Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change
“Cities are green” is becoming a common refrain. But Calthorpe argues that a more comprehensive understanding of urbanism at the regional scale provides a better platform to address climate change. In this groundbreaking new work, he shows how such regionally scaled urbanism can be combined with green technology to achieve not only needed reductions in carbon emissions but other critical economies and lifestyle benefits. Rather than just providing another checklist of new energy sources or one dimensional land use alternatives, he combines them into comprehensive national growth scenarios for 2050 and documents their potential impacts. In so doing he powerfully demonstrates that it will take an integrated approach of land use transformation, policy changes, and innovative technology to transition to a low carbon economy.
To accomplish this Calthorpe synthesizes thirty years of experience, starting with his ground breaking work in sustainable community design in the 1980s following through to his current leadership in transit-oriented design, regional planning, and land use policy. Peter Calthorpe shows us what is possible using real world examples of innovative design strategies and forward-thinking policies that are already changing the way we live.
This provocative and engaging work emerges from Calthorpe’s belief that, just as the last fifty years produced massive changes in our culture, economy and environment, the next fifty will generate changes of an even more profound nature. The book, enhanced by its superb four-color graphics, is a call to action and a road map for moving forward.
“I believe Peter Calthorpe to be the pre-eminent urban planner of our time. Herein is the first unobstructed view of a realistic, non-utopian urban society that can systemically address climate, economics, quality of life and the coming transition. The thesis of the book needs to be understood by all: the greatest and most innovative source of renewable energy rests within urban design, not solar panels or wind turbines. Peter’s resonant vision creates a straight path to a workable, humane future.”
“Peter Calthorpe provides a distinctive framework in which effective design can channel future development to grow a dynamic, healthy, and low-carbon society. Yet again, Peter adds a critical dimension for moving us forward intelligently.”
“This insightful book represents an important platform for thought and design as we intentionally seek to be less destructive as a species and we begin to dream what it might be like to go forward in a way that honors the place of humans in the larger natural world.”
“Calthorpe points out that urbanism is often left off the list of climate solutions, but in order to confront global warming, we have to look beyond clean tech and examine where we live and how we design our communities. This book offers a blueprint for transforming our cities and towns into low-carbon centers of vibrant public life.”
“Calthorpe offers a double win. Making cities better for the atmosphere and climate also makes them more enjoyable and productive for humans to live in. The ideas have been proved; now they need to be applied at a climate-stabilizing scale.”
“…Succeeds at challenging our assumptions about the relation between individual cities and the larger world in which we live….In today's acrimonious political culture, where scientists who warn of climate change are dismissed as dupes of Al Gore, these two books might find readers among only like-minded city lovers; neither is vibrant enough to intrigue the skeptic. Still, it's important to add them to the debate…”
“Calthorpe's book lays out, with convincing specificity, the cost of continuing along the path of sprawl development -- in land consumption, water consumption, energy consumption, and sheer dollars spent. He also shows how much all those costs could be reduced by the implementation of what he calls "green urbanism" -- simple urbanist design principles teamed with green technology and renewable energy.”
""Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change" is a thoughtful and enlightening read, enthusiastically recommended."
"Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change should be the basis for any energy policy or climate change discussion. The stakes are high. After all, we’ll either succeed at this or die trying (or die sooner not trying). But Mr. Calthorpe’s vision is actually quite sunny and entirely achievable if we think it through and move forward."
"Encompassing urban design, planning philosophy and political policy, Calthorpe, an architect based in Berkeley, California, presents this discussion of urban planning as an integrated solution to emerging global sustainability imperatives. The work provides examples of policy changes and design evolution that could dramatically impact environmental conditions over the next forty years and includes a selection of artfully designed, full color info-graphic plates illuminating key policy and development points. This volume will be of interest to architects and urban planners and its artistic design and broad range make it appealing to general readers with an interest in environmental policy and activism."