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Sustainable Nation. Urban Design Patterns for the Future

  • ID: 3927643
  • Book
  • May 2018
  • 400 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"This insightful book advances the state of the art in community planning with powerful new perspectives to address a vexing challenge: the slow pace of change. Gathering an important chorus of contributors to detail local opportunities, Sustainable Nation is the neighborhood operating manual we need to speed up change across the world.
Peter Calthorpe, Principle and Co–Founder, Calthorpe Analytics

"Sustainable Nation by Doug Farr makes a powerful case that to accelerate progress on our world′s biggest challenges we need to integrate community voices with urban design principles."
Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President for Government Affairs, Center for Neighborhood Technology

"Doug Farr′s Sustainable Nation is a must–have guide for people working locally to rapidly create vibrant, diverse, and decarbonized communities the most impactful way to urgently respond to climate change and other major global challenges."
Ed Mazria, Founder and CEO of Architecture 2030


From bestselling author Douglas Farr comes Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patters for the Future. His first book, Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature, helped shift the focus of urban sustainability from the stand–alone building to the high–performance neighborhood. Given the urgency of the many challenges that society now faces, Sustainable Nation hopes to accomplish an even more dramatic shift: to focus on how long change takes and the many ways to drive change faster than ever before. The book posits that society can overcome our major challenges around decarbonization in four generations: the lifetime of a child born today.

Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future presents in four parts: Our Default World: an infographic snapshot of today that triggers empathy; Our Preferred Future: fictional short stories and timelines that evoke a preferred future; Theory of Change: a sobering deep dive into how long change takes and an ultimately hopeful cataloging of how to speed it up; and Patterns of Change: immediately actionable guidance from development experts on how groups of people, not affiliated with government, can accelerate desired neighborhood and professional change. Readers will find that this book:

  • Provides an understanding of the future of urban trends and design
  • Recognizes that to address climate change, one must overcome irrational quirks of the human brain (heuristics) through framing, nudges, and by restitching our torn social fabric
  • Challenges culture by providing practitioners, students, and local actors with urban design patterns that can be immediately applied to guide the betterment of neighborhoods

Sustainable Nation seeks to shift the sustainability conversation towards the issue of how to change faster than ever before. It is an ideal guidebook for urban designers, planners, policymakers, architects, engaged stakeholders, and anyone who is eager to make a positive impact on our and our descendants′ buildings, cities, and lives.

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Part One Our Default World

Chapter 1: Where We Are

Chapter 2: Case Studies: The Future Ahead of Schedule

Part Two Our Preferred Future

Chapter 3: Where We Want to Go

Part Three Theory of Change

Chapter 4: Theory of Change

Chapter 5: Time

Chapter 6: Acceleration Strategies

Part Four Patterns of Change

Chapter 7: Collective Effervescence

Chapter 8: Self–Governing Neighborhoods

Chapter 9: A Theater of Life

Chapter 10: Vibrant Density

Chapter 11: Mobility in Walkable Places

Chapter 12: Neighborhood Economy

Chapter 13: Urban Waters

Chapter 14: Stranded Carbon

Chapter 15: The New Health, Safety, and Welfare

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Douglas Farr
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