#ForewordFriday: Can Urbanism Be Effortless?

In Urbanism Without Effort, Charles Wolfe, a respected voice on urbanism, brings a unique combination of skills as a writer, photographer and land use attorney to present a thought-provoking, practical, and well-illustrated narrative aimed squarely at rapidly evolving cities today. He says that with all of today’s buzzwords—e.g., pop-up, insurgent, green, transit-oriented, new—we lose sight of the fact that the most enduring, vibrant aspects of city life aren’t engineered by professionals. They are the natural result of people coming together in an urban environment. He contends that city life shouldn’t feel like work; it should be effortless. It shouldn’t feel designed; it should be spontaneous.

Wolfe argues that before we can create vibrant, sustainable urban areas, we need to understand what happens naturally when people congregate in cities. He offers numerous personal photographs and vignettes carefully selected from lessons learned during a life spent studying how city dwellers interact naturally with each other and the urban environment. Urbanism Without Effort is a strikingly illustrated, lively, and uncomplicated read that serves as a poignant reminder of the innovative history and promising future of human interaction with the urban form.

Check out Chapter 1: The Dynamic Potential of Urbanism Without Effort below, or download the PDF here