My favorites this week from the new books table at the Architecture & Planning Library address issues of the modern urban environment: rebuilding after disaster, repurposing vacant structures, and preserving heritage as an important part of inner-city development.
New Orleans Under Reconstruction: The Crisis of Planning edited by Carol McMichael Reese, Michael Sorkin, and Anthony Fontenot gathers a wide array of work addressing the devastation of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina and the subsequet debates over planning and design to rebuild the city. The writers, architects, planners, historians, and activists who contributed to this project are searching for ways to create environmentally sustainable, economically robust, and socially equitable urban environments for the future. This book includes materials on planning, reconstruction of private and public housing and the cultural landscape, urban analysis, and flood mitigation.
Vacancy Studies: Experiments & Strategic Interventions in Architecture with Editors-in-Chief Ronald Rietveld and Erik Rietveld presents the “strategic Interventions” design approach in the newly established field of vacancy studies, which grew out of the “Vacant NL” exhibition for the Dutch pavilion at the 2010 Venice Architecture Bienale. This approach focusing on creative temporary use of existing structures addresses the relatively new dynamic created by massive scale vacancy of structures in the Netherlands. The book also covers the Studio Vacant NL program at the Sandberg Instituut designed to train specialists in the temporay use of vacant buildings and sites.
Heritage as an Asset for Inner-City Development: An Urban Manager’s Guide Book edited by Jen-Paul Corten, Ellen Guerts, Paul Meurs, and Remco Vermeulen is a product of the Course on Urban Heritage Strategies organized by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. This book examines the challenges of cultural heritage preservation in urban environments and presents case studies of six cities: Recife, Paramaribo, Pretoria, Accra, Moscow, Pulicat, Jaffna, and Surabaya.
*Clicking the title of any book in this post will link you directly to the library catalog.