Archive for the ‘Urban Issues’ Category

Open Them There Doors, Toronto

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Once again, Doors Open Toronto is just around the corner, and once again, we here at Swipe are thankful to be part of the extraordinary arts and culture complex at 401 Richmond Street West. A prime destination during the festival, 401 is expecting a surge of visitors over the weekend of May 26 and 27. Accordingly, Swipe will also open its doors all weekend: on Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and on Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

In celebration of this celebration of our city’s cultural, social and architectural heritage, we’ll be updating our blog with a rundown of current Torontoniana, beginning with a brand-new release from Toronto’s own Coach House Books that documents the changing facades of this city’s streets. Featuring the photographic work of Patrick Cummins, with text by Toronto flâneur Shawn Micallef, Full Frontal T.O.: Exploring Toronto’s Architectural Vernacular chronicles thirty years of local shift and change. (2012: Coach House Books; ISBN 9781551098913)

The book is available at Swipe for $24.95, and until May 31, you can also visit the Urbanspace Gallery’s free Full Frontal T.O. exhibition, with large-scale versions of many of the photographs on display.

Full Frontal T.O.: Exploring Toronto’s Architectural Vernacular
2012: Patrick Cummins and Shawn Micallef
$24.95

2G : International Architecture Review from Barcelona (As Opposed to 2G, Gary Glitter’s Third Studio Album)

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Launched in 1997, 2G International Architecture Review, from Barcelona-based Editorial Gustavo Gili, has, in the short time since its introduction, become the most respected chronicle of contemporary architecture. Each issue is divided into three sections. The first two offer a critical examination of the work of a single architect, beginning with an introductory essay by renowned critics and colleagues, and followed by an in-depth presentation of 10 to 15 representative projects documented with full-page photographs and detailed plans and elevations. The final section, called Nexus, provides the featured architect an opportunity to write about their own work and to present their ideas as they see fit. Thus, 2G offers a unique opportunity to contrast the architect’s stated intent with critical interpretations of their work.

2G #60: Lacaton & Vassal
? 2012: Iñaki Abalos, Anne Lacaton, Jean-Philippe Vassal & Karine Dana

With a professional career of more than twenty years behind them, French architects Anne Lacaton & Jean Philippe Vassal, to whom 2G devoted an issue of in 2001, continue to pursue their own coherent, personal approach to architecture. Theirs is a position far removed from formal originality, being based, instead, on an ethical conception that upholds the essential idea of the architect’s social responsibility. Lacaton & Vassal have constructed a discourse of their own that, although seemingly simple, embraces the complexity of contemporary reality. (2012: Editorial Gustavo Gili; ISBN 9788425223457)

2G #58/59: Kazuo Shinohara
? 2011: Enric Massip-Bosch, David B. Stewart, Shin-Ichi Okuyama & Kazuo Shinohara

Kazuo Shinohara (1925-2006) has proved to be the most influential architect of his generation in shaping contemporary Japanese architecture. Shinohara carefully selected the photographs and texts that accompanied each project, and even refused Gustavo Gili’s first proposal in 2001 to revisit and photograph his buildings. This publication has only been possible after his death in 2006, thanks to the generosity of the heirs. This double issue of 2G focuses solely on his single-family homes and is the result of a long process of research to identify the site and condition of each of the houses. Some no longer exist, others have been altered considerably, but fortunately the majority remains and have been photographed exclusively for 2G by the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Ueda. Spanish/English. (2011: Editorial Gustavo Gili; ISBN 9788425224140)

2G #55: Robbrecht and Daem
? 2010: Ivona Blazwick, William Mann & Paul Robbrecht

Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem have been active as architects in the Belgian city of Ghent since 1975. Their buildings address different typologies, from cultural buildings, spaces for art and public spaces to conversions of old offices, in which painstaking construction with traditional materials and schemes that are simple in layout and of great spatial richness inscribe their work within a certain central-European tradition of the ordinary. Issue 55 presents eighteen projects by Robbrecht en Daem, fifteen of them built, which extend from public spaces for various Belgian cities (Antwerp, Ghent and Knokke) and urban amenities of major importance like Bruges Concert Hall to small projects inserted in the landscape, like a cabin the woods, a pair of observation towers and a dovecote. English/Spanish. (2010: Editorial Gustavo Gili; ISBN 9788425223747)

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2G #54: Joao Vilanova Artigas
? 2010: Joao Vilanova, Guilherme Wisnik & Kenneth Frampton

