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The Boulevard Book: History, Evolution, Design of Multiway Boulevards

This book reintroduces the boulevard tree-lined and with separate realms for through traffic and for slow-pace vehicular-pedestrian movement, as an important and often crucial feature of both historic and contemporary cities. First built in Europe and grandly imported to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century, the classic multiway boulevard has been in decline for many years, victim of a narrowly focused approach to street design that views unencumbered vehicular traffic flow as the highest priority. The American preoccupation with destination and speed has made multiway boulevards increasingly rare as artifacts of the urban landscape. This book reintroduces the boulevard tree-lined and with separate realms for through traffic and for slow-pace vehicular-pedestrian movement, as an important and often crucial feature of both historic and contemporary cities. It presents more than fifty boulevards - as varied as Avenue Montaigne in Paris; C. G. Road in Ahmedabad, India; and the Esplanade in Chico, California - celebrating their usefulness and beauty. It discusses their history and evolution, the misconceptions that led to their near-demise in the United States, and their potential as a modern street type.

Based on wide research, the book examines the safety of these streets and offers design guidelines for professionals, scholars, and community decision makers. Extensive plans, cross-sections, and perspective drawings permit visual comparisons. The book shows how multiway boulevards relate to many issues that are central to urban life, including livability, mobility, safety, economic opportunity, mass transit, and open space.


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