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Allan Jacobs has written a city planning book for everyone with a passion for urban environments. His message--conveyed in word and vivid image--is that the people who make changes in cities base their decisions upon what they see, and that their visions and actions, which affect the lives of millions, have too often been faulty. This book is about how to look at and understand urban environments.
In order to plan sensitively, the city and regional planner must walk in, look at, wonder about, and simply enjoy cities. Careful observation is a crucial tool for the kind of analysis and questioning necessary to achieve good planning. Through observation the city planner and urban activist can learn when an area was built, for whom it was built, who lives there now, how it has changed, and how it might be improved for present and future inhabitants.
Jacobs shows us how to read cities by identifying and discussing the many visual clues and their various meanings in different environments. Case studies of American and European cities--San Jose, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Bologna, Rome--and over two hundred striking photographs, drawings, and maps by the author present ways to read the environment that will prove indispensable for urban planners and will delight all city watchers.
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