Planning, Smart Growth, and Social Justice Reading List
LAND USE PLANNING
The Regional City Planning for the End of Sprawl, Peter Calthorpe and William Fulton, Island Press (2001), the latest Calthorpe text, his critique of auto-dependent planning continues to evolve, but now there are more examples showing solutions which are making a real difference in peoples lives today.
The Smart Growth Tool Kit Community Profiles and Case Studies to Advance Smart Growth Practices, David J. ONeill Urban Land Institute (2000), a compendium of specific guidelines and relevant case studies that delivers on the promise of its title.
Charter for New Urbanism, edited by Katherine McCormick & Michael Leccese, McGraw Hill, New York (1999), is a comprehensive look at the underlying principles of the New Urbanism movement. The elegance of New Urbanism is its ability to create attractive neighborhoods within sustainable communities that make sense in a regional context that sell to the ultimate consumer. The best thinking of the movement's most respected leaders all in one place.
The Practice of Sustainable Development, Douglas R. Porter, Urban Land Institute (2000). A practical guide to envisioning, locating and building commercial, residential and mixed-use projects that can conserve resources while improving our quality of life.
Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities, Timothy Beatley, Island Press (2000). A fascinating, exhaustively annotated first-hand study of dozens of European cities that have adopted and are currently implementing Agenda 21, a detailed action agenda that was developed at the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Conference on Environment and Development.
Designing The Future, Vernon D. Swaback, AIA, AICP, Herberger Center for Design Excellence, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, (1997), from a former Frank Lloyd Wright student, a beautifully designed and written examination of the challenges overcome by Scottsdale in its search to become a great desert city.
The Next American Metropolis Ecology, Community, and the American Dream, Peter Calthorpe, Princeton Architectural Press (1993), great general discussion, with very creative and inspiring examples of "transit-oriented development," by the leading proponent of New Urbanism (but see Transit Villages for reality check).
Crabgrass Frontier The Suburbanization of the United States, Kenneth T. Jackson, Oxford University Press (1985), the history of urban/suburban development in the U.S. from the 1860's; Jackson details how transportation options and federal housing policies have influenced community development patterns.
Sustainable Communities A New Design Synthesis for Cities, Suburbs, and Towns, Sim Van der Ryn and Peter Calthorpe, Sierra Club Books (1986), fascinating series of essays by some of the leading planning, environmental, and economic theorists in the U.S.; led to creation of New Urbanist planning movement.
Atlas of the New West, William E. Reibsame, James J. Robb, Center of the American West, University of Colorado at Boulder, W.W. Norton & Company (1997), a remarkable collection of data, maps, and prose examining what trends and philosophies have shaped and are shaping the Rocky Mountain West.
The Transit Metropolis: A Global Inquiry, Robert Cervero, Island Press (1998). Includes extensive analysis of effectively designed and operated transit systems from all over the planet (Curitiba, Brazil; Copenhagen, Denmark; Melbourne, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; Munich, Germany, Stockholm, Sweden, etc.).
Transit Villages in the 21st Century, Michael S. Bernick and Robert B. Cervero, McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., (1996), An excellent exploration with concrete examples and imagery of the conflict between placement of regionally significant transit centers and local neighborhood opposition (NIMBY).
Stuck In Traffic Coping with Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion, Anthony Downs, The Brookings Institution and the Lincoln Land Institute (1992), Very readable discussion of the prospects for various traffic reduction alternatives, based upon current development realities and commuting practices.
End Of The Road From World Car Crisis to Sustainable Transportation, Wolfgang Zuckerman, Chelsea Green Publishing Company (1991), obviously written from a point of view, but entertaining reading and very informative, particularly concerning what other countries are doing about traffic congestion.
Reinventing Government How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector, David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, PLUME (division of Penguin Books) (1992), provides great examples to use with bureaucrats who profess that "it can't be done."
The Death of Common Sense, Phillip Hall (?), It's such a good read, full of horrifying examples of bureaucratic brain death (in thrall to the rules), that the last person I lent it to didn't give it back, so I can't give you more details.
Management For A Small Planet Strategic Decision-Making and the Environment, W. Edward Stead and Jean Garner Stead, Sage Publications (1992), worth it for the Bibliography alone, exhaustively researched, easy to read, hard to put down.
The Ecology of Commerce A Declaration of Sustainability Paul Hawken, Harper Business (division of Harper-Collins publishing) (1993); Preface and Chapter I are truly inspiring.
Material World A Global Family Portrait, Peter Menzel and Charles Mann, Sierra Club Books (1994), a classic work featuring photographs of families from all over the planet, shown with all their worldly possessions. The contrasts are startling, and the message is one anyone struggling with resource conservation and social justice issues will appreciate.