The Pattern Project
From bestselling author Douglas Farr comes Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future. This book shifts the sustainability conversation towards the issue of how to change faster than ever before and serves as the inspiration for the Pattern Project, which the contributors hope will be a living resource for neighborhoods.
From the Pattern Project’s website “The Pattern Project grew out of years of research into urban sustainability, most recently from the preparation of Doug Farr’s second book Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future. In his 2008 book, Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature, Farr makes a compelling case for high-performance infrastructure and clear metrics for defining successful, sustainable urban places. However, after 20 years of professional cutting-edge projects at his sustainable architecture and urban design firm in Chicago, Farr was still not seeing the types and scales of urban change needed to address social issues such as obesity, climate change, and sprawling land use patterns. Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future outlines the thesis that planning and architecture can and should make a better future faster – namely, in four generations, or the lifespan of a child born today. The name “The Pattern Project”™, the Sustainable Nation subtitle, is a nod to Christopher Alexander’s seminal 1977 book A Pattern Language in which he presented observed urban design patterns that were working well and were contributing to beautiful, thoughtful design. While Alexander’s patterns were mined from the past, those in Sustainable Nation are mined from the future. Some have proven successful in only a few cases or by a few experts and need to be more widely applied; some have only anecdotal evidence of success and need to be backed up with additional metrics; and some have not been tested at all. The Pattern Project initiative is a way for sustainable urbanists across the globe to connect with each other, learn best practices, prove success, and widely implement what works best to accelerate our sustainable future.”