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Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (Anglais) Relié – 27 novembre 2012

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Revue de presse

A delightful, insightful, irreverent work. --The Christian Science Monitor. If Jane Jacobs invented a new urbanism, Walkable City is its perfect complement, a commonsense twenty-first-century user's manual. --Kurt Andersen, host of Studio 360 and author of True Believers. A recipe for vibrant street life. --Los Angeles Times. Refreshing, lively and engaging . . . Walkable City isn't a harangue, it's a fun, readable and persuasive call to arms. --Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) Everyone interested in improving the quality of city life should read this book and heed its lessons. --John Strawn, The Sunday Oregonian. Among the perennial flood of books on urban design in all its forms, this one stands out. --John King, San Francisco Chronicle. Walkable City is an energetic, feisty book, one that never contents itself with polite generalities. Sometimes breezy and anecdotal yet always logical and amply researched, this is one of the best books to appear this year. Speck deserves the widest possible readership. --Philip Langdon, Better! Cities & Towns. Walkable City . . . will change the way you see cities." --Kaid Benfield, The Atlantic Cities Jeff Speck, AICP, is one of the few practitioners and writers in the field who can make a 312-page book on a basic planning concept seem too short . . . For getting planning ideas into the thinking and the daily life of U.S. cities, this is the book.--Planning magazine Jeff Speck's brilliant and entertaining book reminds us that, in America, the exception could easily become the rule. Mayors, planners, and citizens need look no further for a powerful and achievable vision of how to make our ordinary cities great again. Joseph P. Riley, mayor of Charleston, S.C. --Various --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition MP3 CD .

Présentation de l'éditeur

Jeff Speck has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive, and he has boiled it down to one key factor: walkability. The very idea of a modern metropolis evokes visions of bustling sidewalks, vital mass transit, and a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly urban core. But in the typical American city, the car is still king and downtown is a place that's easy to drive to but often not worth arriving at. Making walkability happen is relatively easy and cheap; seeing exactly what needs to be done is the trick. In this essential book, Speck reveals the invisible workings of the city, how simple decisions have cascading effects, and how we can all make the right choices for our communities. Insightful and passionately argued (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings), bursting with sharp observations and real-world examples, giving key insight into what urban planners actually do and how places can and do change, Walkable City lays out a practical, necessary, and eminently achievable vision of how to make our normal American cities great again. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition MP3 CD .

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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Enjoyable and enlightening! 17 mai 2014
Par B. Case - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I bought this book to help support an independent study project I needed to complete for a college-level class designed around Edward Glaeser's "Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier." I knew the book would help me develop a strong and effective PowerPoint lecture for the class on my topic of walkable cities, but I had no idea how delightful it would be to read this book straight through from beginning to end as a form of pleasure. Nor did I realize how much I would learn overall about the basics of urban design. Although this book is focused on how to make cities more walkable, it really served the purpose of being an engaging introduction to the whole field of urban and city planning.

After reading Speck's book, I now see my own lovely city and the many thousands that I've visited here and abroad over my life in a completely new light. This book gives me a context within which to understand why certain cities attract me and others do not. It is as if I now have a language to clearly understand cities for the first time. Honestly, you know how good it feels when you get eyeglasses for the first time and see what the world really looks like? Well, that's what this book did for me. I now see cities in a whole new light.

I only wish at this book could be read by my mayor, all my city councilmen, all the citizens on our planning commission, and all the citizens in my community that have the power to vote on our city's major land use initiatives.

This book is getting almost consistent five-star ratings. I can do little more than join in and whole-heartedly agree.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A great book for making our cities more livable and interesting. 1 octobre 2014
Par Reg Nordman - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The author, a city planner /designer has written an urban yet very readable guide to helping cities get away from their car addictions. Many of our local public forums return to keeping our city( New Westminster) a walkable city. Specks book is a great first step in seeing what can be and is being done in many places. He does an excellent job of stipping us of the car based blinders and prejudices that we all have in North America. I appreciated that he noted the efforts of Vancouver and Portland in these efforts.

I just completed a journey to Greece and Western Turkey and it is blindingly how much more interesting an old, pre car built city is for walking than one that is car based. And how increased traffic can really bind up these cities. Too bad they look to the West for insight son how to handle this. Kind of like asking a heroin addict how to kick the habit.

Speck also does a great job of showing/ linking our car based designs to increased carbon footprints and how some thoughts in design can ameliorate/prevent self induced issues. That was again brought to me in the Turkish city of Marmaris which had many covered streets/bazaars that were very pedestrian oriented. This was in a city that has an average daily temp of 30 degs. Shade is really important. Terminal 2 in Heathrow, UK is another good example , which uses mostly north facing windows to prevent increased heat build up in the open plan building. Its is a good job. If you fly Star Allianace you can experience this.

