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Book Title: City|
The author of the book: William H. Whyte
Edition: University of Pennsylvania Press
The size of the: 9.57 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: January 1st 2012
ISBN 13: 9781283898270
Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 6.2
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Named by "Newsweek" magazine to its list of "Fifty Books for Our Time."For sixteen years William Whyte walked the streets of New York and other major cities. With a group of young observers, camera and notebook in hand, he conducted pioneering studies of street life, pedestrian behavior, and city dynamics. "City: Rediscovering the Center" is the result of that research, a humane, often amusing view of what is staggeringly obvious about the urban environment but seemingly invisible to those responsible for planning it.Whyte uses time-lapse photography to chart the anatomy of metropolitan congestion. Why is traffic so badly distributed on city streets? Why do New Yorkers walk so fast-and jaywalk so incorrigibly? Why aren't there more collisions on the busiest walkways? Why do people who stop to talk gravitate to the center of the pedestrian traffic stream? Why do places designed primarily for security actually worsen it? Why are public restrooms disappearing? "The city is full of vexations," Whyte avers: "Steps too steep; doors too tough to open; ledges you cannot sit on. . . . It is difficult to design an urban space so maladroitly that people will not use it, but there are many such spaces." Yet Whyte finds encouragement in the widespread rediscovery of the city center. The future is not in the suburbs, he believes, but in that center. Like a Greek agora, the city must reassert its most ancient function as a place where people come together face-to-face.
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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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