Lewis Mumford and the Ecological Region: The Politics of Planning (Paperback)Mark Luccarelli (author)
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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.
Publisher: Guilford Publications
Number of pages: 230
Weight: 394 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
"Luccarelli...probes how Mumford's planning roots grew from a search for balance and community grounded in his recognition of the 'underlying geographic and economic realities' of a region. Going backward in time to these roots and forward to their physical installation on the land, Luccarelli assesses the import of these planned communities lucidly."
--Jane Holtz Kay in The Nation
"Mark Luccarelli's book (is) the first to show Mumford and his colleagues at their full stature as thinkers and planners. This is because Luccarelli combines two attributes not usually possessed by one person (at least not since the heyday of the Regional Planning Association of America itself). First, this is a deeply committed book written by someone who believes in the contemporary importance of Mumford and the RPAA for defining the contemporary meaning of `ecological regionalism' and thus for potentially re-shaping our civilization. Secondly, this is a book written by someone very well trained in American studies and planning history, who not only believes that these ideas are important, but who knows how to communicate their importance in the larger context of the history of American ideas. The result is that virtually every discussion of Mumford's ideas and those of his colleagues is original and illuminating....I was impressed by the originality and clarity of Luccarelli's treatment. He has the gift of incisive analysis; he never goes on too long, or merely summarizes the material. Every paragraph reveals what is important in the text for us today....The manuscript has an impressive unity/m-/all the more so because of the range of thinkers and projects discussed. He gives proper weight to all stages of Mumford's intellectual development, but he also brings in 'dissenting' figures like Adams or Jane Jacobs for their perspective. The result is a vivid re-creation of the whole intellectual setting which Mumford dominated....It would be a great thing if every student of planning were to read this book. It would illuminate a heritage of planning thought (and American thought) now sorely neglected; and I believe Luccarelli's manuscript makes this tradition alive and accessible as no one else has. In addition, I believe that this book is a major contribution to urban studies broadly conceived (as taught in history, political science, sociology, and economics departments) and to American studies (especially as taught in English departments)." --Robert Fishman, author of Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia and Professor of History, Rutgers University, Camden
"Mark Luccarelli repositions Lewis Mumford at the forefront of today's city planning, shows why Mumford represents a renewable resource for contemporary environmentalism. Mumford and his associates once offered an influential voice in American public life. Then he and his inheritors came to represent a road not taken. Now, as Luccarelli beautifully argues, they are decisively reemerging in the concept of ecological regionalism, a practical antidote to Edge City sterility and big-city decline. Luccarelli brilliantly rediscovers Mumford as the premier urban and environmental thinker for our time." --Frank J. Popper, Ph.D., Urban Studies Department, Rutgers University
"Luccarelli's exposition of Mumford's thought is clear and often suggestive." --Adam W. Rome, Isis
"...a sharp and penetrating analysis. ...the reader gains a clearer understanding of the issues and processes that shaped the leading edge of the progressive planning movement and done of its most respected voices. As Mumford's reputation gains more widespread currency, this book will be regarded as an invaluable resource." --Owen Fureseth, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, The Professional Geographer
"Luccarelli has written an engrossing account of an important intellectual movement, providing a wealth of detail woven deftly with the concerns of the 1990s. This book is an important contribution to American Studies and Urban Planning and will also be welcomed in the emerging field of Science and technology Studies." --David Hopping, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism