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Cities for a Small Planet: Reith Lectures Paperback – 1 Dec 1997

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (1 Dec. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571179932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571179930
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 454,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Richard Rogers is the chair of the Urban Task Force. He is the prize-winning architect of the Pompidou Centre, Paris, the Lloyds Building and the Millennium Dome, London. He is a passionate advocate of beautiful cities as economic powerhouses, centres of invention, creativity and social integration.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Richard Rogers, one of Britain's leading architects vividly outlines the environmental disaster facing the world, and presents some novel solutions for planning and building cities to overcome the barriers.
Of particular interest are the ideas for energy conservation, the use of public space to enhance the public environment, and the ways to integrate public transport into city design.
There is a scathing attack on urban sprawl and its wasteful use of land and resources, and a vision of high density cities, combining efficiency with an effective community.
One slight weakness of the book is the price to pay for its wide coverage - there is a lack of detail on some of the proposals, and diagrams are sometimes weak on annotations.
Also recommended: Cities for a Small Country - focusing more on the problems facing Britain, rather than the world as a whole, particularly the developing countries.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Handy little summary of the main findings of the 1999 Urban Task Force. A little too much like a manifesto for my liking (i.e. too generalized) but its heart was in the right place. A shame nothing came of it (how could it given the current blind acceptance of neo-liberal dogma). An updated version (to take account of more recent knowledge relating to key Anthropocene issues and scaled up low impact solutions, and a more aggressive stance on the menaces of urban motor vehicles) with some more tangible examples would not go amiss!
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Format: Paperback
A bit ho-hum. Not very compelling, with lots of illustrations that are rather underwhelming. The examples are dated and related to things which have already turned out differently - the plans for Trafalgar Square in London, or the South Bank, for example. Not really worth the time I spent reading it. Might have been good for someone coming to this subject for the first time, I suppose.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9cf35600) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca4ce10) out of 5 stars excellent, innovative interesting ideas 4 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I wanted to pack my bags and head to London to study with Richard Rogers. His observations on the importance of balancing population, resources and the environment is right on. He identifies the need for compact cities, but seeks to reinvent the dense city model to be a cleaner, greener, more integrated place. Rogers pays specific attention to positive social changes that compact cities can make, and he addresses the importance of regionalism to acheiving sustainability goals. Also, he explains how proximity allows for creative reuse of resources and efficient building design. The book is unique; Rogers makes concrete suggestions and offers actual examples of ways to acheive sustainability.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca4a09c) out of 5 stars ...But I like my life in the suburbs 24 May 2006
By Charlie - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Cities for a Small Planet give me the reassurance that there are influential people trying to reduce the destructive impact of human activities on the world. The case study of Curitiba, Brazil is particularly inspirational.

Author Richard Rogers looks for ways to make city centers more sustainable and points out the importance of public space within a city. He makes a case against single-use developments, the sprawl of the suburbs and the need for automobiles. I can't help but to wonder, though, about the average family living in a suburb in their own house with a backyard garden, two dogs and a cat. Those average people are quite happy to be away from the city centers, from the panhandlers and predators, from unsafe feelings while riding public transportation, from the sounds of police sirens and honking horns. Will dense sustainable city developments change that?

Not everyone is cut out to live in dense cities. A more appropriate question (at least in the United States) might be, "What can we do to make our suburbs more sustainable?"

Just an aside: I found the font size of this book to be a bit on the small side, and the captions under the pictures to be small to the point of near unreadability.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By V. Mark - Published on
Format: Paperback
There's probably a great truth in the fact that the last 50 years of planning have enrich few and impoverished many.

Zoning is simple, clear, fast and economically definable, but it isolates the people who are destined to live there, and enslaves them to the use of car.

Overlapping and dense urbanism is historically a step back, is more work for planners, more difficult to understand for the laymen and developers and will cost more, but it will ultimately favor humane contact, regenerate sense of community, diminish the slavery of people on machine and last but not least reduce pollution.

We have to reconsider the word coined by the Polish American Architect Lubicz of Nycz: Urbantecture.

Urbanism & architecture are very delicate matters, intimately tided they create the frame for the world we live in.

This is a great book for planner, politicians and people, because everybody today is oblige to look at cities as sustainable places where life can prosper only in respect of nature.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca5c270) out of 5 stars well designed and with great insight 8 Dec. 1999
By anonymoucity - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unusual and very well thought-out propositions for the architectural/urbanization problems that arise today as society everywhere struggles with increasing overpopulation. EWspecially noteworthy is the inclusion of small town issues, a topic normally overlooked by other architects/scholars who write on urban planning. Some interesting research, and of course the intriguing sketches and drawings I associate with Rogers, Foster, Piano, and all thoes other postindustrial architects. It's a small little book that is great for reading on the plane. Usually something not too common with architecture books.
HASH(0x9ca5c768) out of 5 stars great book 29 Sept. 2012
By ALMA - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a great book, very easy to understand, the author, Richard Rogers sets clear and useful examples, some built and others still in proyect but yet explains step by step.
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