Home from Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the 21st Century

Home from Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the 21st Century

Author(s): James Howard Kunstler

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 0684811960

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Home from Nowhere : Remaking Our Everyday World for the Twenty-First Century

Hardcover
320 pages
October 1996

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Deep down, many Americans are dissatisfied with suburbia — though they have trouble understanding what’s missing, writes James Howard Kunstler in this semi-sequel to his critically-acclaimed Geography of Nowhere. Much of this engaging book tries to fill in the holes. Modernist architecture and inhumane zoning laws have made suburbanites prisoners to a car culture that is overly friendly to ugly strip malls and actively hostile to the development of healthy, vibrant communities, says Kunstler. We must return to the idea of Main Street America, where people live, work and shop among neighbors they know and trust. Here’s how.

The New York Times Book Review, Alexander Garvin
Kunstler’s is the latest in a long line of polemics that employ colorful writing and vivid illustrations to decry the ugliness that pervades the American landscape.

From Booklist , October 15, 1996
In The Geography of Nowhere (1993), Kunstler, a novelist, ardent and perceptive citizen-observer, and masterful rhetorician, began his study of why suburbs, neglected Main Streets, and squandered cities are so bereft of beauty. Here, he continues his critique of American architecture, culture, and values and, in the process, identifies the source of the malaise people experience in and around the hideous structures that make every suburb resemble every other suburb. This degradation of the public realm is, Kunstler vehemently declares, nothing less than the degradation of the common good. Leaving aside architectural issues for the moment, Kunstler launches into a provocative discussion of the consequences of becoming consumers rather than citizens, of abandoning the community for an addiction to television, and of the corporate colonization of cities and the countryside. After both riling and delighting the reader with his ire, brilliance, and candor, Kunstler returns to the subject of buildings and chronicles the quiet growth of New Urbanism, a smart and hopeful trend toward improving American life. Donna Seaman Copyright© 1996, American Library Association. All rights reserved

To Heal the Earth: Selected Writings Of Ian L. McHarg

To Heal the Earth: Selected Writings Of Ian L. McHarg

Author(s): Ian L. McHarg, Friederick R. Steiner, Robert D. Yaro

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 1559635738

ISBN-13: 978-1559635738

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To Heal the Earth: Selected Writings of Ian McHarg

Hardcover, 310 pages
Publication date: June 1998

Ian L. McHarg’s landmark book Design with Nature changed the face of landscape architecture and planning by promoting the idea that the design of human settlements should be based on ecological principles. McHarg was one of the earliest and most influential proponents of the notion that an understanding of the processes that form landscapes should underlie design decisions.

In To Heal the Earth, McHarg has joined with Frederick Steiner, a noted scholar of landscape architecture and planning, to bring forth a valuable cache of his writings produced between the 1950s and the 1990s. McHarg and Steiner have each provided original material that links the writings together, and places them within the historical context of planning design work and within the larger field of ecological planning as practiced today.

The book moves from the theoretical-beginning with the 1962 essay “Man and Environment” which sets forth the themes of religion, science, and creativity that emerge and reappear throughout McHarg’s work-to the practical, including discussions of methods and techniques for ecological planning as well as case studies. Other sections address the link between ecology and design, and the issue of ecological planning at a regional scale, covering topics such as education and training necessary to develop the field of ecological planning, how to organize and arrange biophysical information to reveal landscape patterns, the importance of incorporating social factors into ecological planning, and more.

To Heal the Earth provides a larger framework and a new perspective on McHarg’s work that brings to light the growth and development of his key ideas over a forty year period. It is an important contribution to the literature, and will be essential reading for students and scholars of ecological planning, as well as for professional planners and landscape architects.

About the Author

Ian L. McHarg is professor emeritus and founding chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning in the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania.

Frederick R. Steiner is professor and founding director of the School of Planning and Landscape Architecture in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Design with Nature

Design with NatureAuthor(s): Ian L. McHarg

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Paperback: 208 pages

ISBN: 047111460X

ISBN-13: 978-0471114604

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Publication date: February 1995

Synopsis: The first book to describe an ecologically sound approach to the planning and design of communities, Design with Nature has done much over the past 25 years to shape public environmental policy. This paperback edition makes this classic accessible to a wider audience than ever before. Lavishly illustrated with more than 300 color photos and line drawings.

From Library Journal

LJ’s reviewer boldly contended that this “may well be one of the most important books of the century.” Blending philosophy and science, McHarg shows how humans can copy nature’s examples to design and build better structures. This 25th anniversary edition includes a new introduction and epilog. This remains “a pleasure to read” (LJ 10/1/69).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Description

“In presenting us with a vision of organic exuberance and human delight, which ecology and ecological design promise to open up for us, McHarg revives the hope for a better world.” –Lewis Mumford”. . . important to America and all the rest of the world in our struggle to design rational, wholesome, and productive landscapes.” –Laurie Olin, Hanna Olin, Ltd.

