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Constructed Climates: A Primer on Urban Environments Paperback – February 28, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"At a time when we all need to approach our shared environmental challenges with an integrative, interdisciplinary perspective, Wilson provides us with a much-needed resource that combines urban ecology, physics, chemistry, and sociology. A must read for anyone seeking to have a positive impact on the places in which we live." (Richard V. Pouyat, US Forest Service)"

From the Back Cover

Science
 
"William G. Wilson's book Constructed Climates deftly weaves together an enormous array of scientific information about the roles that urban green space--especially trees, but also parks, gardens, and parkways--play in shaping the climate, ecology, pollution, and social character and equity of cities. Debunking some popular ideas as well as providing evidence about urban greening, it should be required reading for every student of city planning and public policy."
--Jennifer Wolch, University of California, Berkeley
 
"Wilson carefully crafts the explanation of diverse and complex scientific material of how humans have altered the environment they live in. At a time when we all need to approach our shared environmental challenges with an integrative, interdisciplinary perspective, Wilson provides us with a much-needed resource that combines urban ecology, physics, chemistry, and sociology. A must read for anyone seeking to have a positive impact on the places in which we live."
--Richard V. Pouyat, U.S. Forest Service
 
"Constructed Climates effectively tackles a host of major environmental issues, ranging from the global-scale issue of climate change to local interests in sustainability and quality of life. This wide range of material is presented in a manner that requires surprisingly little background for readers while at the same time providing links to key scientific knowledge for those readers who want a little more depth. The book gives the reader a broad understanding of the relationship between urban populations and the environment by describing the earth system components that control what is valued by human society, including clean air and water, a stable climate, good health and well-being."
--Alex Guenther, National Center for Atmospheric Research
 
"Wilson's book creatively synthesizes scientific research into a thoughtful and informative style.  He breaks new ground by discussing interactive effects of climate and land-use change and the blurring boundaries between nature, cities, and people.  His book also approaches urban ecosystems from a holistic and empirical perspective and would be an excellent resource both in the classroom and for anyone interested in urban ecosystems."
--Sujay Kaushal, University of Maryland
 
"In Constructed Climates William G. Wilson examines the context, mechanisms, and consequences of urban environments. This articulate summary of the science provides a much-needed tool for influencing critical decisions made concerning the landscape of our cities and citizens. Undoubtedly, the environment is connected to how we live, and how well we live, and Wilson's work identifies the crucial role that urban greenness plays in our quality of life and well-being."
--Gilbert C. Liu, Indiana University School of Medicine
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (February 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226901467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226901466
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,895,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Luke Fanning
2013 f-geg-105-001
12/2/2013
Dr. Anna Versluis
Book Review

With the human population increasing to over 6.7 billion in 2010, one can certainly expect this adjustment to have a significant impact on the natural world. The mass migration to urban areas which stands as a result of modern industrialization has proved a catalyst for these changes to the vital and inborn systems of the earth. Constructed Climates: A Primer on Urban Environments, authored by William G. Wilson, covers the context and consequences of our nation becoming increasingly urbanized. Through a series of studies concerning the country’s cities, Wilson illustrates to the reader the costs and benefits of urban open space. Urban open space refers to any vegetation, ranging from a small garden to a widespread park, which resembles the natural landscape that has been replaced by means of personkind.
Overall, I found the book to be a worthwhile read. I deem Wilson’s work credible as he claims that all of his many facts and figures are provided by peer-reviewed sources. But while the bibliography is extensive, the text is not that of a haughty academic. His clear and concise manner of explaining scientific phenomena is easily accessible to the average student. I appreciate his simple writing style because of the importance in engaging the general public with current environmental happenings. After discussing the Benedick article in class, I resolve that this easy to follow book can inform the average citizen which could lead to a change in policy.
I also admire how half of the pages are made up of the statistics that he is using to make his case for a growth in open urban space.
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Format: Paperback
Kayla VandenBosch
ENST-210

William G. Wilson touches on a spectacular variety of implications when it comes to green urban spaces within developed American cities in his book “Constructed Climates: A Primer on Urban Environments.” While most often referring to studies executed in his city, Durham, North Carolina, Wilson also pulls data from other cities in the United States such as Boston, Chicago, and New York City as well as developed European and Australian cities like Stockholm, Naples, and Melbourne. “Constructed Climates” is densely packed with highly researched, data-driven analyses and conclusions which aid in all phases of the urban development process. The book seems to be written to align with class lectures from his university and is quite reliant on complex graphs and charts for explanation. The author’s strong personal attitudes in favor of public treed spaces and against wasteful, manicured lawns are evident and justified through the studies he chooses to include to back up his arguments. Wilson explores the unnatural population growth rate and why that changes the balance in land use between farm land and urban land. He further unpacks the tendency towards larger urban environments which changes both the behavior of humans and the behavior of the Earth. As an undergraduate student pursuing a career in urban development, this book was an excellent overview to the topic of sustainable urban planning and the importance of incorporating green spaces into urban states.
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