Book Review :Future Forms and Designs for Sustainable Cities by Mike Jenks and Nicola Dempsey

 

The Book has presented with examples the latest research into urban forms and the ways in which they can be designed to be more sustainable , a lot has been written about the influences that can be said to affect the urban form like- technological , social , economical , institutional , geographical etc.
At the very initial stages , book tells how the conceptual ideas work when put together in practice through a range of policies & strategies , with an objective of achieving sustainability .It tells about the role of city’s character in establishing it as a sustainable urban form . The essence of cities lies in the large no. of diverse and intense connections and activities , where people live , work and play .
Urban Space is described as a place for the community rather than for an individual , and public buildings like those for –government , education , culture and commerce play an important role in providing a focus for citizens . Hence links the past , present and future .

Explaining the changing form of the city , the cities have had complex spatial layouts reflecting the multiplicity of human exchanges . The layouts , landmarks and public spaces all contribute to each city’s distinctive sense of identity .The Intelligent Building : does not have to involve high levels of technology , instead the study related building intelligence to location , including issues of ease of access . With the examples of tokyo ( Japan) and Randstad (Netherlands) , Okabe demonstrates the monocentric & polycentric configurations respectively .and suggests that the polycentric urban system is a more sustainable form than monocentric . The concept of Intelligent city by Briggs – has “ Social Equity as its focus ,and putting people back
at the centre of the urban agenda ”.

With the examples of tokyo ( Japan) and Randstad (Netherlands) , Okabe demonstrates the monocentric & polycentric configurations respectively .and suggests that the polycentric urban system is a more sustainable form than monocentric .
The book has explained well the designing in higher dense urban areas , where the mega structures is defined as a high density development, which have developed as a provision for growing population . Also , comes the concept of multiple intensive land use (MILU) followed in Hong Kong , which is maximising land resources by a compact urban form .
Sustainable Design Concept by Hulshof – makes use of existing urban roofs cape to intensify development without creating a need of further space thus reducing urban sprawl .The chapter then concentrates on sustainable development in the low density towns .

The design projects undertaken by Cambridge University and MIT dealing with the sustainable rural communities are discussed . The aim of the project was to examine whether innovative change in public policy and spatial design could create sustainable environments .
This section discusses changing work patterns , renewable energy use an assessment of the sustainability of high rise buildings .
As the work pattern changes , so is the demand for a good environment . The chapter by Gillen explores the impact of communications on the workplace and how the new technology can be extrapolated to guide the design of the city . He then talks about the physical and the virtual space and explains when to use it as per the need .The city is an important tool in connecting and maintaining relationships .

The book contains a lot number of theories and concepts forwarded by the professionals ,like - the concept of Solar City : A city that aims at reducing the level of green house gas emissions through a strategy for the introduction of Renewable Energy Systems(RES) and Rational Use of Energy (RUE) to a climate stable and sustainable level .The Oxford Solar Initiative (OSI) has been designed to develop Oxford as a pioneering Solar City .
John Mardaljevic throws light on how quality of life in dense urban areas get affected by the amount of daylight and sunlight access , as Solar access prediction represents an important.

 

This book review was written by: Abhishek Srivastava