Cities for a Small Planet: Reith Lectures Paperback – 1 Dec 1997
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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
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.