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The Original Green: Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability Paperback – January 31, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: The New Urban Guild Foundation (January 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931871116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931871112
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,029,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Mouzon is a principal of the New Urban Guild in Miami, which is a group of architects, designers, and other New Urbanists dedicated to the study and the design of true traditional buildings and places native to and inspired by the regions in which they are built: www.newurbanguild.com Involving a number of designers brings authenticity to a place that simply cannot be achieved when all buildings are designed by a single hand, no matter how skilled that hand may be. The Guild was instrumental in the creation of the Katrina Cottages concept, and continues to foster the movement, including sponsoring the website (www.katrinacottages.com.) Steve's Katrina Cottage VIII, which is the first design of the next generation of Katrina Cottages, was awarded a Charter Award by the Congress for the New Urbanism. The Guild Foundation is the non-profit educational arm of the Guild; it sponsors the Original Green initiative: www.originalgreen.org, plus a number of workshops, tours, and seminars that fill several of the gaps that previously existed between theory and practice. It also sponsors the Guild Tool Foundry, which is a growing collection of place-making tools that can be downloaded free of charge.
Steve is also a principal of Mouzon Design, which produces a number of town-building tools and services. His house plans have been featured repeatedly as Home of the Month in Southern Living and Coastal Living. Steve is Town Architect at several new hamlets, villages and neighborhoods around the country, using a unique method that communicates principles, not just particulars. Mouzon Design's Premium Tools Collection is a subscription service to robust new place-making tools that heretofore were unaffordable when commissioned by a single development. A Living Tradition is a framework for a new type of pattern book that is principle-based instead of taste-based, and therefore contributes to the creation of new living traditions.
Steve has authored or contributed to a number of publications in recent years, including Biltmore Estate Homes (Southern Living), Architectural Elements: Traditional Construction Details (McGraw-Hill), 1001 Traditional Construction Details (McGraw-Hill), Traditional Construction Patterns (McGraw-Hill), Gulf Coast Emergency House Plans, A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Central Gulf Coast], and the award-winning A Living Tradition [Architecture of the Bahamas]. Steve is also continuing to shoot new editions of his Catalog of the Most-Loved Places. The Catalog typically includes every structure built before about 1925 in various historic towns or districts. There are currently dozens of volumes in the Catalog with several more soon to be released. The Catalog began in the American South, but has expanded in scope to include notable Most-Loved Places in Europe, North America, and Central America. Steve lectures frequently across the country and abroad. He is a board member of INTBAU-USA, and is the author of the Original Green Blog and the Useful Stuff blog. His Original Green Twitter stream is @stevemouzon.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
The author did a great job making various green topics accessible to the novice.
Brian Books
Steve Mouzon is a leader in architecture and New Urbanist thought in America and there is much to learn from his insight and experience.
Rob Coleman
After all, as Steve so eloquently explains, for our civilization to really make a difference, it takes us all.
Larry Garnett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Fitzpatrick on June 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We could be neighborly, healthy, productive, safe and enjoy the view where we live at reasonable cost. In some places many of these desirable factors are already so. In "The Original Green" Steve Mouzon reflects upon what we can learn from these places to rethink the cities, towns and suburbs that seem to be developing along lines of financial least resistance for the developer, leaving us with hectic traffic and a feeling there is nowhere nearby we want to be. Mouzon is optimistic in his belief that the places where we will want to hang out will also reduce our negative impact on the global environment e.g. food, energy, land use.

Color photos on every page illustrate Steve Mouzon's many ideas about how places become sustainable instead of a blight. Even the photos of places Mouzon does not think sustainable are interesting. You must read his explanation to know more about why they are a problem. Scenic photos of people strolling and interacting along various kinds of streets, sidewalks, piazza and patios surrounded by handsome buildings ( small businesses and multiple family residences), are seductive.

The Original Green changed my thinking about sustainability. Being a fierce environmentalist ever since a developer took down a beloved forest ( by all the kids in the Bethesda Maryland suburb in 1954), I have been generally anti-building. My focus the last two decades has been on public transportation, watershed protection and open spaces. Now pressed by "Original Green", I admit people must live and work somewhere. Mouzon has made me look again at civilization and construction, so I can more rationally separate out what will be sustainable, useful and beloved from what will make the "slums of tomorrow" (my term not his).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Books on June 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author did a great job making various green topics accessible to the novice. This reflection of the historical basis of sustainability was refreshing. I also thought that the organization of the book and it's themes kept the book readable and interesting. I'd highly recommend, especially for the builder, developer or design professional.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Reagan on May 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an important book in that it addresses concepts widely promoted in technical journals and the popular press through a meaningful, experience based discussion of the role of tradition in sustainability. Without the technical jargon and end-of-the-world breathlessness that characterize much of the current green dialogue, Steve identifies cultural based traditions that have evolved through incremental improvements as opposed to ones passed down as rigid dogma or simplistic style. Parallel to this, he discusses the risk of technological inventiveness and the promise of the "new" as immediate solutions to long term problems.

Written in a conversational tone and well illustrated, Steve relates his personal experience of moving toward a more sustainable life by applying the principles outlined in the book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Howard Blackson on May 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have to admit to having already been a user of Mr. Mouzon's Original Green App and following his useful blogs and tweets. To have, hold and read this new book is both inspiring and insightful. I don't know how else to describe his up-to-date and innovative in its perspective approach better than to say, "just read it." I personally know that many of Steve's built projects are included, but not specifically cited as such, and they serve to demonstrate his living tradition, which is more than just talking about sustainability, he is building it. True sustainability is to understand our human condition and that our relationship with nature goes much deeper than the gadget green perscribed by Al Gore or Brad Pitt.

The images and text per page format makes for an easy read and it was exciting to see the meaning of the images unfold, and learn about the unintended relationship between the Waffle House and Boston City Hall. The recommendations are concise and expansive and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Coleman on June 14, 2010
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Steve Mouzon is a leader in architecture and New Urbanist thought in America and there is much to learn from his insight and experience. I highly suggest reading his publications and visiting his blog to further understand cutting edge thinking in todays Real Estate market.
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