It’s widely accepted that our environment is in crisis. Less widely recognized is that three quarters of environmental damage is due to cities – the places where most of us live. As this powerful new book elucidates, global sustainability is therefore directly dependent on urban design.
In Living Architecture, Living Cities Christopher Day moves beyond the current emphasis on technological change. He argues that eco-technology allows us to continue broadly as before and only defers the impending disaster. In reality, most negative environmental impacts are due to how we live and the things we buy. Such personal choices often result from dissatisfaction with our surroundings. As perceived environment has a direct effect on attitudes and motivations, improving this can achieve more sustainable lifestyles more effectively than drastic building-change – with its notorious performance-gap limitations. As it’s in places that our inner feelings and material reality interact, perceived environment is place-based. Ultimately, however, as the root cause of unsustainability is attitude, real change requires moving from the current focus on buildings and technology to an emphasis on the non-material.
Featuring over 400 high quality illustrations, this is essential reading for anyone who believes in the value and power of good design. Christopher Day’s philosophy will continue to inspire students with an interest in sustainable architecture, urban planning, and related fields.
PART I LIFE-SUPPORTING ENVIRONMENT: METHOD OR APPROACH?
1. The environmental crisis: ecological or experiential?
Our environment: doubly sick
Sustainability: multi-dimensional, multi-layer
Urban sustainability: a survival issue
Efficiency or multiple aims?
Damaged world or damaging process?
2. Anticipating coming unknowns
New challenges: new thinking
Building for an unknown future
3. Environmental impacts
The big picture
Choice: fact-led or feeling-led?
PART II EXPERIENTIAL ENVIRONMENT
4. Perceived reality: sensory experience
Factual reality and perceived reality
Different senses: different environmental engagement
Visual climate: feelingless or feeling-rich?
Mono-sensory experience, multi-sensory ambience
5. Soul and spirit nourishment
Non-physical environmental influences
Spirit-nurture: embodied spirit
Soul-nourishment: lessons from the past
Ensouling places: process aspects
Archetypal nourishment: nature-connection
Beauty: indulgent luxury or spirit necessity?
PART III PLACE: THE SETTING FOR EVERYDAY LIFE
6. Placemaking for people
Place: enclosure and activity
Shape, force and gesture
Repetition and identity
Life-formed space: thought-formed space
7. Place: identity, continuity and integrity
Place: identity and meaning
Form and style: function, meaning and effect
Locating ourselves in time
Continuity issues: new and old
Design codes or form-generators?
8. Design for community
Cities: collections of buildings or social frameworks?
Community formation: a process
Town form: a community factor?
Hierarchies of social scale
Public life: public places
Public-space in the motor-age
Filling places with life
9. Getting around cities
Traffic: urban lifeblood or stranglehold?
Out-of-sight parking: above ground and below
Connectivity, walkability and community
Space and privacy
11. Use, space and life
Mixed-use, mono-use and multi-use
Different uses: different relationships
12. Design for security
Crime, society and environment
Security by community
Design for neighbourhood safety
Psychological measures: signals
PART IV PROCESSES, DRIVERS AND OUTCOMES
13. Settlement form, space and life
Layout: lessons from history
Attitude, values and space-formation
14. Design processes: how, by whom, how fast?
Place design: professional or participatory?
Time: cost and value
15. Economic vigour as process-driver and shaper
Place-improvement: an incremental process
16. The primary change-driver: money
Place improvement: how can it happen?
Enhancing location: meeting the needs of place
Places or buildings
Cost, price and value
17. Sustainability and economics
Viability, profitability and ethics
Motives and consequences
Is sustainability economical?
Making the transition: how?
PART V LIVING WITH A CHANGING WORLD
18. Future climate: future issues
Global warming: unpredictable weather, unpredictable effects
Storm issues: hurricanes
Wet issues: floods
19. Design with the elements
Ecology: the elements and us
Warmth: energy or nutrient?
20. Ecological design: energy aspects
Heat: produced, conserved and reused
21. Cyclic systems
Cyclic, linear and life-energy flows
The nutrient cycle
23. Bio-climatic placemaking
Thermal environment, energy and wellbeing
Winds: their characteristics, disadvantages and advantages
Life, space and climate
24. Design for demanding climates
Hot climates: minimizing heat-gain
Design for heat: dry or humid
Hot and cold combinations
25. Everything change: future-proofing
Design for the Future: resilience
Trauma or improvement?
26. Material applications: eco-towns, eco-projects and eco-regeneration
Lessons from eco-towns
27. New situation: new approaches
Design and nature
28. Sustainability or sustenance?
Matter and spirit
Sustainability and sustenance
Other books by Christopher Day: