THE HEART OF PLACE
Order from Tom Bender
38755 Reed Rd., Nehalem, OR 97131
1993,148 pp., $15 (paper).
Tom Bender, former editor of RAIN magazine and an occasional IC contributor, reflects on ways of fostering the sacred in the built environment, economics, and in everyday living. The book includes an excerpt from his winning entry in the 1993 American Institute of Architects’ Sustainable Community Solutions contest, and from other writing past and current. An insightful book with a solid grounding in experience and observation.
– Sarah van Gelder
Produced by MOVING IMAGES.
Order from: The VIDEO PROJECT, 1-800-4-PLANET (Institutions: $85, Individuals: $39.95, shipping $4.95, rentals available)
The 1980s citizen diplomacy movement brought US and Soviet people together to build bridges of cooperation and friendship. This video shows two examples of next steps in that movement: "Peace Trees," in which US, Soviet, and Costa Rican teens helped restore ravaged forests in Costa Rica; and the "Partners Project," in which volunteers from the US and the former Soviet Union built low-income housing in Yakima, Washington, and new homes for earthquake survivors in Armenia. The video shows the hope and challenges involved in putting together these projects.
– Diane Gilman
THE NEW URBANISM: Towards an Architecture of Community
San Francisco, McGraw-Hill Inc., 1994, 245 pp., $49.95 (hardcover).
As an antidote to the fragmentation of our society fueled by the automobile and the resulting suburban sprawl, the "new urbanists" prescribe new models for regions and neighborhoods that make community the focal point for planning.
In 24 case examples, the author finds the beauty in density, taking the reader on a wide-ranging tour of completed projects and works in progress. Photos, illustrations, and site drawings reveal unexpected similarities between a resort town in Florida, a plan for revitalizing the core of downtown Los Angeles, a mobile-home village in Arizona, and in the Cité Internationale proposal for a commercial/retail district in Montréal.
– Kathryn True
RECKONING: Drugs, the Cities, and the American Future
Hill and Wang, New York.
1993, 405 pp., index, $25 (hardback)
Elliott Currie, a professor and consultant on crime issues, is among the most insightful authors we encountered while researching this issue of IC. This book focuses on the reasons the drug culture is able to so effectively keep a grip on poor communities and where we went wrong in our "war on drugs." Currie then outlines the systemic changes needed to eliminate the root causes of the US drug epidemic. His solutions focus on reconstructing community, supporting families, and expanding opportunities. An excellent, thoroughly researched book, which shows we can solve this problem if we just say no to quick "fixes."
AUDUBON HOUSE: Building the Environmentally Responsible, Energy-Efficient Office
National Audubon Society and Croxton Collaborative, Architects
New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1994, 207 pp., $24.95 (hardcover).
The National Audubon Society’s search for a new home combined with their commitment to the environment led to an inspiring anomaly in New York City: one of the most environmentally advanced buildings ever designed built at market cost using only off-the-shelf technology, with priority placed on employees’ health and work satisfaction (see article in IC #35).
Part I documents the building team’s discovery of strategies to lower the environmental impact of the building. Part II focuses on the lighting, heating and cooling, ventilation and indoor air quality, and recycling systems, and how they work together. Appendices include tests and software used to gauge energy efficiency, products used on the project, and the Audubon Garbage Test. Anyone who designs, builds, or works in an office building will find this a substantial, well-illustrated study of change in action.
A SOURCE BOOK FOR THE COMMUNITY OF RELIGIONS
edited by Joel Beversluis
The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. Order from The SourceBook Project c/o Joel Beversluis, 1039 Calvin SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. 1993, 240 pp. $15 (paper).
Published to coincide with the gathering of world religious and spiritual leaders, this book contains more than 190 essays, poems, prayers, declarations, and articles from numerous spiritual traditions. Background on spiritual traditions, from Bahá’í to Zoroastrianism, is included, but the SourceBook goes much further, exploring the interconnections between global issues and core beliefs and values, and visions for a future guided by spiritual wisdom and contemporary knowledge.