Community: Pursuing the Dream, Living the Reality, Suzanne Keller
This book tells the story of how a human community comes to be and how aspirations for the good life confront the dilemmas and detours of real life.
Suzanne Keller combines penetrating analysis of classic ideas about community with a remarkable and unprecedented thirty-year case study of one of the first "planned unit developments" in America and the first in New Jersey. Twin Rivers, this pioneering venture, featured townhouses and shared spaces for children's play and adult work and play in a society that stresses individual over collective goals and private over public concerns. Hence the timeless questions asked over millennia: How does an aggregate of strangers create an identity of place, shared goals, viable institutions, and a spirit of mutuality and reciprocity? What obstacles stand in the way and how are these overcome? And how does design generate (or deter) community spirit?
Keller reveals the community of Twin Rivers through a multidimensional social microscope, having monitored the community from the day it opened by participant observation, attitude surveys, the study of collective records, and nearly 1,000 in-depth interviews with homeowners. She offers fascinating insight into how residents maintain privacy, relate to neighbours, cope with social conflict, and develop ideas about the common good. She shows that Twin Rivers residents remain hopeful about the possibility of community despite variable success in achieving their desires. Indeed, she argues that the hard-won experience, more than the utopian ideal, is the true measure of community.
This important and engaging book will be appreciated by social scientists, architects, physical planners, developers and lenders, and community leaders as well as by the general reader interested in creating a bridge between individualism and community.
Condition: Very Good. A book that has been read but is in excellent condition. The book cover has no visible wear. No highlighting of text, no writing in the margins, and no missing pages.
Author: Suzanne Keller