Cities are growing at unprecedented rates. Most continue to sprawl into the countryside. Some are only now adopting policies that attempt to control air pollution from vehicles, reduce water pollution from urban runoff, and repair fragmented urban ecosystems. Can good urban design and sound environmental design coincide at a neighborhood level to create healthy communities?
Absolutely, and the strategies presented by Cynthia Girling and Ronald Kellett in Skinny Streets and Green Neighborhoods illustrate how to weave together contemporary thinking in urban planning with open space planning and urban ecology. Drawing from eighteen case studies, these green neighborhoods are the best examples of how the natural environment can play integral roles in neighborhoods.
Green neighborhoods offer a mix of housing types in order to serve a broad cross-section of people with a finely-grained variety of land uses and services, all close to home. In ecologically sound communities, the urban landscape is a functioning part of the whole ecosystem. Wooded areas, meandering streams, wetlands, and open spaces are planned and engineered to clean the air and the water. Skinnier streets and practical pathways weave into a functional, economical network to provide a range of equally good transportation choices, from walking to mass transit, that move people efficiently and economically.
This book moves beyond identifying problems to demonstrate proven methods and models that solve multiple, complex problems in concert. With innovative ideas and practical advice, Skinny Streets and Green Neighborhoods is a guide for today's planners, architects, engineers, and developers to design better neighborhoods and a more natural metropolis.