“Cities are the future of the human race, and Jeff Speck knows how to make them work.” —David Owen, staff writer at the New Yorker Nearly every US city would like to be more walkable—for reasons of health, wealth, and the environment—yet few are taking the proper steps to get there. The goals are often clear, but the path is seldom easy. Jeff Speck’s follow-up to his bestselling Walkable City is the resource that cities and citizens need to usher in an era of renewed street life. Walkable City Rules is a doer’s guide to making change in cities, and making it now. The 101 rules are practical yet engaging—worded for arguments at the planning commission, illustrated for clarity, and packed with specifications as well as data. For ease of use, the rules are grouped into 19 chapters that cover everything from selling walkability, to getting the parking right, escaping automobilism, making comfortable spaces and interesting places, and doing it now! Walkable City was written to inspire; Walkable City Rules was written to enable. It is the most comprehensive tool available for bringing the latest and most effective city-planning practices to bear in your community. The content and presentation make it a force multiplier for place-makers and change-makers everywhere.
City Rules offers a challenge to students and professionals in urban planning, design, and policy to change the rules of city-building, using regulations to reinvigorate, rather than stifle, our communities. Emily Talen demonstrates that regulations are a primary detriment to the creation of a desirable urban form. While many contemporary codes encourage sprawl and even urban blight, that hasn't always been the case-and it shouldn't be in the future. Talen provides a visually rich history, showing how certain eras used rules to produce beautiful, walkable, and sustainable communities, while others created just the opposite. She makes complex regulations understandable, demystifying city rules like zoning and illustrating how written codes translate into real-world consequences. Most importantly, Talen proposes changes to these rules that will actually enhance communities' freedom to develop unique spaces.
How to Plan, Run, and Win the Fight for Effective Transit
Author: Steven Higashide
Publisher: Island Press
Imagine a bus system that is fast, frequent, and reliable—what would that change about your city? Buses can and should be the cornerstone of urban transportation. They offer affordable mobility and can connect citizens with every aspect of their lives. But in the US, they have long been an afterthought in budgeting and planning. With a compelling narrative and actionable steps, Better Buses, Better Cities inspires us to fix the bus. Transit expert Steven Higashide shows us what a successful bus system looks like with real-world stories of reform—such as Houston redrawing its bus network overnight, Boston making room on its streets to put buses first, and Indianapolis winning better bus service on Election Day. Higashide shows how to marshal the public in support of better buses and how new technologies can keep buses on time and make complex transit systems understandable. Higashide argues that better bus systems will create better cities for all citizens. The consequences of subpar transit service fall most heavily on vulnerable members of society. Transit systems should be planned to be inclusive and provide better service for all. These are difficult tasks that require institutional culture shifts; doing all of them requires resilient organizations and transformational leadership. Better bus service is key to making our cities better for all citizens. Better Buses, Better Cities describes how decision-makers, philanthropists, activists, and public agency leaders can work together to make the bus a win in any city.
A Story of Community and Public Life in Siena, Italy
Author: Thomas W. Paradis
It was May 2013 when Thomas Paradis convened in Siena, Italy, with a cohort of American faculty and students to lead a two-month inaugural study-abroad program. After a harrowing journey across the ocean, students and faculty alike soon realized that adapting to a foreign culture and language would be more challenging than they expected, especially amid one of the world’s more authentic community festivals—the Palio horse race. Paradis weaves witty stories of personal discovery with a crash course on Siena and its ferocious twice-yearly horse race. As the July 2 race and its related rituals draw closer, Paradis details how he and his wife uncovered the impressive local communities that underlie the life and blood of the age-old Palio in order to better understand what drives the passion of its residents. When the race finally begins, Paradis provides a compelling upfront view of the action and the race’s aftermath, pulling in the collective experiences of his students as their eyes and minds open to seeing the world in an entirely new way. Living the Palio shares an amusing and instructional romp through Siena, Italy, as university faculty members and their students gain self-confidence, patience, and most importantly, respect for a different way of life.
Questions of how to green the North American economy, create a green energy and transportation infrastructure, and halt the deadly increase in greenhouse gas buildup dominate our daily news. Related questions of how the design of cities can impact these challenges dominate the thoughts of urban planners and designers across the U.S. and Canada. With admirable clarity, Patrick Condon discusses transportation, housing equity, job distribution, economic development, and ecological systems issues and synthesizes his knowledge and research into a simple-to-understand set of urban design rules that can, if followed, help save the planet. No other book so clearly connects the form of our cities to their ecological, economic, and social consequences. No other book takes on this breadth of complex and contentious issues and distills them down to such convincing and practical solutions. And no other book so vividly compares and contrasts the differing experiences of U.S. and Canadian cities. Of particular new importance is how city form affects the production of planet-warming greenhouse gases. The author explains this relationship in an accessible way, and goes on to show how conforming to seven simple rules for community design could literally do a world of good. Each chapter in the book explains one rule in depth, adding a wealth of research to support each claim. If widely used, Condon argues, these rules would lead to a much more livable world for future generations—a world that is not unlike the better parts of our own.
