An accomplished architect and urbanist goes back to the roots of what makes cities attractive and livable, demonstrating how we can restore function and beauty to our urban spaces for the long term.
Nearly everything we treasure in the world’s most beautiful cities was built over a century ago. Cities like Prague, Paris, and Lisbon draw millions of visitors from around the world because of their exquisite architecture, walkable neighborhoods, and human scale. Yet a great deal of the knowledge and practice behind successful city planning has been abandoned over the last hundred years—not because of traffic, population growth, or other practical hurdles, but because of ill-considered theories emerging from Modernism and reactions to it.
The errors of urban design over the last century are too great not to question. The solutions being offered today—sustainability, walkability, smart and green technologies—hint at what has been lost and what may be regained, but they remain piecemeal and superficial. In The Art of Classic Planning, architect and planner Nir Haim Buras documents and extends the time-tested and holistic practices that held sway before the reign of Modernism. With hundreds of full-color illustrations and photographs that will captivate architects, planners, administrators, and developers, The Art of Classic Planning restores and revitalizes the foundations of urban planning.
Inspired by venerable cities like Kyoto, Vienna, and Venice, and by the great successes of L’Enfant’s Washington, Haussmann’s Paris, and Burnham’s Chicago, Buras combines theory and a host of examples to arrive at clear guidelines for best practices in classic planning for today’s world. The Art of Classic Planning celebrates the enduring principles of urban design and invites us to return to building beautiful cities.
This is truly the mother of all urban planning books.
A much-needed and heroic corrective to the grandiose techno-narcissistic dogma that has turned the American landscape into a wilderness of free parking, anxiety, and ennui. Nir Buras's The Art of Classic Planning presents a new template for a human habitat with a plausible future.
In the face of the triple threat of rapid urbanization, climate change, and natural resource depletion, we urgently need to relearn the art of building beautiful and enduring communities, as set out in The Art of Classic Planning, to ensure future generations can prosper.
A veritable bible of urbanism, Nir Buras’s The Art of Classic Planning is a formidable challenge to modernist principles.
This compendium should be understood not as an attempt to constrain urbanism to the classical, but rather to extend the range of urbanism to include the classical. Why on earth would an urbanist want to be without this trove of knowhow on the table?
Buras’ highly intelligent and comprehensively illustrated blockbuster of a book is packed with celebrations of what make beautiful, successful, agreeable environments that people can actually enjoy (and which actually work)…[A] great book.
Buras unpacks for the reader the embedded wisdom of the previous 5,000 years of city building that carries many a legacy of beautiful places created to meet the aspirations of their community…Clearly outlines the faulty thinking that led to the defacing and abandonment of our cities…Not merely a ‘must have’ book for the old library, it is a once in a generation treatise that contains within its pages the power to heal the world.
Buras seems to have been everywhere, and draws on examples from all of these places in demonstrating sound planning from the Maidan in Isfahan in Iran, to Andrassy Avenue in Budapest, to Jai Singh’s plan of Jaipur, to Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. He dedicates significant attention to centuries of planning concepts of every sort of variety…It is a deeply impressive and erudite contextualization of a massive range of material.
- 496 pages
- 10 x 10-1/2 inches
- Belknap Press
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