Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

April 15 2014

Today’s Urban Encyclopedia: “The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t”

April 15th, 2014Posted by 

As cities grow and redevelop, community leaders are constantly imagining new ideas to improve their businesses and neighborhoods. But who is keeping track of all these new sustainability programs, zoning policies, and preservation programs? Evaluating past and existing practices can help avoid repeated mistakes and spur innovative partnerships. However, the volume and diversity of urban […]

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March 10 2014

Book Review: ‘Rebel Cities’ by David Harvey

March 10th, 2014Posted by 

David Harvey is unabashedly political in his book Rebel Cities, published in 2012. He roots urban planning firmly in the realm of human rights and draws a distinct ‘line in the sand’ between cities which honor the rights of its citizens and those which have been ‘bought out’ by greater powers.   “The results of […]

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February 24 2014

Revive Traditional Architecture: A Book Review of “The Architecture of Community”

February 24th, 2014Posted by 

Traditional architecture steps out of the shadows of history to challenge today’s results of the modern building process. While critics may find a lot to disagree with in this book, Léon Krier presents a comprehensive treatise of architecture based on harmony and timeless proportions. No matter which side of the traditional versus modern debate you […]

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January 27 2014

Book Review: ‘Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change’

January 27th, 2014Posted by 

Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change is an extended summary of Peter Calthorpe’s thought leadership in the areas of urban planning and its impacts on the surrounding environment. Arguing the holistic nature of planning decisions, Urbanism is full of quotable lines and beautiful graphics demonstrating how our carbon footprint continues to grow despite advances […]

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January 16 2014

Rethinking Placemaking: Book Review of “Urbanism Without Effort”

January 16th, 2014Posted by 

Ideas about cities are always changing, but the fundamentals of urban living stand the test of time. Urbanism Without Effort, written by Seattle native Chuck Wolfe, suggests that we consider the basics when faced with the complexities of planning cities. Using illustrations of various urban environments around the world, it articulates an idea that I have […]

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January 14 2014

Experiencing Streets, Parks, and Plazas: A Review for “How to Study Public Life”

January 14th, 2014Posted by 

As cities compete to attract new residents and businesses, the importance of vibrant public spaces is undeniable. Organizations like Project for Public Spaces and The Better Block have demonstrated that when communities invest in their streets, parks, and plazas, the rewards are tremendous. But what makes a good public space? How does one understand the […]

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January 14 2014

Abracadabra: A Book Review of Kunstler’s “Too Much Magic”

January 14th, 2014Posted by 

Have people begun to believe that technology can solve all the world’s problems? Author James Howard Kunstler makes this convincing argument in his newest book Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation. In his first nonfiction book since the The Long Emergency (2005), Kunstler presents new evidence to support his […]

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December 18 2013

Growing a Garden City: A Book Review on Duany’s Agrarian Urbanism

December 18th, 2013Posted by 

Is agriculture the new golf? Former skeptic Andres Duany says it very well could be. I was fortunate enough to hear Duany speak on his book, “Garden Cities: Theory & Practice of Agrarian Urbanism.” As usual, he didn’t disappoint with his energetic and blunt character that never needs a flashy presentation or pretty pictures to […]

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December 18 2013

Amy Cortese Discusses Hometown Economics In “Locavesting”

December 18th, 2013Posted by 

Amy Cortese’s Locavesting: The Revolution In Local Investing And How To Profit From It is a must-have for anyone interested in small-business financing, economics, or community development. The purpose of the book is to expose readers to a multitude of alternative investment mechanisms that help local and regional businesses grow and thrive. Although Cortese explores […]

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December 04 2013

“Recent Waterscapes: Planning, Building, and Designing with Water” Book Review

December 4th, 2013Posted by 

Recent Waterscapes: Planning, Building, and Designing with Water edited by Herbert Dreiseitl and Dieter Grau provides a comprehensive overview of innovative water-related projects throughout the world. The editors argue: “Coping with ever greater amounts of stormwater run-off from increased urbanization and fierce heavy downpours does not mean endlessly multiplying the number and capacity of technical […]

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November 27 2013

How Cities Come Alive: A Book Review of “Life Between Buildings”

November 27th, 2013Posted by 

People and buildings are connected – they have been and will continue to be so. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space is a classic that applies substance and quantitative research to the field of urban planning. Jan Gehl, author of Cities for People, takes his analysis beyond urban design to talk about how public spaces […]

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November 26 2013

12 Years Later “How Cities Work” is Still A Must-Read

November 26th, 2013Posted by 

Though written twelve years ago, “How Cities Work” by Alex Marshall is still highly applicable to cities around the world today. Marshall, a journalist by training, observes cities and shares his findings, oftentimes adding in remarks from famous urban planning giants such as Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. The introduction poses a question that serves […]

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November 21 2013

New and Improved: A Book Review for Charter of the New Urbanism, 2nd Edition

November 21st, 2013Posted by 

It might have been 14 years, but we have a Charter Book back in print again. The Congress for the New Urbanism has updated the classic book, long out of print, based on the CNU Charter that was signed in 1996. The Charter itself remains unchanged; this edition of the book simply advances the original principles […]

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November 18 2013

Self-Made City: Collective Intelligence in Co-housing Projects from Berlin

November 18th, 2013Posted by 

In the past, participatory planning used to be regarded as an annoying factor in the already intricate procedures of urban planning. Fortunately, today participation seems to permeate through a variety of city projects. This time around, the good news comes from Berlin. Self-Made City is a bilingual (German-English) book by the German Jovis. As the […]

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September 09 2013

Micro Actions, Macro Changes: A Review for “Handmade Urbanism: From Community Initiatives to Participatory Model”

September 9th, 2013Posted by 

During the last few years, there has been a significant shift of interest towards grassroots interventions in the urban realm. A book like Handmade Urbanism: From Community Initiatives to Participatory Model is not just a compilation of grassroots initiatives, but an effort to set the foundations of a theoretical discussion around grassroots-driven urbanism. This endeavor […]

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July 01 2013

Cultivating Communities From the Bottom-up: Small Change by Nabeel Hamdi

July 1st, 2013Posted by 

Small Change, a 2004 book by Nabeel Hamdi, is a participatory design and place-making journey from the bottom-up. Through its pages the reader can witness the conception of a community and then follow its bit-by-bit emergence, gradual development and finally, its vitality. Nabeel Hamdi’s long experience in housing, in conjunction with his career as a […]

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