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 and Julie Gwilliam move beyond the current emphasis on technological change. They argue 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.
"The book contains fascinating studies and considerations about complex problems of mutual relations between human habitats and natural environment. The reader is encouraged to rethink and redefine the basic priorities faced by architects in the design processes of settlements and cities in order to reduce the negative environmental impact. The author's drawings and illustrations add great value to the book." - Janusz Rebielak, Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology, Poland, Chairman of the Committee for Architecture and Town Planning of the Wroclaw Branch of the Polish Academy of Science, Poland
"Those constructing homes for the future may be well versed in best sustainability practice and technological solutions to the carbon footprint, but Christopher Day sees little quarter being given to vital and life-sustaining matters of soul and spirit. In this challenging, radical book he argues that without spiritual thinking in the mix we can never have spiritual comfort in our homes." - Angela Neustatter, journalist and author
"Christopher Day writes from a profound holistic point of view, with intuitive understanding of the subtle messages of architecture and based on his deep all-embracing philosophy. With extensive research and a large number of photos and exquisite drawings he provides small and big solutions to our environmental problems, including that of the need to be close to nature within cities, and creating beautiful surroundings and quiet spaces." - Petra Jebens-Zirkel, holistic-organic architect
"Based on scores of illustrations from the literature on architecture and urban design, the authors enter a plea for an architecture of the city grounded in the spirit of place. Their call is for humanity and sensitivity in design; sustainability is not a science but a conscience." - Lino Bianco, Faculty for the Built Environment, University of Malta
"As a social and political activist Christopher Day’s science-based insight is my tool to persuade planners and politicians to change the direction of development. This book is a full toolbox of vision backed by solid science. The illustrations offer instant grasp of the principles that turn a hard shell into a breathing skin for social, economic, familial and cultural life to flourish through exceptionally challenging times." - Vicky Moller, charity director, political activist and chair of West Wales town and community forums
PART 1: LIFE-SUPPORTING ENVIRONMENT: METHOD OR APPROACH? 1. The environmental crisis: ecological or experiential? 2. Anticipating coming unknowns 3. Environmental impacts PART 2: EXPERIENTIAL ENVIRONMENT 4. Perceived reality: sensory experience 5. Soul and spirit nourishment PART 3: PLACE: THE SETTING FOR EVERYDAY LIFE 6. Placemaking for people 7. Place: identity, continuity and integrity 8. Design for community 9. Getting around cities 10. Connectivity 11. Use, space and life 12. Design for security PART 4: PROCESSES, DRIVERS AND OUTCOMES 13. Settlement form, space and life 14. Design processes: how, by whom, how fast? 15. Economic vigour as process-driver and shaper 16. The primary change-driver: money 17. Sustainability and economics PART 5: LIVING WITH A CHANGING WORLD 18. Future climate: future issues 19. Design with the elements 20. Ecological design: energy aspects 21. Cyclic systems 22. Habitat 23. Bio-climatic placemaking 24. Design for demanding climates 25. Everything change: future-proofing 26. Material applications: eco-towns, eco-projects and eco-regeneration 27. New situation: new approaches 28. Sustainability or sustenance? Illustration credits Index