HUMAN SETTLEMENTS ARE LIKE LIVING ORGANISMS
Human settlements are like living organisms. They must grow, and they will change. But we can decide on the nature of that growth – on the quality and the character of it – and where it ought to go. We don’t have to scatter the building blocks of our civic life all over the countryside, destroying our towns and ruining farmland.
WORLD’S LEADING CRITIC ON URBAN GROWTH
Post-Development Advocate, New Urbanist & Urban Researcher
James Howard Kunstler says he wrote The Geography of Nowhere, “Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” Home From Nowhere was a continuation of that discussion with an emphasis on the remedies. A portion of it appeared as the cover story in the September 1996 Atlantic Monthly. His next book in the series, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, published by Simon & Schuster / Free Press, is a look a wide-ranging look at cities here and abroad, an inquiry into what makes them great (or miserable), and in particular what America is going to do with it’s mutilated cities. This was followed by The Long Emergency, published by the Atlantic Monthly Press in 2005, is about the challenges posed by the coming permanent global oil crisis, climate change, and other “converging catastrophes of the 21st Century.” His 2008 novel, World Made By Hand, was a fictional depiction of the post-oil American future.
The sequel to that book, “The Witch of Hebron,” was published in 2010. Mr. Kunstler is also the author of eight other novels including The Halloween Ball, An Embarrassment of Richesand Maggie Darling. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times Sunday Magazine and Op-Ed page, where he has written on environmental and economic issues. Mr. Kunstler was born in New York City in 1948. He moved to the Long Island suburbs in 1954 and returned to the city in 1957 where he spent most of his childhood. He graduated from the State University of New York, Brockport campus, worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975, he dropped out to write books on a full-time basis. He has no formal training in architecture or the related design fields. He has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, MIT, RPI, the University of Virginia and many other colleges, and he has appeared before many professional organizations such as the AIA , the APA., and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He lives in Saratoga Springs in upstate New York.