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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments

Many individuals have sought to design the ideal community. Read any suburban paper today and you will find story after story about citizens trying to protect open space and control rampant suburban sprawl. These citizens are unknowingly seeking John Ruskin’s vision of the “Garden City” small, beautiful communities set in green open spaces.

Although his name is not one that springs to mind when the public thinks of influential urban planners and designers, he was, undoubtedly, a most important influence. Art critic, social reformer, giant of English literature, his prodigious output of books, pamphlets and lectures, as well as his efforts at practical reform, established his tremendous reputation in Britain and America. More than providing a vision statement, he challenged artists, architects and town planners to collaborate on developing prototypes of his vision. To a remarkable extent they succeeded in doing so and thereby created a legacy of good community design that this book highlights.

Designing Utopia presents a broad overview of John Ruskin’s life: the development of his views on architecture and urban design, as well as his views on social justice; how his vision was developed in his writings; his efforts at practical application of that vision, in particular his efforts to build a guild based society. Finally the book analyses how Ruskin’s urban vision influenced the work of a long line of progressive architects and planners and the buildings and communities they designed modern urban designers such as Lewis Mumford, Patrick Geddes, Ebenezer Howard. The work of these figures are then related to current practitioners of the New Urbanism such as Duaney and Plater-Zyberk.

Review

“Michael Lang has shown, for the first time, the remarkable influence of John Ruskin on the origins of the nineteenth-century city planning movement. This book deserves to be widely read by planning historians and all those concerned with the main currents of Victorian thought.” Sir Peter Hall, FBA, MAE, PhD, HonMRTPI, Professor of Planning, The Bartlett School of Architecture, Building, Environmental Design and Planning, University College, London

Review

“Most valuable…reminds us of the continuing debt owed by Anglo-American urban planning to the physical and social ideal of community…as contrasted with a present reality of planning that is too often merely a means of protecting already powerful interests.” Professor Stephen V. Ward, School of Planning, Oxford Brookes University

Synopsis

The influence of John Ruskin’s vision of the “Garden City”–small, beautiful communities set in green open spaces.

About the Author

Michael H. Lang is Associate Professor and Chair at the Department of Urban Studies and Community Planning, Rutgers University, in Camden, New Jersey. He is the author of Homelessness Amid Affluence and Gentrification Amid Urban Decline.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781551641300
Binding:
Trade Paperback
Publication date:
03/22/1999
Publisher:
BLACK ROSE BOOKS
Pages:
224
Height:
.51IN
Width:
6.01IN
Thickness:
.5 in.
Number of Units:
1
Copyright Year:
1998
UPC Code:
2801551641302
Author:
Michael H Lang
Author:
Michael H. Lang
Subject:
General Architecture
Subject:
Planning
Subject:
City planning
Subject:
Architecture-Urban Planning

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