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People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities Paperback – January 6, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Benfield is a major character in this series of essays. I found him likable, a man whose dedication to the the human landscape in balance with the "natural world" is underscored by the stories he tells about his own way of life. Urban planning for him is not only a mission, it is a bicycle ride through his neighborhood.
I do admit to having difficulty with the first half of the book which felt repetitious to me. And was surprised by the chapter focusing on religion...not so much that it was included...it seemed out of order or perhaps a rough transition.
I am glad that I persevered. The book picked up speed for me in its second half. After reading it, I feel more informed and eager to continue exploring the development of "people habitats."
Jane Lafleur, Executive Director of Friends of Midcoast Maine
“People Habitat” reveals what a long trek forward environmentalism has taken in recent decades: now the good guys are FOR the right kind of development of great places for people, not just against development of wilderness and farmland. (All are crucial.) We will have to grow and build our way of the problems left behind by the sprawl era, and we’ll have to do that by shaping cities and repairing suburbs to create places people really love. Kaid Benfield feels deeply about cities and towns, and he is their genuine advocate, not merely grudgingly accepting of them.
These essays are both very personal and fact-filled. They are argued using the same convincing blend of accessible folksiness, humility, shrewd storytelling, and unassailable data that a great litigator would employ-- not surprising given the author’s lifetime on the front lines in environmental law and policy and his pioneering role in the successful smart growth movement.
Now this book calls for raising the bar on smart growth: “It is not debatable that revitalization is critical to sustainability. But it has to be high-quality revitalization, not just a bunch of concrete boxes or high-rises gobbling up a streetscape that was once more invitingly scaled, and not disjointed buildings drawing attention to themselves without relating well to each other and the whole, either. We must be careful what we wish for.” I couldn’t agree more. Kaid Benfield says it’s time to go beyond the numbers and up our game, with better quality design and execution in the next generation of grand plans.Read more ›
Kaid and I are fellow travelers as lawyer-authors who focus on cities. All the more reason that I truly enjoyed People Habitat's fresh and up-to-date presentation of his thoughtful and frank writing. He compiles and focuses and then lets you know what's right by him.
I'd argue that students of cities of all generations should reflect on what Kaid has to say before voicing their own thoughts. It's a great way to advance the collective dialogue about all that cities should be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the third time I've purchased this book. First copy was for me, second round for folks in our office, and this last round is to pass out to clients. Read morePublished on May 22, 2014 by Eric Kronberg
This series of essays is chockful of insights that can help us to create urban habitat for our species that will result in healthier people, healthier places and a healthier... Read morePublished on February 17, 2014 by Keith E. Laughlin
The book, a collection of 25 essays from one of America’s best urban thinkers, combines wit, pop culture, idealism and technical insights to create a thought-provoking,... Read morePublished on January 31, 2014 by Mariia Zimmerman
Kaid's writing is very clear and accessible. While the entire book is filled with thoughtful commentary and insights, the 25 essays facilitate getting and absorbing targeted... Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by Lynn R
This is an extraordinary work as it pertains to livable and sustainable communities. No speed reading is necessary or even recommended. Read morePublished on January 14, 2014 by David