Judy D Collins's Reviews > Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities

Where We Want to Live by Ryan Gravel
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2016-releases, atlanta, infastructure, urban, non-fiction, netgalley-arc, american-cities

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

2016 Best Uran Planning

Urban Atlanta designer, Ryan Gravel delivers a challenge to Americans WHERE WE WANT TO LIVE, Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities ---his extraordinary vision to create a healthier and more satisfying way of life, by connecting neighborhoods and communities. We all have to embrace the change, work together and do our part—we can make a difference.

As Americans, we are disgusted at the metropolis sprawled before us, with communities moving further out in order to find affordable housing. Therefore, creating, even more, madness on the overcrowded highways. People are relying more and more on the automobiles to get around.

By taking action through businesses, governments, nonprofits, citizen campaigns, grassroots leaders and developers working together—will help create a more sustainable healthy, and equitable way of life for everyone.

WHERE YOU WANT TO LIVE will empower you and inspire to join the plan for changing decades of thinking, the old school way--an environment organized primarily around cars instead of people. We cannot sit back and expect someone else to shape the world on our behalf. Take action in the face of dramatic regional and cultural change, and build communities that we actually want to live in. To start the process, we all have to define what we want and start working together.

From traffic, pollution, and sprawl—mistakes of the past. Think resilient, connected, mobile, healthy, sustainable, economically thriving, and diverse—talking points. Politics of change. Four positions:

Start with small projects from political structure, stop the sprawl, redirect growth. Revitalizing urban neighborhoods and historic Downtown, and refashioning the vast commercial strips of outlying areas into vibrant transit-centered corridors. A means to start a conversation, take action, and help shape a new and better direction. Experimenting with new ideas, cultivating a political structure for change, stopping sprawl, and shift to more sustainable growth strategies, we can build a better future for everyone.

Gravel's vision for Atlanta has moved into a wide-ranging, urban regeneration projects being expanded across the country. It takes ordinary people like all of us and the force of a shared momentum. Everyone has to share in the role for infrastructure and can help shape and advance this cycle of change.

Similar projects are in the works, from the Los Angeles River Revitalization and the Buffalo Bayou in Houston to the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis and the Underline in Miami. In Where We Want to Live, Gravel presents an exciting blueprint for revitalizing cities to make them places where we truly want to live.

If you have listened to the author’s videos or heard him speak previously, his creative vision came from Paris in 1995. He addresses the beginning, how it took shape and his journey in his insightful book. His interest was to figure out how he could work within the complexities to improve cities like his own hometown of Atlanta. The Beltline was conceived as his graduate thesis. A way to reinvigorate Atlanta’s in-town communities with new development and improved transit mobility. A need for urban regeneration.

Changing the way people think. The process. Discovering a new kind of infrastructure for our lives.

From our ancestors, our history, the rail service, land growth, a growing nation, and the twentieth century. Explosive growth. Urban examination. Suburban growth, traffic congestion, and the ecological consequences of unmitigated sprawl…real change in the way we build our city requires a significant shift in the attitude of a region that has for too long prioritized the automobile as the primary tool for urban expansion.

People are fed up with traffic and sprawl, and rediscovering a new and improved way to live work and play. An intimate relationship between infrastructure and our way of life.

Gravel’s plan connects 40 diverse Atlanta neighborhoods (awesome) to city schools, shopping districts, and public parks, and has already seen a huge payoff in real estate development and local business revenue.

I found the history fascinating and enjoyed catching up with familiar places, and seeing all the work which has been completed thus far. Before I left Atlanta, Ryan was already active with the project- was so excited about the upcoming plans to connect Atlanta and its submarkets. Nicely done!

Whether you want Urban Downtown living or the suburbs, we all want to create a healthier and more satisfying way of life, by connecting neighborhoods and communities.

Read More "A personal note" on My Blog

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Reading Progress

March 1, 2016 – Shelved
March 1, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 1, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-releases
March 1, 2016 – Shelved as: atlanta
March 1, 2016 – Shelved as: infastructure
March 1, 2016 – Shelved as: urban
March 1, 2016 – Shelved as: non-fiction
March 2, 2016 – Started Reading
March 2, 2016 – Shelved as: netgalley-arc
March 2, 2016 – Shelved as: american-cities
March 3, 2016 – Finished Reading

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