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Thread: Favorite books on Urban Planning & Design?

  1. #1
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    Favorite books on Urban Planning & Design?

    I'm still in my "introduction to planning" period, and I was wondering if any of you could suggest some of your favorite works on Urban Planning, Design, Revitalization, etc...

    I am currently reading Mike Davis' Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster (it hits very close to home for me..he's a great critic of LA's bad planning and mismanagement of resources).

  2. #2

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    I'm in the same boat; I look forward to the results of this thread...

    Some planning/urban form books I like that I've read lately (I'm lucky that my library has a good selection of books on planning, since these books tend to be pricey)

    Edge City: Life on the New Frontier Joel Garreau

    A Pattern Language: Towns Buildings, Construction Christopher Alexander et al.

    The New American Ghetto Camilo Vergara

    A Field Guide to Sprawl Dolores Hayden

    Just looking at that list, I note that apart from the second one, these are books on how not to develop urban form...

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by astoy
    I am currently reading Mike Davis' Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster (it hits very close to home for me..he's a great critic of LA's bad planning and mismanagement of resources).
    In a similar vein, consider reading John McPhee's "Control of Nature"; it is worthwhile.
    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)

  4. #4
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    Here are some suggestion that I found insightful:

    Diffusion of Innovations, by Everett M. Rogers, (This is a must for any urban planner trying to insitute new ideas into a community)

    The Living City: How America's Cities Are Being Revitalized by Thinking Small in a Big Way by Roberta Brandes Gratz

    Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown by Roberta Brandes Gratz and Norman Mintz

    The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs

  5. #5
         
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    I'm gonna state the Obvious.....Geography of Nowhere and Home from Nowhere by Kunstler. But I also like "The City" by Joel Kotkin. I recently picked up "Asphalt Nation" but haven't started into it. I think by the end of the summer I will have purchased the entire (though pathetic) Urban Planning section of my local Borders

  6. #6
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I'd add:

    The Land That Could Be: Environmentalism and Democracy in the 21st Century by Michael Shutkin

    Urban Development: The Logic of Making Plans by Lewis Hopkins

  7. #7
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    Anything by Sam Bass Warner. Great writer, strong viewpoint.

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by burnham follower View post
    I'm gonna state the Obvious.....Geography of Nowhere and Home from Nowhere by Kunstler.
    You're in luck. If there's something you wanted to ask him he's here
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  9. #9
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    The Zoning Game, by Richard Babcock.

    Older 1960s book about zoning. Easy read. Still very relevant today.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    I usually recommend any reference books that are overladden with standards:

    Planning and Urban Design Standards
    Landscape Architectural Graphics Standards


    There is quite a bit of text describing the basics of site design and planning, overall a good read, even if the books are not meant for the coffee table.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Design of Cities, by Edmund Bacon, is also a good one--very engaging read with lots of time-period visuals. It lies in subtle contrast to Jane Jacobs' Death and Life, but still is important for understanding practical urban design from antiquity through the 20th century.

  12. #12
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    The Image of the City by Kevin Lynch

    Close-up: How to Read the American City by Grady Clay
    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)

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