Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

emerging.me

City Comforts

Recommended Posts

OK, I just read this and it has some really great practical ideas for improving the quality of life in our cities. It's a small book, but filled with pictures -- I'm a really visual guy so I loved this. From the publisher...

The book shows examples of small things

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I enjoyed it. And it's really cool because it's little stuff that any city can do -- no matter where they are on the spectrum of urban renewal. And the little touches that the author suggests don't require any sweeping zoning legislation or grandiose plans. Nothing wrong with zoning (in most cases) and drawing up big plans, but not every community can do it. The suggestions here are really for everybody.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, click the sample chapter link above if you want a really good idea of what it's all about. That's my favorite chapter actually because it deals with the social aspect of cities and simple steps that leaders can take to build a greater sense of community. Some examples that are elaborated on and represented visually are:

Provide seats

Offer a conversation piece

Encourage the chance encounter

Build neighborhoods for the social stroll

Provide a place for music

Use sound to permit conversation

Allow strangers to sit together

Quench the thirst for community

Use movable chairs

Let readers sip

These are just a few of my favorite examples, but it should give you an idea of the author's approach to making the city comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like a good read with interesting ideas. It might be a little too visual, but I'll end up buying it sooner or later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This book looks cool, thanks for sharing it. It's sad that some people don't care about these simple urban ideas. Cities have forgotten them but I think urban trends, like the ones mentioned in the book, will come back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as there is a coffee shop somewhere...... :D

Seriously, it is unfortunate to see so many aspects of (at least) American society stearing us in an anti-social direction. Something as simple as an ATM, convenient as they are, have affected a simple social interaction. I really think we do need some social contact to keep our sanity!!

There is a dog park a block from our house that has really allowed me and my wife to become more social with our community, though something like this might not be possible in many urban settings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand the idea that places need to generate social interaction, but I question whether or not this actually is what makes a city work, or whether that just works for a very select group.

There are pleanty of oportunities in most cities for people to interact. Yet if you look at some of the denser cities (such as Boston) versus some of the more spread out ones (say, Denver), in fact the one with more social interaction is the more spread out one. Fact is people like privacy (that is why people move out to the suburbs and rural areas), and being forced into public situations tends, if anything, to turn people away from interaction. Ever notice how few people talk to one another on the MBTA? It's the elvator syndrome.

I do like how the author is talking about making spaces more public, in that they encourage people to be there and not just pass through. But that is as much a contension between the bottom line of business, the desire for the city to control, and the need of the people to shape their own environments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as there is a coffee shop somewhere...... :D

Seriously, it is unfortunate to see so many aspects of (at least) American society stearing us in an anti-social direction. Something as simple as an ATM, convenient as they are, have affected a simple social interaction. I really think we do need some social contact to keep our sanity!!

There is a dog park a block from our house that has really allowed me and my wife to become more social with our community, though something like this might not be possible in many urban settings.

In Latin America, there have always been the Plazas, constructed just like the Spanish did. They were usually comformed by the town or city's church and administrative buildings, restaurants and important people's houses. Now, unforunatelly, these meeting centers have been replaced by malls. However, there is still a lot more places to meet than the average american big city.

In Quito, however, the high criminality rates threaten this comfort. :angry:

:ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting point Ruso. It reminds of what some of the public squares may have been like in early America. It seems like so many of the plazas and squares here, at least in bigger cities, are often designed around shopping like you suggest, or maybe it was the shopping that took over the square!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting point Ruso. It reminds of what some of the public squares may have been like in early America. It seems like so many of the plazas and squares here, at least in bigger cities, are often designed around shopping like you suggest, or maybe it was the shopping that took over the square!!

It is shame, now everything depends on shopping malls. However, I think that is how it has always worked, except for the plazas and squares with churches and administrative buildings.

:ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In most cases, those plazas WERE the shopping malls. That's where the markets were held. Individual stores were much less prevalent, as was entertainment. Churches and town meeting halls were a lot more than just religious places in those days, they also served as the performance venues, so in many ways things are not that different, only the forms of ownership and control.

What is more interesting to me is the sense of ownership and welcomeness. hanging out has become a teenage thing, older adults have better things to do - they have to be more productive. Perhaps part of the equation involves the way people structure their lives today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.