What makes a great city? Not a good city, or a functional city, but a great city that people admire, learn from, and replicate. Planner and architect Alexander Garvin sets out to answer this question by closely observing successful cities such as Paris, London, New York, and Vienna. He argues that a great city is a dynamic, constantly changing place that residents and their leaders can reshape to satisfy their demands. Most importantly, it is the interplay between people and public realm that creates great cities.
Garvin analyzes how particular components of the public realm (squares in London, parks in Minneapolis, and streets in Madrid) have shaped people’s daily lives, and he shows how 21st- century initiatives in Paris, Houston, Atlanta, Brooklyn, and Toronto are making an already fine public realm even better.
Alexander Garvin is a noted architect and urban planner. He is an adjunct professor of urban planning and management at Yale University. He heads a planning and design firm and lives in New York. Some of his previous books include The Planning Game: Lessons for Great Cities, Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communitie, and The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t.
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