The Agile City: Building Well-Being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change

by James S. Russell

Hardcover, 2011




Washington, DC : Island Press, c2011.


Americans are waking up to the realization that global warming poses real challenges to the nation’s prosperity. In The Agile City, journalist and urban analyst James S. Russell engages the million dollar question: what do we do about it? The answer lies in changing our fundamental approach to growth. Improved building techniques can readily cut carbon emissions by half, and some can get to zero. These cuts can be affordably achieved in windshield-shattering desert heat and the bone-chilling cold of the north. Intelligently designing our towns, suburbs, and cities could reduce commutes and child chauffeuring to a few miles or eliminate it entirely. Who wouldn’t want a future like that? Agility, Russell explains, also means learning to adapt to the effects of climate change, which means redesigning the obsolete ways we finance real estate; distribute housing subsidies; provide transportation; and obtain, distribute, and dispose of water. These engines of growth have become increasingly dysfunctional both economically and environmentally. The Agile City highlights tactics that create multiplier effects. Ecologically driven change can stimulate economic opportunity, make more productive workplaces, and help revive neglected communities. Considering multiple effects and benefits of political choices and private investments is essential to assuring wealth and well-being. The Agile City shows that change undertaken at the building and community level, with ingenuity and resourcefulness, makes the future look very green indeed.… (more)



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