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The Humane Metropolis: People and Nature in the 21st-Century City
     

The Humane Metropolis: People and Nature in the 21st-Century City

by Rutherford H. Platt
 

Four-fifths of Americans now live in the nation's sprawling metropolitan areas, and half of the world's population is now classified as "urban." As cities become the dominant living evironment for humans, there is growing concern about how to make such places more habitable, more healthy and safe, more ecological, and more equitable -- in short, more

Overview

Four-fifths of Americans now live in the nation's sprawling metropolitan areas, and half of the world's population is now classified as "urban." As cities become the dominant living evironment for humans, there is growing concern about how to make such places more habitable, more healthy and safe, more ecological, and more equitable -- in short, more "humane."

This book explores the prospects for a more humane metropolis through a series of essays and case studies that consider why and how urban places can be made greener and more amenable. Its point of departure is the legacy of William H. Whyte (1917-1999), one of America's most admired urban thinkers. From his eyrie high above Manhattan in the offices of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Whyte laid the foundation for today's "smart growth" and "new urbanist" movements with books such as The Last Landscape (1968). His passion for improving the habitability of cities and suburbs is reflected in the diverse grassroots urban design and regreening strategies discussed in this volume.

Topics examined in this book include urban and regional greenspaces, urban ecological restoration, social equity, and green design. Some of the contributors are recognized academic experts, while others offer direct practical knowledge of particular problems and initiatives. The editor's introduction and epilogue set the individual chapters in a broader context and suggest how the strategies described, if widely replicated, may help create more humane urban environments.

In addition to Rutherford H. Platt, contributors to the volume include Carl Anthony, Thomas Balsley, Timothy Beatley, Eugenie L. Birch, Edward J. Blakely, Colin M. Cathcart, Steven E. Clemants, Christopher A. De Sousa, Steven N. Handel, Peter Harnik, Michael C. Houck, Jerold S. Kayden, Albert LaFarge, Andrew Light, Charles E. Little, Anne C. Lusk, Thalya Parilla, Deborah E. Popper, Frank J. Popper, Mary V. Rickel, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Robert L. Ryan, Laurin N. Sievert, Andrew G. Wiley-Schwartz, and Ann Louise Strong.

Included in the back of the book is a DVD of a 22-minute film created by Ted White, which serves as a companion to the text.

University of Massachusetts Press

Editorial Reviews

The Bookwatch

College-level collections strong in urban studies will find this perfect for classroom discussion, assignment, and for college-level contemporary social issues reference libraries.

Midwest Book Review
Essays and case studies consider the methodology of such a venture, from organizing urban ecological restoration and building social equity into an urban landscape to urban design which works, this will appeal to college-level students of urban design issues who wish to go beyond your usual architectural study.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558495548
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
09/28/2006
Edition description:
BK & DVD
Pages:
340
Sales rank:
1,128,136
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Harvey K. Flad

An important addition to the evolving literature and work in urban ecology, and an excellent contribution to the life and legacy of one of the twentieth century's finest humanists, intellectuals, and activists, William H. Whyte.

Roger G. Kennedy

Platt's essayists provide nourishment -- like good bagels -- to anybody taking a pause on a bench, in Holly Whyte's way, to consider the city as an evolving organism responsive to intelligent leadership.

Patrick M. Condon

All across North America truly public space is disappearing. The 'Exploding Metropolis' first anticipated by Whyte is upon us with a vengeance, and at a scale that even he could not have imagined. A dual crisis now confronts us: how can we recapture Whyte's concept of the civic realm while re-engineering our urban landscapes for sustainable future? The Humane Metropolis outlines the way, and shows us how we might all participate in its creation.

Robert D. Yaro

The Humane Metropolis introduces a new generation to William H. Whyte's visionary ideas on the role of nature in the city, and outlines the steps we must take to strike a balance between humans and nature in America's 21st-century urban areas.

Nancy L. Winter

A powerful collection of both ideas about and practical data on approaches to help develop cities into people places.... The wide-ranging viewpoints and depth of scholarship will certainly make this a heralded and major contribution to the field.

Meet the Author

Rutherford H. Platt is professor of geography and director of the Ecological Cities Project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Press

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