Designing the City Designing the City
A Guide for Advocates and Public Officials


Adele Fleet Bacow
Format: Soft Cover
Length: 210 pages
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1559632917
Copyright: 1995

Written in a clear and engaging style, Designing the City is a practical manual for improving the way communities are planned, designed, and built. It presents a wealth of information on design and decision-making, including advice on how citizens and activists can make their voices heard, and numerous examples of effective strategies for working with all parties involved in neighborhood and community development. It highlights proven models and strategies to help communities:

  • Establish unique and productive partnerships with public works and transportation departments.
  • Develop resources through grant programs.
  • Broaden expertise, perspective, and constituency.
  • Create new and enduring models for effective action.
  • Educate participants and consumers of the design and development process.


“Designing the City is filled with pragmatic, detailed, true-life cases. They are drawn directly from the experience of the author, who is one of this country’s most successful advocates for a better public environment. It teaches cooperation, not confrontation. It’s a book you can put to immediate use for effective long-term change.”
-- Robert Campbell, architect, and architecture critic for The Boston Globe

“There’s a desperate need across the country to improve neighborhoods and communities. I’ve witnessed what towns could do once they dropped those arguments against good design. Designing the City is a comprehensive book that provides the motivation, answers, and technical help for any town interested in attracting investment through good design.”
-- Susie Clinard, Director, Oklahoma Main Street Program

About the Author

Adele Fleet Bacow is senior vice president of Policy and Management Associates, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts.

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