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Environmental Sciences - Global Change - Climate Change | The Agile City - Building Well-being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change

The Agile City

Building Well-being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change

Russell, James S.

2012, XVIII, 292p. 43 illus.


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  • This book shows that retrofitting cities, communities, and buildings can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a manner that is quicker and more cost-effective than expensive alternative energy investments or complicated tax solutions
  • It is one of the first books about sustainable architecture, planning, and design that is written primarily for a trade and professional audience
  • James Russell is the perfect author for such a book, as he is a journalist and registered architect who has been writing about cities, architecture, and environmental design for more than twenty years

Americans are waking up to the realization that global warming poses real challenges to the nation’s prosperity. In The Agile City, journalist and urban analyst James S. Russell engages the million dollar question: what do we do about it?

The answer lies in changing our fundamental approach to growth. Improved building techniques can readily cut carbon emissions by half, and some can get to zero. These cuts can be affordably achieved in windshield-shattering desert heat and the bone-chilling cold of the north. Intelligently designing our towns, suburbs, and cities could reduce commutes and child chauffeuring to a few miles or eliminate it entirely. Who wouldn’t want a future like that?

Agility, Russell explains, also means learning to adapt to the effects of climate change, which means redesigning the obsolete ways we finance real estate; distribute housing subsidies; provide transportation; and obtain, distribute, and dispose of water. These engines of growth have become increasingly dysfunctional both economically and environmentally.

The Agile City highlights tactics that create multiplier effects. Ecologically driven change can stimulate economic opportunity, make more productive workplaces, and help revive neglected communities. Considering multiple effects and benefits of political choices and private investments is essential to assuring wealth and well-being. The Agile City shows that change undertaken at the building and community level, with ingenuity and resourcefulness, makes the future look very green indeed.

Content Level » Popular/general

Keywords » Climatic changes - Economic development - Financial crises - Government policy - Sustainable development

Related subjects » Ecology - Environmental Management - Global Change - Climate Change - Sustainable Development

Table of contents 


Prologue: Carbon-neutral Now

Introduction: The Concrete Metropolis in a Dynamic Era

Part 1: The Land

1. Climate Change in the Landscapes of Speculation

2. A New Land Ethos

Part 2: Repairing The Dysfunctional Growth Machine

3. Real Estate: Financing Agile Growth

4. Re-engineering Transportation

5. Ending the Water Wars

6. Megaburbs: The Unacknowledged Metropolis

Part 3: Agile Urban Futures

7. Building Adaptive Places

8. Creating Twenty-first-century Community

9. Loose-fit Urbanism

10. Green Grows the Future

Epilogue: Tools to Build Civic Engagement.

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