I recommend this to anyone interested in living in a more interesting, energetic and vibrant city.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Thriving Cities are Walkable 12 décembre 2013
Par J. M. Alexander - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This was a different book for me to read–one about urban planning. As the title implies, the author’s basic proposition is that large urban areas are most able to thrive if they are “walkable”. Walkability is much more than providing good spaces for pedestrians, it also stresses that people, and not autos, need to be the focus of our cities. (He does apply his theories to smaller cities, but my take is that most of his suggestions are really viable only in large metropolitan areas.) The book is full of information about planning, architecture, traffic engineers, and many other subjects. Like many non-fiction work, the author seems to have engaged in exhaustive research. Sometimes such exhaustive work makes for exhausting reading, and I did find that true at times. Indeed, this could be used almost as a supplemental text for educators or planners.

Walkability, as I read the book, requires some level of mass transit to in essence “create” pedestrians in the urban core. Not that no one can drive, but the more people who don’t, the more people who are on the urban streets. “Walkability explains how, to be favored, a walk has to satisfy four main conditions: it must be useful, safe, comfortable and interesting.” These terms are themselves quite subjective, but the author defines useful to mean that “***most aspects of life are located close at hand and organized in a way that walking serves them well”. Safe means “***that the street has been designed to give pedestrians a fighting chance against being hit by automobiles” . Comfortable means that “***buildings and landscapes shape urban streets into ‘outdoor living rooms’”, and interesting means “***that sidewalks are lined by unique buildings with friendly faces and that signs of humanity abound.” An example he gives of a city that lacks almost all technical aspects of walkability–good sidewalks, safe traffic, etc- but is wonderfully walkable because of being so interesting, is Rome. Anyone who has been there can appreciate the example. His basic premise is that walkablilty attracts creative people to our cities, enhancing both the culture and the economy, including the increased property values in walkable cities, as well as healthy citizens who walk or ride bikes more often. (As an aside, the author speaks a lot of Portland, Oregon-50 miles north of me-, and its commitment to walkability.)

Despite the ascribed benefits of walkability, the author posits that over the last 60 years, our country has made the automobile the master of the urban environment–and the environment in general. To create, or perhaps restore walkability, the car has to relegated to its position of servant rather than master. This can be done in many ways, including getting the parking issues right, and to the benefit of pedestrians. He also notes, as mentioned above, that walkable cities must have transit. Indeed, he points out that one need only trace the relative investment in highways versus transit in American and Canadian cities to see why the latter, who invested less in highways, have more walkable, and to the author, more vibrant cities.

The author goes into detail abut a great many subjects, but I will only explore one–traffic engineers. He does have a distinct bias against traffic engineers, saying most are trained to solve traffic problems, and thus the first step, at least for them, in solving every urban problem is to conduct a traffic study–usually aimed at how to better move traffic. He feels such studies are flawed for three reasons. First the computer models are flawed because, like all computer models they are only as good as the input; second, traffic studies are typically performed by firms that do traffic engineering; and third, traffic studies almost never consider what the author calls “induced demand”. The last consideration is very interesting, for the author, supported by studies, postulates that induced demand reflects the fact that increasing the supply of roadways lowers the “time cost” of driving, causing more people to drive, obliterating any reductions in congestion. In essence, investments in road capacity expansion do not ease congestion, but just add more cars to the highway. This is at first a bit counterintuitive, but, with a second thought, has a logical ring. If induced demand is a viable theory, then it has a doubly negative effect. It not only fails to reduce congestion, it adds more cars into the mix, reducing the possibility for walkability. So is congestion good? Contrary as it sounds, the answer might be “yes”. Indeed, the author notes that 7 of the 10 cities ranked worst for traffic also had “***excellent public transportation and a vast collection of walkable neighborhoods”. (The 3 that did not were Dallas, Houston and Atlanta.) Also, if induced demand is correct, why bother with spending fortunes to expand highways if you will end up with congestion anyway. I fund the whole “induced demand” scenario quite thought provoking.

This is not a “beach book”, or any type of “relaxing read”. It’s full of facts, theories and a bit of technical jargon. It is also quite informative and enlightening if one is interested specifically in urban planning, or more generally in reducing automobiles, increasing pleasant walkable urban environments, and making our cities more enjoyable for their residents.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 ... Make Your Downtown Boom" and saw this as a wonderful companion book for a course on economic development 9 juillet 2016
Par mariehayes - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I wrote an ebook "How to Make Your Downtown Boom" and saw this as a wonderful companion book for a course on economic development. It is written from the perspective of a professional planner, whereas mine is a proposal writer /grant writer format for someone who is interested in applying for funding for a community economic development project.
I encourage you to purchase Jeff Speck's book.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Mr Speck Comes to Tampa 30 mai 2015
Par Thomas F Baur - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I thoroughly enjoyed Jeff Speck's book "How Downtown Can Save America..." I have followed the New Urbanism movement a little. Sarasota's downtown shows a touch of the movement. But, how will it work in a big urban car centric environment? I hung on Speck's every word in this book as I live in Tampa and Mr Speck is on the lead urban design team to make Jeff Vinik's 45 acres of prime Tampa, Florida downtown waterfront... WALKABLE. The design is expected to be released shortly. His ideas as brought forth in his book are excellent. Can not wait to see Mr Speck's vision of Tampa.
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