The global shift to an urban population comes with an uncomfortable corollary. People who live in cities as they are currently designed produce more greenhouse gasses than their non-urban counterparts, as a global average about three times more. But people in cities, particularly in coastal cities, are waking up to their vulnerability as well as to their responsibility. This newly acknowledged responsibility is reflected in current trends in urban design, in newly conceived projects, plans and standards that try to make cities more resilient in the way they are designed, built and inhabited. To truly prosper, cities need to accommodate a growing number of citizens in dignity, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and still be worth living in. In this visually rich book Alexandros Washburn redefines urban design by looking at the process and products within the context of rapid urbanization and climate change.
The Nature of Urban Design uses real-life examples, drawing heavily from the New York experience, to show how to design beautiful urban spaces that achieve multiple goals and objectives, such as greater resilience, livability and equity, while addressing the political and financial challenges that can accelerate or slow implementation. With examples ranging from the High Line to the post-Sandy recovery of Red Hook, Brooklyn, The Nature of Urban Design shows how a well designed, well-built city can be the most efficient, equitable, safest, and enriching place on earth. The Nature of Urban Design will inspire and inform anyone who cares about cities. It provides a framework for participating in the process of change. This includes people who want to become urban designers, particularly students and practitioners in the field of politics, finance and design who help to decide how a city will change.