In this groundbreaking volume, architect and planner Christopher Alexander presents a new theory of urban design which attempts to recapture the process by which cities develop organically. To discover the kinds of laws needed to create a growing whole in a city, Alexander proposes here a preliminary set of seven rules which embody the process at a practical level and which are consistent with the day-to-day demands of urban development.
He then puts these rules to the test, setting out with a number of his graduate students to simulate the urban redesign of a high-density part of San Francisco, initiating a project that encompassed some ninety different design problems, including warehouses, hotels, fishing piers, a music hall, and a public square. This extensive experiment is documented project by project, with detailed discussion of how each project satisfied the seven rules, accompanied by floorplans, elevations, street grids, axonometric diagrams and photographs of the scaled-down model which clearly illustrate the discussion.
The Street Project is the story about humanity’s relationship to the streets and the global citizen-led fight to make communities safer.
Digging deep into the root causes of traffic violence, the filmmakers engage a diverse array of experts including street historian Peter Norton, city planner Jeff Speck, and urban design expert Mikael Colville-Andersen. These expert interviews are interwoven with the stories of real people working to make their communities safer.
Directed by Jennifer Boyd.
Tokyo is one of the most vibrant and livable cities on the planet, a megacity that somehow remains intimate and adaptive. Compared to Western metropolises like New York or Paris, however, few outsiders understand Tokyo’s inner workings. For cities around the globe mired in crisis and seeking new models for the future, Tokyo’s success at balancing between massive growth and local communal life poses a challenge: can we design other cities to emulate its best qualities?
Emergent Tokyo answers this question in the affirmative by delving into Tokyo’s most distinctive urban spaces, from iconic neon nightlife to tranquil neighborhood backstreets. Tokyo at its best offers a new vision for a human-scale urban ecosystem, where ordinary residents can shape their own environment in ways large and small, and communities take on a life of their own beyond government master planning and corporate profit-seeking. As Tokyoites ourselves, we uncover how five key features of Tokyo’s cityscape – yokochō alleyways, multi-tenant zakkyo buildings, undertrack infills, flowing ankyo streets, and dense low-rise neighborhoods – enable this ’emergent’ urbanism, allowing the city to organize itself from the bottom up. This book demystifies Tokyo’s emergent urbanism for an international audience, explaining its origins, its place in today’s Tokyo, and its role in the Tokyo of tomorrow. Visitors to Japan, architects, and urban policy practitioners alike will come away with a fresh understanding of the world’s premier megacity and a practical guide for how to bring Tokyo-style intimacy, adaptability, and spontaneity to other cities around the world.
By Jorge Almazán, Joe McReynolds, and Naoki Saito.
Students of urban design often find themselves lost between books that are either highly academic or overly formulaic, leaving them with few tangible tools to use in their design projects. 101 Things I Learned® in Urban Design School fills this void with provocative, practical lessons on urban space, street types, pedestrian experience, managing the design process, the psychological, social, cultural, and economic ramifications of physical design decisions, and more. Written by two experienced practitioners and instructors, this informative book will appeal not only to students, but to seasoned professionals, planners, city administrators, and ordinary citizens who wish to better understand their built world.
By Vikas Mehta and Matthew Frederick.
We pile on “to-dos” but don’t consider “stop-doings.” We create incentives for good behavior, but don’t get rid of obstacles to it. We collect new-and-improved ideas, but don’t prune the outdated ones. Every day, across challenges big and small, we neglect a basic way to make things better: we don’t subtract. Klotz’s pioneering research shows us what is true whether we’re building Lego models, cities, grilled-cheese sandwiches, or strategic plans: Our minds tend to add before taking away, and this is holding us back.
But we have a choice—our blind spot need not go on taking its toll. Subtract arms us with the science of less and empowers us to revolutionize our day-to-day lives and shift how we move through the world. More or less.
The Atlas of Cities presents a unique taxonomy of cities that looks at different aspects of their physical, economic, social, and political structures; their interactions with each other and with their hinterlands; the challenges and opportunities they present; and where cities might be going in the future.
Edited by Paul Knox, with foreword by Richard Florida.
In The Timeless Way of Building Christopher Alexander presents a new theory of architecture, building, and planning which has at its core that age-old process by which the people of a society have always pulled the order of their world from their own being.
After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we
hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely.
The three books are The Timeless Way of Building, The Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language. At the core of these books is the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets, and communities. This idea may be radical (it implies a radical transformation of the architectural profession) but it comes simply from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people.
The Oregon Experiment is the last book in series on architecture written by Christopher Alexander and his colleagues the Center for Environmental Structure. The other two books are The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language.