The Brazilian mid-century modernist master, whose poetic constructions built upon the plastic-concrete language of Sao Paulo school of the 1950s. This extensive monograph on his public works and private residences of the 1940s through 70s illuminate an eclipsed contributor to Brazilian architectural history. English/Spanish. (2010: Editorial Gustavo Gili; ISBN 9788425223532)

2G #52: Sauerbruch Hutton
? 2010: Barry Bergdoll, Louisa Hutton, Matthias Sauerbruch & Philip Ursprung

Dividing their time between London and Berlin, Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton are known for a practice that eschews the straight line and a muted palette, designing curvaceous buildings with bold, bright colours. (2010: Editorial Gustavo Gili; ISBN 9788425223365)

$59.95

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2G #51: MGM Morales Giles Mariscal
? 2009: Laurent Beaudouin, Sara de Giles, Jose Morales & Carlos Muro

This issue examines the work of another iconoclastic regional practice: in this case the Sevillean studio MGM Arquitectos. In both their high-density residential projects and public buildings, MGM infuses a distinctly contemporary architecture with the traditional interplay of interior and exterior space typical of Andalusian architecture. (2009: Editorial Gustavo Gili; ISBN 9788425223143)

$59.95

2G #50: Sou Fujimoto
? 2009: Toyo Ito & Julian Worrall

Sou Fujimoto is the most representative practitioner of a distinctively Japanese style in contemporary architecture which incorporates traditional Japanese attitudes toward nature and the relationship between interior and exterior space. Fujimoto is one of the youngest architects to be profiled in 2G, and his work has been restricted primarily to smaller residential projects and a variety of conceptual exercises. The issue features a critical assessment by renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito, in many ways Fujimoto’s conceptual antecedent. (2009: Editorial Gustavo Gili; ISBN 9788425222931)

$59.95

2G #48–49: Mies van der Rohe : Houses
? 2009: Beatriz Colomina, Moises Puente & Hans Christian

This double issue focuses an aspect of Mies’ body of work that, up to now, has been poorly documented. All of Mies’ single-family dwellings, in both Germany and the United States, are examined in new commissioned photos from Hans-Christian Schink, along with the original drawings and other archival material. Essays by Beatriz Colomina and Moises Puente provide critical context and a special section catalogues the known unbuilt residential projects. (2009: Editorial Gustavo Gili; ISBN 9788425221880)

$129.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

City Builder Book Club

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The Centre for City Ecology and Creative Urban Projects have been actively preparing for the launch of their City Builder Book Club, which is set to kick off on February 1. And what better volume to start proceedings with than that veritable classic of urban discussion, Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities? Fifty years ago, in this enormously influential work on town planning, Jacobs argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Her words, and her demonstration of the value of the experiences of people who live and work in cities, still hold sway today: a 50th Anniversary Edition of Death and Life was published late last year, with an insightful new introduction by the book’s original editor, Jason Epstein. (2011: Random House Publishing Group; ISBN 9780679644330)

CCE and CUP welcome you to strengthen their discussion of this book by joining the conversation on their blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Your experience in your own city is a valuable part of this conversation about what makes a city welcoming and vibrant.

Copies of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 50th Anniversary Edition are available for sale at Swipe for $25.95.

Celebrate the World Premiere of Gary Hustwit’s New Design Documentary

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

On September 9th, we will be celebrating the world premiere of Urbanized as part of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Gary Hustwit (Helvetica/Objectified) returns with the final documentary in his design film trilogy.  Urbanized focuses on the design of cities and features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policymakers, and thinkers, including Sir Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Jan Gehl, Oscar Niemeyer, Amanda Burden, Enrique Peñalosa, Alejandro Aravena, Eduardo Paes, Rahul Mehrotra, Ellen Dunham-Jones, Ricky Burdett, James Corner, Michael Sorkin, Bruce Katz, Candy Chang, Edgar Pieterse, and many more, including extraordinary citizens who have affected change in their cities.

Who is allowed to shape our cities, and how do they do it? And how does the design of our cities affect our lives? By exploring a diverse range of urban design projects in dozens of cities around the world, from massive infrastructure initiatives to temporary interventions, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities.

Check out the TIFF schedule here!

The Greenberg Revolution: City Building in the 21st Century

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Walking Home: The Life and Lessons of a City Builder

? 2011: Ken Greenberg

Ken Greenberg has worked in an enviable number of cities around the world – Amsterdam, New York, St. Paul, Montreal, Boston, San Juan, Toronto … we could keep going – and in his new book Walking Home he brings this experience and knowledge to a discussion of city building. Eschewing the negative outlook of many urban writings, Greenberg’s book is filled with positive, constructive dialogue about how we can improve the conditions in our cities, from building better public spaces, to increasing density in smart and sensitive ways, to connecting cities back to their waterfronts.

