It’s widely accepted that our environment is in crisis. Less widely recognized is that three quarters of environmental damage is due to cities – the places where most of us live. As this powerful new book elucidates, global sustainability is therefore directly dependent on urban design.

In Living Architecture, Living Cities Christopher Day and Julie Gwilliam move beyond the current emphasis on technological change. They argue that eco-technology allows us to continue broadly as before and only defers the impending disaster. In reality, most negative environmental impacts are due to how we live and the things we buy. Such personal choices often result from dissatisfaction with our surroundings. As perceived environment has a direct effect on attitudes and motivations, improving this can achieve more sustainable lifestyles more effectively than drastic building change – with its notorious performance-gap limitations. As it’s in places that our inner feelings and material reality interact, perceived environment is place-based. Ultimately, however, as the root cause of unsustainability is attitude, real change requires moving from the current focus on buildings and technology to an emphasis on the non-material.

Featuring over 400 high quality illustrations, this is essential reading for anyone who believes in the value and power of good design. Christopher Day’s philosophy will continue to inspire students with an interest in sustainable architecture, urban planning and related fields.

part I|1 pages

Life-supporting environment

chapter Chapter 1|12 pages

The environmental crisis

Ecological or experiential?

chapter Chapter 2|3 pages

Anticipating coming unknowns

chapter Chapter 3|9 pages

Environmental impacts

part II|1 pages

Experiential environment

chapter Chapter 4|14 pages

Perceived reality

Sensory experience

chapter Chapter 5|20 pages

Soul and spirit nourishment

part III|1 pages


chapter Chapter 6|30 pages

Placemaking for people

chapter Chapter 7|11 pages


Identity, continuity and integrity

chapter Chapter 8|33 pages

Design for community

chapter Chapter 9|26 pages

Getting around cities

chapter Chapter 10|12 pages


chapter Chapter 11|21 pages

Use, space and life

chapter Chapter 12|27 pages

Design for security

part IV|1 pages

Processes, drivers and outcomes

chapter Chapter 13|11 pages

Settlement form, space and life

chapter Chapter 14|10 pages

Design processes

How, by whom, how fast?

chapter Chapter 15|9 pages

Economic vigour as process-driver and shaper

chapter Chapter 16|10 pages

The primary change-driver


chapter Chapter 17|6 pages

Sustainability and economics

part V|1 pages

Living with a changing world

chapter Chapter 18|9 pages

Future climate

Future issues

chapter Chapter 19|39 pages

Design with the elements

chapter Chapter 20|14 pages

Ecological design

Energy aspects

chapter Chapter 21|9 pages

Cyclic systems

chapter Chapter 22|7 pages


chapter Chapter 23|17 pages

Bio-climatic placemaking

chapter Chapter 24|33 pages

Design for demanding climates

chapter Chapter 25|11 pages

Everything change


chapter Chapter 26|12 pages

Material applications

Eco-towns, eco-projects and eco-regeneration

chapter Chapter 27|4 pages

New situation

New approaches

chapter Chapter 28|4 pages

Sustainability or sustenance?