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Thread: International Planning Book Club

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    International Planning Book Club

    This is kind of a double post but it's a new club proposal; if you're a mod do what you will

    I would like to start a book club that focuses on planning and urban issues outside of the 'Western World,' ie regions like Latin America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, etc. If anyone is interested post here or message me. Thanks!

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    example books

    Two examples I thought were interesting, gleaned from a quick online search. Check them out on Amazon

    City Life from Jakarta to Dakar: Movements at the Crossroads by AbdouMaliq Simone

    City of Walls: Crime, Segregation, and Citizenship in Sao Paolo by Teresa Pires Do Rio Caldeira

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    Here are a few other books:

    Taming the Disorderly City: The Spatial Landscape of Johannesburg After Apartheid

    Amazon page here. The focus is pretty self explanatory. A review says it's a good reference for urban planners.

    Arabic-Islamic Cities: Building and Planning Principles

    Amazon here. According to the write-up the author refers to texts from the 14th century. This one would be interesting.

    Crossroads: A Popular History of Malaysia and Singapore

    Amazon
    . This would be more of a big-picture book but should be interesting to economic developers and planners.

    Suggestions, even if you don't want to read along?

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    I've had some responses so far, so it wouldn't be a two-person club. Come on people, let's read something cool together! Also anyone that did respond, any suggestions of books or any preference out of the ones I posted?

    Another: I've always wanted to read El Monstruo. Here's the summary on Powells.com:

    John Ross has been living in the old colonial quarter of Mexico City for the last three decades, a rebel journalist covering Mexico and the region from the bottom up. He is filled with a gnawing sense that his beloved Mexico Citys days as the most gargantuan, chaotic, crime-ridden, toxically contaminated urban stain in the western world are doomed, and the monster he has grown to know and love through a quarter century of reporting on its foibles and tragedies and blight will be globalized into one more McCity.

    El Monstruo is a defense of place and the history of that place. No one has told the gritty, vibrant histories of this city of 23 million faceless souls from the ground up, listened to the stories of those who have not been crushed, deconstructed the Monstruos very monstrousness, and lived to tell its secrets. In El Monstruo, Ross now does.
    Last edited by RPfresh; 10 May 2011 at 6:10 PM.

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    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    I'd like to do a book club with you! Right now though, I have 8 projects sitting on my desk - 3 of which are marked as urgent. I am pretty sure I will be working 60 hours per week for the next few weeks. No time for reading for pleasure right now!

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    TerraSapient - you can get in on the next one? That sucks, good luck with your workload.

    Okay, last suggestion and I think this is a good one: Favela: Four Decades of Living on the Edge in Rio de Janeiro by Janice Perlman

    It's got great reviews on Amazon and covers an amazing subject, one that should be interesting to anyone who thinks about urban form.

    From Publishers Weekly
    Starred Review. Perlman has produced an excellent, exhaustive study of life in the 1,020 favelas—squatter settlements in Rio de Janeiro—in this sequel to her 1976 book, The Myth of Marginality. Here she attempts to find and reinterview her subjects as well as their children and grandchildren. Her authoritative account based on interviews with almost 2,500 people (some of whom she has known for 40 years) blends detailed personal testimonies with ethnography and insightful analyses of the urbanization of poverty, the implications of public policy and the drug trade. Her measured approach is all the more compelling because as she investigates the deprivation and danger faced by favela dwellers—19% of the city's population—she also conveys a deep understanding that favelas are not merely despair-filled slums but communities, and many residents have remained there by choice. She is also insightful about the limitations of her own research and the conclusions that can be drawn from it, making her arguments all the more meaningful. Photos. (Feb.)
    Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Again, post here or message me if you're interested. I'm hoping to get this going relatively soon.

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    Any other takers? I know this board is slow sometimes.

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    And the winner is...

    Okay, the first book is going to be Favela by Janice Perlman.


    Amazon


    Powell's - if you can afford it support this store! Big indie in Portland.

    Hope everyone interested can pick up a copy, at this point there is no 'read-by' date. Honestly I don't really know how book clubs work, but anyway...pick it up! Should be cool. Later

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    Quote Originally posted by RPfresh View post
    This is kind of a double post but it's a new club proposal; if you're a mod do what you will

    I would like to start a book club that focuses on planning and urban issues outside of the 'Western World,' ie regions like Latin America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, etc. If anyone is interested post here or message me. Thanks!
    I was just about to create a post regarding your topic. So glad a book club exists on it. I would love to join.

    However, at the moment i'm preparing for my final environmental law exam which will be in 2 weeks but after it i will be spending much of the next few months reading books on international planning. I will focus heavily on books more associated with developed states in far-east Asia. Although i do look forward to ones recommended in this book club as well.

    In the mean time can you recommend me any? I am completely new to planning and will begin an MSc IP course later this year. I come from an Environmental Sciences background.

    Thanks
    Last edited by melon101; 18 May 2011 at 10:29 PM.

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    Hi melon101,

    I just finished The Concrete Dragon, about urbanization in China. It's pretty good, so if you're looking for an east Asia planning book you could do worse than checking it out - and if the part about hutongs in Beijing interests you another book I want to do with the club is all about that.

    The classic planning recommendation is Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which is a bible at least for me. And there's a good book that skims the surface of several world cities (over half of which are in Asia) called World Cities Beyond the West.

    Glad you're into the club.

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    Quote Originally posted by RPfresh View post
    Hi melon101,

    I just finished The Concrete Dragon, about urbanization in China. It's pretty good, so if you're looking for an east Asia planning book you could do worse than checking it out - and if the part about hutongs in Beijing interests you another book I want to do with the club is all about that.

    The classic planning recommendation is Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which is a bible at least for me. And there's a good book that skims the surface of several world cities (over half of which are in Asia) called World Cities Beyond the West.

    Glad you're into the club.

    Oh thanks that sounds like a fascinating book, I will check it out. As for the hutongs, i find the hutong history and culture interesting. This is one of the first things I will be reading up on, as I will be spending a month in Beijing this August and a week in Chengdu.

    Yes, i saved Jane Jacobs book on my Amazon wish list a few weeks ago

    Thanks for your suggestions.

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    I got my copy of Favela today...it's on.

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    ...Just started reading The Concrete Dragon, the other three you've suggested to me are on there way. Look forward to checking them out!

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