Kotkin has long been a contrarian and critic of contemporary planning — sometimes a perceptive and welcome one, especially when urbanists, myself included, have gotten too cute or too smug. “The Human City” is probably his most comprehensive critique and surely his most off-putting.
Planetizen is pleased to release its list of the ten best books in urban planning, design, and development published in 2015.
The worm is a gimmick. So is Cinco de Mayo. And so is much else of tequila culture.
Tactical urbanism’s entry into the mainstream comes in the form of the enthusiastic volume Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change.
Les Standiford, an accomplished novelist, sets out to tell this gripping story in Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles.
Tortorici writes like Joan Didion’s cloying little sister, drawing monumental conclusions from vast stores of hearsay, personal experiences, and idle speculation.
It’s an odd feeling to see a historical figure represented visually, with his carriage, mannerisms, and emotions on display, often, in Moses’ case, with a beatific look of self-satisfaction.
In his recent book The New Geography of Jobs, Enrico Moretti, professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, explains how cities promote innovation and, importantly, how innovation affects cities’ economies.
As a journalist covering urban planning in the real California, I can’t help thinking that the modes of living that Lepucki imagines surviving in the state’s ashes can be seen as an extreme exaggeration of …
As ancient as the history of the gold rush may be — especially by California standards — parallels between contemporary California and infant California are eerily strong.
‘Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class’ by Scott Timberg argues that cities must defend and support local culture in the face of the homogenizing effects of the creative class.
Planetizen is pleased to release its list of the ten best books in urban planning, design, and development published in 2014.
The trillions of points of light in the true night sky are no match for the mere billions on the ground. You know the culprits: streetlights; parking lots; gas stations; billboards; preening McMansions; “security” lighting; athletic fields; headlights….and on and on. It all piles up in icteritious “domes” that hover above every urban area in the country.
At roughly the same time that the Founding Fathers were ringing the bells of revolution on the East Coast, California was nearly empty. It had no cities and only a modest fur-trading economy. It was a land crying out for a story — an empty soundstage, if you will. The role into which Serra grew, according to Steven W. Hackel in Junípero Serra: California’s Founding Father, was that of “a pioneer, a religious icon, and as a colonial imperialist.”
Anyone who writes about Paris naturally gets to draft off the city’s grandeur, so DeJean has an unfair advantage. Even so, she impressively achieves her goal: to explain Paris—specifically the extraordinary developments of the 1600s—without demystifying it.
The gridlock in American cities today doesn’t compare to the crush on streets in Boston and New York City in the mid- to late-1800s. In The Race Underground, Doug Most chronicles the occasionally synchronous development of the nation’s first subways.
Elkind could have gone down many spur tracks, into grand discussions of the feasibility of rail and lofty, ongoing debates about quality of life, cosmopolitanism, public subsidies, and transportation economics. He does not.
History of Future Cities is either a history book with an incredible urban sensibility or an urban book with an impressive grasp of history.