This book is the master plan for the University of Oregon, and is now being implemented at that university; but it shows at the same time how any community the size of a university or small town might go about designing its own future environment-with all members of the community participating personally. It is a concrete example at the Center’s theories in practice, showing in simple detail, with numerous illustrations, how to implement six guiding principles: organic order, participation, piecemeal growth, patterns, diagnosis, and coordination.
In The Well-Tempered City, Jonathan F. P. Rose—the man who “repairs the fabric of cities”—distills a lifetime of interdisciplinary research and firsthand experience into a five-pronged model for how to design and reshape our cities with the goal of equalizing their landscape of opportunity. Drawing from the musical concept of “temperament” as a way to achieve harmony, Rose argues that well-tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, well-being, and the ever-unfolding harmony between civilization and nature. These goals may never be fully achieved, but our cities will be richer and happier if we aspire to them, and if we infuse our every plan and constructive step with this intention.
In Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin, Matthew Soules issues an indictment of how finance capitalism dramatically alters not only architectural forms but also the very nature of our cities and societies. We rarely consider architecture to be an important factor in contemporary economic and political debates, yet sparsely occupied ultra-thin “pencil towers” develop in our cities, functioning as speculative wealth storage for the superrich, and cavernous “iceberg” homes extend architectural assets many stories below street level. Meanwhile, communities around the globe are blighted by zombie and ghost urbanism, marked by unoccupied neighborhoods and abandoned housing developments.
As the drive towards creating age-friendly cities grows, this important book provides a comprehensive survey of theories and policies aimed at improving the quality of life of older people living in urban areas. Part of the Ageing in a Global Context series, Age-Friendly Cities and Communities gathers critical assessments from leading international researchers of the problems and potentials of designing environments that benefit citizens of all ages. The authors consider how cities respond to aging populations, their strategies for developing age-friendly communities, and the extent to which older people themselves can be involved in the co-production of advantageous policies and practices.
Edited by Tine Buffel, Sophie Handler, Chris Phillipson.
Freedom from cars, freedom from sprawl, freedom to walk your city! City planner Jeff Speck shares his “general theory of walkability” — four planning principles to transform sprawling cities of six-lane highways and 600-foot blocks into safe, walkable oases full of bike lanes and tree-lined streets.
Watch this TED talk on YouTube.
In Velotopia: The Production of Cyclespace in Our Minds and Our Cities, architectural theorist and historian Steven Fleming, a leading international figure in bicycle urbanism and author of the bestselling Cycle Space (2013), argues that the best-connected cities in the future will be those that put cycling before walking and public transport. According to Fleming, cities organized around cycling will be greener and healthier, but also fairer and more accessible than today’s cities–more productive, comfortable, social and fun. In this volume, Fleming dares readers to think big, to radically reimagine cities and city life around movement on two wheels.
In Cycle Space, architecture professor and cycling enthusiast Steven Fleming (or Dr. Behooving, as he is known to those who follow his blog, Behooving Moving) suggests new ways of designing better cities, thereby reducing emissions, commute times, ill health and sprawl in the process. Not only can architecture and urban design begin to optimize conditions for cycling; they can also take inspiration from the aesthetics and ethics of cycling as well. Fleming argues that understanding why more and more people are choosing bikes is key for discovering the full potential of the bicycle as a transformative force in the design of our cities. Cycle Space is a must-read for anyone interested in the nexus of architecture, cycling and urban design.
Livable Streets 2.0 offers a thorough examination of the struggle between automobiles, residents, pedestrians and other users of streets, along with evidence-based, practical strategies for redesigning city street networks that support urban livability. In 1981, when Donald Appleyard’s Livable Streets was published, it was globally recognized as a groundbreaking work, one of the most influential urban design books of its time. Unfortunately, he was killed a year later by a speeding drunk driver. This latest update, Livable Streets 2.0, revisited by his son Bruce, updates on the topic with the latest research, new case studies and best practices for creating more livable streets.
It is essential reading for those who influence future directions in city and transportation planning.
Streets have become dangerous, unlivable environments, yet most people live on them. Streets need to be redefined as sanctuaries; as livable places; as communities; as resident territory; as places for play, greenery, and local history. Neighborhoods should be protected, though not to the point of being exclusionary. In Livable Streets, Donald Appleyard examines the neighborhood unit, the environmental area and the Woonerf as models for the protected neighborhood. The criteria for a protected neighborhood depend on acceptable speeds, volumes, noise levels, reduction of accidents, and rights-of-way for pedestrians.
No single view of American cities captures the many problems of urban life-whether the city is analyzed by a politician, an architect, an urban planner, a sociologist, or a psychologist. Man and the Modern City presents the view of ten distinguished urban critics whose variety of approaches places the crucial issues of the city in a broad perspective.
Edited by Elizabeth Green, Jeanne R. Lowe, and Kenneth Walker.