsas is Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Oct 1, 2019
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Pages
258
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ISBN
9781438476292
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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My faith commands me to take care of those in need, particularly the children. Then in 2008, our nation faced a serious financial crisis. During that crisis, funding for mental health became disrupted, and children suffered. The crushing need to help our children led me to walk across America to tell everyone who would listen about the needs of children with emotional issues, behavioral issues, and developmental disabilities. Little did I know at the outset of my walk that it would become a walk of lifes lessons learned about the beautiful, decent, caring people in our nation. During my walk, my cynicism was replaced with hope, with gratitude, and with renewed faith in mankind. I was renewed spiritually and emotionally by the people I met along my journey. My walk started as a spiritual journey. It was a walk of atonement and a walk of gratitude. I always told people that I came from a very poor family. My mom struggled. Years later, after seeing what many of the children at Good Shepherd have gone through, I realized that I was not poor at all. In fact, I came from an extremely wealthy family who just happened to not have any money. I never once doubted that my mom and my brothers and sisters and family loved me. The children of Good Shepherd and the sisters have taught me to be grateful for the wonderful gifts that I have been granted caretaker of. The walk of atonement was a time to reflect and ask those people that I have hurt in my life to forgive me, those people in my life whom I have disappointed to pray for me, and those people in my life that I have helped that they would help another. I realized later in life that I learned much more from my mistakes than I had from my successes. The walk was an opportunity to write about, pray about, and seek forgiveness for. Atonement goes well beyond being forgiven. As a Catholic, I know that my Savior forgives my sins, but that does not alleviate my responsibility to atone for what I have done or what I have failed to do. When atonement is sought, behaviors change. The cycle of forgiveness is then complete, and true family healing can occur. I was hoping that during my walk, the Holy Spirit would guide me and give me the wisdom that I would need to develop a program to help children in need. Little did I know that the lessons I had hoped to learn were overwhelmed by the lifes lessons learned while I walked across America. Join me in reliving the amazing stories of my walk across America for children. Its all good!
Elderly British men display a variety of annoying habits. They write letters to the newspapers; they drink too much; they reminisce about the old days; they make lewd comments to younger women; they shout at the television screen; and they go for long walks and get lost. Jeremy Cameron chose the last of these options. Trying to emulate Patrick Leigh Fermor's feat of 1933, he walked from Hook of Holland to Istanbul. Leigh Fermor was a legendary figure. Scholar, multilinguist, beautiful prose stylist, war hero, tough guy, charmer and famous lover: Cameron is none of these things and he also suffers from a heart condition. Rest assured that there will be no tedious details of operations or stoicism in this book. Nor will there be descriptions of understated generosity, quiet irony or British phlegm. The main point of travel is to recognise the virtues of staying at home. When at home, it is not possible to get bogged down in Alpine snow, fall over on one's face on Kosovan tarmac or suffer a comprehensive mugging on deserted roads in Greece. Nor does one have to speak foreign languages, eat foreign food or, above all, drink terrible tea. It is about two thousand miles from Hook of Holland to Istanbul. Thirteen countries lie in wait for the walker. They have many wonderful sights and much fascinating history. Readers will not find them in this book. They will, however, find a number of stories of varying authenticity and some very dubious observations about life. By the time Turkey arrived, Cameron was utterly and completely fed up with the whole process. Never again would he do anything quite so stupid. He is currently walking round all the places in England beginning with the letter Q.
New York Times Bestseller • Notable Book of the Year • Editors' Choice Selection
One of Bill Gates’ “Amazing Books” of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of the Year
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction
Gold Winner • California Book Award (Nonfiction)
Finalist • Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)
Finalist • Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize

This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).

 

Widely heralded as a “masterful” (Washington Post) and “essential” (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.
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