Looking at major British cities, using Birmingham as a case study, this title explores Britain's intensely urban and increasingly global communities as interlocking pieces of a complex jigsaw, which are hard to see apart yet they are deeply unequal
Abstract : Background: A microscale approach to understanding the walkability of pedestrian corridors involves identifying and analyzing detailed tangible elements at sidewalk level. This method, although possessing substantial merits, requires a large budget and long duration to accomplish, especially for large cosmopolitan areas. Determining the quality of sidewalks using a macroscale approach, while not providing the same level of detail can, when combined with a scoring and rule-based system, display quality pedestrian corridors that show varying degrees of walkability. Aim: To display the walkability of Manhattan, using open source data and an automated rule-based rating system. Method: The macroscale approach to identifying degrees of walkability involves the following steps: 1) gathering open source data, b) creating an automated rule-based rating system to assign degrees of walkability at block level, and c) displaying walkability results using geographic information systems (GIS). Results: Macroscale open source data was collected primarily from the New York City Open Data. The results of the study allow the display of degrees of walkability of approximately 12, 000 blocks covering 100 miles of sidewalk within 37 square miles (23, 700 acres). Walkability is displayed on a color-coded scale of 1 to 5 with 5 (green) being most walkable and 1 (red) least walkable. Maps generated include a total walkability map, sidewalk category maps (beauty, utility, safety, vibrance, etc.), and feature maps (trees, bike racks, subway stations, cafés, land use, etc.). The resulting maps contain 11 category layers and 24 open source data layers. Conclusions: A macroscale approach using a combination of open source data, automated rules definition, and rating system can define degrees of walkability that can be displayed in an App for ease of use when walking or finding streets and neighborhoods with varying walkability scores.
Most Americans today do not live in discrete cities and towns, but rather in an aggregation of cities and suburbs that forms one basic economic, multi-cultural, environmental and civic entity. These "regional cities” have the potential to significantly improve the quality of our lives--to provide interconnected and diverse economic centers, transportation choices, and a variety of human-scale communities. In The Regional City, two of the most innovative thinkers in the field of land use planning and design offer a detailed look at this new metropolitan form and explain how regional-scale planning and design can help direct growth wisely and reverse current trends in land use. The authors: •discuss the nature and underpinnings of this new metropolitan form •present their view of the policies and physical design principles required for metropolitan areas to transform themselves into regional cities •document the combination of physical design and social and economic policies that are being used across the country •consider the main factors that are shaping metropolitan regions today, including the maturation of sprawling suburbs and the renewal of urban neighborhoods Featuring full-color graphics and in-depth case studies, The Regional City offers a thorough examination of the concept of regional planning along with examples of successful initiatives from around the country. It will be must reading for planners, architects, landscape architects, local officials, real estate developers, community development professionals, and for students in architecture, urban planning, and policy.
A globe-trotting, eye-opening exploration of how cities can—and do—make us happier people Charles Montgomery's Happy City will revolutionize the way we think about urban life. After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks, and tower dwelling an improvement on the car-dependence of sprawl? The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, and during an exhilarating journey through some of the world's most dynamic cities. He meets the visionary mayor who introduced a "sexy" lipstick-red bus to ease status anxiety in Bogotá; the architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris's urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have transformed their lives by hacking the design of their streets and neighborhoods. Full of rich historical detail and new insights from psychologists and Montgomery's own urban experiments, Happy City is an essential tool for understanding and improving our own communities. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: by retrofitting our cities for happiness, we can tackle the urgent challenges of our age. The happy city, the green city, and the low-carbon city are the same place, and we can all help build it.
A recent survey shows that members of Gen Y are walking 37 percent more than a decade ago, biking 122 percent more and taking public transit 100 percent more. Still, the legacy of the car culture persists. Raised on the notion that driving equals freedom, too many of us just don't realize that a personally rewarding alternative even exists. Just over three years ago, author Kevin Klinkenberg moved to Savannah, Georgia, from Kansas City, Missouri. In large part, he chose his new home because he was seeking a truly walkable place to live. In Why I Walk, Kevin goes beyond the typical arguments against suburbia, showing how walking on a daily basis actively benefits: His finances His sense of personal freedom His social life His health The majority of us still cling to the belief that a house in the suburbs, with good schools, low crime, and easy parking is the American Dream. By focusing directly on the real, measurable advantages of choosing to be a pedestrian, Why I Walk makes a convincing case for ending our love affair with the automobile. This highly readable, first-person narrative handily provides the answer to the pressing question, "Why do I walk?" Why? Because getting there is twice the fun. Kevin Klinkenberg is the principal designer at K2 Urban Design. For more than two decades he has been working to create sustainable, sociable environments and walkable communities in cooperation with developers, cities, nonprofits, and public agencies.