The Well-Tempered City : What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us about the Future of Urban Life
by Jonathan F. P. Rose

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2017 PROSE Award Winner: Outstanding Scholarly Work by a Trade Publisher

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.  Read more...

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More About The Well-Tempered City by Jonathan F. P. Rose

2017 PROSE Award Winner: Outstanding Scholarly Work by a Trade Publisher

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 the home of eighty percent of the world's population by 2050. As the 21st century progresses, metropolitan areas will bear the brunt of global megatrends such as climate change, natural resource depletion, population growth, income inequality, mass migrations, education and health disparities, 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 how to design and reshape our cities with the goal of equalizing their landscape of opportunity. Drawing from the musical concept of "temperament" as a way to achieve harmony, Rose argues that well-tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, well-being, and the ever-unfolding harmony between civilization and nature. These goals may never be fully achieved, but our cities will be richer and happier if we aspire to them, and if we infuse our every plan and constructive step with this intention.

A celebration of the city and an impassioned argument for its role in addressing the important issues in these volatile times, The Well-Tempered City is a reasoned, hopeful blueprint for a thriving metropolis--and the future.

  • ISBN-13: 9780062234728
  • ISBN-10: 0062234722
  • Publisher: Harper Wave
  • Publish Date: September 2016
  • Page Count: 480
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Architecture > Urban & Land Use Planning
Books > Political Science > Public Policy - City Planning & Urban Development
Books > Social Science > Sociology - Urban

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-07-18
  • Reviewer: Staff

Rose, an urban planner and developer, takes readers on a whirlwind tour of the evolution of cities, from antiquity to the “well-tempered” cities of the future—those that exist in harmony with their dynamic environments, constantly adapting to change. He argues that the next great shift in urban planning must combine the well-regulated planning championed by mid-20th-century systems thinking with the vitality and messiness identified by Jane Jacobs as integral to creating true urban communities. Central to this vision is the metaphor of city as natural organism: living, breathing, creating waste, and undergoing cyclical change. Rose’s tone can be simultaneously overinflated and banal (as is fitting for a book that takes its title from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier), but his conclusions about the future of urban civilization are hard to disagree with; who, after all, would seriously dispute the need for cleaner, greener, more equitable, more efficient, happier, more resilient cities? Rose is clearly passionate about urban development, and the reader who can look past his attempts to connect the notion of the well-tempered city to Buddhist concepts or the structure of a Baroque fugue will be rewarded with a thought-provoking introduction to the future of cities. (Sept.)

BAM Customer Reviews