In 2012, Hurricane Sandy floods devastated coastal areas in New York and New Jersey. In 2017, Harvey flooded Houston. Today in Miami, even on sunny days, king tides bring fish swimming through the streets in low-lying areas. These types of events are typically called natural disasters. But overwhelming scientific consensus says they are actually the result of human-induced climate change and irresponsible construction inside floodplains.
As cities build more flood-management infrastructure to adapt to the effects of a changing climate, they must go beyond short-term flood protection and consider the long-term effects on the community, its environment, economy, and relationship with the water.
Adapting Cities to Sea Level Rise, by infrastructure expert Stefan Al, introduces design responses to sea-level rise, drawing from examples around the globe. Going against standard engineering solutions, Al argues for approaches that are integrated with the public realm, nature-based, and sensitive to local conditions and the community. He features design responses to building resilience that creates new civic assets for cities. For the first time, the possible infrastructure solutions are brought together in a clear and easy-to-read format.
The first part of the book looks at the challenges for cities that have historically faced sea-level rise and flooding issues, and their response in resiliency through urban design. He presents diverse case studies from New Orleans to Ho Chi Minh to Rotterdam, and draws best practices and urban design typologies for the second part of the book.
Part two is a graphic catalogue of best-practices or resilience strategies. These strategies are organized into four categories: hard protect, soft protect, store, and retreat. The benefits and challenges of each strategy are outlined and highlighted by a case study showing where that strategy has been applied.
Any professional or policymaker in coastal areas seeking to protect their communities from the effects of climate change should start with this book. With the right solutions, Al shows, sea-level rise can become an opportunity to improve our urban areas and landscapes, rather than a threat to our communities.
Cities across the globe have been designed with a primary goal of moving people around quickly—and the costs are becoming ever more apparent. The consequences are measured in smoggy air basins, sprawling suburbs, unsafe pedestrian environments, and despite hundreds of billions of dollars in investments, a failure to stem traffic congestion. Every year our current transportation paradigm generates more than 1.25 million fatalities directly through traffic collisions. Worldwide, 3.2 million people died prematurely in 2010 because of air pollution, four times as many as a decade earlier. Instead of planning primarily for mobility, our cities should focus on the safety, health, and access of the people in them.
Beyond Mobility is about prioritizing the needs and aspirations of people and the creation of great places. This is as important, if not more important, than expediting movement. A stronger focus on accessibility and place creates better communities, environments, and economies. Rethinking how projects are planned and designed in cities and suburbs needs to occur at multiple geographic scales, from micro-designs (such as parklets), corridors (such as road-diets), and city-regions (such as an urban growth boundary). It can involve both software (a shift in policy) and hardware (a physical transformation). Moving beyond mobility must also be socially inclusive, a significant challenge in light of the price increases that typically result from creating higher quality urban spaces.
There are many examples of communities across the globe working to create a seamless fit between transit and surrounding land uses, retrofit car-oriented suburbs, reclaim surplus or dangerous roadways for other activities, and revitalize neglected urban spaces like abandoned railways in urban centers.
The authors draw on experiences and data from a range of cities and countries around the globe in making the case for moving beyond mobility. Throughout the book, they provide an optimistic outlook about the potential to transform places for the better. Beyond Mobility celebrates the growing demand for a shift in global thinking around place and mobility in creating better communities, environments, and economies.
Special Award of the Jury Winner — 2018 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
In only a decade, Macau has exploded from a sleepy backwater to the world’s casino capital. It was bound to happen. Macau, a former Portuguese colony that became a special administrative region within the People’s Republic of China in 1999, was the only place in China where gambling was legal. With a consumer base of 1.3 billion mainland Chinese deprived of casino gambling, and the world’s largest growing consumer class, international corporations rushed in to enter the games. As a result, the casino influx has permanently transformed the Macau peninsula: its ocean reclaimed, hillside excavated, roads congested, air polluted, and glimmering hotel towers tossed into the skyline, dwarfing the 19th century church towers.
Essays by a number of experts give a deeper insight on topics ranging from the myth of the Chinese gambler, the role of feng shui in casino design, the city’s struggle with heritage conservation, the politics of land reclamation, and the effect of the casino industry on the public realm. Drawings and photographs in vivid color visualize Macau’s patchwork of distinct urban enclaves: from downtown casinos, their neon-blasting storefronts eclipsing adjacent homes and schools, to the palatial complexes along a new highway, a Las Vegas-style strip. They also reveal how developers go to great lengths to impress the gambler with gimmicks such as fluorescent lighting, botanic gardens, feng shui dragon statues, cast members’ costumes, Chinese art imitations, and crystal chandelier-decked elevators. It is a book that helps readers grasp the complex process of the development of the casino industry and its overall impact on the social and architectural fabric of the first and last colonial enclave in China.
New Islamic Urbanism traces the changing relationship between public and private space in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, over the past seventy years, from the dawn of the oil era to the present, paying particular attention to the role architecture plays in defining public and private spaces.
Combining Michael Warner’s concepts of publics and counterpublics with theories of space and sociological approaches to architecture, Stefan Maneval explores the concept of New Islamic Urbanism in Saudi Arabia, arguing that this architectural trend, which is characterized by an emphasis on privacy protection through high enclosures, gates, blinds, and tinted windows, constitutes for some an important element of piety. At the same time, it enables different conceptions of privacy, banned social practices, as well as the formation of publics and counterpublics.
Based on rich ethnographic data collected by the author, New Islamic Urbanism challenges normative assumptions on gender segregation in Muslim societies and provides a nuanced account of the meaning of publicness and privacy in Muslim contexts in general. It will be of particular interest to an academic readership in Middle East and Islamic studies, as well as in architecture, urban planning and anthropology.