New book from Oro Press: 'Changing the Commons' by John Northmore Roberts

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New book from Oro Press: 'Changing the Commons' by John Northmore Roberts
The book reveals how places within some of the country’s most iconic public landscapes.



LOS ANGELES, CA.- The intense social and environmental fervor that arose in the 1960s and 1970s in response to assaults on the planet’s life support systems, degradation of communities, and socio-economic inequality unleashed revolutionary change at all levels of society. Out of the turmoil of that era, community-based ecological design emerged as a powerful creative force for reshaping the commons, bringing people together, and forming ecologically sustainable relationships with the environment. The stories in this book from Oro Press reveal how the revolution has played out in reconceiving public places in the landscape of every- day life in northern California. The text focuses on the broad human, social, environmental, and cultural aspects of place-making to create livable, inclusive, sustainable, and treasured spaces. The aesthetic experience of each place is revealed through photos, diagrams, sketches, and plans. Success stories like these offer hope, so sorely needed, for dealing with the seemingly insurmountable current assaults on earth’s life support systems.

• The book reveals how places within some of the country’s most iconic public landscapes—like Yosemite Valley, Muir Woods National Monument, Redwood State and National Parks, and Crissy Field—have been changed to create a new balance between the built and natural environments.

• This book will prove to be a valuable resource for environmental design students and faculty, fellow design and planning professionals, agency staff, and the general public interested in learning why familiar places are what they are, who and what the designs are intended to serve, and how the goals for places have been achieved.

Contributors

John N. Roberts, founder of the landscape architecture firm John Northmore Roberts & Associates, Inc. is widely recognized for community-based ecological design for local communities and national parks alike. He is a Beatrix Farrand Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in U.C. Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.

John N. Roberts, founder of the landscape architecture firm John Northmore Roberts & Associates, Inc. is widely recognized for community-based ecological design for local communities and national parks alike. He is a Beatrix Farrand Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in U.C. Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.

"In Changing the Commons John Roberts reveals a nuanced and innovative approach to the art of placemaking. His work is based upon an intuitive understanding of the complexity of creating places that bring people together in joyful and contemplative settings, while enhancing and protecting the natural world. He has worked on some of the nation’s most iconic spaces—Crissy Field in San Francisco, Muir Woods, and in Yosemite Valley. In each instance, Roberts creates a “new balance between the built and natural environment,” often restoring neglected waterways, and always respecting the needs of each stakeholder. Roberts’ projects are based on a deep understanding of the history of a place, its role in its respective community, and a knowledge of the healing power of the natural world. Changing the Commons reveals fresh thinking and a strong philosophical grounding in what makes a successful place; it is destined to be a seminal work on the art of placemaking." – Emily H. Axelrod, Former Director, Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

Humans have not always been good stewards of the environment, but the movement to create sustainable, beautiful places for communities to enjoy is among the more inspiring ideas about how to preserve the planet for future generations. Packed with pictures, sketches, and diagrams of multiple shared spaces across Northern California, Roberts’s book addresses this notion and, in so doing, reveals the power of people coming together. – Alta

"A handsomely designed volume, all of the project descriptions are accompanied by a generous offering of impressive color photographs, charts, maps, and graphs showing sites before/during/and after a project’s completion. Their inclusion makes it even more likely that readers of Changing the Commons will find their expanded understanding of the terms “built environment” and “natural environment” has changed the way they view and experience the world." – CounterPunch

“In his important book, Changing the Commons: Stories about Placemaking, landscape architect John Northmore Roberts explains the ways he has found to serve our ever more pressing needs to conserve the earth’s urban and rural communities of plants, animals, and humans through balanced, safe and beautiful environments. He updates Frederick Law Olmsted’s beliefs and practices to function in the 21st century and beyond.” - Carla Blank, Coauthor of Storming the Old Boys’ Citadel: Two Pioneer Women Architects of Nineteenth Century North America










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