Making the city walkable again.
Taking us on walks through Paris, New York, Toronto, North Vancouver and Singapore, Mary Soderstrom examines how cites have changed the lives of ordinary citizens—in positive and negative ways. Making the city walkable again is crucial. The author looks to the future and suggests ways in which we can reorganize our lives and our cities.
The idea that a city might not be walkable would never occur to anyone who lived before 1800. Over the past 200 years there have been dramatic changes to our cities. With the best intentions, Baron George Eugène Haussmann ruthlessly transformed Paris in the mid-19th century in an attempt to adapt the city to a new age. In North America cities were “redeveloped” to accommodate the automobile and automobile-dependent suburbs. The city was no longer walkable, and in the 1960s activist-writer Jane Jacobs began to critique many of the ideas about how cities should be organized.
Mary Soderstrom’s Green City: People, Nature & Urban Places was selected as one of the Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of 2007. She is the author of Recreating Eden: A Natural History of Botanical Gardens and The Violets of Usambara. She lives in Montreal.
Praise for Green City:
“Important and meticulously researched ... an ambitious book that covers a lot of ground and raises as many questions as it attempts to answer. Soderstrom even manages a certain lyrical mysticism about our universal need for nature.” —Globe and Mail