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A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America Hardcover – May 30, 2013
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In the world of urbanism and planning, there’s been a barrage of recent books on similar themes….But Mr. Chakrabarti has written maybe the most useful one, a polemic in favour of city living that makes the stakes clear. (Alex Bozikovic Toronto Globe & Mail)
The author, a partner at SHOP Architects in New York, lays out his case for why the entire United States must embrace high-density urbanization (defined as 10 or more dwellings per hectare) as the only feasible way to resuscitate the economy and overall public wellness. He pits his version of the American Dream (living in a city with access to well-designed mixed-income housing, mass transit and an array of services) against what he calls the American Scheme (owning a big suburban house, and driving your gas-guzzling SUV on the highway to get home to it every day). This impassioned manifesto, with a foreword by Norman Foster, is complemented by wondeful drawings from his colleagues at SHOP, including one that shows the entire world population fitting into the state of Texas to illustrate that, yes, we can and should use our land resources more wisely. (Elizabeth Pagliacolo Azure)
Architect, planner, and one-time developer Vishaan Chakrabarti asks us to imagine a United States in which government invests in high-speed trains linking high-density cities and does not subsidize suburban sprawl. He admits this sounds a bit naive in an era of political paralysis and at a time when the middle class and wealthy - no matter their political affiliation - enjoy perks like the mortgage- interest deduction that help perpetuate the status quo. But he builds his argument with straightforward prose and lots of easy-to-read charts and graphs. (Clifford A. Pearson Architectural Record)
Step aside, suburban sprawl: America's cities are growing at a pace unseeen for the past century. This expansion warrants an evaluation of how these hubs can sustainably support their citizens in the future. Hotshot Columbia professor and SHoP patner Vishaan Chakrabarti provides compelling arguments - complemented by smart infographics - for mass-transit systems and public parks. (Jordan Kushins Surface Magazine)