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Very disappointing !
le 24 juin 2009
At a time when fresh ideas are needed to renew our ways of building cities, this book is a huge disappointment.
The author is obviously honest and passionate in his quest against automobiles. Unfortunately, he clearly is no specialist in the field of urban planning and appears disconnected from many realities.
A good part of the first portion of the book presents a far-fetched comparison between Venice and Los Angeles. As fascinating as it is to visit, Venice has not been economically viable for anything but tourism for many decades. This basic choice thus invalidates the author's thesis since L.A., despite its urban and environmental shortcomings, is a vibrant city.
In the second portion of the book, a century after Ebenezer Howard, the author introduces a new `urban model', based on flower-like shapes, totally disconnected from any geographical or social reality. Clearly, a lot of thought has been awarded to this physical model as some elements are presented in excruciating details. Sadly, an ounce of common sense is sufficient to make the whole scheme fall to pieces. The notions of costs or implementation in fact do not seem to cross the author's mind whatsoever.
Although an effort has been made to organize the contents intelligibly, the writing style is poor and the work is plagued with repetitions.
I can think of no reason to recommend anyone spending time and money to read this book.