Making cities work

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Wiley-Academy, 2004 - Political Science - 192 pages
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More than 2,000 million people now live in cities: a third of the world's population. In 50 years' time, it is estimated that this will rise to 5,000 million. Whilst cities can inspire social, technological and artistic innovations, they can equally foster depressing collections of poverty, disease and crime. Every effort must be made to improve the quality of city life for the many to whom it is a chore. This book demonstrates ways this can be done.

Making Cities Work showcases 28 initiatives from around the world that have enhanced the quality of urban life. The projects are presented in three sections, each tackling a different area of the urban design challenge. The first, 'Arriving in the City', profiles some of the world's most successful gateways and transport interchanges. Cities are, by their very nature, not just places where people live, but destinations that many more visit for a brief period, and first impressions count. The second section, 'Enjoying the City', highlights the ingenious approaches that can be taken to parks, shopping malls and public spaces, demonstrating that it is a large number of small-scale amenities that make a city fun. Finally, 'Getting Around the City' addresses what is the biggest challenge for most urban leaders - how to move people around in safety, comfort and speed. This is the area where political trade-offs are at their most acute - the pedestrian versus the car, pollution versus speed of travel, buildings versus roads.

From Yokohama Ferry Terminal to the TGV stations of southern France; from Brisbane's South Bank to Copenhagen's city squares; and from Bristol's Legible City to cycling in Groningen - these are ideas in action. A series of profiles of the 'Urban Heroes' who championed many of these projects reaffirms the fact that an individual with vision and drive, who is able to galvanise support, can make a big difference to the lives of many.

Cities are products of human innovation and application. The solution to urban problems must also come from the fertile human imagination. This book is an attempt to get that imagination fired up.

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About the author (2004)

GEORGE HAZEL is Visiting Professor of Transport Policy at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and Director of McLean Hazel, a consultancy specialising in providing transport advice, concepts and solutions for the public and private sectors.

ROGER PARRY is Chief Executive of Clear Channel International, the global media company. He is the author of People Businesses (1991) and Enterprise: The Leadership Role (2003). 

BRIAN M EVANS is Artistic Professor of Urban Design at the School of Architecture at Chalmers University in Gothenburg and is a partner of Gillespies, an urban and landscape design practice.

JAMES CRAVEN is Communications Director of Clear Channel International. He is author of numerous works on the marketing of public transport.

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