STREETS FOR PEOPLE • Bernard Rudofsky

Doubleday / 1969 / hardcover
First edition

For anyone who has been wondering what American cities are coming to, this book is a 'must read.' Despite multitudes of environmental studies, planners have been unable to arrest the disintegration of urban America; architects have often speeded it up.

'Streets for People' helps the reader to understand where things went wrong, for Americans are stubbornly putting their faith in projects and budgets with never a thought of exercising their individual duties as city dwellers. It never occurs to them that a town is not the result of a design program but the reflection of the inhabitant's way of life.

Streets, which serve as the lifeline of urban civilizations, have not been adequately studied. People have let their cities' streets degenerate into highways, indifferent to the cost in human dignity and happiness which this entails. The authors explores streets from a dozen countries, including Italy, among others.

The author starts with the a short cultural history of each street, then discusses the fine art of walking and other performance arts; street theater and street concerts of the past and present; the prevalence of Italian street scenes in Shakespeare's plays; playgrounds in American cities; the covered street, sidewalk cafes and outdoor restaurants.

The author also surveys the street's temporary attractions including processions, parades, and streets and squares in Baroque Rome, as well as American block parties and the street decorations of Latin countries and the Far East.

︎ Condition note: A used book in Good condition / some tearing and rubbing to dust jacket / shelfwear / pages free of marks or underlinings / intact binding