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Cities For A Small Planet

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Nothing else damages the earth’s environment more than our cities. As the world’s population has grown, our cities have burgeoned, and their impact on the environment worsened. Meanwhile, from the isolated, gated communities within Houston and Los Angeles, to the millions of residents of Bombay living in squalor, the city has failed to serve its ideal function—as the cradle of civilization, the engine of culture, and the inspiration for community and citizenship. In Cities for a Small Planet, Sir Richard Rogers, one of the world’s leading architects and the designer of the Pompidou Center in Paris, demonstrates how future cities could provide the springboard for restoring humanity’s harmony with its environment.Rogers outlines the disastrous impact cities have had and will continue to have on our world, from waste-saturated Tokyo Bay, to the massive plumes of pollution caused by London’s traffic, to the depleted water resources of Mexico City. He traces these problems to the underlying social and cultural values that create them—unchecked commercial zeal, selfish individualism, and a lack of community. Bringing to bear concepts such as that of “open-minded” space—places within cities that serve multiple functions such as markets, parks, and sidewalk cafes—he explains how urban design can be used to give citizens a sense of shared experience. The city built with comfortable and safe public space can bring diverse groups together and breed a sense of tolerance, awareness, identity, and mutual respect. He calls for a new theoretical shift in the way cities do business and interact with the environment, arguing that many products come to market and are sold without figuring their social or environmental cost.Rogers goes on to describe the city of the future: one that is sustainable within its own environment; that can make a positive impact on its surroundings; that encourages communication among its citizens; that is compact and focused around neighborhoods; and that is beautiful, a city whose buildings and spaces spark the creative potential of its inhabitants.As our population grows larger, our planet grows smaller. Cities for a Small Planet is a passionate and eloquent blueprint for the cities we must create in response, cities that provide for the needs of both their residents and the earth on which they live.

196 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1993

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About the author

Richard Rogers

32 books5 followers
Sir Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside, FRIBA FCSD is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs.

Rogers is perhaps best known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Lloyd's building and Millennium Dome both in London, and the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg. He is a winner of the RIBA Gold Medal, the Thomas Jefferson Medal, the RIBA Stirling Prize, the Minerva Medal and Pritzker Prize.

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5 stars
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews
September 3, 2020
Son pocos los recuerdos de mi padre, tenía nueve años, se fue pronto. Cuando hago el esfuerzo y mi mente se despeja, vienen a mi momentos, recuerdos como escenas en retrospectiva. Uno de los más queridos es el de un desayuno, recuerdo que andábamos en el coche y paramos por alguna avenida. Estaba contenta porque ese día tenia a mi papá solo para mi, me había llevado a visitar una obra que estaba por culminar en la avenida Caminos del Inca, una vivienda de color blanco y carpintería de madera. Escogimos una mesa, el ambiente no tenía nada en particular. Ordenamos y fuimos a los servicios higiénicos. Cuando retornamos, ambos coincidimos en que el lugar era espantoso, no nos gustaba la iluminación, la distribución del comedor era un laberinto y los baños daban registro a todo el que ingresaba.
Uno tiende a idealizar los recuerdos, los pone en altares y los analiza al detalle para ver si falta algo en la historia que se te ha escapado. En este no hay mas, ese es mi recuerdo. Entonces, ¿por qué es tan especial?
Años después, elegí ser arquitecta. Me hubiera gustado escucharlo, criticar mi trabajo y felicitarme por mis logros. Eso no sucederá. Sin embargo, encuentro consuelo y un lado paternal en los libros de arquitectos, tan grandes y humanos como Richard Rogers. Así es que me sumerjo en ellos porque mentes tan precursoras merecen ser repasadas, entendidas y guardadas como memorias entrañables.
Profile Image for Huibert.
185 reviews
November 25, 2018
Some parts less relevant for me, but they are outweighed by the numerous great notions and ideas that are still as relevant today as they were twenty years ago, when this book was first published. #whydidntweusethem
1 review
April 12, 2021
Good Book, a bit dated

It was a great read that provided a lot of solutions. Some of the data is outdated. It’s fun to do research and se the “where are they [the facts] now?” Optimistic, good diagrams, accesible vocabulary and relative short.
November 27, 2019
Libro attualissimo nonostante abbia già vent'anni, consiglio anche per chi è esterno al mondo dell'architettura.
2 reviews2 followers
October 3, 2010
Consist on two parts: an analysis of the urban problematics, and a proposal for a model of develepment for cities, also approaches solutions to Londons urbanistic matter.

It is a clear and very accurate analysis of the sustainability problematic for actual cities. Not only points and analyzes the problematics also studies and shows differents aproaches to solutions that are been taken around the world to the same pathologies and how have they succeded or fail.

In the proposal we get a view through his proyects and competitiones over the world and London.

Obviously needs a update since cities evolution and developtment speed are faster nowadays and urban landscape had changed a lot since then. But stills a interesting read and I personally liked his Ideas for cities development.
Profile Image for Alex Cunningham.
74 reviews6 followers
May 25, 2007
Sir Richard Rogers (the Lloyds of London building, Musee D'Orsee, etc) knows buildings. Damned if he doesn't know people, too. He's not Le Corbusier; Rogers' dreams actually come closer to being realized every time one of his buildings goes up. What he is is underfunded, under-appreciated outside of Europe, and seemingly unable to fix either of these problems with his adroit - not to mention pretty - books. I am so swayed by his arguments that I illogically find the fault in this case to be with everyone else rather than with him.
Profile Image for Kendall Frost.
1 review5 followers
April 1, 2012
This is an amazing book! It is a brief read that simply and succinctly explains the connections between social and environmental sustainability. The language is clear and the examples are some of the best architecture in the world, albeit projects by the author's firm. It offers a positive, holistic view on the future of humanity and civilization.
2 reviews3 followers
July 7, 2009
Loved it - light and quick and so important for understanding people, places and cities
13 reviews5 followers
July 7, 2009
Really enjoyed it - short and important ideas as to why urban design is so important
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews

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