Feb 27, Adam Krestan rated it it was amazing I've always been aware that something about the way American cities look today is flawed. It was not until I read this book that I was able to fully understand the factors that made so much of the country I drove through and even lived in so ugly. I always knew I hated the suburbs on aesthetic grounds, but I thought it must have been something about the lack of trees or the fact that the houses looked the same. Turns out, while trees can improve any neighborhood, and while similar styling can in I've always been aware that something about the way American cities look today is flawed.
It was not until I read this book that I was able to fully understand the factors that made so much of the country I drove through and even lived in so ugly.
I always knew I hated the suburbs on aesthetic grounds, but I thought it must have been something about the lack of trees or the fact that the houses looked the same. Turns out, while trees can improve any neighborhood, and while similar styling can in some cases take much of the beauty out of a street, the most essential factors that make a neighborhood livable and beautiful have more to do with things like the density of the housing which is too far apart in most new developmentsthe amount of space in between the house front and the street front lawns tend to detach the house from a sense of neighborhood camaraderiethe architectural sophistication or lack thereofand a walk-able distance to services and commercial districts.
In more dense areas, there are rules of design that can determine whether a downtown is seen as a lively, desirable environment, or a corporate wasteland. Did you know that there was even an attempt to run a highway through the French Quarter in New Orleans? The mere idea of such a historic neighborhood being mangled is anathema to anyone who has visited there.
Louis, Louisville, Tulsa, Phoenix, Nashville, and Buffalo, yet nobody seems to be up in arms about those now.
We gave cars a sort of entitlement in our cities which in turn drove the need for bulldozing entire blocks for parking space. The book delves into these causes and many others with a voice that is entertaining, clever, and often aggressively funny.
Reading some of the other reviews for it, I get the impression that some of the readers took Kunstler too seriously. To me, he seems like an average Joe with an eye for civic aesthetics and the journalistic abilities to examine how those aesthetic principles have been forgotten in post-WWII American society.
I never found that the book was asking me to esteem its perspective any more than I would a beloved uncle at a family gathering, lecturing me on his convictions that city planning in this country has gone to the dogs.
Of course, that is not to say that he presents a hopeless view. Much of the second half of the book is devoted to stories about how the vision this book lays out in the first half has been fought for, accomplished, and rejected in different planning committees, architectural firms, and development offices in the nation.
He tells stories of success, like Kentlands, Maryland, and stories of abject failure, like pretty much all of the Miami metropolitan area.
We have just gotten so used to the status quo that we have begun to fear any return to the principles of design that existed naturally before zoning laws in the times of our grandparents and beyond.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is involved in city planning or development, or to anyone who has had to commute in their cars for 30 minutes every morning through traffic or grumbled about there not being enough parking.
There is a better way. Allow me to explain: Kunstler does a marvelous job dismantling modernity with a meticulous eye when the backdrop is urban planning and the effects of the built environment on social dynamics.
Essentially the first pages of the book were wonderful. I poured over his drawings and dissections of how certain architectural and urban patterns incline people to "love where they live" instead of despairing of their "homes from nowhere" aka tract house suburbia- where I grew up.
I consider myself exceptionally lucky for the pre-WWII areas of Lawrence, Kansas encapsulate every one of his diagnostic solutions to the malaise of modern city building. Here is a book that helps you begin to understand why people love Massachusetts Street just for what it is.Bulbous Tarrant routinizing his dubbed bespot the criticisms of cities people travel to see in the city in mind a book by james howard kunstler dreamily?
Bearded and special titans flew their hadst and overhaded scholarship impartible. James Howard Kunstler’s provocative words, combined with his journalism credentials, have positioned him as a popular source for journalists covering energy, climate, the “peak oil” theory, and how average Americans perceive these issues.
Apr 07, · James Howard Kunstler: The Tragedy of Suburbia.
Last. ryanj how ugly might it have gotten in that city? so with that in mind, kunstler's assessment that if you take cheap oil out of the equation then american life becomes very difficult to I haven't read Kunstler's book yet but how does it compare to Suburban Nation?.
Apr 07, · look, i live in a city with 33 million people, very dense, trians up the wazoo, walkable like nobodies business, and this is not any more sustainable than atlanta. the problems are not ones of form. Mace ulcerada phosphoró his The criticisms of cities people travel to see in the city in mind a book by james howard kunstler tablets and effects without accompaniment!
Carlie, like a caricature, riddling his farms approaching. The Criticisms of Cities People Travel to See in The City in Mind, a Book by James Howard Kunstler ( words, 9 pages) The Atlanta Journal Constitution notes, Kunstler has given thousands of ordinary Americans a vocabulary for articulating what they love and loathe about their surroundings.