Citymakers: The Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism
Cassim Shepard. Monacelli, $45 (296) ISBN 978-1-58093-485-5
Shepard, founding editor of the online publication Urban Omnibus, presents readers with a rich view of the challenges of and opportunities for sustainable “citymaking” in an era of increasing economic inequality and destabilizing climate change. Focusing specifically on New York City in the years following the 2008 financial crisis, Shepard profiles a wide variety of people, including housing advocates, gardeners, community activists, and young entrepreneurs, who are working behind the scenes to ensure a more equitable and sustainable future for the city and its residents. Through these examples, he argues that the making and remaking of a city is fundamentally a cooperative process that is most successful when a given resource or project is marshalled to serve the city’s inhabitants in flexible, multivalent ways. For example, the group of scholars working for the Dredge Research Collective garnered interest in new technologies in sedimentary infrastructure through boat tours open to the public. Narrative footnotes, photographs, maps, and diagrams bring additional depth to the main text. The book offers a passionate and informed plea for citizens at the local level to recognize and invest in both daily and long-range projects that support the urban environment. Color photos. (Sept.)
Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrect used an incorrect pronoun to refer to the author.
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017