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The Smart Growth Manual [Paperback]

by Andres Duany, Jeff Speck, Mike Lydon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 15, 2009 9780071376754 978-0071376754 1
Everyone is calling for smart growth...but what exactly is it? In The Smart Growth Manual, two leading city planners provide a thorough answer. From the expanse of the metropolis to the detail of the window box, they address the pressing challenges of urban development with easy-to-follow advice and broad array of best practices.

With their landmark book Suburban Nation, Andres Duany and Jeff Speck "set forth more clearly than anyone has done in our time the elements of good town planning" (The New Yorker). With this long-awaited companion volume, the authors have organized the latest contributions of new urbanism, green design, and healthy communities into a comprehensive handbook, fully illustrated with the built work of the nation's leading practitioners.

"The Smart Growth Manual is an indispensable guide to city planning. This kind of progressive development is the only way to fully restore our economic strength and create new jobs, new industries, and a renewed ability to compete in the first rank of world economies." -- Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco

"Authors Andres Duany, Jeff Speck, and Mike Lydon have created The Smart Growth Manual, a resource which not only explains the overarching ideals of smart growth, but a manual that takes the time to show smart growth principles at each geographic scale (region, neighborhood, street, building). I highly recommend [it] as a part of any community participant’s or urban planner’s desktop references." --

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andres Duany, FAIA, CNU, is a founding principal of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ). DPZ is a leader of the New Urbanism, an international movement that seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment. Since 1980, DPZ has designed more than 300 new towns, regional plans, and community revitalization projects. Duany is cofounder of the Congress for New Urbanism and the recipient of several honorary doctorates and awards, including the National Building Museum’s Vincent J. Scully Prize and the Richard H. Driehaus Prize.

Jeff Speck AICP, CNU, LEED-AP, Hon. ASLA, spent 10 years as director of town planning at DPZ, where he led or managed more than 40 of the firm’s projects. Subsequent to the publication of Suburban Nation, he was appointed director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a program that brings smart growth techniques to state leadership. After four years at the Endowment, he founded Speck & Associates, a design consultancy serving public officials and the real estate industry. He is a contributing editor to Metropolis magazine.

Mike Lydon CNU, is an urban planner, writer, and livable streets activist. Before founding The Street Plans Collaborative, an urban planning firm specializing in alternative transportation and the public realm, he worked for DPZ, the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, and Smart Growth Vermont. He is currently a Next American City Urban Vanguard and serves as a board member for the Miami Bicycle Coalition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 1 edition (October 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780071376754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071376754
  • ASIN: 0071376755
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from November 19, 2009

Authors Andres Duany, Jeff Speck, and Mike Lydon have created The Smart Growth Manual, a resource which not only explains the overarching ideals of smart growth, but a manual that takes the time to show smart growth principles at each geographic scale (region, neighborhood, street, building). The Smart Growth Manual bounces back and forth (in a beautifully organized manner) between steps for the implementation of smart growth and key concepts. The format of The Smart Growth Manual allows for each concept to be referenced and reviewed quickly (each concept is explained in about half a page).

I found The Smart Growth Manual to be the type of reference that you would throw in your bag before heading to your community association meeting or grab on your way to a city council hearing about a new development. The information is presented in such a simplistic, uncluttered format that you can use it almost like a dictionary. Instead of wondering whether a particular idea really is smart growth you can flip to it in the manual and understand how the concept would work and how it relates to other principles of smart growth. More importantly it can be used to better articulate community goals through providing an accessible guide to smart growth in an attainable format for charrettes, community meetings, etc.

To make The Smart Growth Manual all the more enticing, the pages are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper and it's pretty much pocket sized (so you don't have to lug around yet another huge manual in addition to ordinances and the like). The pages feature vivid illustrations and photographs of each concept so it's not a struggle to understand or explain a concept. I highly recommend The Smart Growth Manual as a part of any community participant's or urban planner's desktop references.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Duany and company are architects so their focus on design is highly useful. Echoing other on-the-ball reviewers here, the book is very well organized, easy to follow and leads directly to application.

If the authors ever read customer comments, I would like to suggest the following should the book be updated:

1. Our country's population is growing, but it also aging. Over the next 20 years, the aging of the population may be more significant to planners than "just" growth (which is inevitable, despite the silly claims of other reviewers). There has to be a "Smart Aging" perspective this country needs to adopt because older Americans have different needs--not lesser needs, different needs that should be addressed.

