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Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution Hardcover – March 8, 2016

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An inspiring read… The sort of book that should be read by every officeholder…But it is also a read for the rest of us. Anyone whose memory is longer than a New York minute who can remember when New York wasn't the pedestrian and bike friendly envy of cities the world over.”—The Huffington Post

“Janette Sadik-Khan is like the child that Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs never had: an urban visionary determined to reshape the streets of New York, but with an abiding concern for the health of neighborhoods and the safety of their residents. If you care about the future of cities, read Streetfight.”—Michael Bloomberg, former New York City Mayor

“Cities are where innovation, creativity and the unexpected happens, and Janette has helped make ours, New York City, safer, more livable and more profitable all at once. I watched these exciting changes happen, but the really interesting part is how she managed to implement these changes quickly and cheaply. That’s where other cities can use this as a manual for change on issues like health reform, education and the arts. This, then, is not just a book about transportation.”—David  Byrne, musician, artist

“This book is an urban epic as audacious as the changes Janette Sadik-Khan made to the map of New York City. She is a superhero for cities and an inspiration that streets built to human scale aren’t impossible, but merely awaiting those who dare.”—Jan Gehl, Urbanist, architect, author

“To create safe and inclusive cities, being a visionary is not enough. You must also be an advocate, a communicator, a doer and, perhaps most importantly, a street fighter. Janette is that person and this is a book that provides the proof of the possible for citizens and their elected leaders everywhere.”—Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogota

"Sadik-Khan's work will serve as a guidebook to city planners and traffic engineers everywhere, and motivate disenchanted urban dwellers to urge local politicians to make their cities more liveable."—Booklist 

“[A] bicycle visionary.”—Frank Bruni, The New York Times

“Sadik-Khan manages to be equal parts Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses.”—New York Magazine

“If [Robert] Moses had owned a pink fingernail of [Sadik-Khan’s] beguilement, he might have scored a bridge across the Atlantic.”—Esquire

“[Sadik-Khan is] an urban visionary who cuts through the gridlock.”—Slate

About the Author

Janette Sadik-Khan is one of the world’s foremost authorities on transportation and urban transformation. She served as New York City’s transportation commissioner from 2007 to 2013 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, overseeing historic changes to New York City’s streets—closing Broadway to cars in Times Square, building nearly 400 miles of bike lanes, and creating more than 60 plazas citywide. A founding principal with Bloomberg Associates, she works with mayors around the world to reimagine and redesign their cities. She chairs the National Association of Transportation Officials, implementing new people-focused street design standards that have been adopted in 45 cities across the continent. She lives in New York City.

Seth Solomonow is a manager with Bloomberg Associates. He was the chief media strategist for Janette Sadik-Khan and New York City’s transportation department under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Solomonow has written for The New York Times and his hometown newspaper, The Staten Island Advance. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (March 8, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525429840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525429845
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book lives up to its title. This book should be distributed to every civic leader in a community with > 100,000 people to sensitize them to current thinking. Provides many of the counter-arguments used by inertial (politicians/engineers), fearful (politicians/engineers) and angry (drivers) opposition to livable streetscapes. Easily the best book on this subject ever written, familiar and astute as the author is in the ways and interfaces between end-users, planners, designers, funding sources, election cycles and other political shenanigans. What a wonderful team she and Mr. Bloomberg made. I love the quote cited early in the book, "To plan is human, to implement, divine." Advocates of change should closely read this book to learn what hidden obstacles lay in their path and that are often kept concealed by city administrators to keep things in the indefinite "planning" phase so many municipalities find themselves in. One of the most profound insights is that waiting to build deep consensus is almost always going to result in retaining the status quo. Politicians disinclined to action or any thing that costs a dime will, as a result, advocate cost free and wheel-spinning studies. The author was fortunate in having a strong, forward-thinking mayor and deputy mayor. This makes many of the actions described less-applicable to the rest of us facing either lukewarm support or downright opposition from leadership (surely the most common situation in the US). The book gives hope, though, and provides enough nuts-and-bolts information to be applicable to any community..., acceptance of this vision is remote in red-state and purple america, but if it can be done in NYC...,
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. Anyone who likes New York, and anyone interested in how cities really work, will love it. The author combines a street-savvy approach to politics with a genuine commitment to making the city a better, safer and more efficient place. She is courageous and smart. It’s compelling, and inspiring.
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Format: Hardcover
This book brings to mind an earlier tome called The Pedestrian Revolution, where the argument for car-free zones is shown to be feasible and profitable. However, The Pedestrian Revolution was written 40 years ago, a time when living in the city wasn’t the vogue. Much of Janette Sadik-Khan’s Street Fight has to do with modern issues of overcrowding and high fuel costs. Not all of her examples are from NYC; she includes Medellin, Colombia, as an example of non-automobile services. That unfortunate city, better known for cocaine, now has cable cars and escalators to get people up the hills. Instead of a two hour bus trip down the winding mountain roads, it’s a ten minute walk to the cable station, twenty minutes down to the city, and a ten minute bus ride to work. Medellin sits at the bottom of a valley, so more cars would equal more smog (like LA, Santiago De Chile, Beirut, Mexico City, etc) and even if the cars go electric, who can afford one anyway? The cable cars and escalators are an alternative to moving everyone to “affordable housing” in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
Sadik-Khan explores the no-car solutions worldwide, and outlines the benefits; you get less smog, shorter commutes, lower fuel costs, decreased traffic, and if you increase the landmarks, navigation becomes easier. She also discusses the many sacrifices to me made, such as when 1st Avenue in Manhattan got a bike lane. The Avenue, once a five-lane road, is reduced to only three car lanes; one for bikes, one for buses, and three for cars. While cars end up with fewer lanes and parking, she’s not terribly sympathetic; most of the cars on 1st Avenue are commercial, and few New Yorkers can afford a car anyway.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It’s a great read with history, anecdotes and really useful suggestions on urban design. There's a lot of backstory behind one of the most interesting urban design projects in modern times. Although it is the story of New York, there is plenty of relevance for people anywhere interested in remaking their cities from car-dominated spaces to places for people. I'm in Melbourne, Australia, and many of the arguments and much of the data is really useful for me and my advocacy.
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Format: Hardcover
Fantastic primer on how to change mean city streets to people friendly travel spaces, all while improving health, mental well-being, traffic flow, and even sales revenue for nearby stores. A true life account that does not gloss over the difficulties and battles cities have to overcome to effect a change for the better.
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Format: Hardcover
The authors describe how a dedicated group of people in New York City improved the lives of citizens by taking full advantage of the most basic, pervasive, and successful element of transportation infrastructure ever invented: the street. Rather than accept the status quo, these leaders looked at how space was used on the street and saw imbalances in resources dedicated to those who used the street and how resources were used to support those users. By identifying how improved street designs could make better use of the entire space of the street in safer, more efficient, more equitable, and more productive ways, the author and her team achieved remarkable things, including crime reduction, safety improvements, business enhancement, and most importantly, a grassroots-lauded boost in the quality of transportation choices in the lives of citizens.
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