For Greenberg, city building is best done incrementally, inserting density and contemporary buildings into the existing fabric of the city, building upon what is already there as opposed to starting with a blank canvas. In this way we can create more dynamic and organic spaces, allowing our cities to evolve over time. He calls this an open-platform kind of city building; the role of the urban designer is to create flexible spaces that can adapted to different uses over time.

For Toronto, this book is both timely and important. It should be a wake-up call to those at City Hall: a reminder that city building takes work, courage and collaboration, but that the potential for vibrant places to live is worth it.

Walking Home enjoyed its official launch on Wednesday 25 May, and Swipe Design was thrilled to be partnering with 401 Richmond’s Urbanspace Gallery to perform the honours. Oh yes, and Greenberg was wielding his authorly pen on the night. (2011: Random House Canada; ISBN 9780307358141)

$29.95

Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg: Twenty Years of Breaking Ground

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Grounded: The Work of Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg

? 2010: Julian Smith, Ken Greenberg, Bruce Kuwabara, Doug Paterson, Jacqueline Hucker, Eduard Koegel & Kelty McKinnon; forward by Michael Van Valkenburgh

With a book called Grounded, it’s hardly surprising that the founding partners of Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg are so, well, down to earth. We had the pleasure of meeting the Smallenberg and Farevaag components of the PFS team at a recent Toronto gathering, celebrating the launch of the Vancouver firm’s impressive monograph.

Showcasing PFS’s planning, urban design and landscape architecture works, Grounded is also an intriguing walk through time and place, featuring seven commissioned essays by some of today’s most influential architects, planners and historians. Jacqueline Hucker discusses commemorative architecture, including the Canadian memorial in Vimy Ridge, France, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa; Bruce Kuwabara explores landscape architecture’s civic role; and Ken Greenberg, Douglas Paterson, Julian Smith, Eduard Koegel and Kelty McKinnon offer a range of PFS-oriented perspectives.

All of this is wrapped up in the lush, clean design of Argentinian-born Canadian Pablo Mandel. Oh, and that cover? It may look like a Legoland paradise, but it’s all real. Check it out next time you’re hovering over the Washington Mutual Centre’s Roof Garden in Seattle. (2010: Blue Imprint; ISBN 9781897476208)

$83.95

Jan Gehl’s Cities for People

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

If urban planning and design has a folk hero, it’s 74 year-old Danish architect and urban designer Jan Gehl. Gehl has, since the 1971 publication of his book Life Between Buildings, been the go-to brains for figuring out how best to plan and design cities for people, which, as it happens, is the title of his new book: Cities for People.

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Cities for People
? 2010: Jan Gehl

Gehl is one of the founding partners of Gehl Architects – Urban Quality Consultants. An aptly named firm considering its focus on creating more livable, sustainable and lively urban places with the pedestrian and cyclist in mind. Though based in Copenhagen, Gehl has travelled the world with his cities-for-people message, with a recent stop in New York City. There he was hired by New York’s Department of Transportation, the results of which were some big changes to the Big Apple: miles of bike lanes and, most impressively, the pedestrianization of Times Square.

On October 7th 2010, Gehl spoke at the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design to a packed auditorium and a similarly packed overflow room. With his unassuming and friendly manner, he provided a brief but thorough critique of modernist planning, from the highway mania of the Robert Moses era to Le Corbusier’s obsession with his towers in a park (or, as Gehl quipped, towers in a parking lot). With the requisite nod to the down-to-earth planning style advocated by Jane Jacobs in her 1961 book Death and Life of Great American Cities, Gehl next turned to the ideas that make up Cities for People.

So what are cities for people? With chapters in his book given such titles as “the human dimension,” “the city at eye level” and “life, space, buildings – in that order,” it’s not hard to see where Gehl’s preoccupation lies. Cities for people are those that focus on the view citizens have of their city as they walk or cycle around. Cities for people are those that incorporate “complete streets” – those providing for pedestrians, cyclists and public transportation, as well as for cars. In Gehl’s world, cities are not parks of monumental architecture, but are designed and planned for the people that live, work and play at ground level.

Filled with photographs and explanatory diagrams, Cities for People is an accessible and intelligent look at how much better our cities could be and how we can get there. (2010: Island Press; ISBN 9781597265737)

$49.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Pantalone, Smitherman or Ford, Toronto’s Still Toronto, Right? Right?

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Toronto’s future mayoral stewardship may be hanging in the balance, but there’s no doubt about the significance of our city’s cultural, social and architectural heritage. In recognition, the BUILT store-within-a-store at Swipe offers a selection of informatively readable Torontoniana, relevant both to residents and to interested observers.