2. Include a section on the behavioral side of Smart Growth--while a necessary component of getting people out of their cars, design by itself is insufficient to get people out of their cars. What incentives, what kind of education and outreach needs to take place for the public and, perhaps most importantly, elected officials. Most local officials aren't particularly brave. They need help.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both Sides Thumbs Up December 1, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is likely to change things. It works from both sides: for planners and politicians to teach themselves and others, and for citizens concerned about what planners might do. It will help planners get new visions across. And help them ease valid citizen concerns and even NIMBY concerns. It conveys concepts by showing reality ... which sounds very good no matter what side you are on. I studied urban planning 30+ years ago and walked away from it as it seemed more wrong than right. This book will go a long way to making things right.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable Planning Tool January 20, 2010
Finally, after a dozen years of discussion about sprawl versus smart growth, the definitive manual is here. Andrés Duany, Jeff Speck and Mike Lydon have written an artfully concise, universally accessible handbook that balances basic concepts with complex details. The book mixes substantial "best planning practice" and development wisdom with brilliant insight. It proves (by describing observable cause and effect), that championing smart growth will result in highly livable places that are also environmentally and economically sustainable.

Each page-long tutorial features a title, a half-page of understandable text and an illustrative photograph or diagram. The subjects are rationally organized by scale, from the region to the neighborhood to the lot and building. The rural to urban transect is described near the beginning as an organizing system for planning. Like the transect itself, the book integrates environmental, design, building development and financial concerns.

The United States has long needed a "how to" catalogue for growth that can also serve to measure the quality of development. This book is it. If followed, it could literally change the American landscape and our long-term future for success.

"The Smart Growth Manual" should be distributed nationwide to elected officials, governments, developers, planners, architects and community activists.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not yet there December 3, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a young planner among many other specialties, I find it very difficult to rate the work of my seniors this way. Nonetheless, I believe constructive criticism betters our unified quest to make the world a better place.

First of all, I spent roughly 30 minutes reading this book and not any longer. I bought this book not because I did not know what "smart growth" is, but because I wanted to read the perspectives of my respected seniors. I am however disappointment that the authors could not distinguish between traditional neighborhood development and smart-growth. Essentially, when it was time to define smart-growth, they restated the characteristics of traditional neighborhoods and nothing more - so are we then saying traditional neighborhoods like Georgetown described by the authors in their earlier book, Suburban Nation have smart growth? As planners, we shouldn't just think the use of `new' words and jargons for existing and already defined problems defines any new thing. We are only re-creating more contradiction and confusion.

Today, I hear words like sprawl repair and so on to be gaining momentum; in essence all these `fancy' words are nothing but mere derivatives of urban renewal.

My disappointment is summed up in section 5.10 of the book where the authors write (commenting on Housing Density): "The D word is a contentious issue among planners and citizens. High density is too often seen as a panacea to the ills of sprawl, when in fact it is only one of the many factors contributing to smart growth.......
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, clear organization and descriptions
This is a really good reference manual that I would recommend to any developer, builder, and planner. Organized really well with great descriptions and visual aides.
Published 2 days ago by StilettoStarlet
4.0 out of 5 stars A distillation.
Here you have the answers to practically everything you wanted to know about "smart growth". With pictures. Read more
Published 24 days ago by james slade
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good summary of current thinkiing
This book sets out current thinking very clearly and succinctly over a wide range of topics. It is one to have on the shelf to refer to while prepring for a meeting or... Read more
Published 3 months ago by William Watt
5.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Smarth Growth
A quick and heavily illustrated guide to smart growth. This topic of planned growth has been around for a long time. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Non technical but clearly and logically ordered
This book is highly recommendable is you are thinking on making some urban studies and you are looking at the elements to look for in the city. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Xavi Albacete
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Liked it. Lays out nicely solutions to one of America's biggest problems today. Gives visual reinforcement to the ideas presented.
Published 11 months ago by Ml
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference and go-to manual
Can't call this a book per se, but a manual of urban design. It is concise, and maybe for some lacks information. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Xavier Atlas
4.0 out of 5 stars An Effective "How To Manual" for City Plannners
If you are concerned about the growth of your community, this is a readable and fact based guide to help you find answers to the problems associated with expansion. Read more
Published 12 months ago by jerry earle
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is very interesting
This book is very interesting. I like it. This book is very interesting. This book is very interesting. This book is very interesting
Published 13 months ago by Celena
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with tips to smarter growth
This was assigned as our text book in a graduate course I took. The information is well organized and presented clearly.
Published 15 months ago by C. L. Wysocki
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