Save the City, Save the Planet
Sustainable Urbanism and Beyond: Rethinking Cities for the Future
Edited by Tigran Haas, Published: April 3, 2012, Publisher: Rizzoli, New York
Tigran Haas rather boldly compares the emerging Sustainable Urbanism movement to the Enlightenment, calling for “a time when advancements in science and technology lead us to an emphasis on the power of human reasoning.” The topics covered and the solutions proposed by the 67 contributors to this expansive new work are similarly audacious, prescribing far-reaching new approaches not just by architects, urban planners and designers, but by entire societies, from the glittering office towers of London and New York to the gritty alleyways of sub-Saharan Africa’s sprawling capitals.
A central theme of Sustainable Urbanism and Beyond is that planners, policymakers and citizens have a responsibility to look beyond improving the liveability of their own home cities to see how expanding populations and rampant consumerism are affecting the planet as a whole.
“As the reality of global climate change and fossil fuel dependency fully kicks in, there is a growing feeling that almost every aspect of life and work will be touched and altered by forces that are, at present, insufficiently understood,” Haas writes in his introduction.
More than half of the world’s people live in major metropolitan areas, and the number of city dwellers is projected to reach 5 billion over the next two decades. This burgeoning urban population is putting enormous pressures on transportation systems, housing stock, and infrastructure such as energy, waste, and water, and it leads to ever-higher emissions of greenhouse gases.
With essays by recognised authorities including Andrés Duany, Saskia Sassen, Peter Newman, Douglas Farr, Henry Cisneros, Peter Hall, Sharon Zukin, Peter Eisenman and many others, this new book explores approaches to improving quality of life by creating more viable places to live — without sacrificing environmental protection.
Haas, an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Built Environment at KTH, says the book aims to “use a variety of tools, principles and collaborative efforts to give insight into how cities can cope with these multiple crises that are converging upon us.”
By Kevin Billinghurst | email@example.com