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Designing Suburban Futures New Models from Build a Better Burb by June Williamson
  

Designing Suburban Futures New Models from Build a Better Burb

Synopsis

Designing Suburban Futures New Models from Build a Better Burb by June Williamson

Suburbs deserve a better, more resilient future. June Williamson shows that suburbs aren't destined to remain filled with strip malls and excess parking lots; they can be reinvigorated through inventive design. Drawing on award-winning design ideas for revitalizing Long Island, she offers valuable models not only for U.S. suburbs, but those emerging elsewhere with global urbanisation. Williamson argues that suburbia has historically been a site of great experimentation and is currently primed for exciting changes. Today, dead malls, aging office parks, and blighted apartment complexes are being retrofitted into walkable, sustainable communities. Williamson shows how to expand this trend, highlighting promising design strategies and tactics. She provides a broad vision of suburban reform based on the best schemes submitted in Long Island's highly successful Build a Better Burb competition. Many of the design ideas and plans operate at a regional scale, tackling systems such as transit, aquifer protection, and power generation. While some seek to fundamentally transform development patterns, others work with existing infrastructure to create mixed-use, shared networks. Designing Suburban Futures offers concrete but visionary strategies to take the sprawl out of suburbia, creating a vibrant, new suburban form.

Reviews

What used to be called the crisis of the city has moved to the suburbs. In response, June Williamson's call to action is both prescient and grounded in expert knowledge. Designing Suburban Futures cuts into stereotypes with a scalpel, and makes its urgent case for the fresh interaction of design, policy, and practice with equal parts elegance, erudition, and respect.

--Reinhold Martin Associate Professor of Architecture, Columbia University

Suburbia may be paved with good intentions, but its manifold costs are now as well known as its endless cul-de-sacs and malls. This well-crafted book shows how sprawl's seemingly indelible imprint on America can be embroidered and re-jiggered into more resilient, livable places.

--Doug Kelbaugh Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan

In the next decades, cities worldwide will have to adapt to rapidly changing environmental and social conditions and low-density suburbs will need to radically transform. Through a unique analysis intertwined with history, Designing Suburban Futures shows us how this can be done. It is an important read for anyone who is serious about understanding and changing current development practice.

--Eran Ben-Joseph Head of the Department of Urban Studies + Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

It's easy to lament the state of suburbia (and many do). What's extremely hard is to develop creative solutions for transformation (which almost no one does well). But that's precisely what June Williamson has done with this terrific book. With this guide, a seemingly insurmountable challenge now feels like an opportunity.

--Allison Arieff contributing columnist, The New York Times


About the Author

June Williamson is Associate Professor in the Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York. She is co-author, with Ellen Dunham-Jones, of Retrofitting Suburbia (9780470934326). She lives in New York.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st June 2013

Author

June Williamson

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Publisher

Island Press

Format

Paperback
160 pages

Categories

Urban & municipal planning
City & town planning - architectural aspects

ISBN

9781597262415

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