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Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns Hardcover – December 31, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1118066706 ISBN-10: 1118066707 Edition: 1st

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Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns + Urban Street Design Guide + Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This book could change the way people see the streets in their towns and cities. And it could help those towns and cities make streets for people, rather than their cars."
Mayor Joe Riley, Charleston, South Carolina

"This fine book by Massengale and Dover is a treasure map to the long-buried trove of knowledge, skill, and principle needed to build better places for the human project to dwell in."
—From the Afterword by James Howard Kunstler

Victor Dover and John Massengale know how to fix America's neighborhoods, cities, and towns: make them walkable again. That begins with great streets where people want to be, where they feel comfortable, safe, and charmed by their surroundings. Street Design looks at hundreds of streets old and new, shows us what works and what doesn't, and reveals the secrets behind designing beautiful streets and walkable places.

This useful and transformative guide:

  • Shows examples of over 150 excellent streets and explains why they are successful and how they were designed and created
  • Reveals crucial elements that many modern street designs lack
  • Offers step-by-step instruction on how to design new streets and improve existing ones to create more walkable cities and towns
  • Highlights common street-design challenges and ways they can be addressed through placemaking
  • Features more than 500 color and black-and-white photos
  • Includes contributions from twenty of the leading design experts in the field, including Andrés Duany, Lèon Krier, and the former mayor of Milwaukee

Street Design is the ideal handbook for urban designers, civic leaders, architects, city planners, engineers, and landscape architects, and essential reading for any person who wants to make their community walkable and create memorable streets that are not mere routes to someplace else, but the great places to which other routes lead.

About the Author

Victor Dover, FAICP, is cofounder of Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning based in Coral Gables, Florida, a design practice focused on restoring healthy neighborhoods as the basis for sound communities and regions. He is former national chair of the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) and lead designer of more than 150 neighborhoods, urban revitalization programs, and regional plans across the United States and abroad.

John Montague Massengale, AIA, is an architect and urban designer in New York City. He is a board member of the CNU, which has been called "the most important phenomenon to emerge in American architecture in the post–Cold War era" and a former Director of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. With Robert A. M. Stern, he was coauthor of New York 1900: Metropolitan Architecture and Urbanism 1890–1915 and The Anglo-American Suburb.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 31, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118066707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118066706
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Rich information and great illustration!
Kangming Xu
If only Street Design was required reading, and a problem -solving/troubleshooting guide, for all city planners and urban leaders!
S. Fishburn
I just love this book - it's one of the books that I'd hoped to write someday - and write just like this.
Fenno Hoffman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Fenno Hoffman on January 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A top ten reference on the spinal chords of urban life. It's called "Street Design" but don't be fooled; This is a comprehensive manifesto that focuses on a whole range of urban parts and pieces, from facade proportions to curb details, that must be considered together, and work together, to make great streets. This is NOT a specialist's book about bike paths, the latest crosswalk technologies, or a polemic diatribe. Great Streets is a testimonial about excellence, about the comprehensive urban placemaking that is possible, when you get everything right. Loaded with excellent photography, supplemented by just the charts and diagrams necessary to clarify the writing, this is a practical, accessible, compendium of analysis, techniques, and critical factors necessary to understand and engage, in order to make streets as good as the finest streets on Earth. Beyond that, it is a photographic encyclopedia of some of my favorite places.

I realize that my review sounds like it was written by a marketing person, but it wasn't. I just love this book - it's one of the books that I'd hoped to write someday - and write just like this. Extraordinary, and fun. Dover and Massengale are true wizards. Buy it without hesitation!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Jones on January 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I highly endorse and recommend the book! It is one of the best books I have gotten my hands on for people that care or should care about creating Thriving Communities for People and Prosperity. This book should be used in every local jurisdiction and university across the nation and globe. We no longer have to teach our college graduates about highway design but rather now we need to focus on community design. This would be a fun curriculum to teach...and our young engineers, planners, policy makers, and leaders need this information to be competitive and influential. It could be used in transportation, civil engineering, planning, ecology, landscape, and architecture programs as we all play a part in the interwoven web of creating quality communities where people and businesses can thrive. Unlike highway engineers that "build transportation through communities" this book talks to those of us that want to "build communities through transportation". We need to bring the ART and CULTURE back into and balance the science of street design. After all a street without people is not a place. A place needs people. And people need to be welcomed, inspired, and entertained. Our standards, transportation models, and level of service analysis only address the science of the innate automobile and completely forget about the ART required to create a place where people are welcomed, inspired, and entertained.

And more importantly local, state and federal officials could definitely use this book to better understand the impacts of their ongoing transportation decisions and funding practices based on assumptions from the post World War II era when decisions were based on what was good for General Motors was good for the United States.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Franklin K Benfield on January 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
We take streets for granted, thinking of them as means of conveyance from point A to point B. But they are so much more: Nothing more defines the look and feel of a town or city than its streets, and the places that line them. Streets are by their nature public (but for those regrettable instances where developers close them off), and they are best experienced in great cities (think Paris or London) on foot. In fact, I would go so far as to say that, if it doesn’t feel right to experience a street on foot, chances are it’s not a great street. And, if it doesn’t have great streets, it’s unlikely to be a great city.

I introduce the subject this way because Victor Dover and John Massengale have just delivered the definitive reference volume on how to make our streets great. Street Design’s 400 pages are organized into sections on historic streets, street systems and networks (the quality of the street network is the single most important determinant of how much walking takes place in a neighborhood, according to research), retrofitted streets and new streets. Dover and Massengale are ostensibly designers by trade, and they know a thing or two about great placemaking. It shows. They are also terrific writers.

Indeed, I would take it a step further and say that the authors are not just designers but sages on the elements of great cities, towns and neighborhoods. These elements are laid out for the reader, explained in easily accessible detail, and richly illustrated with what must be hundreds of photographs, drawings, and vignettes about successful places. This book is not abstract but based on real places and real experiences. If you love cities, you’ll love the book and, just like I have, enjoy flipping through its chapters, learning something important on every page.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Simmerman on February 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Making our cities and towns great places where people want to be and from which economic productivity and human vitality might grow and prosper should be our primary goals for our streets; not simply attempting to move as many motor vehicles through space as possible.

I encourage anyone who is interested in creating stronger, healthier and more vibrant places to get your own copy of Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns and perhaps even purchase one for a friend or your favorite politician, traffic engineer and/or developer as well.
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