"[Big Plans] is a book that should be read by all those people, and there seem to be more of them as week chases week, who are thinking about the fate of lower Manhattan right now." -- Joe Mysak, Bloomberg News
"Kenneth Kolson has lots of material: Some of what's been built in cities lately is astonishing and not in a good way." -- Anthony Flint, Boston Globe
"Kolson is a passionate critic of urban schemes, with well-founded skepticism about the role rationality has played in designing them." -- Gail Lee Dubrow, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
"A fascinating read about the utopian goal of Big Plans and the dystopian reality of lived experience." -- Design Issues
"A work similar in spirit to Lewis Mumford's The City in History and Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities with a distinctive postmodern tone and perspective. Wonderful, funny, idiosyncratic -- Big Plans is an original. Anyone interested in cities will want to read this book. It will be of special interest to professionals and practitioners in planning, architecture, and landscape design, as well as students and scholars in architecture and planning, urban studies, geography, American studies, history, and sociology." -- Frederick R. Steiner, professor and director of the School of Planning and Landscape Architecture, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Arizona State UniversityVom Verlag:
Big Plans: The Allure and Folly of Urban Design springs from the idea that human aspirations for the city tend to overstate the role of rationality in public life. Inspired by the architectural and urban criticism of such writers as Lewis Mumford, Jane Jacobs, and John Brinckerhoff Jackson, Kolson adopts a user's perspective on issues of urban design, an approach that highlights both the futility of social engineering and the resilience of the human spirit.
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