In 2012, Hurricane Sandy floods devastated coastal areas in New York and New Jersey. In 2017, Harvey flooded Houston. Today in Miami, even on sunny days, king tides bring fish swimming through the streets in low-lying areas. These types of events are typically called natural disasters. But overwhelming scientific consensus says they are actually the result of human-induced climate change and irresponsible construction inside floodplains.
As cities build more flood-management infrastructure to adapt to the effects of a changing climate, they must go beyond short-term flood protection and consider the long-term effects on the community, its environment, economy, and relationship with the water.
Adapting Cities to Sea Level Rise, by infrastructure expert Stefan Al, introduces design responses to sea-level rise, drawing from examples around the globe. Going against standard engineering solutions, Al argues for approaches that are integrated with the public realm, nature-based, and sensitive to local conditions and the community. He features design responses to building resilience that creates new civic assets for cities. For the first time, the possible infrastructure solutions are brought together in a clear and easy-to-read format.
The first part of the book looks at the challenges for cities that have historically faced sea-level rise and flooding issues, and their response in resiliency through urban design. He presents diverse case studies from New Orleans to Ho Chi Minh to Rotterdam, and draws best practices and urban design typologies for the second part of the book.
Part two is a graphic catalogue of best-practices or resilience strategies. These strategies are organized into four categories: hard protect, soft protect, store, and retreat. The benefits and challenges of each strategy are outlined and highlighted by a case study showing where that strategy has been applied.
Any professional or policymaker in coastal areas seeking to protect their communities from the effects of climate change should start with this book. With the right solutions, Al shows, sea-level rise can become an opportunity to improve our urban areas and landscapes, rather than a threat to our communities.
In 1904, renowned architect Daniel Burnham, the Progressive Era urban planner who famously “Made No Little Plans,” set off for the Philippines, the new US colonial acquisition. Charged with designing environments for the occupation government, Burnham set out to convey the ambitions and the dominance of the regime, drawing on neo-classical formalism for the Pacific colony. The spaces he created, most notably in the summer capital of Baguio, gave physical form to American rule and its contradictions.
In American Imperial Pastoral, Rebecca Tinio McKenna examines the design, construction, and use of Baguio, making visible the physical shape, labor, and sustaining practices of the US’s new empire—especially the dispossessions that underwrote market expansion. In the process, she demonstrates how colonialists conducted market-making through state-building and vice-versa. Where much has been made of the racial dynamics of US colonialism in the region, McKenna emphasizes capitalist practices and design ideals—giving us a fresh and nuanced understanding of the American occupation of the Philippines.
Amsterdam Human Capital
Edited by Willem Salet and Sako Musterd Amsterdam University Press, 2003 Library of Congress HT395.N42A464 2003 | Dewey Decimal 949.2352
The changing spatial organization of the city of Amsterdam reflects a larger-scale process: the familiar shape of Western cities is changing across the globe. For centuries, the urban core was taken for granted as the focal point for international contacts and day-to-day activities. The essays collected here consider how urban spaces have been transformed—not only spatially but socially, economically, and culturally—into multi-centered metropolitan arrays, with contributors examining the new urban identities that may emerge from such changing conditions.
The alluvial lowlands of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in southern Mesopotamia are widely known as the “cradle of civilization,” owing to the scale of the processes of urbanization that took place in the area by the second half of the fourth millennium BCE.
In Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization, Guillermo Algaze draws on the work of modern economic geographers to explore how the unique river-based ecology and geography of the Tigris-Euphrates alluvium affected the development of urban civilization in southern Mesopotamia. He argues that these natural conditions granted southern polities significant competitive advantages over their landlocked rivals elsewhere in Southwest Asia, most importantly the ability to easily transport commodities. In due course, this resulted in increased trade and economic activity and higher population densities in the south than were possible elsewhere. As southern polities grew in scale and complexity throughout the fourth millennium, revolutionary new forms of labor organization and record keeping were created, and it is these socially created innovations, Algaze argues, that ultimately account for why fully developed city-states emerged earlier in southern Mesopotamia than elsewhere in Southwest Asia or the world.
