‘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.
Where is Robert Bruegemann when you need him?
Brook contends that the four cities were not built to celebrate their respective cultures or to build indigenous economies but rather to establish beachheads of western modernity on incongruous and otherwise backwards soils.
Eric Klinenberg’s Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone offers a potentially instructive glimpse into how the other half lives: some out of preference, others out of desperation.
The somewhat unnerving implication of Aerotropolis is that the great cities of the global age aren’t so much cities but rather are catchment areas for airports — specifically, airports that fling people and goods across oceans.
Over the past few years, publishers have put out enough books on urban sustainability to make Al Gore blush. Unfortunately, making a city sustainable takes a lot longer than does writing a book about making …
Just in case you thought that suburbanization of the 20th century was a joint venture between God, the invisible hand, and a pot of gold delivered by the Freedom Fairy, Earl Swift’s Big Roads might …
Urban planning’s very own Don Draper has put quantitative analysis to a far more humane use. If Jane Jacobs wrote from the heart, Glaeser writes decidedly from the head.
Early in her account of the development of San Fernando Valley, Laura R. Barraclough describes an 1880s-era photo that captures the wholesome spirit of what would become Los Angeles’ great bedroom community: “Captioned ‘Lankershim’s best …
Yes, it’s a coffee table book. But, even for urban planning wonks, it reveals more about how the built environment evolves than could a million pages of zoning code.