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From The CriticsThe 1st edition of this work was published in 1995 and very quickly became a classic in the field of urban studies and was adopted as a textbook in many universities for courses in urban planning and related fields. It is not surprising that this new edition was eagerly anticipated. The author, a Yale Professor for Urban Planning and Management for over 35 years, in addition to being a practicing architect and real estate developer, attempted to discover what makes for successful urban planning by examining some 300 programs and projects in cities across the country. He focused on what he terms "the six ingredients of project success" -- market, location, design, financing, entrepreneurship, and time. Unlike previous works in the field, this volume addresses planning from a multidisciplinary approach including architectural, political, sociological, and economical aspects.
Each of the 18 chapters describes various projects and demonstrates how the six ingredients affect the success or failure of planning in specific areas: for example, housing rehabilitation, revitalizing neighborhoods, land use regulation, and preserving the past. Some of the projects described in the 1st edition are updated, as is all of the statistical information. Sections on some newer areas of concern -- entertainment centers, stadiums, environmental issues, and loft housing -- are also added. The table of contents presents an outline of the information in each chapter, making it fairly easy to find subtopics of a particular area; however, the index makes it possible to find specific projects and more detailed information. The text is enhanced by the inclusion of well-chosen black-and-white photographs, someshowing before and after views of urban, and occasionally suburban, development.
Although the book will probably be used most often by students and professionals in some aspect of urban planning, the easy-to-read style, interesting content, and photographs will make it appreciated by others who are interested in making the future of their own environments more beautiful and practically livable. Both academic and public libraries should find this a useful addition to their collection.