"The book's appealing-sounding moniker knits together smart growth, new urbanism, and green building, three movements that address the sliding scales of regions, neighborhoods and buildings. Farr advocates for transit-served, walkable neighborhoods with high-tech buildings and infrastructure." (A Daily Dose of Architecture
, July 2009)
"Providing a historical perspective on the standards and regulations that got us and keep us on the course toward sprawl and unsustainable development, along with earlier attempts at reform, the book makes a strong case for Sustainable Urbanism, showing how architects and urban designers need to shape the built environment for the benefit of both humans and nature." (APADE, 2009)
"A masterpiece, it combines good writing with a thorough treatment of the subject." (The Bernard Place Bee Line, 4/22/08)
"It's not immediately obvious how Doug Farr's new book differs from the many other books in this field, aside from having a laudatory preface by Andres Duany. His careful division of the case studies into built greenfield, unbuilt greenfield, built infill, and unbuilt infill, should be a clue. It's also nice that he offiers a fairly specific definition of the s-word. Farr's book is distinguished by his systematic determination to reveal the trade secrets of sustainable design-those rules of thumb that bridge the gap between woolly generalities and highly specific case studies." (BuildingCommunities.com, February 1, 2008)
"A broadly-focused and solutions-based look at environmentally sustainable urban design. Case studies and essays written by Farr and others give a real-world context to the ideas and methods espoused in this ambitious argument on behalf of a new type urban design and development that is interrelated with nature." (Planetizen.com; 1/29/08)
"The author of Sustainable Urbanism wants to break down barriers between nature-focused environmentalists and human-focused urbanists. The book asserts that we need a radical change in how we live, not just for the health of our planet, but for ourselves. The author's ambitious goal is to make sustainable urbanism the dominant pattern of human settlement by 2030. This book is a valuable resource for anyone that is in a position to advance a more organic way of life that is more in tune with the environment." (Vector 1 Magazine, January 6, 2008)
"Sustainable Urbanism is important because it addresses the sustainable development issue from all sides and provides solutions across the vast array of disciplines that create the built environment. The book…should be a resource not just for developers...but also for city councils, mayors, governors, engineers, and voters." (Urban Land, 1/08)
"Beyond just developing a concept, however, the book acts as a comprehensive how-to manual for anyone who helps shape the environment...after setting the stage with a compelling case for sustainable urbanism, Farr provides specific and detailed standards and steps to guide readers." (Environmental News Network, 12/21/07)
"There is something for everyone in Sustainable Urbanism, the new book that tackles exactly what the title implies. Backed by an impressive range of research, tables, charts, it is a comprehensive look at how to make our development pattern more sustainable." (Joe Urban Blog, 12/07)
"Chicago architect Douglas Farr is no Le Corbusier--Who is?--yet his thoughtful new book is propelled by the same sort of visionary energy and desire to integrate architecture, city planning and nature for a better way of life. Here's the twist: Whereas Le Corbusier celebrated the car, Farr fingers it as a prime factor in creating today's sprawling, auto-dependent suburbs and all the lifestyle woes, like rising levels of obesity, they've supposedly wrought. While that's a familiar rant from the New Urbanist architects who call for compact, walkable communities, Farr wisely goes beyond them, urging a grand integration of the New Urbanism and the fledgling green building movement." (Chicago Tribune, December 2007)
"What makes his volume stand out is that it combines expertise in New Urbanism with a thorough understanding of environmental issues and techniques. The result is the most comprehensive, technically informed volume available on how to design and build places that are environmentally responsible and also gratifying to inhabit." (New Urban News, December 2007)
"makes excellent use of physical case studies, it is also concerned with the intangible forces that shape our cities…" (Building Design, Friday 15th February 2008)
A call to action and a comprehensive guide to sustainable urban design
"This book celebrates the magical power of design and of an emerging pattern of human settlement—Sustainable Urbanism—that holds the promise of strengthening the interdependence of all life on earth. . . . This book is a strategic call for leadership in the design and development of the places where Americans live, work, and play."
—From the Preface
Written by the chair of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Core Committee, Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature is both an urgent call to action and a comprehensive introduction to "Sustainable Urbanism"—the growing sustainable design convergence that integrates walkable and diverse places with high-performance infrastructure and buildings.
Providing a historical perspective on the standards and regulations that got us and keep us on the course toward sprawl and unsustainable development, along with earlier attempts at reform, Douglas Farr makes a powerful case for Sustainable Urbanism, showing how architects and urban designers need to shape the built environment for the benefit of both humans and nature. He then explains how to implement Sustainable Urbanism in cities, towns, and neighbor-hoods through coordinated leadership and communication. Essays written by Farr and others delve into such issues as:
Increasing sustainability through density
Integrating transportation and land use in an auto-dependent era
Creating sustainable neighborhoods with walk-to-work neighborhood centers of locally owned businesses, share cars on every block, and walkable neighborhoods
The health and environmental benefits of linking humans to nature, including walk-to open spaces, neighborhood stormwater systems and waste treatment, and food production
High-performance buildings and neighborhood-scale infrastructure including district energy systems
Enriching the argument are in-depth case studies in Sustainable Urbanism, from BedZED in London, England, and Newington in Sydney, Australia, to New Railroad Square in Santa Rosa, California, and Dongtan, Shanghai, China. An epilogue looks to the future of Sustainable Urbanism over the next 200 years.
At once solidly researched and passionately argued, Sustainable Urbanism is the ideal guidebook for urban designers, planners, and architects who are eager to make a positive impact on our—and our descendants'—buildings, cities, and lives.