In Architecture in Translation, Esra Akcan offers a way to understand the global circulation of culture that extends the notion of translation beyond language to visual fields. She shows how members of the ruling Kemalist elite in Turkey further aligned themselves with Europe by choosing German-speaking architects to oversee much of the design of modern cities. Focusing on the period from the 1920s through the 1950s, Akcan traces the geographical circulation of modern residential models, including the garden city—which emphasized green spaces separating low-density neighborhoods of houses surrounded by gardens—and mass housing built first for the working-class residents in industrial cities and, later, more broadly for mixed-income residents. She shows how the concept of translation—the process of change that occurs with transportation of people, ideas, technology, information, and images from one or more countries to another—allows for consideration of the sociopolitical context and agency of all parties in cultural exchanges. Moving beyond the indistinct concepts of hybrid and transculturation and avoiding passive metaphors such as import, influence, or transfer, translation offers a new approach relevant to many disciplines. Akcan advocates a commitment to a new culture of translatability from below for a truly cosmopolitan ethics in a globalizing world.
Leon Krier is one of the best-known—and most provocative—architects and urban theoreticians in the world. Until now, however, his ideas have circulated mostly among a professional audience of architects, city planners, and academics. In The Architecture of Community, Krier has reconsidered and expanded writing from his 1998 book Architecture: Choice or Fate. Here he refines and updates his thinking on the making of sustainable, humane, and attractive villages, towns, and cities. The book includes drawings, diagrams, and photographs of his built works, which have not been widely seen until now.
With three new chapters, The Architecture of Community provides a contemporary road map for designing or completing today’s fragmented communities. Illustrated throughout with Krier’s original drawings, The Architecture of Community explains his theories on classical and vernacular urbanism and architecture, while providing practical design guidelines for creating livable towns.
The book contains descriptions and images of the author’s built and unbuilt projects, including the Krier House and Tower in Seaside, Florida, as well as the town of Poundbury in England. Commissioned by the Prince of Wales in 1988, Krier’s design for Poundbury in Dorset has become a reference model for ecological planning and building that can meet contemporary needs.
On August 13, 1961, under the cover of darkness, East German authorities sealed the border between East and West Berlin using a hastily constructed barbed wire fence. Over the next twenty-eight years of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall grew to become an ever-present physical and psychological divider in this capital city and a powerful symbol of Cold War tensions. Similarly, stark polarities arose in nearly every aspect of public and private life, including the built environment.
In Architecture, Politics, and Identity in Divided Berlin Emily Pugh provides an original comparative analysis of selected works of architecture and urban planning in both halves of Berlin during the Wall era, revealing the importance of these structures to the formation of political, cultural, and social identities. Pugh uncovers the roles played by organizations such as the Foundation for Prussian Cultural Heritage and the Building Academy in conveying the political narrative of their respective states through constructed spaces. She also provides an overview of earlier notable architectural works, to show the precursors for design aesthetics in Berlin at large, and considers projects in the post-Wall period, to demonstrate the ongoing effects of the Cold War.
Overall, Pugh offers a compelling case study of a divided city poised between powerful contending political and ideological forces, and she highlights the effort expended by each side to influence public opinion in Europe and around the World through the manipulation of the built environment.
Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the worldwide mass protest movements of 1968—against war, imperialism, racism, poverty, misogyny, and homophobia—the exciting anthology Architectures of Revolt explores the degree to which the real events of political revolt in the urban landscape in 1968 drove change in the attitudes and practices of filmmakers and architects alike.
In and around 1968, as activists and filmmakers took to the streets, commandeering public space, buildings, and media attention, they sought to re-make the urban landscape as an expression of utopian longing or as a dystopian critique of the established order. In Architectures of Revolt, the editor and contributors chronicle city-specific case studies from Paris, Berlin, Milan, and Chicago to New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Tokyo. The films discussed range from avant-garde and agitprop shorts to mainstream narrative feature films. All of them share a focus on the city and, often, particular streets and buildings as places of political contestation and sometimes violence, which the medium of cinema was uniquely equipped to capture.
