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The Massive Small Compendium

Ideas, Tools and Tactics for Urban Society

The key to fixing our broken patterns of urban development does not lie in grand plans or giant projects; rather, it lies in the collective wisdom and energy of people harnessing the power of many small ideas and actions to make a big difference. We call this making “Massive Small” change.

In an increasingly complex and changing world where global problems are felt locally, the systems we use to plan, design, and build our urban neighborhoods are failing. For three generations, governments the world over have tried to order and control the evolution of cities through rigid, top-down action. Yet, master plans lie unfulfilled, housing is in crisis, the environment is under threat, and the urban poor have become poorer.

The system is not broken: it was built this way. And governments alone cannot solve these problems. But there is another way—the Massive Small way—a concept developed by Kelvin Campbell, the innovative founder of Urban Initiatives, an internationally recognized urban design practice based in London, and curator of Smart Urbanism [Massive Small], one of the largest LinkedIn communities in the field of online urbanism.

The Massive Small Compendium, the first truly comprehensive sourcebook to come out of this work, showcases cities as they really are—deeply complex, adaptive systems. As such, it offers an alternative to our current highly mechanistic model of urban development. With roots in the work of great urban theorists such as Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander, and E. F. Schumacher, The Massive Small Compendium integrates this thinking with Complexity Theory and a scientific understanding of sustainability and resilience in cities. It sets out the enabling protocols, conditions, and behaviors that deliver Massive Small change in our neighborhoods. It describes and illustrates the ideas, tools, and tactics being used to help engaged citizens, civic leaders, and urban professionals to work together to build viable urban society, and it will show how effective system change can be implemented.

Highly illustrated with stunning graphics and photographs of cityscapes and urban life, this essential toolkit for the future can be called the next Whole Earth Catalog for twenty-first century urban planning and development.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelvin Campbell

Kelvin Campbell is a collaborative urbanist and writer. He is the chair of Smart Urbanism and the Massive Small Collective, an international network of collaborators facilitated by his son Andrew Campbell, a sustainability expert.

After founding and leading Urban Initiatives, a successful urban design practice, for over two decades, he decided to step aside and take a different perspective on urbanism—something he is passionate about.

Former visiting professor in urban design at the University of Westminster and chairman of the Urban Design Group, Campbell is now honorary professor at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and lecturing in the Masters in Sustainable Urban Development program at Oxford University. In 2013, he received the Urban Design Group’s Lifetime Achievement Award and was later awarded the Built Environment Fellowship by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.

He was lead author with Rob Cowan on By Design, the UK government’s policy guidance on design in the planning system. Together they have collaborated on and published numerous books and polemics.

He lives in London and the Chilterns with his wife.

CONNECT WITH THIS AUTHOR

Smart Urbanism
Smart Urbanism on LinkedIn
Massive Small on Facebook
Twitter
Massive Small Collective

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Top-Down vs Bottom-Up

Kelvin Campbell discusses the conflicts that exist between the top-down planning system and the potentials that can be realised when naturally emerging bottom-up forces from local communities are engaged.

Introduction to Smart Urbanism

Kelvin Campbell goes over the problems our planning system is facing, and the essential premise of 'Making Massive Small Change'

The Massive Small Compendium

Pages:512 pages
Book Art:Full-color photographs and illustrations throughout
Size: 8.5 x 11 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Hardcover: 9781603587754
Pub. Date May 07, 2018

Available In/Retail Price

Hardcover, 512 pages, $75.00