Six decades of building a physical environment organized around cars instead of people has profoundly changed us. In “Where We Want to Live – Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities,” (St. Martin’s Press, 2016), Ryan Gravel shows us how to forget tired old arguments about traffic, pollution, blight, and sprawl, and instead rethink them as assets for the creation of communities where we want to live.
WHERE WE WANT TO LIVE – Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities
- Winner > Phillip D. Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment, by the Southern Environmental Law Center
- Winner > Judy Turner Prize, AJC Decatur Book Festival
- Listed > Books All Georgians Should Read in 2016 by the Georgia Center for the Book
- Listed > Top Planning Book for 2017 by Plantetizen
WHERE WE WANT TO LIVE is an urgent call-to-action by Ryan Gravel, the visionary behind the Atlanta Beltline. Released in hardcover by St. Martin’s Press on March 15, 2016, a launch event was held by WABE, Atlanta’s NPR station, at the Carter Center with host Valerie Jackson, wife of the late great former mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Jackson.
WHERE WE WANT TO LIVE offers context to the decisions we make about the places we live, describing a new cultural momentum that we’re all a part of whether we acknowledge it or not. Written as narrative nonfiction, the book is for everyone from grassroots community organizers to entrepreneurs and health practitioners. No matter what your station in life, you have a role to play in the positive transformation of cities.
WHERE WE WANT TO LIVE is a compelling and insightful narrative that captures the intimate relationship between infrastructure and our lives. Gravel describes this bond by summoning the streets of Paris, the spirit of Detroit, the unruly Los Angeles River, and dozens of other conditions, making a powerful case for an emerging new infrastructure that is better suited to the needs of our future. He describes how projects like Atlanta’s Beltline and Houston’s Buffalo Bayou are supporting a new cultural momentum that will ultimately transform our way of life with the same magnitude as automobiles and highways did in the last century. More than mere observation, however, Gravel describes how we can all engage with this cultural, political, and physical cycle of change to make a better life for ourselves.
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What people are saying:
“Where do we want to live? Ryan Gravel, who will likely be remembered as one of our nation’s highest impact urban designers, has some remarkable answers from his nearly two decade journey exploring the topic. At a time when sustainability, race relations, and economic growth seem more perplexing than ever, Ryan’s ideas address all of these issues through a thoughtful approach to the development of our cities. As a doctor, I am also well aware of the tremendous health benefits a walking city can have on our health. Decreases in blood pressure and obesity and increases in connectedness, happiness and joy. I don’t always think about these issues on a spectacular day of running or biking on the Atlanta Beltline with my three daughters. I simply know this what a real city can feel like.” “Crisp and smart.” – Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent at CNN.
“What if infrastructure was viewed not as something over-budget or in need of repair but as a conduit to creating better, more livable cities? In Where We Want to Live, Ryan Gravel makes a passionate case for infrastructure as catalyst, arguing that our collective imaginations and energy can transform the places we live in.” “Absolutely inspiring.” – Allison Arieff, Contributing Columnist, The New York Times
“In a time of political complexity Ryan Gravel delivers with a beautifully written call-to-action for more responsible and inclusive infrastructure in our cities and metropolitan regions.” – Nathaniel Smith, Founder & Chief Equity Officer, Partnership for Southern Equity
“Ryan Gravel’s new book starts with the premise that big infrastructure ideas can yield huge economic and social payoffs. With the spirt of Daniel Burnham’s famous “make no little plans,” Gravel shows how his concept for the Atlanta Beltline is changing everything there, becoming a model for how all metropolitan areas can achieve transformative change. The Beltline is the most important infrastructure project in the country today, linking rich and poor neighborhoods to each other and to transit, and sparking billions of private sector investment already and tens of billions to come. Just as every metro area in the country adopted some form of belt highway, every metro will built a Beltline…surprisingly, Atlanta is doing it first.” “A hopeful book with achievable goals.” – Christopher B. Leinberger, The Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor, George Washington University School of Business