“This century’s most influential landscape architecture book.” –Landscape Architecture

“. . . an enduring contribution to the technical literature of landscape planning and to that unfortunately small collection of writings which speak with emotional eloquence of the importance of ecological principles in regional planning.” –Landscape and Urban Planning

In the twenty-five years since it first took the academic world by storm, Design With Nature has done much to redefine the fields of landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, and ecological design. It has also left a permanent mark on the ongoing discussion of mankind’s place in nature and nature’s place in mankind within the physical sciences and humanities. Described by one enthusiastic reviewer as a “user’s manual for our world,” Design With Nature offers a practical blueprint for a new, healthier relationship between the built environment and nature. In so doing, it provides nothing less than the scientific, technical, and philosophical foundations for a mature civilization that will, as Lewis Mumford ecstatically put it in his Introduction to the 1969 edition, “replace the polluted, bulldozed, machine-dominated, dehumanized, explosion-threatened world that is even now disintegrating and disappearing before our eyes.”

A New Theory of Urban Design (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol 6)

A New Theory of Urban Design (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol 6)

Author(s): Christopher Alexander (Contributor), Hajo Neis, Artemis Anninou, ingr King

Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr (Trade)

ISBN: 0195037537

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A New Theory of Urban Design (Center for Environmental Structure Series, Vol 6)

Hardcover, 251 pages
Publication date: November 1987

The venerable cities of the past, such as Venice or Amsterdam, convey a feeling of wholeness, an organic unity that surfaces in every detail, large and small, in restaurants, shops, public gardens, even in balconies and ornaments. But this sense of wholeness is lacking in modern urban design, with architects absorbed in problems of individual structures, and city planners preoccupied with local ordinances, it is almost impossible to achieve.

In this groundbreaking volume, the newest in a highly-acclaimed series by the Center for Environmental Structure, architect and planner Christopher Alexander presents a new theory of urban design which attempts to recapture the process by which cities develop organically. To discover the kinds of laws needed to create a growing whole in a city, Alexander proposes here a preliminary set of seven rules which embody the process at a practical level and which are consistent with the day-to-day demands of urban development.

He then puts these rules to the test, setting out with a number of his graduate students to simulate the urban redesign of a high-density part of San Francisco, initiating a project that encompassed some ninety different design problems, including warehouses, hotels, fishing piers, a music hall, and a public square. This extensive experiment is documented project by project, with detailed discussion of how each project satisfied the seven rules, accompanied by floorplans, elevations, street grids, axonometric diagrams and photographs of the scaled-down model which clearly illustrate the discussion.

A New Theory of Urban Design provides an entirely new theoretical framework for the discussion of urban problems, one that goes far to remedy the defects which cities have today.

About the Author:

Christopher Alexander, winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, is a practicing architect and contractor, Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Environmental Structure.

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

Author(s): Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein

Publisher: Oxford Univ Press

ISBN: 0195019199

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Hardcover, 1171 pages

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The second of three books published by the Center for Environmental Structure to provide a “working alternative to our present ideas about architecture, building, and planning,” A Pattern Language offers a practical language for building and planning based on natural considerations. The reader is given an overview of some 250 patterns that are the units of this language, each consisting of a design problem, discussion, illustration, and solution. By understanding recurrent design problems in our environment, readers can identify extant patterns in their own design projects and use these patterns to create a language of their own. Extraordinarily thorough, coherent, and accessible, this book has become a bible for homebuilders, contractors, and developers who care about creating healthy, high-level design.

Customer Comments 11/07/97, rating=9:
A Pattern Language presents a compelling case for the influence of space, buildings, and landscape on human endeavors. We often overlook this force, accustomed as we are to accommodating spatial limitations and design flaws. But try entering any room and ignoring the cues of memory and social constraints – you will doubtless be drawn to the window in the room.

Alexander and his contributing editors present a series of patterns that operate universally on the mood and activities of people using spaces. “Light on Two Sides,” for example, is a pattern describing the impact of light entering a room from two directions. Functionally, this arrangement softens light by cancelling the harsh shadows that arise from a single light direction. Emotionally, this makes a room more pleasant to live and work in, and may of its own accord encourage certain activities.

