Urbanism Without Effort: Reconnecting with First Principles of the City

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In this academic text, Charles R. Wolfe teaches his readers how to interpret an urban landscape. Wolfe prefers cities that honor existing natural settings, and incorporate nature into the cityside. He clarifies which factors are necessary for a city to meet the needs of its residents Wolfe discusses much-known city factors such as walkability, density, and green space. But he also discusses less-often considered factors such as the importance of spontaneous meeting places. Wolfe imagines an effective urban space as walkable and malleable to the needs of the people. The text is full of snapshots from the author’s urban travels, which beautifully express his arguments about the urban landscape. In order to make sense of a cityscape, Wolfe recommends that his reader make an urban diary. Readers can use this diary to describe how people interact with urban spaces, how buildings are arranged and how cities vary from each other.

Wolfe’s text was very informative and interesting, though it sometimes lacked specificity. He provides many examples of successful cities but rarely offers a counterexample. It is critical to know which cities are less effective in order to understand what makes a good city so successful.


Reviewed By:

Author Charles R. Wolfe
Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 144 pages
Publisher Island Press
Publish Date 2019-03-01
ISBN 9781610919623
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2019
Category Art, Architecture & Photography
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