From the reviews:
"The book is an impressive, albeit lengthy, dissection and re-evaluation of current ecological models for city planning, one which will certainly cater more to the academics than the practitioners of sustainability. Given the extensive research and case studies this book is an important resource for all who are interested in looking at the bigger picture of sustainable issues in the city and architecture." (Thomas Wong, Futurarc, July, 2009)
"Paul’s bug was bigger than academic politics and his desire to educate was the world not the campus. And indeed that’s exactly what he’s doing with his new book ‘Ecopolis.’ Not only educating, but educating about what’s most important. … Perfect for post docs in the field and field workers in the doc’s office … . Perfect for all restless minds probing what’s the meaning of building these here cities in the first place. … It’s stuffed with illustrations, photos, charts and references … ." (Richard Register, Ecocities Emerging, September, 2009)
“The book was first published in Australia where the author lives. … Architecture, planning and ecology are interwoven. In this book, both theory and practice have been elaborated with knowledge, skill, and experience. Large number of coloured plates, black and white illustration, a good bibliography and many other items of academic and professional importance enrich this volume.” (Built Environment, Issue 23, January-December, 2009)
From the Back Cover
From 2008, for the first time in human history, half of the world's population now live in cities. Yet despite a wealth of literature on green architecture and planning, there is to date no single book which draws together theory from the full range of disciplines – from architecture, planning and ecology – which we must come to grips with if we are to design future cities which are genuinely sustainable.
Paul Downton's Ecopolis takes a major step along this path. It highlights the urgent need to understand the role of cities as both agents of change and means of survival, at a time when climate change has finally grabbed world attention, and it provides a framework for designing cities that integrates knowledge – both academic and practical – from a range of relevant disciplines.
Identifying key theorists, practitioners, places and philosophies, the book provides a solid theoretical context which introduces the concept of urban fractals, and goes on to present a series of design and planning tools for achieving Sustainable Human Ecological Development (SHED). Combining knowledge from diverse fields to present a synthesis of urban ecology, the book will provide a valuable resource for students, researchers and practitioners in architecture, construction, planning, geography and the traditional life sciences.
Dr Paul Downton is a practising architect and the Director of Ecopolis Architects in Adelaide, Australia.