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Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 12. November 2013


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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 358 Seiten
  • Verlag: Farrar Straus & Giroux (12. November 2013)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0374168237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374168230
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,3 x 3,4 x 23,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 12.017 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

Happy City is not only readable but stimulating. It raises issues most of us have avoided for too long. Do we live in neighborhoods that make us happy? That is not a silly question. Montgomery encourages us to ask it without embarrassment, and to think intelligently about the answer.” —Alan Ehrenhalt, The New York Times Book Review

“Beautifully researched, Charles Montgomery’s tale cleverly interweaves rigorous inquiry on urban history and the science of happiness with intimate and personal stories that humanize the vast task of understanding urban dynamics. An inspiring book that reminds us that the power to change our cities often lies in our own hands.” —Maria Nicanor, Associate Curator of Architecture and Urbanism, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

 

Happy City is its own opiate: an eye-opening, pleasurable, utterly necessary tour through the best and worst neighborhoods of our urbanized world. Charles Montgomery shows us the way to a beautiful city.” —Andrew Blum, author of Tubes

 

Happy City will fundamentally change the way you see, experience, and feel the place you inhabit. It is a hopeful and optimistic vision of our urban future that uses science to argue what we always should have known: in building the good city, we won’t just save our planet. We’ll save ourselves.”—Robert Hammond, cofounder of Friends of the High Line

 

“A brilliant, entertaining, and vital book. Charles Montgomery deftly leads us from our misplaced focus on money, cars, and stuff to consider what makes us truly happy. Then everything changes—the way we live, work, and play in humanity’s major habitat, the city.” —David Suzuki, host of CBC’s The Nature of Things and cofounder of the David Suzuki Foundation

 

“Charles Montgomery’s message is simple: If we’re going to save the world, we must first be happier, and that means creating happier cities. Happy City isn’t just a book about urban design written for urban professionals; it’s for everyone who’s ever wondered if their city could be a better place, and what they can do about it.” —Jarrett Walker, author of Human Transit

 

“In a word, wow. I thought I had it all figured out, but this is something I was missing. In echoing all the great economic, health, and environmental mandates for walkable cities, I had mostly sidestepped the concept of happiness, thinking it too intangible to discuss in a compelling way. Thank goodness Charles Montgomery has had the guts and the skill to correct my error with this fascinating and entertaining book.” —Jeff Speck, author of Walkable City

 

“Charles Montgomery writes with rare wit and erudition about the psychology of urban life. A wake-up call for citizens and planners alike, Happy City takes you by the scruff of the neck and shakes you into questioning everything around you. It not only shows us that we must make our cities better, but it tells us how we can.” —Nicholas Humphrey, author of Soul Dust

 

“I thought I already lived in a happy city: New York. But Charles Montgomery reveals how much happier all of us—kids and adults—can be if we only reconsider what actually contributes to the good life. Suddenly I’m thinking of all the ways we can make millions of people happier. What a great book!” —Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids

 

Praise for The Shark God

“Vivid . . . Entertaining . . . [This] story has rich layers of history and anthropology.” —Holly Morris, The New York Times Book Review

“A very real and memorable talent . . . The quality of [Montgomery’s] prose seems matched only by the wisdom of his observations.” —Simon Winchester, The Globe and Mail

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Charles Montgomery is an award-winning journalist and the author of The Shark God, which won the 2005 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction under its Canadian

title, The Last Heathen.


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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
*A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

The modern city owes much of its current design to two major trends or ‘movements’ that have risen up since the time of the industrial revolution. The first trend traces back to the industrial revolution itself, when the appearance of smoke-billowing factories (and egregiously dirty slums) necessitated new solutions to the problem of how to organize city life. The answer—still reflected in cities all over the world—was to compartmentalize functions, such that industrial areas, shopping areas, office areas, and living areas were separated off from one another into distinct blocks of the city.

The second trend in urban design took full hold in the post-war era, with the rise of the suburbs. In a sense, the suburbs represent a continuation and intensification of the compartmentalization movement, as the living areas of the upper classes have been separated-off still further from the other areas of the city—out into sprawling districts miles away (as automobiles made it possible for certain city dwellers to escape to an idealized haven away from the hustle and bustle).

