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Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World Hardcover – March 29, 2011


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Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World + Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities + The Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living, 2nd Edition
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160085107X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600851070
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 9.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Anyone who’s looking for a way to live both simply and beautifully will love Ross Chapin’s notions about creating community. If you’ve enjoyed the “Not So Big House” series, you’ll also love this book.” – SARAH SUSANKA, author of "The Not So Big House"

Anyone who's looking for a way to live both simply and beautifully will love Ross Chapin's notions about creating community. If you've enjoyed the "Not So Big House" series, you'll also love this book.--SARAH SUSANKA, author of "The Not So Big House"Ross Chapin possesses a Christopher Alexander-like ability to show how all the pieces of a house and a neighborhood can fit together, composing a profoundly satisfying environment.
--PHILIP LANGDON, author, "A Better Place to Live: Reshaping the American Suburb," and editor of New Urban NewsThe phrase "think globally, act locally" takes on new meaning in this book, which shows what is possible when residents in close proximity share a commitment to community. "Pocket Neighborhoods" includes an extensive list of resources and organizations related to urban design and eco-friendly neighborhoods, but this is not a how-to book. It is information and inspiration, a timely discussion as regions grapple with housing density and look for ways to build a sense of community along with every new house, apartment and condo. --Jeffrey Head, LOS ANGELES TIMESThis revolutionary book will change the way North Americans view new home developments and will help home buyers realize that community is often as important as the house.--TORONTO STARAfter decades of living large -- mini-mansions in sprawling subdivisions the size of cities -- some Americans are retrenching and showing a new appreciation for small, cozy and neighborly. Architect Ross Chapin has coined a term for these new compact communities: pocket neighborhoods. His new book -- "Pocket Neighborhoods, Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World"-- documents a surprisingly broad array of such developments across the USA, from urban neighborhoods to suburban and rural areas.--USA TODAYSuperb and sublime -- Ross Chapin has described the future of neighborhood-making with his book, "Pocket Neighborhoods."
--CHARLES DURRETT, architect, author of "Cohousing: A Conte

Anyone who's looking for a way to live both simply and beautifully will love Ross Chapin's notions about creating community. If you've enjoyed the "Not So Big House" series, you'll also love this book. - SARAH SUSANKA, author of "The Not So Big House"

After decades of living large -- mini-mansions in sprawling subdivisions the size of cities -- some Americans are retrenching and showing a new appreciation for small, cozy and neighborly.Architect Ross Chapin has coined a term for these new compact communities: pocket neighborhoods. His new book -- "Pocket Neighborhoods, Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World"-- documents a surprisingly broad array of such developments across the USA, from urban neighborhoods to suburban and rural areas. -USA TODAY

Superb and sublime -- Ross Chapin has described the future of neighborhood-making with his book, "Pocket Neighborhoods."
--CHARLES DURRETT, architect, author of Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourse

About the Author

Ross Chapin, AIA, is the principal of Ross Chapin Architects, located on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle. He has focused on "sensibly sized" custom residences, "pocket neighborhood" developments, and mixed-use projects since 1982. His partnerships with developers, city planners, and builders have created innovative housing and neighborhood prototypes that have received significant national attention and are shifting the way we think about our homes and communities. His projects have won numerous design awards, including the 2005, 2007, and 2009 AIA Housing awards, and have been published in "Architectural Record," " Builder magazine," " The New York Times," " Boston Globe," " Fine Homebuilding," "Metropolitan Home," " This Old House," " Sunset," ""and more than 25 books, including "Creating the Not So Big House," " Home By Design," " Patterns of Home," " The Good Green Home," " The New Cottage Home," ""and" Blueprint Small. "Ross lectures on housing at conferences and universities throughout the country. Visit his website at www.rosschapin.com.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I devoured this book in one sitting.
S. Asay
We came across Ross Chapin's book POCKET NEIGHBORHOODS, Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World.
Jim Dorna
This book is full of beautiful images, plan views, sketches, and text.
Betty

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Michael McKee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Okay, first off, the disclaimer. I live in a Ross Chapin home in a neighborhood of Ross Chapin homes. My wife and I both had extensive conversations with Chapin during the design process. Does that make me biased? Or does it show that I appreciated the concepts that Chapin details in his terrific book before he fully articulated them in print? Probably both.

Ross Chapin is a thoughtful person who has spent decades considering how our homes, both individually and in aggregate, shape our interactions with our neighbors, with our stuff and with how we go about daily tasks. That's a long- winded way of saying that this book is about community.

