The Agile City
312 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:05 May 2011

The Agile City

Building Well-Being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change

Island Press
In a very short time, America realized that global warming poses real
challenges to the nation's future. The Agile City engages
the fundamental question: What to do about it?

Journalist and urban analyst James S. Russell argues that we'll
more quickly slow global-warming and blunt its effects by retrofitting
cities, suburbs, and towns. The Agile City shows that change
undertaken at the building and community level can rapidly reach
carbon-reduction goals.

Adapting buildings (39 percent of greenhouse-gas emission) and
communities (slashing the 33 percent of transportation-related
emissions) offers numerous other benefits that tax gimmicks and massive
alternative-energy investments can't match.

Rapidly improving building techniques can readily cut carbon emissions
by half, and some can get to zero. These cuts can be affordably
achieved in the windshield-shattering heat of the desert and the
bone-chilling cold of the north. Intelligently designing our towns
could reduce marathon commutes and child chauffering to a few miles or
eliminate it entirely. Agility, Russell argues, also means learning to
adapt to the effects of climate change, which means redesigning the
obsolete ways real estate is financed; housing subsidies are
distributed; transportation is provided; and water is obtained,
distributed and disposed of. These engines of growth have become
increasingly more dysfunctional both economically and

The Agile City highlights tactics that create multiplier
effects, which means that ecologically driven change can shore-up
economic opportunity, can make more productive workplaces, and can help
revive neglected communities. Being able to look at the effects and
benefits of political choices and private investments is essential to
assuring wealth and well-being in the future. Green, Russell writes,
grows the future.
James S. Russell is the architecture columnist forBloomberg News. He has written about cities, architecture, andenvironmental design for more than 20 years.

Part 1: The Land

Chapter 1 Climate Change In the Landscapes of Speculation

Chapter 2 A New Land Ethos

Part 2: Repairing the Dysfunctional GrowthMachine

Chapter 3 Real Estate: Financing Agile Growth

Chapter 4 Re-Engineering Transportation

Chapter 5 Ending the Water Wars

Chapter 6 Megaburbs: The Unacknowledged Metropolis

Part 3: Agile Urban Futures

Chapter 7 Building Adaptive Places

Chapter 8 Creating Twenty-First-Century Community

Chapter 9 Loose-Fit Urbanism

Chapter 10 Green Grows The Future

Epilogue: Tools to Build Civic Engagement

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