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Book Title: The Last Landscape|
The author of the book: William H. Whyte
Loaded: 1285 times
Reader ratings: 5.7
Edition: University of Pennsylvania Press
Date of issue: January 23rd 2002
ISBN 13: 9780812217995
The size of the: 3.24 MB
City - Country: No data
Format files: PDF
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The remaining corner of an old farm, unclaimed by developers. The brook squeezed between housing plans. Abandoned railroad lines. The stand of woods along an expanded highway. These are the outposts of what was once a larger pattern of forests and farms, the "last landscape." According to William H. Whyte, the place to work out the problems of our metropolitan areas is within those areas, not outside them. The age of unchecked expansion without consequence is over, but where there is waste and neglect there is opportunity. Our cities and suburbs are not jammed; they just look that way. There are in fact plenty of ways to use this existing space to the benefit of the community, and The Last Landscape provides a practical and timeless framework for making informed decisions about its use.
Called "the best study available on the problems of open space" by the New York Times when it first appeared in 1968, The Last Landscape introduced many cornerstone ideas for land conservation, urging all of us to make better use of the land that has survived amid suburban sprawl. Whyte's pioneering work on easements led to the passage of major open space statutes in many states, and his argument for using and linking green spaces, however small the areas may be, is a recommendation that has more currency today than ever before.
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Read information about the authorWilliam Hollingsworth "Holly" Whyte (1917 - 12 January 1999) was an American urbanist, organizational analyst, journalist and people-watcher.
Whyte was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania and died in New York City in 1999. An early graduate of St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware, he graduated from Princeton University and then served in Marine Corps. In 1946 he joined Fortune magazine.
Whyte wrote a 1956 bestseller titled The Organization Man after Fortune magazine sponsored him to do extensive interviews on the CEOs of corporations such as General Electric and Ford.
While working with the New York City Planning Commission in 1969, Whyte began to use direct observation to describe behavior in urban settings. With research assistants wielding still cameras, movie cameras, and notebooks, Whyte described the substance of urban public life in an objective and measurable way.
These observations developed into the Street Life Project, an ongoing study of pedestrian behavior and city dynamics, and eventually to Whyte's book called City: Rediscovering the Center (1988). City presents Whyte's conclusions about jaywalking, 'schmoozing patterns,' the actual use of urban plazas, appropriate sidewalk width, and other issues. This work remains valuable because it's based on careful observation, and because it contradicts other conventional wisdom, for instance, the idea that pedestrian traffic and auto traffic should be separated.
Whyte also worked closely with the renovation of Bryant Park in New York City.
Whyte served as mentor to many, including the urban-planning writer Jane Jacobs, Paco Underhill, who has applied the same technique to measuring and improving retail environments, Dan Biederman of Bryant Park Corporation, who led the renovation of Bryant Park and the Business Improvement District movement in New York City, and Fred Kent, head of the Project for Public Spaces.
His books include: Is Anybody Listening? (1952), Securing Open Spaces for Urban America (1959), Cluster Development (1964), The Last Landscape (1968; "about the way metropolitan areas look and the way they might look"), The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (1980; plus a companion film of the same name in 1988), and City: Rediscovering the Center (1988).
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