How does the design of a neighborhood affect the people who live there? In this thoughtful, engaging book, Sidney Brower explains how a neighborhood's design lays the groundwork for the social relationships that make it a community.
Blending social science with personal interviews, Brower shares the lessons of planned communities from historic Riverside, Illinois, to archetypal Levittown, New York, and Disney's Celebration, Florida. Through these inspirational stories, readers will discover the characteristics of neighborhoods that promote the attitudes and behaviors of a healthy community.
Part of the Citizens Planning Series at APA Planners Press, Neighbors & Neighborhoods is an eye-opener for everyone who's wondered what makes their local neighborhoods tick.read more
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Reviews forNeighbors and Neighborhoods by Sidney Brower
For the first time in almost 100 years, urban growth has outpaced suburban growth. The causes for this remain yet disputed. Is it purely economic circumstances? The housing bubble, architectural blandness, remoteness, sterility, isolation, gasoline prices?
Communities, aside from being a cliched real estate term, are in fact, a vital and necessary part of human psychology. What makes communities work?
To answer both of these, I've read this slim little volume as a first reference and springboard to later discussion. Brower offers four characteristics: homogeneity, organization, a good physical setting, and ongoing tradition/history. This does not necessarily have to apply one single idea of community - it applies as much to Baltimore's famous neighborhoods as it does 'little Bavarias' in Michigan or Santa Fe or Disneyworld. He provides a good deal of examples.
And these broad categories make great allowances within them for further communities - some can exist on socioeconomic similarities, or the widest disparities, of total racial homogeneity or extreme diversity, whatever.
Of course this book does not claim to be exhaustive. It cannot do so in less than 200 pages. But it does give a solid look at what organizing a community in the future might be like.