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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Hope: Cities
From Steffen's work at WorldChanging to his TED talks, Alex's work has always been about seeking out and promoting pragmatic, empowering solutions to the world's most pressing environmental problems. In his newest book, Carbon Zero, Steffen highlights one of the most important strategic solutions for combating global climate change: climate-neutral cities. In the face of...
Published on November 28, 2012 by Brice Maryman

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough critical detail
If you're looking for a cheerleading overview of some of the strongest claims of the new urbanism movement, this is as good a manifesto as any. However, if you're already versed in some of the tradeoffs and social issues involved in urbanism,this book doesn't go deep enough.

There are many places where suggestions made here could either be augmented or...
Published 22 months ago by Dan Lyke


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Hope: Cities, November 28, 2012
This review is from: Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet (Kindle Edition)
From Steffen's work at WorldChanging to his TED talks, Alex's work has always been about seeking out and promoting pragmatic, empowering solutions to the world's most pressing environmental problems. In his newest book, Carbon Zero, Steffen highlights one of the most important strategic solutions for combating global climate change: climate-neutral cities. In the face of rising sea levels, nation-wide droughts and dramatic coastal devastation along the Eastern seaboard, the messages and strategies outlined in this book have never been more pressing or important. A must-read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling and Necessary Book, November 28, 2012
This review is from: Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet (Kindle Edition)
Alex Steffen's =Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet= is a compelling and necessary book. In prose that is straightforward, optimistic but not pie-in-the-sky he lays out concrete strategies for steering the ship of our cities toward carbon zero. The vision is one of increased security, comfort and conviviality. The suggested means are mostly simple, and at our disposal this very moment. He takes down a few sacred solution-cows, like electric cars, and in this book you'll find no grand schemes for geo-engineering the planet. He doesn't say it will be easy, but he does think it can be done. My son, gods willing, will live to see the end of the 21st century. I would like the world that he inherits from my generation to retain the beauty, wonder and promise I've seen, and I work toward that daily in my personal and professional life. =Carbon Zero= will help me intelligently advocate for bright green solutions. Please buy it, read it, and help make it happen.

Rob Harrison AIA

Disclosures: I was on the Board of Directors of Worldchanging, the non-profit dedicated to solutions-based journalism started by Alex Steffen et al, and I reviewed and commented on draft portions of the book prior to publication.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough critical detail, March 11, 2013
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This review is from: Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet (Kindle Edition)
If you're looking for a cheerleading overview of some of the strongest claims of the new urbanism movement, this is as good a manifesto as any. However, if you're already versed in some of the tradeoffs and social issues involved in urbanism,this book doesn't go deep enough.

There are many places where suggestions made here could either be augmented or discounted by back of the envelope calculations. The lack of that critical thinking means that they're left as an exercise to the reder, and when we do such calculations, we find that the scenarios aren't nearly as rosy as their presented.

By all means, dig deeper, but do so with one of the many more in-depth treatments of the topic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go-to guide for starting smart conversations!, November 28, 2012
This review is from: Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet (Kindle Edition)
A great primer on cities as sustainable solutions for better lives and a healthy planet. Alex Steffen's conversational tone makes it easy to tackle a complex topic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagining a viable future, December 5, 2012
This review is from: Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet (Kindle Edition)
When I was just starting to learn about what Steffen calls 'planetary limits', the bookshelves were full of lifestyle primers - "50 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet!" and so forth. This is NOT one of those books. With news of climate change impacts, oil prices, and other realities getting more dire by the day, this excellent book provides both a provocative challenge and a piece of welcome good news. Clearly and succinctly, this book lays out how we will survive the coming century, and maybe even emerge happier, healthier and wealthier at the end of it. Not just by doing things better, but by doing things differently. By reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of our cities to zero. Sound impossible? Read the book, and let's get to work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Renewable Energy is not Enough, December 23, 2012
By 
Sean Prophet "BlackSun" (West Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet (Kindle Edition)
It's not enough to switch to low carbon energy. In this visionary book, Alex Steffen talks about having better lives based on urban density and better sharing of all types of everyday objects from electric drills to electric cars. There's more positive planetary impact from best urban practices than nearly any other single factor. A rare hopeful take on sustainability--humanity's biggest challenge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, December 7, 2012
This review is from: Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet (Kindle Edition)
This poignant books gives a candid picture of where we are and where we are going (as a planet and a species) if we continue our rate of consumption. Most importantly it gives us a glimpse of what an alternative, brighter, more sustainable future might look like. As always, Alex Steffen is insightful, funny, conversational, and weaves a narrative that brings the reader along.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful snapshot of what a sustainable future might really look like in our cities, December 6, 2012
This review is from: Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet (Kindle Edition)
Ask most Americans what a sustainable future might really be like, you get blank stares, protests that such a thing is just not possible, and phrases like 'back to the stone age,' and 'sacrificing all of our modern conveniences.' But the reality is that although the future is going to be different, and certainly the changing climate is going to make things much, much tougher, we already know how we might move towards a better, brighter future. All the examples, stories and scalable models we need to begin transforming our systems are already out there, being implemented by individuals, organizations and innovative new businesses, in communities around the world.

Alex has done a great job of synthesizing these stories into one place, helping to paint the picture of how adapting to future needs in our cities can not only improve our lives, but also regenerate the health of our natural systems, which we all rely heavily on. This book is well worth reading for those interested in getting a comprehensive view of how our urban centers can contribute to a more resilient, sustainable world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the Best Recent Ideas on Sustainable Cities, December 6, 2012
By 
greenkindle (Montreal, QC, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet (Kindle Edition)
I worked with Alex on his ealier venture: the excellent inertia defying and inspiring WorldChanging blog. I also had the chance to give some feedback on early stages of CarbonZero. After two years of work the book is done, and it's a real success.

What you get here is a short punchy introduction to some of the most important ideas that are shaping how we are thinking about, and creating, green cities. The field has changed enormously over the past two decades. We've gone from talking about one-off projects (think LED traffic lights) to complex and interconnected visions of cites that are simultaneously livable, efficient, and productive (economically, socially, and environmentally).

Steffen lays out that new vision in plain language without hyperbole or pretension.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book for those concerened about the future, December 4, 2012
This review is from: Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet (Kindle Edition)
Alex Steffen brings a positive lens to the horrific catastrophe of climate change. Alex reminds us of all the benefits that can come with rebuilding and changing our cities. Yes, there are monetary costs involved to adapting to climate change but also huge opportunities to make cities healthier happier places to live. This is a book that clearly articulates what all those benefits are and how by addressing climate change we can make cities better for everyone.
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