The New City

How to Build Our Sustainable Urban Future

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Pub Date 26 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 03 Jan 2024

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Description

Cities are at once among humanity’s crowning achievements and core drivers of the climate crisis. Their dependence on the outside world for vital resources is causing global temperatures to rise and wildlife habitats to shrink. But we have the opportunity to make cities more sustainable by transforming the built environment.

Dickson D. Despommier proposes a visionary yet achievable plan for creating a new, self-sustaining urban landscape. He argues that we can find solutions through the concept of biomimicry: emulating successful strategies found in nature. A better city is possible if we heed the lessons that forests and trees teach about how to store carbon, grow food, collect rainwater, and convert sunlight into energy. Touring existing and leading-edge technologies, The New City provides a blueprint for tomorrow’s urban environment. Cities built from wood will be more resilient and less destructive than concrete and steel construction; they will also encourage reforestation, boosting carbon sequestration. Vertical farms inside city limits will supply residents with a reliable, healthy food supply. Buildings will harvest moisture from the rain and air to secure a clean water supply. Renewable energy, including not only wind, solar, and geothermal but also clear photovoltaic window glass and nonpolluting hydrogen fuel cells, will power a cleaner city.

The New City delivers both a passionate call to action for halting climate change and a bold vision of the sustainable future within our grasp.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dickson D. Despommier is emeritus professor of public health and microbiology at Columbia University. His previous books include The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the Twenty-First Century (2010), which popularized the idea of raising crops inside tall buildings; People, Parasites, and Plowshares: Learning from Our Body’s Most Terrifying Invaders (Columbia, 2013); and Parasitic Diseases (seventh edition, 2019).

Cities are at once among humanity’s crowning achievements and core drivers of the climate crisis. Their dependence on the outside world for vital resources is causing global temperatures to rise and...


Advance Praise

"In The New City, Dickson Despommier conjures a future of totally sustainable ‘off-grid’ cities. A high degree of self-sufficiency in energy, water, and food will ensure quality of life for the urban population (more than two thirds of the planet by the 2040s) while taking a great deal of pressure off the non-urban environment, providing a path to surviving climate change. The narrative depends on ambitious technical and policy assumptions, but Despommier has credibility as a visionary, given his broad ecologist’s perspective and his successful record of defining the emerging urban agriculture/vertical farming sectors. This is a profoundly optimistic vision of cities inspired by and synchronized with nature."

--Gregory Kiss, Kiss + Cathcart, Architects

"In The New City, Dickson Despommier conjures a future of totally sustainable ‘off-grid’ cities. A high degree of self-sufficiency in energy, water, and food will ensure quality of life for the urban...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780231205504
PRICE $39.95 (USD)
PAGES 200

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