Archives For The City

 

Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

People Over Profit: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful

By Dale Partridge

Watch a talk that the author did about this book at Qideas

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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Jane-Jacobs-Header

Today is the birthday of Jane Jacobs…

In honor of the occasion, we offer 5 short videos that introduce her work on cities and economies.

Jane Jacobs’ book The Economies of Regions is available for 99c as a Kindle ebook! [ Get Your Copy Now ]

Enjoy these recordings…

 

Urban Design: Toronto / Montreal – 1969

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:
(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)


> > > > > >
Next Book

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now
By Douglas Rushkoff

Read a Review from FORBES magazine

 

Today is the birthday of philosopher and social critic, Ivan Illich (1926-2002)

Below is a two-part video of a 1984 talk that he gave based on his book

H2O and the Waters of Forgetfulness.

Ivan Illich

Paperback: Marion Boyars, 2000.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Other Illich resources on the ERB Site:







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Urban Rivers - Castonguay, Evenden, eds.The Tense Marriage of Rivers and Urban Space

Urban Rivers: Remaking Rivers, Cities, and Space in Europe and North America

Edited By: Stephane Castonguay and Matthew Evenden

Paperback: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Sam Edgin

Rivers have flowed like arteries and veins across the continents for millennia. They have carried the lifeblood of societies, given paths to the virus of wars, and generated countless measures of energy. Most every major city has grown alongside a riverbank: Paris on the Seine, Washington D.C. on the Potomac, London on the Thames, Moscow on the Moskva, and Beijing on the Yongding, Chaobai, and Hai, to name a few. They funnel transportation, food, shipping and trade into and out of the urban metropolises that serve as hubs for our societies. Rivers globally are tied intrinsically into the urban areas that lie on their banks.

However, the development of these urban centers has not always been sustainable for their waterways. The large concentrations of people mixed with rapidly growing industrialization during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were unkind to river systems, as was the realization that rivers were rather adept at disposing waste. Year and years of disuse resulted in heavy pollution and contamination. Rivers stank, were undrinkable, and even began to lose clear passageways as the channels filled with refuse. Much of this harm has begun to be reversed due to the environmental impetus of the mid-to-late 20th century. This shift is fortunate, as the future development of our cities leans dependently not only on the health of our rivers, but in the way the cities are built around them and the resources are managed, as Stephane Castonguay and Matthew Evenden explore with the articles they have collected in Urban Rivers: Remaking Rivers, Cities, and Space in Europe and North America.

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Breaking Through Concrete - Hanson / MartyPropelling Us into Vacant Lots

A Feature Review of

Breaking Through Concrete: Building an Urban Farm Revival.

David Hanson / Edwin Marty

Hardback: U of California Press.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

The City of Saint Louis, where I live and garden, owns roughly one third of the property in Saint Louis. Eight thousand properties are abandoned, and 11,000 lots sit empty. As people moved out of the city and into the ‘burbs, hundreds of properties fell vacant, taxes weren’t paid, neighborhoods were blighted; now the city faces budget shortfalls, in part because a third of the land in the city goes untaxed. St. Louis is just one example among many: Birmingham has 20,000 acres of open land, Philadelphia 70,000, and Detroit 100,000 empty lots. This translated into thousands of acres of ragweed and Johnson grass which these cities have to pay to mow.

Breaking Through Concrete offers an alternative to the apocalyptic urban landscape of post-industrial American cities like St. Louis. The book profiles twelve urban farms from across the country which have re-purposed urban plots to provide healthy, clean food to their communities. The book joins a growing collection of literature (such as Urban Farm Handbook, Farm City, Your Farm in the City, and The Urban Homestead, all published since 2010) and documentaries (such as Urban Roots, 2011) on urban farming, indicating a shift in the way city-folks are regarding their land. Continue Reading…

 

Breaking Through Concrete - D Hanson, E MartyAn excerpt from

Breaking Through Concrete: Building An Urban Farm Revival.

David Hanson / Edwin Marty

Hardback: U of California Press.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Watch for our feature review by Alden Bass later this week…






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Sunset: St. Louis
Sara Teasdale

HUSHED in the smoky haze of summer sunset,
When I came home again from far-off places,
How many times I saw my western city
Dream by her river.

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Bird on Fire - Andrew RossSustainability in the Valley of the Sun

A Review of

Bird on Fire:

Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City.

Andrew Ross.

Hardback: Oxford UP, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Tim Høiland.

When Andrew Ross first came to the Phoenix, he was interested in learning what local artists were doing to revitalize downtown, a desert city with an urban core that, to many urbanists, leaves much to be desired. No city exists in a vacuum, however, and Ross soon came to the conclusion that to understand Phoenix he had to understand the story of the other cities and sprawling suburbs throughout the valley. It was through this research that he concluded that the Phoenix metro area — which includes nine cities with populations of 100,000 or more — was, as he puts it in the subtitle, “the world’s least sustainable city.”

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“Built-in Opportunities for
Human Relationships, Health, and Flourishing

A Review of
Cities for People.

Jan Gehl.

Reviewed by Brent Aldrich.


Cities for People.
Jan Gehl.
Hardback: Island Press, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

In a city like mine, a story which is typical of many US cities has happened: built over the last 200 years, emptied out since the 1960s, and now making a few steps to revitalize the health of what makes cities great; there are hopeful moves of homes rehabbed and occupied, small businesses open, narrow bike stripes painted. And like other cities, we’ve gotten on board with the ‘greening’ of the city – thousands of new trees, some green roofs and rainwater collectors, and small but productive gardens.

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