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Book Title: The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces|
The author of the book: William H. Whyte
ISBN 13: 9780970632418
Date of issue: January 31st 1980
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.80 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.6
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In 1980, William H. Whyte published the findings from his revolutionary Street Life Project in The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Both the book and the accompanying film were instantly labeled classics, and launched a mini-revolution in the planning and study of public spaces. They have since become standard texts, and appear on syllabi and reading lists in urban planning, sociology, environmental design, and architecture departments around the world.
Project for Public Spaces, which grew out of Holly's Street Life Project and continues his work around the world, has acquired the reprint rights to Social Life, with the intent of making it available to the widest possible audience and ensuring that the Whyte family receive their fair share of Holly's legacy.
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Read information about the authorWilliam Hollingsworth "Holly" Whyte (1917 - 12 January 1999) was an American urbanist, organizational analyst, journalist and people-watcher.
Whyte was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania and died in New York City in 1999. An early graduate of St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware, he graduated from Princeton University and then served in Marine Corps. In 1946 he joined Fortune magazine.
Whyte wrote a 1956 bestseller titled The Organization Man after Fortune magazine sponsored him to do extensive interviews on the CEOs of corporations such as General Electric and Ford.
While working with the New York City Planning Commission in 1969, Whyte began to use direct observation to describe behavior in urban settings. With research assistants wielding still cameras, movie cameras, and notebooks, Whyte described the substance of urban public life in an objective and measurable way.
These observations developed into the Street Life Project, an ongoing study of pedestrian behavior and city dynamics, and eventually to Whyte's book called City: Rediscovering the Center (1988). City presents Whyte's conclusions about jaywalking, 'schmoozing patterns,' the actual use of urban plazas, appropriate sidewalk width, and other issues. This work remains valuable because it's based on careful observation, and because it contradicts other conventional wisdom, for instance, the idea that pedestrian traffic and auto traffic should be separated.
Whyte also worked closely with the renovation of Bryant Park in New York City.
Whyte served as mentor to many, including the urban-planning writer Jane Jacobs, Paco Underhill, who has applied the same technique to measuring and improving retail environments, Dan Biederman of Bryant Park Corporation, who led the renovation of Bryant Park and the Business Improvement District movement in New York City, and Fred Kent, head of the Project for Public Spaces.
His books include: Is Anybody Listening? (1952), Securing Open Spaces for Urban America (1959), Cluster Development (1964), The Last Landscape (1968; "about the way metropolitan areas look and the way they might look"), The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (1980; plus a companion film of the same name in 1988), and City: Rediscovering the Center (1988).
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