Alexander’s huge study of over 200 patterns is at once modest and sweeping. He details patterns with care, and offers sketches and photographs to illustrate them, along with an unassuming voice. Above all, he demystifies architecture itself, calling upon any reader to assume a role in the design process. Despite this humility, the significance of Alexander’s vision is always present. In the end, he is constructing a formula for social utopiaÐan architectural prescription for living well and wisely. From integrating children and senior citizens into the daily life of a community to revealing the advantages of mixed use commercial and residential zoning, Alexander proposes ideas that can successfully animate any town’s master planning efforts.

Read this book if you’re designing house, working with an architect, looking for a new house, or contributing to your city’s planning commission. You will doubtless come away with a heightened appreciation for the influence of space on your choices and activities.

Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual

Permaculture: A Designers' Manual

Author(s): Bill Mollison

Publisher: Ten Speed

ISBN: 0908228015

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For those of us searching for an ecologically responsible lifestyle amid urban and suburban insanity, Bill Mollison has a real and exciting answer. This book is full of helpful advice presented in a very readable way. (The only problem might be getting stuck in the chapters on climates that don’t concern you; just skip them until later!) The groundwork philosophy of permaculture is laid first, and the book moves from there to the practical business of actually designing one. The emphasis is on letting various plant and animal species work together as much as possible, to form a basically self-sustaining system from which people can reap a continual harvest, not only of food, but of interest and self-respect. What a prospect! It is certainly a very different one from what we young people have been taught to expect from life! This volume is much more complete in both the philosophy and the practice than were the original “Permaculture One” and “Permaculture Two.” It is also much less focused on the Southern Hemisphere, which is helpful for North Americans trying to visualize their own permaculture. I can only hope that more people happen upon this book as I did and are themselves inspired to create a fulfilling life for themselves and their children.

— Wendell Berry

This is the permaculture bible, written by the great guru of permaculture. Site design issues are interwoven throughout the text.

 

Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development

Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development

Author(s): John Tillman Lyle

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0471555827

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Landscape Architecture

Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development Winner, 1994 Merit Award for Communications, American Society of Landscape Architects

“Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development is nothing less than a user’s manual for planet Earth that integrates the principles of ecological design with practical realities better than anything I’ve read. John Lyle has written the best book now available on the theory and practice of sustainability . . . essential reading for natural resource professionals, architects, planners, educators, environmentalists, and the general public.” –David W. Orr, Professor and Chair Environmental Studies Program, Oberlin College.

“John Lyle has written a splendid book, Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development. It is perfectly topical; it is committed to the unity of art and science, design and planning, man and nature. It is itself exemplary, and it is a repository of exemplary adaptations. It has carried the environmental movement to a new threshold of ecological planning and design. It should be widely read and employed.” –Ian L. McHarg, FASLA.

“In these times of widespread urban stress and regional disruption, the cogent thoughts of John Tillman Lyle on sustainable cities are on target and highly constructive. They are must reading for planning professionals and all concerned citizens.” –John Ormsbee Simonds, FASLA.

“More designers need to broaden their horizons in the way John Lyle has put forth in this book. In general, there are far too few land planners, landscape architects, or architects who have any working procedure that approximates what sustainable design entails. This book provides important historical background and contemporary experience to help guide the way.”–Pliny Fisk III, Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems.

From the despoliation of our rivers and lakes by industrial runoff to the destruction of our atmosphere by sulphur emissions and CFCs, production cycles based on a one-way flow of materials and energy have pushed us to the brink of environmental collapse. It is time for a change, and in this groundbreaking book, John Tillman Lyle offers us a blueprint for implementing that change.

This book provides civil engineers, architects, land development planners, and others with practical, realistic approaches to reversing this deadly course. Throughout, the emphasis is on proven regenerative practices for water use, land use, energy use, and building design. Most importantly, it provides ways to reestablish connections between people and nature, between art and science, and between technology and daily life.

From the Publisher

200 years of global industrialization have brought the Earth to the brink of environmental crisis. One of the most respected figures in environmental design presents methods for reversing past trends in practical and realistic ways. Describes a broad sampling of practices and technologies that are inherently self-renewing along with examples which demonstrate how they have been applied through carefully conceived design in various situations. Explores the roles of regenerative design in social, physical, and political contexts.

Reinventing Fire

Reinventing Fire

Author: Amory Lovins
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (October 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603583718
ISBN-13: 978-1603583718

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How U.S. businesses can lead the nation from oil and coal to efficiency and renewables by 2050, and profit in the process

Oil and coal have built our civilization, created our wealth, and enriched the lives of billions. Yet their rising costs to our security, economy, health, and environment now outweigh their benefits. Moreover, that long-awaited energy tipping point—where alternatives work better than oil and coal and compete purely on cost—is no longer decades in the future. It is here and now. And it is the fulcrum of economic transformation.

