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Lewis Mumford and Ecological Region : the Politics of Planning (95 Edition)by Mark Luccarelli
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
This book traces the development of Lewis Mumford's ideas and his work as founder of the Regional Planning Association of America (RPAA), and then explores the relevance of Mumford's vision to today's urban and environmental problems.
Well known for his column in The New Yorker, Lewis Mumford is widely regarded as the foremost urban critic of this century. Through historical and theoretical perspectives, author Mark Luccarelli traces the development of Mumford's thought on regional planning focusing on his pioneering concept of an ecologically-based region and shows how he attempted to turn his ideas into reality through the Regional Planning Association of America (RPAA). This informative book also demonstrates how Mumford's ideas remain extraordinarily relevant and valuable to today's urban problems.
Well known for his column in The New Yorker and his visionary political and ecological ideas, Lewis Mumford is widely regarded as one of the foremost urban critics of the century. Mumford's work, which spanned the 1920s through the 1960s, addressed the environmental, aesthetic, and social dimensions of American culture. Clearly a man ahead of his time, he advanced a conception of regional development that balanced the needs of the social world with those of the natural ecosystem. This book first traces the development of his ideas and his work as founder of the Regional Planning Association of America (RPAA), and then explores the relevance of Mumford's vision to today's urban and environmental problems. In the first part of the book, Mark Luccarelli excavates the intellectual sources of Mumford's ideas. He shows how Mumford's notion of ecological regionalism reflected a tradition of ecological thinking that was most eloquently elaborated in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. Instead of standing against modernity, Mumford linked this tradition to the potential of science for recovering a healthy relation to nature within the rubric of a participatory democracy. The value of Mumford's approach, the author argues, is his attempt to make his ideas speak to America, and to the possibilities for ecological planning inherent in the American civic tradition. Mumford proposed regional planning that would shape human life in response to the influences and critical forces of regional ecosystems; address over-urbanization and recontextualize cities in relation to nature; and take advantage of natural economies rather than economies of scale. Exploring whathappened when Mumford attempted to put his thoughts into practice, chapters examine the founding of the RPAA, as well as the debates about planning and politics that ensued from the early 1900s through the 1960s. In following these debates, the author recreates the intellectual setting centered around Mumford in dialogue with supporters and antagonists. The story of the RPAA, its innovative and moderate approach to planning, and its ultimate demise is an important one: it shows the possibilities - and the difficulties - in finding and using the intellectual and cultural materials of the American experience for social and environmental reform. Readers come away with a deeper understanding of the plight of today's cities as well as our current environmental dilemma.
About the Author
Mark Luccarelli, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Oslo in Norway. He received his doctorate at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and his interests include planning and transportation, as well as urban and environmental studies.
Table of Contents
I. Developing a Sense of Place
1. "The Old Order and the New"
2. Defining Regionalism
3. Community and Place
4. Organicism and Planning
II. Undertaking a Vision
5. "Regions--to Live In"
6. Regional Planning as "Exploration"
7. "Dinosaur Cities"
8. Planned Decentralization: The Road Not Taken
9. The RPNY and the "Ideology of Power"
10. Place and Polity in the "Neotechnic" Era
Conclusion: The Relevance of Ecological Regionalism
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