Shanya Almafeta (shabm) wrote,
Shanya Almafeta

Public: Books that rock: "Urban Planning and Design Criteria"

So, with a utilitarian name like "Urban Planning and Design Criteria," what's to love?

An easier question might be what's not to love. This is one of those obscure references of information you always thought you might find handy, but you have no idea how to get.

This book tells you how to design a city. The entire first chapter, from page 3 to page 35, is basically a giant list of flowchart. A flowchart that directs you to other flowcharts, which occasionally directs you to entire other chapters, the ultimate in breaking it down in simple terms for the unedicated.

There are charts, references, and discussions for just about everything. How many children a family have, and from there, how many school (and from there, teachers) a town needs; the essential services that a town needs to provide to grow; exactly how much space is needed for various town essentials (from roads to baseball fields. There are numerous time-tested guidelines for how much of utility Y you need for a town of population X -- for example, for every thousand people, about 2 acres of parks (not medians, not playgrounds, not wildland, but parks) are reccomend, and no residence should be more than a half-mile away from these parks, for the maximum psychological benefit.

There's a bit over 700 pages of this, and while the depth gets very deep, there's also a number of charts that offer simple summaries -- and, thankfully, the references (TOC and indexes) are comprehensive and easy to use.

Being the ever-hopeful Utopian I have, this is useful to me in many of my dreams of grandeur. However, there's probably elements in here that anyone could find something of interest within -- for designing realistic cities for your next roleplaying game, or criticizing your own city, or understanding better all the expenses in a government that are normally invisibile to Joe Q. Public.

So, if you're interested in getting a copy of this for yourself, here's the info:

Title: "Urban Planning and Design Criteria"
Publishers: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, Inc.
Printing Date: 1982 (1st edition)
ISBN: 0-442-21946-6
LOC #: NA9108.D4
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