1st Edition

Building Cities to LAST A Practical Guide to Sustainable Urbanism

By Jassen Callender Copyright 2022
    278 Pages 86 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    278 Pages 86 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Building Cities to LAST presents the myriad issues of sustainable urbanism in a clear and concise system, and supports holistic thinking about sustainable development in urban environments by providing four broad measures of urban sustainability that differ radically from other, less long-lived patterns: these are Lifecycle, Aesthetics, Scale, and Technology (LAST). This framework for understanding the relationship between these four measures and the essential types of infrastructure—grouped according to the basic human needs of Food, Shelter, Mobility, and Water—is laid out in a simple and easy-to-understand format. These broad measures and infrastructures address the city as a whole and as a recognizable pattern of human activity and, in turn, increase the ability of cities—and the human race—to LAST. This book will find wide readership particularly among students and young practitioners in architecture, urban planning, and landscape architecture.

    Introduction: A User’s Guide

    1. Lifecycle

    Lifecycle Essentials

    Lifecycles: The Fine Print

    2. Aesthetics

    Aesthetic Essentials

    Aesthetics: The Fine Print

    3. Scale

    Scale Essentials

    Scales: The Fine Print

    4. Technology

    Technology Essentials

    Technologies: The Fine Print

    Conclusion: A Matrix for Thinking


    Jassen Callender is concerned with broad relationships between seemingly diverse aspects of making and perceiving architecture and the relation of these to the success of cities. These concerns have prompted a unique path. In the ‘90s and early 2000s, Callender worked with several firms on award-winning projects in the American South. Still an occasional practitioner, he is a member of the Society of Architectural Historians, the US Green Building Council, and board member of the Mississippi chapter of the American Institute of Architects. His educational background underscores this range of interests, from undergraduate training in both architecture and philosophy, culminating in a Bachelor of Architecture, to graduate work in painting, sculpture, and art history leading to a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota. Former Director of Mississippi State University’s Jackson Community Design Center, today Callender is Associate Director of MSU’s School of Architecture and directs the School’s 5th Year Program in Jackson, Mississippi, where he teaches advanced design studios and advises thesis students. His first book, Architecture History and Theory in Reverse, was published by Routledge in 2017.

    "With the U.S. 40% (1900), 50% (1950) and shortly 80% urbanized, this topic and how we approach it is key. With little jargon, Jassen Callender did it – offering a high level yet gritty users guide that is not another checklist but deals with relationships and correlations to guide us into the future."

    —Pliny Fisk III, co-founder and co-director of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, First Annual Sacred Tree Award – USGBC, Solar Pioneer Year 2000 American Solar Energy Society, Advisor MacArthur, Gates, and Enterprise Foundations, and Emeritus Professor Texas A&M University

    "Finally (at last!), a book that presents a strong, interconnected framework for both breadth- and depth- thinking about how cities need to be designed in order to be healthier, durable, and long-lasting places. Building Cities to LAST presents refreshing and thoughtful guidance asking us to consider Life Cycle Analysis from the start, rather than at the end of the design process."

    —Alison G. Kwok, PhD, FAIA, LEED AP, CPHC
    University of Oregon, co-author of The Green Studio Handbook and Passive House Details