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Thread: Books that should be read before Grad School?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian psylo's avatar
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    Books that should be read before Grad School?

    Having read the thread about internships and graduate school, left me with a question. I'm planning to attend grad school in the fall and was wondering if anyone would suggest some books to read before then that would be beneficial or are important enough that it wouldn't hurt to have paged through before then. Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I'd strongly recommend the following:

    Hale - The Old Way of Seeing. This is an excellent explanation of why we like some buildings. Since urban design is not well covered in many programs, I'd really recommend it.

    Hiss - The Experience of Place

    Warner - Streetcar Suburbs. A classic.

    McPhee - The Control of Nature. Humbling. Be nice to Mother Nature or she'll kick your a$$.

    Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Lynch, Kevin - Good City Form - great theoritical discussion on urban design

    Kemmis, Daniel - The Good City, The Good Life - good discourse about community development and planning
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Aldo Leopold - A Sand County Almanac.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Ill add another Kevin Lynch book to the list - Site Planning.

    I also frequently use Hok-lin Leung's land Use Plannign Made Plain. It is a Canadian book.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  6. #6
    jimi_d's avatar
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    Abercrombie, P., 1959, "Town and Country Planning". London: OUP.
    Beard, T., 2002, "By Tube beyond Edgware". Harrow Weald, Middlesex: Capital Transport.
    Cudahy, B., 1995, "Cash, Tokens and Transfers: a History of Urban Mass Transit in North America". New York: Fordham University Press.
    Greene, K., 1995, "Archaeology: An Introduction", 3rd ed..London: Routledge.
    Jencks, C., & Kropf, K., (eds), 1997, "Theories and Manifestoes of Contemporary Architecture". Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Academy.
    Kostov, S., 1991, "The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History". London: Thames & Hudson.
    Lynch, K., 1960, "The Image of the City". Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    MacLaren, A., (ed.), 2003, "Making Space: Property Development and Urban Planning". London: Arnold.
    Panerai, P., Castex, J., Depaule, J.-C., & Samuels, I., 2004, "Urban Forms: the Death and Life of the Urban Block", transl. Samuels, O.V.. Oxford: Architectural Press.
    Richards, B., 2001, "Future Transport in Cities". London & New York: Spon.
    Rogers, R., & Power, A., 2000, "Cities for a Small Country". London: Faber & Faber.
    Schoon, N., 2001, "The Chosen City", London & New York: Spon.
    Wells, H.G., 1932, "The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind". London: Heinemann.

    And if you need some light relief, I'd recommend:
    Bryson, W., 2004, "A Short HIstory of Nearly Everything". London: Black Swan.
    Calvocoressi, P.,1987, "A Time for Peace". London: Hutchinson.
    Dostoyevsky, F., 1880, "The Brothers Karamazov".
    Herodotus (the Penguin edition's okay)
    Poole, S., 2002, "Behind the Crumbling Edge: a View of the Nationalised Railway". Lewes, East Sussex: Book Guild.
    Roberts, A., (ed.), 2004, "What Might Have Been: Imaginary History from Twelve Leading Historians". London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson.

    That will probably do for several summers!

  7. #7
    Contemporary Urban Planning by John M. Levy gives one of the best and least lengthy overviews. Why are planners so long winded? The most recent edition is very expensive, but if you go back to the 5th edition (year 2000), you can easily save $50 by purchasing used online.

  8. #8
    jimi_d's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Follow the $$
    Why are planners so long winded?
    To bore community activists and other annoyances away.

  9. #9
    no Jane Jacobs?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by OfficialPlanner
    no Jane Jacobs?
    Who? Never heard of her.

    She's probably a read in the coursework somewhere - likely even undergrad. You'd be better off reading some of the less commonly used, but still excellent books.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    jane jacobs

    as someone who has never taken an undergrad course in planning, i would say that if for some reason none of your undergraduate courses assigned the book, you should read "The Death and Life of Great American Cities." it's really changed the way i look at cities, etc.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally posted by jimi_d
    Abercrombie, P., 1959, "Town and Country Planning". London: OUP.
    Beard, T., 2002, "By Tube beyond Edgware". Harrow Weald, Middlesex: Capital Transport.
    Cudahy, B., 1995, "Cash, Tokens and Transfers: a History of Urban Mass Transit in North America". New York: Fordham University Press.
    Greene, K., 1995, "Archaeology: An Introduction", 3rd ed..London: Routledge.
    Jencks, C., & Kropf, K., (eds), 1997, "Theories and Manifestoes of Contemporary Architecture". Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Academy.
    Kostov, S., 1991, "The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History". London: Thames & Hudson.
    Lynch, K., 1960, "The Image of the City". Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    MacLaren, A., (ed.), 2003, "Making Space: Property Development and Urban Planning". London: Arnold.
    Panerai, P., Castex, J., Depaule, J.-C., & Samuels, I., 2004, "Urban Forms: the Death and Life of the Urban Block", transl. Samuels, O.V.. Oxford: Architectural Press.
    Richards, B., 2001, "Future Transport in Cities". London & New York: Spon.
    Rogers, R., & Power, A., 2000, "Cities for a Small Country". London: Faber & Faber.
    Schoon, N., 2001, "The Chosen City", London & New York: Spon.
    Wells, H.G., 1932, "The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind". London: Heinemann.

