A Guide to Creating Great Cities at Eye Level

The result of a collaborative effort between five editors and 43 professionals from around the world, a new open-source book documents the essential concepts and strategies for creating great cities at eye level - along the ground floor ("plinths").

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.

Full Story: The City at Eye Level

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