The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life

Jonathan F.P. Rose


The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life

The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life

  • Title: The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life
  • Author: Jonathan F.P. Rose
  • ISBN: 9780062234728
  • Page: 215
  • Format: Hardcover



In the vein of Jane Jacobs s The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Edward Glaeser s Triumph of the City, Jonathan F P Rose a visionary in urban development and renewal champions the role of cities in addressing the environmental, economic, and social challenges of the twenty first century Cities are birthplaces of civilization centers of culture, trade, and pIn the vein of Jane Jacobs s The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Edward Glaeser s Triumph of the City, Jonathan F P Rose a visionary in urban development and renewal champions the role of cities in addressing the environmental, economic, and social challenges of the twenty first century Cities are birthplaces of civilization centers of culture, trade, and progress cauldrons of opportunity and the home of eighty percent of the world s population by 2050 As the 21st century progresses, metropolitan areas will bear the brunt of global megatrends such as climate change, natural resource depletion, population growth, income inequality, mass migrations, education and health disparities, among many others In The Well Tempered City, Jonathan F P Rose the man who repairs the fabric of cities distills a lifetime of interdisciplinary research and firsthand experience into a five pronged model for how to design and reshape our cities with the goal of equalizing their landscape of opportunity Drawing from the musical concept of temperament as a way to achieve harmony, Rose argues that well tempered cities can be infused with systems that bend the arc of their development toward equality, resilience, adaptability, well being, and the ever unfolding harmony between civilization and nature These goals may never be fully achieved, but our cities will be richer and happier if we aspire to them, and if we infuse our every plan and constructive step with this intention A celebration of the city and an impassioned argument for its role in addressing the important issues in these volatile times, The Well Tempered City is a reasoned, hopeful blueprint for a thriving metropolis and the future.


Recent Comments "The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life"

I love the subtitle of this book, “What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life.” As an environmental engineer, I am fascinated on the topic of infrastructure. A little over ten years ago, I took a fascinating urban planning class at Marquette University in Milwaukee. It really got me thinking about the way we build and maintain cities. I also realized I am a “new urbanist” and prefer to live in an old house in the city and fix it up [...]

I received a copy of this book for free through a First Reads giveaway.The Well-Tempered City was a far more fascinating read than I had assumed when reading the title and description. The introduction put me off a bit, as it seemed like it was going to be way too deep for my understanding of both cities and music (yes, music). I got through it and immediately in chapter one I realized what I was actually going to be reading. There is actually a lot of history found in this book, and it was fas [...]

An insightful and highly readable exploration into the music of urbanness. Through anecdotes and analysis across a spectrum of topics (history, psychology/cognition, economics, architecture, ecology etc.), Rose creates a cohesive vision of the theories and problems of urban life, while offering strategies/insights on how to repair them for the future. Fact-driven with heart.

The Well-Tempered City takes an integrative approach to urban planning and development that considers education, infrastructure, economics, and the environment. Using the music of J.S. Bach as a starting point gives more depth than the typical urban planning text. There are a few areas where I feel the analysis falls a little short. For example, the author advocates "smart cities" that make use of data from sources that include residents' smart phones, without addressing issues of privacy or dat [...]

Ok, I know a book about urban planning sounds like a snooze, but, believe me, it is compelling. Rose covers the history of cities from ancient to modern: where they went right, where they went wrong and where we can go from here. This book should start some interesting conversations.

Highly recommend this book. Great read whether you don't know the first thing about cities or whether you know a lot. It doesn't get _too_ deep but still offers insightful analysis of what makes cities successful (or not).In particular, Rose presents five tenets that are critical to successful cities: coherence, circularity, resilience, community, and compassion. He breaks each of these down into practical policies and offers a number of case studies examining them. I found the sections on circu [...]

Do we know and understand the difference between complicated and complex? Are we as prepared to think about systems as we think or need to be? In his book The Well-Tempered City, Jonathan Rose takes the reader on a quasi-epic journey through the city-building ages. At its heart, Rose builds the case that for urbanization to continue successfully in a time of challenging megatrends such as climate change, people must think of cities more holistically - restoring wholeness through the lens of altr [...]