How does having an inviting front porch affect your willingness and ability to interact with neighbors? We sat on our front porch this afternoon and had coffee. In 15 minutes we had three conversations with passers by. It's not just the fact that Chapin's houses all have front porches that makes this possible. He has considered the door placement in relation to the porch width. He has considered the construction and optimal height for the porch railings, so we can see out to the sidewalk. And so on and so on.

Each room in the house has been considered, it's relation to the other rooms, to the light from windows, to the flow of traffic, to the size and shape. But in this book, he's gone beyond the single dwelling to consider how homes work in relationship to each other to facilitate the creation of true neighborhoods, not just adjacent buildings inhabited by near strangers. And we don't get only Chapin's ideas in the book. He has done a lot of research about neighborhoods, examining what has worked in the past and why, as well as what hasn't worked and why not.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By CRJ on April 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I give the book 5 Stars, with a caveat.

I have been interested in the Pocket Neighborhood (Ross Chapin) and Not So Big House (Susan Susanka) concepts for many years. I live in a moderately sized home in a conventional neighborhood in flyover country, but I would dearly love to downsize and move into a more community oriented area, urban/walkable or pocket neighborhood.

I just received the book a few days ago, and it is absolutely gorgeous and fascinating. It makes me want to live in a Chapin neighborhood all the more.

The caveat, these homes are incredibly expensive. So much so that I would never afford one, even though we're financially able. I still have not figured out what makes them worth $300-$400 or more per sqft. I know that's not at all expensive if you're coming from San Fran or even urban Seattle, but more than I would guess most Americans are used to. Again, I love the concept and everything about it, but seemingly at "eco-chic" prices.

So I will have to find a pocket neighborhood that doesn't know it's fashionable yet...
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Robert Walsh, Architect on March 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Pocket Neighborhoods, by Ross Chapin, is one of those books that just may well have the power to change the world, and change it for the better.

Currently our culture is struggling through the aftermath of the collapse of a housing bubble in which the goal of owning a home for many may now seem out of reach. The inspiring message of Pocket Neighborhoods is that smaller houses skillfully designed and efficiently grouped together around a public commons, in a setting where the automobile has been corralled and contained, has the potential to result in communities where life is better , more sustainable, more satisfying and yet also less expensive. It sounds amazing and it is amazing, yet the many projects used to illustrate this book, including several by the author, demonstrate that beyond all doubt, it really works.

This is a book that first drew me in through the gorgeous pictures and illustrations, which appear throughout. Then as I began to read the text I was intrigued by the story of how Ross Chapin rediscovered the concept of the Pocket Neighborhood in a much early project which he remembered visiting. While he describes several important precedents, it also becomes clear that Chapin has brought his own unique talent as a designer to his own efforts to build new Pocket Neighborhoods, giving them new life in the process.

A wide range of factors that play a role in the design and success of these projects are described in detail and in terms that make sometimes potentially challenging insights readily approachable. For example, keys to design describe the use of vegetation and other elements that Chapin uses to layer the spatial experience in these developments helping to explain how these compact developments end up feeling much larger.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mark J McKevitz on April 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Good:
- The architect has created very desirable 900-1300sq ft. homes.
- The designs are straightforward and very nicely detailed.
- The front porch and the rest of the house are reoriented to a "street."
- There is more density.
- This is a decent argument for small infill projects in the suburbs.
- The discussion of different types of housing - co-housing, garden apartments, etc.

The Not-So-Good:
The site plans, as presented, have a lot of front-back issues. Is the front the actual public street that the houses/cottages abut? Or, is the front the private green or mews that the front porch faces? This is a big issue, as these developments are as insular as common suburban subdivisions. There are one or two points of entry, the focus is internal, and what the person walking or driving by on the street sees on two to three sides is the backs of the houses. The bedroom faces the public street, which then causes people to either fence or plant (or both) the true public part of the house.

People interested in pocket neighborhoods should look at the 1733 plan of Savannah, Georgia. The city is full of pocket neighborhoods, without the front-back issues the author/architect presents. Further, downtown Savannah is denser than the designs the author presents; and, as it is configured, it is connected to commerce and jobs. People can walk to work and shops.

I know everyone will point out that in Radburn, NJ or the large-scale pocket neighborhood of Davis, California, there is a town center. My argument is that those centers offer very little in terms of options. They are isolated and aren't part of a bigger whole - a city or town. Are there multiple grocery stores? Dry cleaners? Is there commercial space to house jobs?
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