ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands – Rotterdam/ Amsterdam- based urban planning firm, Stipo B.V., just released their new book ‘The City at Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’ and will be available for free download or hard-‐copy via website on 11 January 2013. The book, a collaborative effort of five editors and 43 professional contributors from the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Demark, USA, UK and Germany, (including Samar Héchaimé of factors) delves deeply into the concepts, philosophy, and strategies behind planning the ground floors (“plinths”) of urban environments. Interviews, case studies, and first-‐hand stories highlight important examples of best practices from cities in the Netherlands (in particular, Rotterdam) as well as Copenhagen, Antwerp, San Francisco, and else where.
This books shows that good plinths require a smart strategy supported by many players including the city, the owners, the renters and the users, and introduces a host of new vocabularly to help define this innovative planning strategy. A great city at eye level requires a strategy based on three domains: software (use, the experience, the functions), hardware (design of plinths, buildings, streetscapes, hybrid zones and principles of sustainability) and orgware (organisation of functions and portfolio maintenance). The 215- page book offers ideas, solutions and examples of the best ground floors and
ground-‐level planning from cities across the world. The concluding chapter proposes 75 specific lessons for good plinths.
On 11 January, 2013, Stipo launched the book to the world in the city where it all started: Rotterdam. About 230 guests, including urban planners, entrepreneurs, housing associations, local civil servants, neighbours, and interested parties, all came together to celebrate. Hosted by several partners (EDBR, AIR, Deltametropool, Gemeente Rotterdam) the launch was open to the public and included a Plinth Safari for all guests-‐-‐parallel visits examining the best plinth planning practices in Rotterdam-‐-‐as well as a chance to meet a few of the book’s co-‐authors who were also present for the evening. John Worthington, co-‐ founder of DEGW and Director of The Academy of Urbanism in London, gave the keynote speech. He focused on how the book is relevant in an international context, in international cities.
The book is available through the publishing house Eburon and will be on bookshelves and Amazon.com in the coming weeks. It is also available for download at www.thecityateyelevel.com.