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The Experience of Place

A New Way of Looking at and Dealing With our Radically Changing Cities and Countryside

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
Why do some places--the concourse of Grand Central Terminal or a small farm or even the corner of a skyscraper--affect us so mysteriously and yet so forcefully? What tiny changes in our everyday environments can radically alter the quality of our daily lives? The Experience of Place offers an innovative and delightfully readable proposal for new ways of planning, building, and managing our most immediate and overlooked surroundings.
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Why do some places--the concourse of Grand Central Terminal or a small farm or even the corner of a skyscraper--affect us so mysteriously and yet so forcefully? What tiny changes in our everyday environments can radically alter the quality of our daily lives? The Experience of Place offers an innovative and delightfully readable proposal for new ways of planning, building, and managing our most immediate and overlooked surroundings.
Product Details
Paperback (256 pages)
Published: October 1, 1991
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679735946
Other books byTony Hiss
  • In Motion

    In Motion
    The Experience of Travel
    With a new foreword by Robert D. Yaro. In 1990 The Experience of Place created a buzz in the planning community. Its award-winning author returns to planning themes with In Motion: The Experience of Travel, now in a paperback edition from APA Planners Press. This intriguing book starts with the idea that travel gives us "open-sesame" moments when we suddenly see even familiar surroundings with fresh eyes. The experience—Hiss calls it Deep Travel—can happen whether we're on a trek through the Khyber Pass or a trip to the mailbox. With stories of his own journeys and passages from celebrated travel writers, he makes the transcendental experience come alive. Simple techniques can unlock this hidden dimension, and planners can use these heightened perceptions to shape the built and natural environments. In Hiss's mind-opening account, ordinary landscapes—highways, train tracks, intersections—become as extraordinary as the first human settlements or the most dazzling and renowned streetscapes. In Motion opens new paths of understanding for urban and regional planners, architects and landscape architects, and everyone else involved in creating transportation systems and public spaces. It's a journey worth taking.

    The View from Alger's Window

    The View from Alger's Window
    A Son's Memoir
    The View from Alger's Window is Tony Hiss's remarkable memoir of the trial and imprisonment of one of the most famous victims of the Cold War witch-hunts: his father. Tony Hiss was seven years old when Whittaker Chambers first accused Alger Hiss of passing secrets to the Russians. For the rest of his childhood, Tony and his family experienced the cruelties and intimidations of the time. Drawing on hundreds of letters Alger sent from prison, the author counters public perceptions of Hiss and shows the fundamental decency and essential goodness of his father and, along the way, draws a compelling portrait of an innocent man. At the same time he lets us see how adversity drew this father and son together, allowing them to achieve a closeness they might never have been able to otherwise. Beautifully written, wise, The View from Alger's Window sheds new light on a family, a time, an accusation, and a man whose guilt or innocence continues to inspire debate.

    The Last Landscape

    The Last Landscape
    The remaining corner of an old farm, unclaimed by developers. The brook squeezed between housing plans. Abandoned railroad lines. The stand of woods along an expanded highway. These are the outposts of what was once a larger pattern of forests and farms, the "last landscape." According to William H. Whyte, the place to work out the problems of our metropolitan areas is within those areas, not outside them. The age of unchecked expansion without consequence is over, but where there is waste and neglect there is opportunity. Our cities and suburbs are not jammed; they just look that way. There are in fact plenty of ways to use this existing space to the benefit of the community, andThe Last Landscapeprovides a practical and timeless framework for making informed decisions about its use. Called "the best study available on the problems of open space" by theNew York Timeswhen it first appeared in 1968,The Last Landscapeintroduced many cornerstone ideas for land conservation, urging all of us to make better use of the land that has survived amid suburban sprawl. Whyte's pioneering work on easements led to the passage of major open space statutes in many states, and his argument for using and linking green spaces, however small the areas may be, is a recommendation that has more currency today than ever before.

    The Fools in Town Are on Our Side

    The Fools in Town Are on Our Side
    "Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority in any town?" -- Mark Twain Ross Thomas chose the quotation from Huckleberry Finn as the text of his post World War II story as well as for the title. When Lucifer Dye is released from three months in a Hong Kong prison, debriefed, handed a false passport, a new wardrobe and a $20,000 check, his haughty control makes it clear that Dye's career with his country has been permanently terminated. But a good agent is always in demand, and just a few hours later Dye is being interviewed for a highly ingenious position. Victor Orcutt, although a not very good imitation of a British pre-war gent, has creative talents of his own. He has his sights a small southern city, with the ordinary run-of-the-mill corruption one would expect in such a place. The canny Orcott knows there's no profit in that . His creed is "To get better, it must be much worse." He and his two associates have looked up Dye's history, and he now offers the ex-spy's a mission. For two and a half times the government's bounty, Dye is to thoroughly corrupt the town. And the sly Dye takes the offer.

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