City Design: Modernist, Traditional, Green, and Systems Perspectives

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Routledge, 2011 - Architecture - 242 pages
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"The design of cities is a significant social and environmental issue in this first urban century. In response, Jonathan Barnett provides two valuable syntheses. First, he succinctly identifies three pressing city-design challenges. Next, Barnett analyzes the hopes and shortcomings of modern, traditiona, environmental, and systems approaches to urban design. From these masterful syntheses, a new, timely way to design cities emerges."---Frederick Steiner, Dean, School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin

"Jonathan Barnett has devoted his professional career to the education, theory, practice and intimate understanding of urban design. With City Design, Barnett untangles the complexity of diverse urban design approaches through a careful consideration of four basic design positions on the city; Modernist, Traditional, Green and Systems design. His text provides a much needed sense of perspective for the design of contemporary cities in an increasingly dynamic and globalized urban world."---Alfonso Vegara, President of Fundacion Metropoli, Madrid, Spain

The World is urbanizing faster than current city design can keep up, climate change introduces a new dynamism into a once stable environment, and - with effective city design more important than ever - there are controversies and uncertainties about the best way to manage unprecedented urban growth and change.

City Design describes the history and current practice of the four most widely accepted approaches to city design: the Modernist city of towers and highways that has come to dominate urban development worldwide but is criticized as mechanical and soul-less; the Traditional organization of cities as streets and public places, scorned by the modernists, but being revived today for its human scale; Green city design, whose history can be traced back thousands of years in Asia, but is increasingly important everywhere as the preservation of the planet becomes a basic issue, and finally Systems city design, including infrastructure and development regulation but also computer aided techniques which give designers new tools for managing the complexity of cities.

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three citydesign challenges
Modernist city design
Traditional city design and the modern city

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About the author (2011)

Jonathan Barnett is a well-known, widely-experienced city design practitioner who also teaches and writes about city design. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and also a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a professor of City and Regional Planning and director of the Urban Design Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He writes authoritatively but accessibly about complicated issues of theory and practice, and his approach is objective and inclusive. This is a comprehensive text on city design ideal for planners, landscape architects, urban designers and others who want to understand how to improve cities.

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