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A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto
? 2010: Margaret and Phil Goodfellow cdnmapleleaf

The past two decades have seen an explosion of building in our city, and while from an urban-planning perspective much of this development might be viewed with suspicion, from a purely aesthetic perspective, many of these buildings are thoughtful, challenging and truly beautiful. Authored by Toronto Society of Architects stalwarts Margaret and Phil Goodfellow, this up-to-the-minute guide documents sixty projects completed between 1992 and 2010 that form the core of this Toronto architectural renaissance. Organized by neighbourhood, this pocket-sized guide is equally delightful whether readers choose to hit the streets or do their site-seeing from an armchair. (2010: Douglas & McIntyre; ISBN 9781553654445)

$24.95

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The Edible City: Toronto’s Food from Farm to Fork
? 2009: Alana Wilcox & Christina Palassio, editors cdnmapleleaf

The newest title in Coach House’s uTOpia series, the 40 essays in Edible City examine all aspects of the way that Torontonians feed themselves, from fancy restaurant to urban slaughterhouse, from disappearing farmland to balcony container garden. (2009: Coach House Books; ISBN 1552452190)

HTO: Toronto’s Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets
? 2008: Christina Palassio & Wayne Reeves, editors cdnmapleleaf

With its harbour and sprawling lakeshore, two major river systems with a network of ravines and creeks, and a massive sewer and water-supply system, Toronto is a city of waterways. This fourth volume in the influential uTOpia series explores the city’s relationship with water, both in the landscape and in our domestic and industrial lives. (2008: Coach House Books; ISBN 9781552451946)

Historical Atlas of Toronto, paperback
? 2009: Derek Hayes cdnmapleleaf

In this recent addition to the acclaimed series, geographer Derek Hayes charts Toronto’s history, presenting more than 200 period maps that together provide a unique visual record of the city’s development. (2008: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd; ISBN 9781553654971)

The Shape of the Suburbs: Understanding Toronto’s Sprawl
? 2009: John Sewell cdnmapleleaf

A meticulous and thoughtful account of how Toronto became “Greater” Toronto, expanding on the author’s classic study The Shape of the City. John Sewell includes anecdotes on the origin and purpose of Toronto’s expressway system, the economic and political history of infrastructure in the 905, and the unlikely connection between the QEW and Adolph Hitler. (2009: University of Toronto Press; ISBN 9780802095879)

Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto
? 2010: Shawn Micallef & Marlena Zuber cdnmapleleaf

Shawn Micallef, Eye columnist, senior editor at Spacing and a co-founder of the [murmur] project, explores Toronto’s buildings and streetscapes as dynamic cultural entities, examining not only their structure and purpose but also the ways they are used and experienced by the people who inhabit them. The thirty-two featured walks, guided by hand-drawn maps from illustrator Marlena Zuber, invite the reader to experience the city at a pace that celebrates the details as well as the grand vision. (2010: Coach House Books; ISBN 1552452263)

The Edible City: Toronto’s Food from Farm to Fork: $24.95
HTO: Toronto’s Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets: $24.95
Historical Atlas of Toronto: $34.95
The Shape of the Suburbs: Understanding Toronto’s Sprawl: $24.95
Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto: $24.95

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Doors Open Opening!

Monday, May 17th, 2010

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Tim Fraser for National Post

Swipe and BUILT are pleased to announce that we will be hosting Margaret and Phil Goodfellow, authors of the newly released Guide to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto, as they meet the public and answer questions about Toronto’s architectural renaissance on the opening day of Doors Open, Saturday May 29th, in the lobby lounge of 401 Richmond Street West from 2 pm to 3:30 pm. Please join us!

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With Doors Open Toronto 2010 just around the corner, we here at Swipe and BUILT are more thankful than ever to be part of the extraordinary arts and culture complex at 401 Richmond Street West. A prime destination during the festival, 401 is expecting several thousand visitors over the weekend of May 29th and 30th. Accordingly, Swipe and Built will be open Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

In celebration of this celebration of our city’s cultural, social and architectural heritage, BUILT offers a selection of Torontoniana published since last year’s post, beginning with a tremendously significant new release that documents one of the most exciting moments in Toronto’s long architectural history. That moment is, you may have guessed, right now.

