• Hardcover: 480 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (September 13, 2016)
In the vein of Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Edward Glaeser’s Triumph of the City, Jonathan F. P. Rose—a visionary in urban development and renewal—champions the role of cities in addressing the environmental, economic, and social challenges of the twenty-first century.
Cities are birthplaces of civilization; centers of culture, trade, and progress; cauldrons of opportunity—and by 2080 will be home to 80 percent of the world’s population. As the twenty-first century progresses, metropolitan areas will bear the brunt of global megatrends such as climate change, natural resource depletion, population growth, income inequality, mass migration, and education and health disparity, among many others.
In The Well-Tempered City, Jonathan F. P. Rose—the man who “repairs the fabric of cities”—distills a lifetime of interdisciplinary research and firsthand experience into a five-pronged model for designing and reshaping cities with the goal of equalizing their landscape of opportunity. Drawing from the musical concept of “temperament,” Rose argues that well-tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, and well-being, to achieve ever-unfolding harmony between civilization and nature. While these goals may never be fully attained, if we at least aspire to them, and approach every plan and constructive step with this intention, our cities will be richer and happier.
A celebration of the city and an impassioned argument for its role in addressing important issues in these volatile times, The Well-Tempered City is a well-reasoned, hopeful blueprint for a thriving metropolis—and the future.
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Our cities and suburban areas are in trouble. With the growth of the human population, we have overused resources, thrown off our balance with nature and created infrastructure that cuts people off from food, recreation and supplies that further intensifies racial and economic divides. Jonathan F.P. Rose offers insight into how to begin to fix the problem and examples of how the tenets of his model are presently working in cities around the globe. Beginning from the rise of the community in human history, the principles of Coherence, Circularity, Resilience, Community and Compassion are explored in the context of a well-run, harmonious city.
As an environmental scientist I am always very interested in sustainability and balance. Within cities, this has always been something that seemed difficult to achieve, yet these were two strong themes throughout the book. I enjoyed that Rose used music and the circle of fifths as inspiration for an organizational model. I also enjoyed reading about specific civilizations throughout history were examined for their connections to the natural world. Climate change is a big factor for restructuring our cities; this is a driving force for change and connected each of the principles well. I was very impressed about how interested I was in each section, The Well-Tempered City was easy to read and kept up the pace by weaving together stories and data. Most of all The Well-Tempered City creates a plan to fix what we have spent lifetimes breaking as well as important questions to ask ourselves about how we would like to live.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
JONATHAN F. P. ROSE works with cities and not-for-profits to plan and build affordable and mixed-income housing and cultural, health, and educational centers. Recognized for creating communities that literally heal both residents and neighborhoods, Rose is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on the integration of environmental, social, and economic solutions to issues facing cities today.
For his work as founder of the investment, development, and urban planning firm Jonathan Rose Companies, he has received awards from the Urban Land Institute, the American Institute of Architects, the American Planning Association, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, among many others. With Diana Calthorpe Rose, he is cofounder of the Garrison Institute and the creator of its Climate Mind and Behavior program.
Find out more about Rose and The Well-Tempered City at www.welltemperedcity.com.