City: Rediscov. Cent

William H. Whyte, Author Doubleday Books $24.95 (386p) ISBN 978-0-385-05458-4
Informal, spontaneous interactions give the modern city its vitality, so Whyte's ( The Organization Man ) enemies are urban planners who evince disregard and even contempt for street life. Part meditation, part design manual, this marvelously observant tour of cities will please anyone who cares about urban livability. Whyte (who also wrote The Exploding Metropolis and The Last Landscape ) offers astute observations on recognizable street typesnimble pedestrians, food vendors, handbill distributors, loitering gossipers, panhandlers. With the help of 120 photographs, he measures the rhythms of neighborhood parks and playgrounds; shows how taken-for-granted design elements like stairs, entranceways, sidewalks and plazas influence human interaction; and dissects office/store mega-complexes, covered pedestrian areas, shopping malls and other artificial environments that destroy spontaneity. Of special interest is his thesis that charges of ``gentrification'' are misguided when applied to the revival of neighborhoods sapped by federal and local disinvestment. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 386 pages - 978-0-385-26209-5
Paperback - 388 pages - 978-0-8122-2074-2
Open Ebook - 408 pages - 978-0-8122-0834-4
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