A global clean energy race has emerged with astounding speed. The ability to operate without fossil fuels will define winners and losers in business—and among nations.

Now, in Reinventing Fire, Amory Lovins and Rocky Mountain Institute offer a new vision to revitalize business models, end-run Washington gridlock, and win the clean energy race—not forced by public policy but led by business for enduring profit. Grounded in 30 years’ practical experience, this ground-breaking, peer-reviewed analysis integrates market-based solutions across transportation, buildings, industry, and electricity. It maps pathways and competitive strategies for a 158%-bigger 2050 U.S. economy that needs no oil, no coal, no nuclear energy, one-third less natural gas, and no new inventions. This transition would cost $5 trillion less than business-as-usual—without counting fossil fuels’ huge hidden costs. It requires no new federal taxes, subsidies, mandates, or laws. The policy innovations needed to unlock and speed it need no Act of Congress.

Whether you care most about profits and jobs, national security, health, or environmental stewardship, Reinventing Fire charts a pragmatic course that makes sense and makes money. With clarity and mastery, Lovins and RMI reveal the astounding opportunities for enterprise to create the new energy era.

Ecological Design

Ecological Design

Author(s): Sim Van Der Ryn, Stuart Cowan

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 1559633883

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Hardcover, 200 pages

Synopsis:
Ecological Design presents a vision of how the living world and the human world can be rejoined by taking ecology as the basis for design–adapting and integrating human design with natural processes. The authors weave together case studies, personal anecdotes, images and theory to provide a thorough treatment of the concept of ecological design.

Card catalog description
Ecological design, the marriage of nature and technology, can be applied at all levels of scale to create revolutionary forms of buildings, landscapes, cities, and technologies. Some examples include sewage treatment plants that use constructed marshes to purify water; agricultural systems that mimic and merge with their surrounding landscapes; industrial ecosystems in which waste from one productive process becomes fuel for the next. The authors weave together case studies, personal anecdotes, dialogues, images, and theory to provide a thorough treatment of the concept of ecological design. In the process, they present and explain a series of design principles that can help build a sustainable world with increased efficiency, fewer toxics, less pollution, and healthier natural systems. –This text refers to the paperback edition of this title.

Table of Contents
Pt. 1. Bringing Design to Life

  • Sustainability and Design
  • An Introduction to Ecological Design
  • Nature’s Geometry

Pt. 2. The Ecological Design Process

  • Introduction: The Compost Privy Story
  • First Principle: Solutions Grow from Place
  • Second Principle: Ecological Accounting Informs Design
  • Third Principle: Design with Nature
  • Fourth Principle: Everyone Is a Designer
  • Fifth Principle: Make Nature Visible

Resource Guide for Ecological Design
Bibliography
Index

Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth (New Catalyst Bioregional Series)

Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth (New Catalyst Bioregional Series)

Author(s): Mathis Wackernagel, William Rees, Phil Testemale (Illustrator)

Publisher: New Society Publishers

ISBN: 086571312X

ISBN-13: 978-0865713123

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Paperback
Publication date: July 1, 1998

05/12/1998:
Reducing Human Impact on Earth; down to earth concepts and simple math…a great resource!

from Masai, Johor, Malaysia, 09/07/97, rating=8:
Thought provoking, jolts one from the rat race… I stumbled upon this book in the journal D&G, at a time I was thinking hard about the direction of the civilization. So I ordered one. It was an unassuming book, neatly printed and illustrated with black and white caricatures. At first I thought it was a mistake to order such a book. But as I read on, the insights of the authors emerged, so profound, yet so simply explained. Really, after swallowing all the contents for five consecutive nights, one will ask, How come I did not think of this??. The concept is vivid : it tried to explain what the ecological footprint means : how much of land is required to support yourself. And it turned out that there is already not enough for the world. Further proliferation of current lifestyles is suicidal. The authors devoted a whole long chapter on proposals of alternative lifestyles. These are nowhere hardcore technical, rest assured. They are blindingly simple, and yet hard to swallow. Just ask any Tom, Dick and Harry whether he or she wants such a life, you will get an awkward stare : are you in your right mind? The authors may be right, but when we have gone so far astray, we have forgotten the road from which we come. This book cannot score 10 points, though. The examples on how an economy can develop without growth are not solid enough. While the writers are not economists, to force the reader to think twice about current lifestyles, they must fork out a marvellous thesis, which has yet to be clearly stated. This is a good book at the introductory level. Although it sometimes touch on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the reader is not expected to have an a priori understanding. It’s explanation is vivid and simple. While it may insult Professors and those high brow academics, it is a book easy to follow. Worth a try.

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