New York Times: Green Developments, and Tension Aplenty


In his new book, Peter Calthorpe, the renowned Berkeley-based urban designer, sounds many a familiar environmentalist note. Paying explicit homage to Buckminster Fuller, he talks of “whole systems design” and “climate responsive buildings,” and issues dire warnings about global warming and peak oil and the dangers of our car-based lifestyle. He rejects “bigger is better” consumerism and advocates nothing less than a “new configuration for the American Dream.”

Yet while his message in “Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change,” to be published in September by Island Press, might seem tailor-made for the environmentally conscious Bay Area, the real-world developments that Mr. Calthorpe has championed here have hardly met with a warm embrace.