Ground floors, or "plinths," are the most crucial parts of buildings for creating great cities. They define the way a city's public and private spaces interact, and are essential to creating commodious pedestrian environments. "The ground floor may be only 10% of a building, [but] it determines 90% of the building’s contribution to the experience of the environment," say editors Hans Karssenberg & Jeroen Laven.
"A great city at eye level requires a strategy based on three domains: software (use, the experience, the functions), hardware (design of plinths, buildings, streetscapes, hybrid zones and principles of sustainability) and orgware (organisation of functions and portfolio maintenance). The 215-‐page book offers ideas, solutions and examples of the best ground floors and ground-‐level planning from cities across the world. The concluding chapter proposes 75 specific lessons for good plinths."
A [PDF] of the book, "The City at Eye Level", is available for free download.