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Good Cities, Better Lives: How Europe Discovered the Lost Art of Urbanism (Planning, History and Environment Series) Kindle Edition

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Description


[It] is already the book everyone is talking about as we see our cities’ planning departments decimated around us. It is a beacon of what is possible and gives hope.  - Times Higher Education - Best books of 2013

An acute analysis - Lord Andrew Adonis, Financial Times

If you have ever wondered what a Catapult is or how it connects to the rest of the UK economy and political system, then this is the book for you. The writing is admirable and rich in human interest, with tales of multitasking French mayors, scandalous research disagreements and Scandi-noir all contributing to the integrity of the whole. - Flora Samuel, Times Higher Education

Hall has a clear idea of what the planning discipline should be about: it should be grounded in an understanding of the real world; it should be informed by a deep knowledge of history and a sense of cultural possibility; and, above all, it should remain focused on improving lives. He is himself the consummate planner. - Ben Rogers, The Guardian

"As usual, a book by Peter Hall takes a historic view, and is filled with erudite gems and facts. No doubt this self-designated city travelogue is addressed to urban designers."Judith Ryser, Researcher, Journalist, Writer and Urban Affairs Consultant to Fundacion Metropoli, Madrid

"In this book Peter Hall has distilled the wisdom of an illustrious academic career into an ambitious blueprint for future successful, sustainable, resilient and equitable places. In writing this normative vision Hall has passed on the baton and set down the challenge for the next generation of academics and practitioners, to attempt to surmount the governance and financial obstacles, and realise the vision of Good Cities, Better Lives."David McGuinness, Northumbria University

Good Cities, Better Lives offers useful insights for policy makers, spatial planners and urban geographers. It is a timely and a stimulating read for anyone interested in understanding more about the current issues cities are facing. It provides a comprehensive set of inspiring examples of innovative and creative planning practice in the urban space.Urban Studies, Eduardo Oliveira, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

"I would not hesitate recommending this book as a ‘must have’ to anyone who is interested in urban and planning issues, including academics, students and policy-makers. It is a timely book that provides useful insights into how planning should be grounded in an understanding of reality that is informed by history and experiences with the aim of improving the lives of everyone. This book offers an excellent start to this project. Sadly, Sir Peter Hall passed away at the end of July 2014."Housing Studies, Corina Buckenberger, Institute of Geography and Geoecology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

About the Author

Sir Peter Hall (1932 - 2014) was Bartlett Professor of Planning and Regeneration at University College London, and President of both the Town and Country Planning Association and the Regional Studies Association. He produced over fifty books in his career and is internationally renowned for his studies on all aspects of cities and regions.  

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5066 KB
  • Print Length: 358 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0415840228
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (11 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F4753R4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #465,785 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book because it gives a sense of what can be achieved by the best urban planning and regeneration practice in continental Europe. It has the authority and depth of analysis that one would expect from Sir Peter Hall, who has been writing about regeneration for fifty years and is widely regarded as the world's leading scholar in the field.

It is nonetheless painful to read about how far behind we are in the UK, and Sir Peter recounts the experiences of UK study groups going to places like Stockholm, Malmo and Freiburg. British urban planners swing between joy at what they see and dejection, because these kinds of regeneration projects are just not happening in the UK.

Implicit within the book are two, entirely sensible, contentions: power must be devolved down, mainly to city-regional polities, and the UK has erred by almost always allowing projects to be developer-led. Time and again, Sir Peter points out that the most admirable projects were the result of strong local leadership, which meant that developers were only allowed in after a clear framework had been established by municipal leaders. It doesn't mean that there wasn't give and take between different parties, often including future residents, thereafter - just that the developers' profit margins did not trump all other concerns.

It is hard to grumble about this much-needed work. I would have been interested to know more about whether Sir Peter actually liked the look of some of the newly-built properties in places like Stockholm and Malmo. Often he restricts himself to lauding the fact that they have exceptional environmental standards and that there is a lot of variety within the developments. He is right that some parts of Hammarby Sjostad in Stockholm can feel a little claustrophobic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An eminently readable guide to post-war planning in Europe.
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