    And if you need some light relief, I'd recommend:
    Bryson, W., 2004, "A Short HIstory of Nearly Everything". London: Black Swan.
    Calvocoressi, P.,1987, "A Time for Peace". London: Hutchinson.
    Dostoyevsky, F., 1880, "The Brothers Karamazov".
    Herodotus (the Penguin edition's okay)
    Poole, S., 2002, "Behind the Crumbling Edge: a View of the Nationalised Railway". Lewes, East Sussex: Book Guild.
    Roberts, A., (ed.), 2004, "What Might Have Been: Imaginary History from Twelve Leading Historians". London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson.

    That will probably do for several summers!
    Did u read through all these books? Can u select just 1 or 2 that beginning planners should read? I'm interested in urban planning and also want to find some books to read.
    Universe is not wide enough to be planned.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mee
    Did u read through all these books? Can u select just 1 or 2 that beginning planners should read? I'm interested in urban planning and also want to find some books to read.
    More is better.

    I would suggest finding a good bookstore, buy a "membership discount card" and kiss your social life good bye for a while.

    Because some places are thinking about change, from 'classic planning' to something else, I would also suggest the following:

    "Rise of the Creative Class" because some places are freaking out because they are not creative, and some parts of this book you should know, even if they are wrong.

    "Suburban Nation." Once again, some of the book is BS, some is great idea, but it is good because it gives a good look at New Urbanism.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Future Planner's avatar
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    You might want to consider browsing the Planetizen top 20 planning books of all time found here:

    http://www.planetizen.com/books/plnz20.php


    I've found plenty of these titles in used bookstores, sometimes cheap sometimes not.

  15. #15
    I would maybe pick a couple of the books above, but would suggest that you spend your reading time this summer on stuff that you like to read. If my grad school experience is anything to go by, I wasn't behind the curve going in and I knew and had read very little to nothing about planning. You won't have time to read any novels during the semester (at least I didn't) so take the time now.

    You might also play some SimCity

  16. #16
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    In all seriousness, I would strongly suggest getting a magazine subscription to something you want to read for pleasure. They come in really handy when you need a break in your academic reading and are not so long that it takes a huge bite out of your day.

    Try getting some of the more humorous planning books if you're going to do some planning-related reading during the summer. You don't want to burn yourself out before starting grad school with the more heady reading. I'll see if I can't come up with some titles for you.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Read Chris Duerksen's "True West" to get a good perspective on western planning.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Follow the $$
    Contemporary Urban Planning by John M. Levy gives one of the best and least lengthy overviews. Why are planners so long winded? The most recent edition is very expensive, but if you go back to the 5th edition (year 2000), you can easily save $50 by purchasing used online.
    That is the textbook I assign for the intro class! I agree it is a good 'overview'.

    But you should wait; you will get your fill of reading (coupled with interpretation) when you get to school.

    In the meantime, go to some public meetings and talk to some planners if you want to get a base for what is going on.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Grady Clay
    Close-Up: How to Read the American City
    Real Places: An Unconventional Guide to America's Generic Landscape
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  20. #20
         
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    Lewis Mumford "The City In History"
    Kenneth Jackson "Crabgrass Frontier"
    Reyner Banham "Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies"

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    You're going to be reading so much of that stuff when you're all in school, might as well read something fun now. However, I read "Geography of Nowwhere" and "Life and Death of Great American Cities" before school. Both are great.

  22. #22
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    preparing for grad school eh?
    read 'fear and loathing in las vegas' by the good doctor thompson.
    more educational then anything else your going to read.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by beatnikmp
    preparing for grad school eh?
    read 'fear and loathing in las vegas' by the good doctor thompson.
    more educational then anything else your going to read.
    If this inspires you, then also please consider -
    The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  24. #24

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    Read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell because it is fun to read and you will learn about things you've probably never thought of before. The ideas are applicable to planning, but really they're applicable to everything.

  25. #25
         
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    Quote Originally posted by urbanleopold
    as someone who has never taken an undergrad course in planning, i would say that if for some reason none of your undergraduate courses assigned the book, you should read "The Death and Life of Great American Cities." it's really changed the way i look at cities, etc.
    Me too, it is really a great book.

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