People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities

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Island Press, Jan 6, 2014 - Architecture - 304 pages
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With over 80 percent of Americans now living in cities and suburbs, getting our communities right has never been more important, more complicated, or more fascinating. Longtime sustainability leader Kaid Benfield shares 25 enlightening and entertaining essays about the wondrous ecology of human settlement, and how to make it better for both people and the planet.

People Habitat explores topics as diverse as “green” housing developments that are no such thing, the tricky matter of gentrifying inner cities, why people don’t walk much anymore, and the relationship between cities and religion. Written with intellect, insight, and from-the-heart candor, each real-world story in People Habitat will make you see our communities in a new light.
 

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Contents

1 Its Not Really about Cities
1
2 What Seems Green May Actually Be Brown
13
3 But when Green Elements Align the Results Can Be Impressive
23
4 Revitalization Can Be Powerful
29
5 In a Revitalizing District Some Gentrification Might Be OK but Not Too Much
37
6 Cities Need Nature
47
7 There Can Be So Much in a Nameor Not
61
8 Sustainability Requires Attention to Legacy
69
16 Driving Should Be an Option
153
17 Getting to School Shouldnt Be So Hard
163
18 Walk Drink Walk Back
171
19 Successful Suburbs Will Adapt to the TwentyFirst Century
181
20 Childhood Should Be about Exploring
191
21 Grow Food but Not Just Anywhere
199
22 Cities Are Made for Faith and Vice Versa
211
23 Think Globally Plan Locally
227

9 But the Past Is Not the Future
77
10 Community Isnt What It Used to Be Apparently
91
11 Meet the Environmental Paradox of Smart Growth
101
12 Design Matters but It Can Be Messy
113
13 There Must Be a There
123
14 Human Habitat Should Nourish the Mind Body and Spirit
131
15 Americans Dont Walk Much and I Dont Blame Them
143
24 Sustainability Is Where the Heart Is
239
25 Sprawl Is Dying Will Smart Growth Be Next?
247
People Habitat and the Landscape
255
Bibliography
263
Index
271
About the Author
284
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

F. Kaid Benfield is Special Counsel for Urban Solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington, DC.

Benfield is also an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law; co-founder, LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system; co-founder, Smart Growth America coalition; author of several books on smart growth and sprawl, and a regular contributor to the websites The Atlantic Cities, the Sustainable Cities Collective, and NRDC’s Switchboard. He was selected as one of the world’s “top urban thinkers” on the city planning website Planetizen and one of "the most influential people in sustainable planning and development" by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

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