University of New Mexico Professor of Architecture Mark Childs speaks about and signs copies of his new book Urban Composition: Designing Community Through Urban Design (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012) on Tuesday, May 1, at 1 p.m. at the UNM Bookstore.

Cities and towns are among humanity's largest and most complex achievements. Buildings, public works, plazas and parks of even a small town embody substantial amounts of capital, energy, natural resources, history and aspirations. Cities are among our greatest creations, yet typically no single individual creates them. Rather, they rise from dialog between multiple designers, clients, regulators, citizens, critics and users.

Sometimes the cities and towns that emerge are glorious places. Too frequently they have only fragments of greatness or are soul-deadening and environmentally unhealthy. Just as private doctors have responsibilities to their individual patients and for public health, project designers are accountable to their clients and for a set of public goods such as environmental stewardship, fostering civil society and inspiring joy.

In Urban Composition, Childs introduces essential ways in which the architects, planners, artists and engineers of individual projects can fulfill their public trust to help make great urban places.

Childs has worked as an architect, planner, urban designer and public artist. He is currently a professor in UNM's School of Architecture and Planning, and is also the author of Squares: A Public Place Design Guide for Urbanists (UNM Press).

The UNM Bookstore is located at 2301 Central Ave. NE at the intersection of Cornell and Central. Please contact Lani Tyler or call 505-277-7473 for more information.