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

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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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: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,167,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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I took a class in environmental design and this was a secondary reading. I liked it so much that I bought one for myself and one for my son. My son plans on building a new house in the next year or so and I think this book gives you common sense advice. You can feel the love and passion that Steve Mouzon has for architecture. He takes joy in creating lovable spaces. My favorite line in the book is "Give a Gift to the Street", p 247. Mouzon discusses sustainability in real terms that anyone can understand. I think it is one of the best books I have read in a long time.
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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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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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A solid book with a clear outline, I would recommend this book to people interested in alternatives to our current solutions to sustainability. The book does not delve too deeply into the issues discussed, but is a great resource for anyone interested in how traditional design and construction can greatly contribute to sustainability goals.
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