Designing the Compassionate City : Creating Places Where People Thrive book cover
1st Edition

Designing the Compassionate City
Creating Places Where People Thrive

ISBN 9781138183872
Published December 11, 2017 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

Designing the Compassionate City outlines an approach to urban design that is centred on an explicit recognition of the inherent dignity of all people. It suggests that whether we thrive or decline—as individuals or as a community—is dependent on our ability to fulfil the full spectrum of our needs. This book considers how our surroundings help or hinder us from meeting these needs by influencing both what we can do and what we want to do; either inspiring us to lead healthy, fulfilled lives or consigning us to diminished lives tainted by ill health and unfulfilled potential.

Designing the Compassionate City looks at how those who participate in designing towns and cities can collaborate with those who live in them to create places that help people to accumulate the life lessons, experiences and achievements, as well as forge the connections to meet their needs, to thrive and to fulfil their potential. The book explores a number of inspiring case studies that have sought to meet this challenge and examines what has worked and what hasn’t. From this, some conclusions are drawn about how we can all participate in creating places that leave a lasting legacy of empowerment and commitment to nurturing one another. It is essential reading for students and practitioners designing happier, healthier places.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Human Needs 3. Embedding and Receiving the Messages in the Urban Environment 4. What Makes a Place Nurturing or Neglectful? 5. Living in the Cmpassionate City 6. Play Quarters, London 7. Benches Collective, Various Locations in The Netherlands and Overseas 8. Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, London 9. De Ceuvel, Amsterdam 10. Woonerven, The Netherlands and Overseas 11. Christie Walk, Adelaide 12. The Secular Pilgrimage and South Melbourne Commons, Melbourne 13. Stewartstown Road Centre, Belfast 14. UN Habitat Placemaking Projects in West Bank Villages, Palestine 15. The Obstacles and Pitfalls to Creating Places Where People Thrive 16. Designing the Compassionate City 17. The Characteristics of the Compassionate City 18. Applying Compassionate City Principles 19. Conclusions


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Jenny Donovan is the Principal of the Melbourne-based urban design practice, Inclusive Design. She set up the practice to focus on and advocate for urban design that emphasizes improved social outcomes. Her work spans urban and landscape design, social and environmental planning and neighbourhood renewal in Australia, the UK, Palestine, Ireland, Ethiopia, Kosovo and Sri Lanka.