The Well-Tempered City

What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life
Narrated by: Barry Abrams
Length: 14 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (58 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Cities are birthplaces of civilization; centers of culture, trade, and progress; cauldrons of opportunity - and the home of 80 percent of the world's population by 2050. As the 21st century progresses, metropolitan areas will bear the brunt of global megatrends such as climate change, natural resource depletion, population growth, income inequality, mass migrations, and education and health disparities, among many others. In The Well-Tempered City, Jonathan F. P. Rose - the man who "repairs the fabric of cities" - distills a lifetime of interdisciplinary research and firsthand experience into a five-pronged model for how to design and reshape our cities with the goal of equalizing their landscape of opportunity. Drawing from the musical concept of "temperament" as a way to achieve harmony, Rose argues that well-tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, well-being, and the ever-unfolding harmony between civilization and nature. These goals may never be fully achieved, but our cities will be richer and happier if we aspire to them and if we infuse our every plan and constructive step with this intention.

©2016 Jonathan F. P. Rose (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A thought-provoking introduction to the future of cities." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Eye opening recount of the public and private forces (sometime unintended, sometime conspiring secretly) to destroy urban cores

Eye opening recount of the public and private forces (sometime unintended, sometime conspiring secretly) to destroy urban cores.

Chapters 1-8 provides an enlightening historical review of the evolution of how urban planning and zoning trends, federal housing and transportation policies; private industrial manufacturers and financial institutions conspiratorial actions, combined over the 20th Century to undermine the economic health and sustainability of urban centers by systematically dismantling their essential functional systems, such as mixed income and use communities and public transit systems.

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A wonderful journey through world’s cities

What a stunning documentary this book would be. Jonathan Rose is a master of imagery, a knowledgable guide, and a compassionate visionary for the world and its civilizations.

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Interesting, well researched, weird quotes

This was a really interesting look at city planning with lots of historical perspective and interesting facts. The one discordant note for me was the weird Michael Jackson impersonation the narrator affected to distinguish the quotations. I get that it can be confusing sometimes if they’re not made distinct somehow, but a breathy falsetto is not the way to do it. It was just a little distracting.

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A new look at the future of cities

Jonathan F.P. Rose work outlines a new plan on how we redevelop cities and through those cities we remake our society. While I do think that his vision can border on the utopian, he does outline several strategy’s that cities have used to deal with many of the issues faced by the US urban areas. I enjoyed the listen,defiantly recommend

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Not coherent

This book is a mash up of way too many metaphors. It is vague and confused. He lost me when giving prescriptions on how to reduce "terrorism" without defining the term - unwittingly political. The author appears to be too much of a city-planning specialist, and not enough of a generalist, to speak on such wide ranging topics. Had to stop listening after the first chapter. Would much rather learn the history of city ecology without conflating with musical temperament.

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inspiring, timely and actionable

Having just returned from Lisbon and hearing its history shared by a thirty-four year old guide and your noting the 1755 earthquake as a seminal moment in the design and understanding of our physical and social structures, I thought how we, now, have this significant opportunity to achieve 'entwinement' through the insights and holistic understanding clearly articulated in the 'Well Tempered City'. Thank you.