☆ The Works: Anatomy of a City Ä Download by ☆ Kate Ascher
☆ The Works: Anatomy of a City Ä Download by ☆ Kate Ascher No quite as amazing as I thought it would be since it does fudge a bit on technical information. I really wanted to love Kate Ascher s The Works Anatomy of a City I was looking forward to turning the pages with fascinated glee like I did as a kid with the anatomy and physiology textbooks and their transparent overlays of all the body s systems I had also hoped it would be something of a companion piece to Alan Weisman s excellent The World Without Us the former illustrating how we keep a city alive, the latter examining what happens when we re not around to do so Though meticulously researched, wonderfully designed, and filled with hundreds of detailed illustrations, The Works, largely failed on all fronts While abound in breadth, it is uniformly lacking in depth While loaded with detail, there is no analysis of any of it While its five sections moving people, moving freight, power, communications, and sanitation are perfectly delineated, ea How Much Do You Really Know About The Systems That Keep A City Alive The Works Anatomy Of A City Contains Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About What Makes New York City Run When You Flick On Your Light Switch The Light Goes On How When You Put Out Your Garbage, Where Does It Go When You Flush Your Toilet, What Happens To The Waste How Does Water Get From A Reservoir In The Mountains To Your City Faucet How Do Flowers Get To Your Corner Store From Holland, Or Bananas Get There From Ecuador Who Is Operating The Traffic Lights All Over The City And What In The World Is That Steam Coming Out From Underneath The Potholes On The Street Across The City Lies A Series Of Extraordinarily Complex And Interconnected Systems Often Invisible, And Wholly Taken For Granted, These Are The Systems That Make Urban Life Possible The Works Anatomy Of A City Offers A Cross Section Of This Hidden Infrastructure, Using Beautiful, Innovative Graphic Images Combined With Short, Clear Text Explanations To Answer All The Questions About The Way Things Work In A Modern City It Describes The Technologies That Keep The City Functioning, As Well As The People Who Support Them The Pilots That Bring The Ships In Over The Narrows Sandbar, The Sandhogs Who Are Currently Digging The Third Water Tunnel Under Manhattan, The Television Engineer Who Scales The Empire State Building S Antenna For Routine Maintenance, The Electrical Wizards Who Maintain The Century Old System That Delivers Power To Subways Did You Know That The Verrazano Narrows Bridge Is So Long, And Its Towers Are So High, That The Builders Had To Take The Curvature Of The Earth S Surface Into Account When Designing It Did You Know That The George Washington Bridge Takes In Approximately Million Per Day In Tolls Did You Know That Retired Subway Cars Travel By Barge To The Mid Atlantic, Where They Are Dumped Overboard To Form Natural Reefs For Fish Or That If The Telecom Cables Under New York Were Strung End To End, They Would Reach From The Earth To The Sun While The Book Uses New York As Its Example, It Has Relevance Well Beyond That City S Boundaries As The Systems That Make New York A Functioning Metropolis Are Similar To Those That Keep The Bright Lights Burning In Big Cities Everywhere The Works Is For Anyone Who Has Ever Stopped Midcrosswalk, Looked At The Rapidly Moving Metropolis Around Them, And Wondered, How Does This All Work Amazing read With as many pictures as words, this book provides an incredibly detailed look into the systems of the city that go unnoticed Ever wonder what those big steel canisters are on NYC sidewalks Or how about why your radiator is knocking This book has all that and much much. I learned a lot about NYC infrastructure Interesting bits There is an abandoned subway station that I get to look at when I go to work each day, now that I know it s there Garbage pickup for residents and businesses are done differently, even though it all goes to the same place The mob used to own the garbage collection for businesses. Rikers Island has a giant composting situation Christmas trees are composted too. The walls of the automobile tunnels under the rivers get scrubbed every few days because they get really gross. Sewage is really gross. Several Manhattan skyscrapers have their own zip codes The Empire State Building is a giant radio antenna Which is a good use for it since it s not a dirigible docking st I absolutely loved this book, but that s not to say I d recommend it to anyone But for a certain type of dilettantish urban studies enthusiast which I very much consider myself to be , this is an excellent and very entertaining read Supremely digestible, pithy and loaded with helpful diagrams and winsome illustrations, Ascher walks us through every little idiosyncrasy, creative solution, and cludgey workaround made custom to show us how New York City ticks If you re someone who wonders how things like subway signaling or waste disposal works and enjoy finding out, or if you re someone who enjoys finding out neat things that you never bothered to wonder about before did you know that the top of the Empire State Building was originally designed to anchor dirigibles , A broad overview of urban infrastructure that suffers from a lack of detail, e. g a description of various bridge types does not explain reasons for using one type over another While New Yorks serves as a good archetype of the modern city, some general exposition in the book, such as discussion of radio wavelengths and power voltage seems too generalized and unconvincing Suited for a high school age audience, I found myself wanting detail You will find yourself closely examining manhole covers and other features of the urban environment after reading however, with the knowledge of what lies underneath. I found The Works to be an enjoyable read It lives up to its title Imagine an Encyclopedia of the human body with many cut aways showing all of the internal organs using spectacular, 3D CGI diagrams and illustrations in full color This book features plenty of those, and is indeed an unabridged anatomy of a city Author K Ascher than excels in demonstrating her intimate knowledge of how cities operate on a daily basis, using New York as its base.
Cities are, for my money, mankind s most astonishing invention Their complexity is stupefying system within system, handling tons of material at any given time, whether the subject is cars across a bridge or the contents of a thousand home s flushing toilets And the stakes are always high, with the health and happiness of millions on the line or at least, thousands The Works is a dream of a book, a visual rich guide to the many systems that keep cities thriving Author Kate Ascher throws light not on just the expected roads and utilities, say but also minor things like the postal service Using New York City as case study, Ascher explores systems for transportation, energy, communication, and sanitation in turn The Works stunned me again and again with its visuals Readers are treated to an astonishing array of informative little diagrams cutaways that show what s insid This book is brain candy for nerds who love to see how things work, and the best book of its sort that I can think of since David Macauley s book. Am only halfway through this but love love love this Exactly the sort of thing the young geek I was would pore over for days and weeks Great details and illustrations of subway systems, water mains, parking meters, and all the crap that we use everyday without remarking it And full of such groovy little bits of information The different kinds of subway cars in NYC what the light combinations on the tracks mean how the rail network keeps tabs on where cars are at any given moment and Yip
Kate Ascher is an author and was executive vice president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation Her 2005 book, The Works Anatomy of a City, a textual and graphic exploration of how the complicated and often overlapping infrastructure of a modern city works, garnered wide discussion and praise when it was published She left the NYCEDC in 2007 for Vornado Realty Trust She formerly hel