New & Notable: Language Of Towns And Cities, Urbanism And Climate Change & History Of The Paris Métro

Weighing in at more than 800 pages, Dhiru A. Thadani’s new work is destined to be the final word on the language of urban planning and design.

The Language of Towns and Cities: A Visual Dictionary is a landmark publication that clarifies the language by which we talk about urban planning and design.

Everyday words such as “avenue,” “boulevard,” “park,” and “district,” as well as less commonly used words and terms such as “sustainability,” “carbon-neutral,” or “Bilbao Effect” are used with a great variety of meanings, causing confusion among citizens, city officials, and other decision-makers when trying to design viable neighborhoods, towns, and cities.

This magnificent volume is the fruit of more than a decade of research and writing in an effort to ameliorate this situation.

Abundantly illustrated with over 2,500 photographs, drawings, and charts, The Language of Towns and Cities is both a richly detailed glossary of more than seven hundred words and terms commonly used in architecture and urban planning, and a compendium of great visual interest.

From “A” and “B” streets to Zero Lot and Zeitgeist, the book is at once comprehensive and accessible.

An essential work for architects, urban planners, students of design, and all those interested in the future of towns and cities, this is destined to become a classic in its field.

In its extensive glowing review, New Urban Network declares it’s amazing that such a book could be published today, asking “Who buys print encyclopedia’s anymore?”  It states that this work “is an enormous gift to New Urbanism. Don’t pass it by.”

“Cities are green” is becoming a common refrain.  But in Urbanism In The Age Of Climate Change, author Peter 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.

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.

A word-of-mouth sensation, Transit Maps Of The World garnered rave reviews and offered delicious eye-candy to the many who devoured its lusciously designed pages.

In Paris Underground: The Maps, Stations, And Design Of The Métro, author Mark Ovenden turns his attention to the famous Paris transit system with its inimitable Art Nouveau inspired stations and Art Deco signage.

More than one thousand maps, diagrams, and photographs — historical and current — along with fascinating factual tidbits and enthusiastic, informed commentary embellish this gorgeous cultural history of the Métro’s design and construction.

Readers will also learn of discarded route plans, including one by Gustave Eiffel the year after his tower was built.

The New Yorker details the contents in its review, and refers to the work as “great” and some chapters as “simply sublime.”

Transit buffs, Francophiles, and anyone who appreciates beautiful design should be sure to make Paris Underground the season’s must-read transportation book.