While the suburban movement has had the bulk of its impact on the landscape outside of the city proper, the city itself has not been spared of its influence. For indeed, the city has been gutted of many of the inhabitants that formerly occupied it; and, what’s more, it has been reshaped by the roads and freeways introduced to shuttle-in the suburbanites from their faraway destinations.

Now, it may well be the case that all this compartmentalization and suburbification was originally intended to benefit (most of) the city’s inhabitants.
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Amazon.com: 40 Rezensionen
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The BEST reason for the New Urbanism 24. Januar 2014
Von Larry D. Huffman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
As you might expect, the idea that people can be happy in a city doesn't come from the First World--at least today's. "The man who is tired of London is tired of life." --Samuel Johnson.

It comes from Enrique and Guillermo Penalosa from Bogota, Colombia. And the amazing thing is that Enrique Penalosa (past mayor of Bogota) is a career politician.

Find out what generally makes people happy in a city, then construct the city that way. What an idea. Again as you might expect, what makes people happy is generally NOT what said people think will make them happy. Think of the number of times that you thought a new thing--house, car, music player, large screen TV--would make you happy. And then things were pretty much the same within a couple of weeks of getting said thing.

What makes you happy is more likely to be a continuing series of experiences, and most likely experiences with other people. If the way your neighborhood is constructed and managed isolates you from people, you'll have fewer experiences and less happiness. But uncontrolled interaction might be just as bad as no interaction. Details matter.

This book is merely an introduction to the idea, but lots of us need the introduction, to learn another way of thinking about the subject. It's only about eleven bucks for your Kindle or Kindle app--buy it and read it.
9 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good review 14. Januar 2014
Von Shaun J - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
If you've read other books like Walkable City you're unlikely to find much new material here, but there are definitely different anecdotes and research thrown into this book. The one issue I have is that at least one figure in the book isn't cited in the notes. Montgomery writes that "70% of trips taken by car in the US are less than 2 miles long," but there's no citation in the book's notes, and I can't seem to find the figure cited in research online. Otherwise, the book is well-researched.
10 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Brief Summary and Review 10. Dezember 2013
Von A. D. Thibeault - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
*A full summary of this book is available here: An Executive Summary of Charles Montgomery's 'Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design'

The main argument: The modern city owes much of its current design to two major trends or `movements' that have emerged since the time of the industrial revolution. The first trend traces back to the industrial revolution itself, when the appearance of smoke-billowing factories (and egregiously dirty slums) necessitated new solutions to the problem of how to organize city life. The answer--still reflected in cities all over the world--was to compartmentalize functions, such that industrial areas, shopping areas, office areas, and living areas were separated off from one another into distinct blocks of the city.

The second trend in urban design took full hold in the post-war era, with the rise of the suburbs. In a sense, the suburbs represent a continuation and intensification of the compartmentalization movement, as the living areas of the upper classes were separated-off still further from the other areas of the city--out into sprawling districts miles away (as automobiles made it possible for certain city dwellers to escape to an idealized haven away from the hustle and bustle).

While the suburban movement has had the bulk of its impact on the landscape outside of the city proper, the city itself has not been spared of its influence. For indeed, the city was gutted of many of the inhabitants that formerly occupied it; and, what's more, it has been reshaped by the roads and freeways introduced to shuttle-in the suburbanites from their faraway destinations.

Now, it may well be the case that all this compartmentalization and suburbification was originally intended to benefit (most of) the city's inhabitants. Unfortunately, however, the longer we live with these trends in urban design, the more it is becoming clear that this way of organizing the city leaves much to be desired.

