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Creating Compact Cities
 

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How far do you want to walk to your favourite café? Can your kids walk to school safely, without the need to be driven? Can you walk or cycle to work? Should we ban cars from the neighbourhood or can we just make them unnecessary? How many trees can you see from your window? All these simple questions can show ways of creating a more livable city environment, if they are answered properly. The answers can also reduce Co2 emissions and pollution by significant levels. The new book, "Creating Compact Cities" shows the way forward. The author, Frederick Rickmann is an award-winning urban designer, architect and designer based in Denmark.

 

The solution, according to Rickmann is that cities should be designed in a more compact way. With increased density and enhanced livability, details which increase security, well-being and privacy can be designed in. "Creating Compact Cities" illustrates how this can be achieved with examples from over 40 cities worldwide.

 

The climate crisis and the post-pandemic period have really thrown up many challenges to our populations the world over. Thoughtless city expansion and weak planning have made our cities into locomotives of pollution and mental ill health. "Creating Compact Cities" is a strong innovative guide on how we can begin to fix things. It is perhaps destined to be one of the most influential books about urban design to come from Scandinavia.

 

This is an international book written in English and in a style that will appeal to the normal reader. It deals with complex messages but in a way that the issues involved are understandable. And when they are understandable, the challenges become surmountable. In a way this book is to urban design as Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" was to cosmic physics.

The book is a hybrid book. The thoughts and ideas are borne on a balance of text and a richness of photographs. In many ways, it this new style of writing has been compared to a physical Instagram. A pleasure to scroll through and yet with a high tactile quality.

 

248 pages of debate, new thinking and answers. Neither has Frederick Rickmann held back from issues that are rarely addressed in books about town planning. Subjects such as urban poverty and ruined buildings as brought under scrutiny. Here is nourishment for your imagination. If you live in a city, you need this book.

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