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The Walkable City: From Haussmann's Boulevards to Jane Jacobs' Streets and Beyond
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The Walkable City: From Haussmann's Boulevards to Jane Jacobs' Streets and Beyond

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3.50  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Through Paris, New York City, Toronto, North Vancouver, and Singapore, this examination depicts how the architectural evolutions of major cities have changed the lives of their ordinary citizens—in both positive and negative ways. According to this account, making a metropolis navigable by foot again is crucial, and it suggests how people can reorganize their personal live ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Véhicule Press (first published September 1st 2008)
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3.50  · 
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Art
Oct 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Disappointing. For a better book that celebrates and helps create walkable cities, try Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, five stars.

A quibble. Robie House appears in a photograph as an example of a house built for the land. The caption puts it in "the Chicago suburb" of Hyde Park. Chicago annexed the neighborhood in 1889, a couple of years before it hosted the world's fair, aka, The Columbian Exposition. Dad received his University of Chicago MBA in Rockefeller C
...more
Lorraine York
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Since I've recently moved house, my reading has become even more rambling than usual. My current system of choice involves reaching down into a cardboard box to find something I haven't yet read...One book I picked out a week or so ago was Mary Soderstrom's The Walkable City. I actually bought it for my partner, and I think, from the evidence of a bookmark, that he may have started but not finished it. Too bad; it's quite a good read! Having just moved to Toronto, I was also in the mood for a go ...more
Rj
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Soderstrom's book is a rumination about walkable cities across the globe. It is a subjective, personal look at the history of a few places and how she believes they relate to the idea of walkability. While a not a history of walkable cities the book weaves tidbits about the places she visits and walks placing them in a larger historical and social context. Interesting for anyone curious about the rejection of car cultures across the globe.

“The Don is one of two main rivers flowing south from the
...more
Nancy McClure
Mar 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed the history of Paris' urban evolution, especially since I'd just recently strolled along many of those Grande Boulevards, as well as been lost in the labyrinth of cobblestone alleys. After the Parisian history tour, Soderstrom focuses on several cities in the US - how NYC nearly passed on Central Park, and what JJ found when they expatriated to Canada. While this isn't a manual of sustainable city philosophy, it's historic documenting does outline processes of evolution that allow ...more
Jake
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really great. At first I thought it was going to be another stereotypical look at cities vs. suburbs and how walking is this panacea but she took a far more interesting look at walking in cities, drawing on examples and topics I would not have expected. The whole book is laced with Jane Jacobs, but Jane Jacobs post-Death and Life, which is also quite different from other books who reference her. Lastly, her use of literature to describe cities and how they work really gives this book an extra je ...more
Jeramey
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
There are better books on walkable cities. It's a decent read, but often gets too bogged down with Paris examples.

Despite reading it as an e-book, I felt like it failed to take advantage of the inherent visual opportunities of the medium. I never quite felt like I was in many of the places, either through the words or photos.
Michael
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Wasn't quite what I was looking for. I found her narratives irritating. The historical info was well done, however.
Ashley Lambert-Maberly
I think I may be harder on non-fiction than fiction. If a topic's interesting, the author's done their research, and I'm learning something, that's a 3. In order to rise to 4-ness, it has to have something extra--be especially funny, or moving, or profound. (To hit a rare 5, it has to be a favourite, worthy of re-reading time and again--not necessarily a classic like "On the Origin of Species," but a 5 for me is something like Murder Ink or Walt Disney Imagineering, so there's no rhyme nor reaso ...more
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Mary Soderstrom is a Montreal-based writer of fiction and non-fiction with 15 published books to her credit. Her next book is scheduled for publication in October 2019 by the University of Regina Press. Frenemy Nations: Love and Hate between Neighbo(u)ring States is an examination of why ten pairs of political entities--ranging from the formerly two Vietnams, through Haiti and the Dominican Republ ...more