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New American Urbanism: Re-forming the Suburban Metropolis (Skira Architecture Library) Paperback – February 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Skira Architecture Library
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Skira (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8881187418
  • ISBN-13: 978-8881187416
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,527,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Over the past few decades, many American architects have reclaimed urban and suburban land development as an important, contemporary architectural issue. This renewed interest in "town planning" focuses on the relationships between buildings and open spaces that form urban patterns. These architects argue that a range of appropriate urban patterns organized into neighborhoods can best meet the physical and social needs of residents and restore a sense of community. Architecture and urbanism, in this view, are instrumental agents of social change and reform.

The projects in this book demonstrate their attempts to restructure urban growth into cohesive designs that balance buildings, open space, infrastructure, landscape, and transportation. In place of the piecemeal advance of placeless, car-dominated suburban sprawl, they envision dense, mixed-use neighborhoods with walkable streets, and connections to transit. The work ranges from entire new towns to urban infill. Many of the architects practicing these ideas have formed a movement called the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU), which most clearly and effectively has articulated this alternative vision.

This book is about particular tendencies, however, and not ownership of ideas. Although the Congress for New Urbanism presents its position in the proprietary form of a charter, its vision is representative of much broader strains of architectural ideology, and continues a twentieth-century search to find ways to address the problems of the modern city. New Urbanism is merely the latest movement to seek alternative forms to reshape society. In this way, it can be seen as a continuation of modernism, not its antithesis.

Although much has been written recently about the American revival of town-planning in general, and the New Urbanism in particular, much of the writing consists of either partisan claims of New Urbanism's ability to rebuild American community or facile dismissals of the movement as nostalgia-peddling suburbanism. This book presents readers a chance to judge the ideas and work for themselves, and to participate in the debate over alternative forms of the contemporary city.

In this provocative study, John Dutton shows how American urban models, whose influence has been essential in the shaping of cities worldwide since 1945, are currently recovering at home from the crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. He masterfully analyzes the theoretical inputs and the design solutions that have shaped a collection of experimental town landscapes that deserve all our attention today.
Jean-Louis Cohen
Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture, Institute of Fine Arts, New York; Director, Institut français d'architecture, Paris

Over the past two decades the New Urbanism has had a profound impact, positive and negative, on American cities and suburbs. John Dutton provides an appreciative yet critical analysis of this cultural phenomenon, tracing its evolution, contradictions, social vision and formal variety. Now, as other parts of the world are exploring possible adaptations of this movement, every reader will benefit from the breadth and good sense of this important book.
Gwendolyn Wright
Professor, Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Columbia University, New York

New urbanism is more than a summer retreat by the "Seaside." John Dutton clearly illustrates through new urbanist case studies that it is a design movement dealing with the diversity of "real" American urban landscapes in their own regional historical and place language of neighborhood building.
William Morrish
Dayton/Hudson Professor of Urban Design and Director of the Design Center for American Urban Landscape, University of Minnesota

John A. Dutton is an architect and urban designer living in Los Angeles where he is a partner in the firm Nicholas/Budd/Dutton Architects, a firm dedicated to integrating architecture, urban design, and landscape design. He received his Masters of Architecture degree from Princeton University, and a Bachelors degree in cultural history from Brown University. He trained in a diverse array of offices, including those of Renzo Piano, Richard Meier, Santiago Calatrava, and Moule and Polyzoides. In 1997 and 1998 he was President of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, an organization dedicated to exploring Los Angeles through lectures, symposia, and publications. On the topic of architecture and urbanism he has written for numerous professional journals and magazines, and lectured in various schools and institutions worldwide.

About the Author

John A. Dutton is an architect and urban designer living in Los Angeles where he is a partner in the firm Nicholas/Budd/Dutton Architects, a firm dedicated to integrating architecture, urban design, and landscape design. He received his Masters of Architecture degree from Princeton University, and a Bachelors degree in cultural history from Brown University. He trained in a diverse array of offices, including those of Renzo Piano, Richard Meier, Santiago Calatrava, and Moule and Polyzoides. In 1997 and 1998 he was President of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, an organization dedicated to exploring Los Angeles through lectures, symposia, and publications. On the topic of architecture and urbanism he has written for numerous professional journals and magazines, and lectured in various schools and institutions worldwide.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lewyn VINE VOICE on January 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
As another reviewer suggests, this book is no doubt useful for architects and planners, because it covers the mundane details of building developments that accommodate non-motorists. But it is very dry, hardly a book for someone getting his or her feet wet in this area.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Huang on October 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Since I quickly reviewed this book first time,I found and believe that it's will be useful guideline for us on planning process.The most important info in back of this book showing so many diagrams to help us chek our planning very easily and fast.These info including general section of streets,developement of several cities,planning process,relationship between building type and density,analysis of public streetscape,neighborhood scale,block figues and transet zoning...After getting these analysis diagrams,I can findout and check suitable block scale and type between different schemes easily and fast on planning working.
It's not nonsense,after reading it you will own it and are unable to hold yourself back.I also recommend it for many friends of mine in Taiwan.
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This book is a well-written, VERY well-illustrated introduction to the New Urbanism philosophy. I am glad I picked it up.
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