Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Shaping Neighbourhoods: A Guide for Health, Sustainability and Vitality

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Shaping Neighbourhoods: A Guide for Health, Sustainability and Vitality

Article excerpt

3. Shaping neighbourhoods: a guide for health, sustainability and vitality By Hugh Barton, Marcus Grant and Richard Guise. Published by Spon Press, London 2004. Hardback 256pp. Price £70.00 ISBN 0-415-26009-4

Want a linguistic makeover in your professional life? Have you noticed how your younger colleagues' language is leaving you behind? Now with this book you can be up with the young rats, not parked in the corner with the telly! But there's a lot more; the book gives an insight into the latest urban thinking and how to use it. At the very least this book saves the day for all aspiring town planners and architects wrestling with reports and stuck for a word. It is truly a thesaurus giving six different names to call a group of buildings.

If that were all it would have already earned a place on many a bookshelf. Essentially it's a well illustrated primer for creating a neighbourhood, and gives chapter and verse on what can make a success and what doesn't. On the down side, it starts with a sweeping assumption that all good neighbourhoods are socially mixed. This has all the whiff of the mistaken zeal of the sixties (and look where that got us!). This flies in the face of the history of urbanism where the population (given half a chance) have tried desperately to segregate themselves from the riff-raff. …

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