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The Agile City

Building Well-being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change
Written by: James S. Russell
Narrated by: Brandon Massey
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins

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Publisher's Summary

In a very short time America has realized that global warming poses real challenges to the nation's future. The Agile City engages the fundamental question: what to do about it? Journalist and urban analyst James S. Russell argues that we'll more quickly slow global warming - and blunt its effects - by retrofitting cities, suburbs, and towns. The Agile City shows that change undertaken at the building and community level can reach carbon-reduction goals rapidly. Adapting buildings (39 percent of greenhouse-gas emission) and communities (slashing the 33 percent of transportation related emissions) offers numerous other benefits that tax gimmicks and massive alternative-energy investments can't match. Rapidly improving building techniques can readily cut carbon emissions by half, and some can get to zero. These cuts can be affordably achieved in the windshield-shattering heat of the desert and the bone-chilling cold of the north.

Intelligently designing our towns could reduce marathon commutes and child chauffeuring to a few miles or eliminate it entirely. Agility, Russell argues, also means learning to adapt to the effects of climate change, which means redesigning the obsolete ways real-estate is financed; housing subsidies are distributed; transportation is provided; and water is obtained, distributed and disposed of. These engines of growth have become increasingly more dysfunctional both economically and environmentally. The Agile City highlights tactics that create multiplier effects, which means that ecologically driven change can shore-up economic opportunity, can make more productive workplaces, and can help revive neglected communities. Being able to look at multiple effects and multiple benefits of political choices and private investments is essential to assuring wealth and well-being in the future. Green, Russell writes, grows the future.

©2011 James S. Russell (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Narrator Brandon Massey's levelheaded tone has a quiet assurance that underlines the importance of reevaluating and making profound changes to property rights and the real estate development industry. Journalist and author James S. Russell offers an engaging analysis of how global warming can be slowed down effectively and economically through retrofitting buildings and communities with the use of improved building techniques. Massey carefully lays out statistics and other information in a manner that makes it easy for listeners to absorb. Although his performance is persuasive, he avoids overselling Russell's practical and creative solutions, leaving listeners to judge their merits for themselves.

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  • 16-09-14

I wish this was better.

Would you try another book from James S. Russell and/or Brandon Massey?

I wish I had read this in a paper format. Good information but it sounded it like it was read by an old text to speech translator.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator spoke haltingly and put weird emphasis on different words that made it hard to follow and understand what was being said. The extreme monotone also made sure that most of the information was lost in the drone.

Any additional comments?

Read a paper copy of this book. Don't listen to it.