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All Ebook Formats $34.99 ISBN: 9781610911092 Published June 2003
Paperback $35.00 ISBN: 9781559639163 Published June 2003


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Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities

 Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities
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Michael Southworth and Eran Ben-Joseph

208 pages | 7.75 x 9.5

The topic of streets and street design is of compelling interest today as public officials, developers, and community activists seek to reshape urban patterns to achieve more sustainable forms of growth and development. Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities traces ideas about street design and layout back to the early industrial era in London suburbs and then on through their institutionalization in housing and transportation planning in the United States. It critiques the situation we are in and suggests some ways out that are less rigidly controlled, more flexible, and responsive to local conditions.

Originally published in 1997, this edition includes a new introduction that addresses topics of current interest including revised standards from the Institute of Transportation Engineers; changes in city plans and development standards following New Urbanist, Smart Growth, and sustainability principles; traffic calming; and ecologically oriented street design.

INTRODUCTION. Street Standards and the Built Environment 1
-The Power of Street Standards 3
-The Social and Environmental Impacts of Street Standards 5
-Trends in Street Design and Regulation 7
-About This Book 14
Chapter 1. Gritty Cities and Picturesque Villages
-The Origins of Suburban Design Standards in England and the United States 17
-A Brief Look at Street Design Standards of Antiquity 17
-The First Suburbs in England 28
-John Nash and Park Village 29
-Olmsted, Vaux, and the American Suburb 33
Chapter 2. Orderly Streets for Healthy Cities Social Response to Urban Disorder 43
-The "Bye-law" Street 45
-Bedford Park Adapts the Bye-law Street 47
-Unwin, Parker, and the Garden Cities 50
-Charles Mulford Robinson and the Street as a Work of Art 56
Chapter 3. Streets for the Motor Age 
-The Car and the Urban Scene 61
-Movements for Road and Street Improvement 61
-The Car in the Early 1900s 64
-Early Responses to the Automobile 65
-The Rise of Comprehensive Planning 66
-Stein, Wright, and Radburn 70
-Perry, Adams, and the Neighborhood Unit 76
-European Modernism and the Vision for New Streets 79
-The Asphalt Path 83
-The Institute of Transportation Engineers Is Born 83
Chapter 4. Bureaucracy Takes Control
-The Institutionalization of Standards 85
-The President's Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership 85
-Adoption of Neighborhood Unit and Garden City Principles 88
-Street Regulations Take Root 89
-The Federal Housing Administration Promotes Suburbanization 90
-FHA's First Standards 91
-Standards Establish the Cul-de-sac Pattern 92
-Controlling Subdivision through Local Plat Approval 96
-The Influence of the Building Industry on Street Design 97
-Accidents and Grids
Chapter 5. Streets for Living
-Rethinking Neighborhood Streets 105
-Learning from Traditional Street Patterns 105
-Kentlands 106
-Laguna West 108
-Elmwood: A Traditional Streetcar Suburb 109
-Neotraditional Street Design and Pattern 111
-Comparing Street Patterns 113
-Pedestrian Access 115
-The Shared Street Concept 117
-Design Characteristics of Shared Streets 122
-The Social Benefits 124
-Safety 125
-Prospects for Shared Streets in Suburbia 126
-The Case for Cul-de-sacs 128
-Walkable Suburbs? 137
Chapter 6. Tomorrow's Streets
-Toward New Neighborhood Street Standards 139
-Liability Concerns in Reevaluating Standards 140
-Local Controls and Design Initiatives 141
-Semiprivate Streets for Flexibility 144
-Performance Standards Versus Specifications 146
-The Limitations of Flexible Planning 149
-Some Design Criteria for Better Residential Street Standards 150
-Looking at Community Street Standards 154
-The Work Ahead 155
APPENDIX A. Chronology of Events in the Development of Residential Street Standards 159
APPENDIX B. A Graphic Survey of Street Cross Sections 163
APPENDIX C. Narrow Streets Data 167
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