City Makers: The Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism
By Cassim Shepard
Cities are where solutions to the twenty-first century's key challenges—addressing inequality, fostering political participation, responding to climate change—will be tested. And as cities adapt to new developments in technology, infrastructure, public space, transportation, and housing, so too must urban practices and our understanding of how to effect positive change evolve. In Citymakers, Cassim Shepard offers a vivid survey of how urbanism today is no longer the domain of just planners, politicians, and power brokers removed from the effects of their decisions, but an array of citizens working at the vanguard of increasingly diverse practices, from community gardeners to architects to housing advocates.
Drawing on six years as the editor of Urban Omnibus, one of the leading publications charting innovations in urban practice (launched in 2009 by The Architectural League of New York), Shepard explores a broad variety of projects in New York, a city at the forefront of experimental and practical research: a constructed wetland in Staten Island, a workforce development and technology program in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a public art installation in a Bronx housing project, a housing advocacy initiative in Jackson Heights, Queens. These and a wide variety of other examples in Citymakers comprise a cross-disciplinary, from-the-ground-up approach that encourage better choices for cities of the future.
By blending intimate portraits of individuals and projects with incisive social analysis, Citymakers reports from the front lines of urban practice with up-to-the-minute examples and arguments that reframe our understanding of urbanism. With original photography by Alex Fradkin, the book fuses the rich visual and graphic sensibility of architectural publishing with the informative readability of sophisticated, long-format journalism. Revising traditional notions of urban intervention and providing new directions for the next generation of citizen-practitioners, Citymakers is a lasting document of the perspectives driving cities today, and tomorrow. Publisher: Monacelli
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