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A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto
? 2010: Margaret and Phil Goodfellow cdnmapleleaf

The past two decades have seen an explosion of building in our city, and while from an urban-planning perspective much of this development might be viewed with suspicion, from a purely aesthetic perspective, many of these buildings are thoughtful, challenging and truly beautiful. Authored by Toronto Society of Architects stalwarts Margaret and Phil Goodfellow, this up-to-the-minute guide documents sixty projects completed between 1992 and 2010 that form the core of this Toronto architectural renaissance. Organized by neighbourhood, this pocket-sized guide is equally delightful whether readers choose to hit the streets or do their site-seeing from an armchair. (2010: Douglas & McIntyre; ISBN 9781553654445)

$24.95

Please join us as we host Margaret and Phil on the opening day of Doors Open, Saturday May 29th in the lobby lounge at 401 Richmond Street West at 2 pm. In the meantime, listen to an interview with Phil by Peter Stock of CIUT 89.5 FM:

[audio:http://www.swipe.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/goodfellow-interview.mp3|titles=Phil Goodfellow on CIUT 89.5FM]

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shapesuburbs

The Edible City: Toronto’s Food from Farm to Fork
? 2009: Alana Wilcox & Christina Palassio, editors cdnmapleleaf

New from the uTOpia team, the 40 essays in Edible City examine all aspects of the way that Torontonians feed themselves, from fancy restaurant to urban slaughterhouse, from disappearing farmland to balcony container garden. (2009: Coach House Books; ISBN 1552452190)

HTO: Toronto’s Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets
? 2008: Christina Palassio & Wayne Reeves, editors cdnmapleleaf

With its harbour and sprawling lakeshore, two major river systems with a network of ravines and creeks, and a massive sewer and water-supply system, Toronto is a city of waterways. This fourth volume in the influential uTOpia series explores the city’s relationship with water, both in the landscape and in our domestic and industrial lives. (2008: Coach House Books; ISBN 9781552451946)

Historical Atlas of Toronto, paperback
? 2009: Derek Hayes cdnmapleleaf

In this new addition to the acclaimed series, geographer Derek Hayes charts Toronto’s history, presenting more than 200 period maps that together provide a unique visual record of the city’s development. (2008: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd; ISBN 9781553654971)

The Shape of the Suburbs: Understanding Toronto’s Sprawl
? 2009: John Sewell cdnmapleleaf

A meticulous and thoughtful account of how Toronto became ‘Greater’ Toronto, expanding on the author’s classic study The Shape of the City. John Sewell includes anecdotes on the origin and purpose of Toronto’s expressway system, the economic and political history of infrastructure in the 905, and the unlikely connection between the QEW and Adolph Hitler. (2009: University of Toronto Press; ISBN 9780802095879)

Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto
? 2010: Shawn Micallef & Marlena Zuber cdnmapleleaf

Shawn Micallef, Eye columnist, senior editor at Spacing and a co-founder of the [murmur] project, explores Toronto’s buildings and streetscapes as dynamic cultural entities, examining not only their structure and purpose but also the ways they are used and experienced by the people who inhabit them. The thirty-two featured walks, guided by hand-drawn maps from illustrator Marlena Zuber, invite the reader to experience the city at a pace that celebrates the details as well as the grand vision. (2010: Coach House Books; ISBN 1552452263)

The Edible City: Toronto’s Food from Farm to Fork: $24.95
HTO: Toronto’s Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets: $24.95
Historical Atlas of Toronto: $34.95
The Shape of the Suburbs: Understanding Toronto’s Sprawl: $24.95
Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto: $24.95

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Jane’s Walk and Jane’s Legacy

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

What We See: Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs
? 2010: Stephen A. Goldsmith & Lynne Elizabeth

To coincide with the annual Jane’s Walk series of free neighbourhood walking tours, Built and Swipe have, by an exclusive arrangement, received advanced copies of this timely revisitation of the ideas and work of urban-activist Jane Jacobs. Heeding Jacobs’ collaborative approach to city and community building, What We See presents the personal and professional observations of thirty practitioners across the fields of economics, social activism and urban planning as they seek to refresh Jacobs’ theories for the present day. The resulting collection of original essays offers the generalist, the activist and the urban planner practical examples of the benefits of community participation, pedestrianism, diversity, environmental responsibility and self-sufficiency. (2010: New Village Press; ISBN 9780981559315)

$32.95

One Jane’s Walk in particular, King-Spadina: One of ‘The Two Kings’, guided by Paul Bedford and Margie Zeidler (Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 10:00 am), quite conveniently, passed right by Swipe Books at 401 Richmond Street West, where copies of What We See were available for purchase. And, of course, always on offer are works by Jane Jacobs herself, a range of interesting titles directly related to Jacobs’ legacy, and an unrivaled selection of books and journals on urban issues and architecture in general.

_________________________________

To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.