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The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community Hardcover – October 22, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0070338890 ISBN-10: 0070338892 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 1 edition (October 22, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070338892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070338890
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 1 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The New Urbanism is a movement that seeks to restore a civil realm to urban planning and a sense of place to our communities. It is a tangible response to the failed Modernist planning that has resulted in unchecked suburban sprawl, slavish dependence on the automobile, and the abandonment and decay of our cities. Katz, who heads a marketing and design firm, brings together in this informative and accessible book the voices and case studies of the young architects and planners who practice the New Urbanism--Peter Calthorpe, Andres Duany, and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, among them. They gear their designs to the scale of the pedestrian and seek to promote a symbiotic relationship between urban development and public transportation. An often published example of this movement is the community of Seaside, Florida. Extensively illustrated with plans, diagrams, and color photographs and renderings, this highly instructive book is a must for architecture and urban planning collections, and suitable for general readers.
- Thomas P.R. Nugent, New York
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

``. . .informative and accessible. . .the highly instructive book is a must for architecture and urban planning collections, and suitable for the general reader.'' (Library Journal)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In the first half of the 1990s, this book culminated the beginning of the most influential postwar stream of thought about American cities and city life, New Urbanism. It was intended to be the coffee-table conversation starter for suburban yups feeling just uncomfortable enough with their time-stressed lives to admit that, yes, their street is bleak, their house a cartoon, their strip-malled "planned community" a joke.
By starting the national conversation, the book has succeeded spectacularly, and continues to serve the purpose. With solid, workmanlike graphic design, it shows the way forward by depicting and decoding a handful of places both designed and built as successful alternatives to suburban sprawl.
Behind the scenes, the book became the flagpole around which a genuinely new intellectual movement rallied. At the time of publication, several of these projects were just on the drawing board. Today, only a few years later, over 150 such projects are blooming nationwide. New Urbanism today is the organizing question in the serious architecture and planning schools, in the development community, and in land-use "smart growth" politics. Developers are either running scared of it, or ripping it off, or putting big money into it. New Urbanism is a powerful set of ideas, and you can find them all here. This is the book that focused the disparate efforts of a score of highly talented, individualistic practitioners into a coherent beam. This is the book with the irrefutable visual argument in favor of building good places to live.
It is good, then, that the book's examples have been outrun. The book appears now almost quaint to those who, on the front lines of the land-use wars, have internalized New Urbanism's basic principles.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 1998
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The basic principles presented in this book are the stuff that dreams are made of. I have shared the ideas presented in this book with many of my friends and they all want to live in communities such as this. We've been strip-malled, mega-malled and automobilized to near-death. New Urbanism as presented here is like a million breaths of fresh air.
It is best to read the basic principles presented in the front of the book first. It may look like dry reading at first but as you get into it, your interest will be piqued at first, then grabbed, and you won't want to put it down till you've read it all. Having read this part you will be armed with the knowledge that, to date, no development or developer has had the guts to follow the principles completely. All of the projects presented include some elements of New Urbanism but none of them have it right. One of the other customer reviewers of this book, Ken Wing, missed this entirely. Hey Ken, there is no people in the Seaside pictures because they want the reader to see the architecture! Those who don't get it, or are afraid of change, tend to trivialze New Urbanism and mis-represent it.
Once you have read this book, you, like myself will want to immediately pack up and move to a New Urbanist community. Better ones are coming out of the ground each year and I hope to see one near me real soon.
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28 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jeff C. Goolsby on August 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have only had the book a day and already it has given me great pleasure and joy. I love the fantastic pictures and diagrams. The computer digitalizations on a few existing towns today and what they could be like were truely fasinating. I couldn't help not liking the indepth descriptions of numourous cities, towns, and villages from around the country and canada as well. This book had colorful photos and diagrams, this book to me is pure genus!
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95 of 137 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a good book about bad ideas which-because of their influence-simply must be read. The problems with New Urbanism stem from five implicit premises it shares with other approaches to city planning. Consider them in turn.
1. The same design approach is appropriate for both cities and suburbs.
Peter Calethorpe claims the application of urban design principles "regardless of location: in suburbs and new growth areas as well as within the city" is a "simple but unique contribution of this movement." City planning, however, has often applied suburban principles-such as buildings as islands in a sea of grass-in both cities and suburbs. New and old share the underlying belief that the design problem of cities and suburbs is similar. Yet 40 years ago, Jane Jacobs showed us that cities were places where people had to feel safe amidst strangers, which fundamentally distinguished them from suburbs and small towns. The result when premise meets reality is laughable.
For example, the chapter on the upscale, private golf community of Windsor, FL devotes four full pages to the castle-like entrance building where visitors must pass a security checkpoint. Perimeter walls form an important design element of South Brentwood Village, CA. The text and captions don't mention them, but they show clearly in the illustrations. Unless New Urbanism's model is the medieval walled city, it is hard to see these as urban.
2. Community is primarily a matter of buildings and their arrangement.
Those who have not received years of professional training easily fall into the trap that community has to do with people. Planners know better. Community is about buildings and the spaces they enclose.
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