Contributors include: Stephen Barber,Stanley Corkin,Jesse Lerner, Jon Lewis,Gaetana Marrone, Jennifer Stob, Andrew Webber, and the editor.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, Chicago witnessed a remarkable flourishing of visual arts associated with the Black Arts Movement. From the painting of murals as a way to reclaim public space and the establishment of independent community art centers to the work of the AFRICOBRA collective and Black filmmakers, artists on Chicago's South and West Sides built a vision of art as service to the people. In Art for People's Sake Rebecca Zorach traces the little-told story of the visual arts of the Black Arts Movement in Chicago, showing how artistic innovations responded to decades of racist urban planning that left Black neighborhoods sites of economic depression, infrastructural decay, and violence. Working with community leaders, children, activists, gang members, and everyday people, artists developed a way of using art to help empower and represent themselves. Showcasing the depth and sophistication of the visual arts in Chicago at this time, Zorach demonstrates the crucial role of aesthetics and artistic practice in the mobilization of Black radical politics during the Black Power era.
The Assassination of Paris
Louis Chevalier University of Chicago Press, 1994 Library of Congress DC771.C4713 1994 | Dewey Decimal 363.69
Published to controversial acclaim in 1977, The Assassination of Paris describes the transformation of the Paris of Raymond Queneau and Henri Cartier-Bresson; of quartiers of carpenters and Communists and country folk from the Auvergne; of dance halls and corner cafes. Much of Louis Chevalier's Paris faced the wrecking ball in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, as Georges Pompidou, Andre Malraux and their cadres of young technocratic elites sought to proclaim the glory of the new France by reinventing the capital in brutal visions of glass and steel. Chevalier sought to tell the world what was at stake, and who the villains were.
He describes an almost continual parade of garish and grandiose plans: some, like the destruction of the glorious marketplace of les Halles for him the heart of the city, were realized; others, like the superhighway along the left bank of the Seine, were bitterly and successfully resisted.
Almost twenty years later, we find it difficult to remember the city as it was. And while Paris looks to many much the way it always has, behind the carefully sandblasted stone and restored shop fronts is a city radically transformed—emptied of centuries of popular life; of entire neighborhoods and the communities they housed engineered out to desolate suburban slums. The battle over the soul and spirit of the city continues.
This book is not entirely about the loss of physical places. Or a romance about a world that never really was. It is a cautionary tale filled with lessons for all who struggle to protect the human scale, the diversity, and the welcoming public life that are the threatened gifts of all great cities.
James H. S. McGregor Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress DF919.M35 2014 | Dewey Decimal 949.512
Revered as the birthplace of democracy, Athens is much more than an open-air museum filled with crumbling monuments to ancient glory. Athens takes readers on a journey from the classical city-state to today's contemporary capital, revealing a world-famous metropolis that has been resurrected and redefined time and again.
Looking at Atlanta, Georgia, one might conclude that the city’s notorious sprawl, degraded air quality, and tenuous water supply is a result of a lack of planning—particularly an absence of coordination at the regional level. In Atlanta Unbound, Carlton Wade Basmajian shows that Atlanta’s low-density urban form and its associated problems have been both highly coordinated and regionally planned.
Basmajian’s shrewd analysis shows how regional policies spanned political boundaries and framed local debates over several decades. He examines the role of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s planning deliberations that appear to have contributed to the urban sprawl that they were designed to control. Basmajian explores four cases—regional land development plans, water supply strategies, growth management policies, and transportation infrastructure programs—to provide a detailed account of the interactions between citizens, planners, regional commissions, state government, and federal agencies.
In the process, Atlanta Unbound answers the question: Toward what end and for whom is Atlanta’s regional planning process working?
In the series Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy, edited by Zane L. Miller, David Stradling, and Larry Bennett