I had the privilege of meeting Jonathan Rose and having lunch with him last October at the Cornell real estate conference in New York City. I was very impressed by his intelligence and his vision for the possibilities of modern cities. It was truly inspiring to listen to his ideas and the concrete steps he has taken toward addressing many of the challenges that our cities face. This book goes a step further, and attempts to not only identify and answer the difficult questions facing our cities, [...]

This book kept me busy and distracted while I was recuperating from a hip injury. I read it right after I was elected to city council. It really helped ground me to understand the issues modern cities face but also what levers of power city leaders have. It took forever for me to read this book because I took time to research unfamiliar ideas and groups mentioned. I learned about circular economies, the Edmonton Canada well-being index indicators and net-zero energy buildings. I followed at leas [...]

The following is my review of September 27, 2016 from The Huffington Post:Spoiler alert: I love epic stories with universal meaning for varied audiences around the world. In sum, that is why I think Jonathan F.P. Rose‘s new book will become a must-read classic. And, if 400-pagers are not your style, it’s at worst a well-written, must-browse wonder, with relevant lessons for us all.Rose is a real estate developer, philanthropist and fine arts patron with prominent New York roots, and holds a [...]

This is a really, really good book. Jonathan Rose has condensed decades of experience, data, stories and histories into a system of planning verbalizing a half-moral/spiritual, half functional/market-based approach. It is a great read with fantastic references and well-read author weaving the reader through the tapestry of the history of cities and city planning. It truly seems like a merge of Jane Jacobs and Ed Glaeser merging the efficacy of place-making with the efficiency of density.Highly R [...]

At once a work of urbanism, political theory and poetry. Uses Bach's composition as metaphor for harmonizing all the facets that comprise a city. I am not an expert on classical music but had no difficulty following the argument. Its scope is sweeping and its stance humane. My one complaint, and it's but a slight one, is that in making his points he can overlook complexities. (For example he justly praises New Orleans's choice not to re-create their pre-Katrina design, but doesn't note that the [...]

The book is so much more than a manuscript about cities is a manifesto for aligning humanity not only with itself but with its surroundings. If you like books that weave a myriad of disciplines and perspectives into a well-researched and beautifully written argument, then read "The Well-Tempered City."

A complex tapestry of ideas woven together to create a veneer of understanding of the world, the book lacks real depth. New concepts are introduced every few pages, as if the profundity of it all would be self-evident. Not a bad book by any means, but not for stimulating deep contemplative pondering. Definitely an inch deep and a mile wide.

If you can get past the repetitive phrases, this book contains a wealth of insight into the functionality of cities and how we might improve upon them as population density, transportation and other resources become strained/ more of a focal point.

Really liking this book this far

An okay book but pulled thin. The Bach metaphor is quite lame. Cherry picked examples from history and various city projects that in the end aren't cohesive. Too much in too short a space and no true synthesis. I'll probably read it again just to make sure I'm not being overly harsh, butlet's just say he ain't no Jane Jacobs.

Steven Hawking's A Brief History of Time but for city planning instead of physics.

Rose successfully weaves together all kinds of information into a narrative explaining how the ideal city can function.Much of this research regular urban planning readers will find familiar.I felt a bit too much like this information, figure after figure, was being dumped on me. I would have liked if explored in greater depth. For someone more fresh to the topic, I suspect they will find the format more enjoyable.

For my volunteer work in a small town, this book addresses many of the problems we might have, now and in the future. If our country, and indeed, all of the people on the planet, are going to survive we need to heed some of the advice here. Anyone interested in cities large and small, anywhere in the world, should read this marvelous book.

What did I just read? I didn't think I'd stick with this book, but after a slow start it crescendoed into a masterpiece. I don't quite know what to say about it. Wow. Rose draws on such a variety of disciplines to weave a remarkable picture of what the world could be like were we to meet contemporary needs holistically.

Reminded me of reading a university text book but, "despite it's fact-filled pages"(!), I found it an informative and exciting read. It should perhaps be compulsory reading for all politicians and town-planners.


  • Best Read [Jonathan F.P. Rose] ☆ The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life || [Philosophy Book] PDF ✓
    215 Jonathan F.P. Rose
  • thumbnail Title: Best Read [Jonathan F.P. Rose] ☆ The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life || [Philosophy Book] PDF ✓
    Posted by:Jonathan F.P. Rose
    Published :2019-01-19T07:46:29+00:00