By ``sustainable communities,'' the authors mean largely self-reliant cities and towns whose use of fossil fuels has been sharply cut and whose economies are in balance with what the region can supply through natural processes. The bioregional approach, which some will deride as utopian, links the essays in this often provocative volume, the outgrowth of a ``Solar Cities Design'' workshop. Contributors include architects, community planners, ecologists and biologists. Case studies that demonstrate how human-scale communities could be built range from the undeveloped Chino Hills near Los Angeles to Philadelphia's gentrified neighborhoods. One essay faults agribusiness for its massive waste of land, energy and human resources; another calls for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. While it has the disconnected feel of a volume of symposium proceedings, this book offers innovative solutions to the renewal of communities. Photos. (July 10)
Addressing what the authors identify as a societal conflict between ``long-term social and economic health'' and ``short-term gain,'' this book offers examples, real and proposed, of sound environmental planning for communities. Three case studiesSunnyvale, California; Golden, Colorado; Philadelphiaand a group of essays on the ``Context for Sustainable Design'' are included. The vision of the contributors, many well known in the planning field, is that of a transition from fossil-fuel dependency to one of community reliance, enhancing the quality of life in the face of impersonal technology. Recommended for environmental studies and planning collections. Jim Heck el, Lewis & Clark Lib., Helena, Mont.