Let us begin with the suburbs, and work our way inwards. In the first place, those who have fled to the suburbs have found that there is a steep price to pay for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, and that price begins with all the driving. And the hellish commute is only half of it: virtually nothing that the average suburbanite wants and needs, and no place they want to go, is accessible without a car trip. Obviously, all this driving is unpleasant in itself, but this is just the beginning. Second, and even more important, it leaves less time for other things--including family life. Also, the piling up of time spent behind the wheel is just plain unhealthy, as it leads to both obesity and--by extension--several other health problems. Additionally, having to drive everywhere is expensive, and is only getting more so as the price of oil continues to rise. Finally, because suburbanites spend so little time actually walking through their neighborhoods, they tend to have little casual contact with neighbors, which at least partly explains why they tend to be more detached from their communities.

With all the negative consequences of suburban life, it is no surprise that many of those who had formerly fled to the burbs are now fleeing back to the city. Actually, in many cases, suburbanites have had little choice, as the rising price of oil--together with the housing crash of 2008--has left them with no way to afford their suburban nightmare regardless (thus many of the suburbs have become as abandoned as the inner city once was).

Unfortunately, life back in the city has seldom been much better. For one thing, outdated compartmentalization in the city has interfered with accessibility in a manner that is similar to the way that sprawl has interfered with accessibility out in the suburbs. Second, since transportation networks in the city have been rearranged to suit cars, alternative forms of transportation have largely been compromised, thus leaving citizens with less real choice when it comes to getting around. Also, because it has been so expensive for cities to service the suburbs (they being so far away, and so spread out), there has been less money to fund public goods that serve the city, such as public transit, parks and sociability-inviting squares--thus the city has actually become a less livable place in the suburban era.

Thankfully, at least some cities around the world (from Bogota to Copenhagen to Vancouver etc.) have begun taking efforts to remedy these issues, and are beginning to embrace a vision of the city which (according to the research) is both better-functioning and leads to happier citizens. In broad outline, the happy city is composed of multi-use, multi-income communities; laced with parks and public squares of varying sizes; and tied together with transportation networks that reintroduce walking, cycling and public transport as real options. (This vision of the city is often referred to as the new urbanist movement.)

In his new book 'Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design' urbanist and writer Charles Montgomery takes us through the history of the modern city, and the latest efforts to reform over a century of ill-conceived design decisions.

Montgomery's book is a fantastically informative and fun read, and the author does well to introduce the ideas of the new urbanist movement, and the efforts that are currently underway to implement it around the world (as well as the forces that continue to oppose it). If the stories and research presented here do not render you a full convert to the new urbanist movement, it will at least make you rethink where (and how) you'd like to live. Bravo Charles Montgomery! A full summary of the book is available here: An Executive Summary of Charles Montgomery's 'Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design'
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Enthusiastic author with some novel perspectives 4. Juli 2014
Von schadenfreude - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Montgomery's argument is founded on the principle that the only possible form of (correct and legitimate) happiness is to be found in the city, hence the necessity of making our cities happy places to live in. He first establishes his urban insularity by polarizing the country into good cities versus bad everything else, dismissing the idea that diverse places can bring diverse forms of fulfillment. He proceeds to obfuscate the very notion of what a suburb is (actually difficult to define as former suburbs are now integrated into cities, with all of their assets), choosing instead the worst American suburbs as representative of the lot.

Nevertheless, I recommend Happy Cities as a lively book filled with fresh and unexpected examples of what the best cities in the world can offer. The author captures what to me is the essential feature of the city, which is its graceful and dynamic ad hoc choreography. Montgomery gives a detailed and vivid description of public transportation systems that serve the whole gamut of city-dwellers. In Paris, you are never more than five minutes away from a transport option. You can step on a bus, stride along the sidewalk to find a near-by metro station, alight and rent a bicycle, turn it in and take a stroll through the park. Any such network does indeed create a joyful tie of solidarity between users.

The question remains: For whom this attractive situation? Who is left out and why? Is it a failure of planning and imagination, really? Whether you live in a city or not, I expect you might feel something is missing in Montgomery's idealized picture.
7 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
How we can change the communities that .make us fat and depressed. 16. Dezember 2013
Von D. Purdom - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
If you wonder why our communities produce folks who are overweight and depressed, This book will explain how we designed those communities. Good news, this book gives us insight in how we can change our environment/ community foe the better.
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