Cover image for Toward the livable city
Toward the livable city
Buchwald, Emilie.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Minneapolis, Minn. : Milkweed Editions, [2003]

Physical Description:
xvi, 301 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA9053.H76 T69 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Toward the Livable City is intended for commuters, suburbanites, and city dwellers concerned about making their lives more livable and interested in knowing what that might mean. Combining first hand accounts of the attractions and distractions of city life, this book also introduces a wide range of perspectives about creating successful, livable cities, with examples from across America and around the world. The book conveys what leading thinkers--including James Howard Kunstler, JaneHoltz Kay, Tony Hiss, Phillip Lopate, Bill McKibben, Myron Orfield, and john powell, among others--say about such topics as smart growth, opportunity-based housing, traffic calming, pedestrian rights, regional planning, riverfront redevelopment, urban agriculture, and the pleasures of a saunter down tree-lined streets to restaurants, theatres, shops, with the presence of other people.

The mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, closed downtown streets to cars and built bus stops that load and unload passengers with the same speed as subways. In Boston, urban agriculture produces more than 10,000 pounds of vegetables each season. Minneapolis has redeveloped its riverfront while Manhattan ponders what to do along the Hudson. With these and other examples, Toward the Livable City reveals the many benefits of parks, healthy neighborhoods, and mixed use communities.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Editor Buchwald describes this collection of 15 essays and selections from cartoonist Ken Avidor's Roadkill Bill (2001) as "a book for those who would like their home base to be vital and sustainable, whether that place is a large city, a small town, or a suburb." Memorable essays include preservationist Jane Holtz Kay's paean to the city as our collective memory, Phillip Lopate's meditation on the future of urban waterfronts, all but abandoned as containerized shipping made traditional docks obsolete, and john a. powell's powerful argument for racial and economic justice through opportunity-based housing. Other contributions from Tony Hiss, Myron Orfield, Judith A. Martin, Jay Walljasper, and Bill McKibben, among others, celebrate pedestrian scale, sacred places, regionalism, infrastructure, and the reclamation of urban space for food production. Most of the essays reflect the experiences of people who live in metropolitan Boston or Minneapolis, and a number of them celebrate the New Urbanism as a strategy for creating livable communities. This lovely evocation of place ends on a jarring note--James Howard Kunstler's apocalyptic vision of the future characterized by economic scarcity and global political instability. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates; graduate students. D. Schuyler Franklin & Marshall College

Table of Contents

Emilie BuchwaldJane Holtz KayLynda MorgenrothKen AvidorSara St. AntoineTerrell F. DixonKristin BrennanMary Francois RockcastlePhillip LopateJudith A. MartinEmily HiestandBill McKibbenMyron Orfieldjohn a. powellTony HissJay WalljasperJames Howard Kunstler
Finding Common Ground, an Introductionp. ix
The Lived-In City/The Siren Suburbs
The Lived-In City: A Place in Timep. 5
Divorcing the Cityp. 21
Between City and Suburb: Automania
Selections from Roadkill Billp. 41
What Makes a City Livable?
Cambridge Walkingp. 55
City Places, Sacred Spacesp. 64
Food for the City, from the Cityp. 79
Mixed Use in the Cityp. 89
The Empty Harbor and the Dilemma of Waterfront Developmentp. 97
Reinventing a Vibrant Riverfrontp. 119
The Backside of Civilityp. 143
Planning for Change
If You Build It, Will They Change?p. 161
The Region: The True Cityp. 169
Opportunity-Based Housingp. 181
A Burden, a Blessingp. 212
How to Fall in Love with Your Hometownp. 231
What If?
Cities of the Future in the Long Emergencyp. 265
Charter of the New Urbanismp. 277
Additional Readingp. 283
Public Interest Organizationsp. 287
Subject Indexp. 291