• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Favorite planning related book

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
Favorite Planning Related Book

What's your favorite planning related book? It could be one you really enjoyed, found most motivating, or just one you like to recommend to family and friends, etc. Oh, and yes, I am looking for ideas to add to my must read list...

Mine:
Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream
by Duany, Plater-Zyberk, and Speck
 
Last edited:

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Not really a "must read" but I'd have to say my "most used or valuable" would be the AASHTO "green book"
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
book

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold a must reading about land stewardship.
 
Messages
5,353
Points
31
I read enough planning books in grad school to keep me sustained for a lifetime. However, there are a couple of books that I've read post-grad school that I'd recommend:

"How Wal-Mart Is Destroying America and What You Can Do About It" - forgot the author's name

"The Geography of Nowhere" - James Kuntsler (sp?)

The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is read a planning book. :eek :blah
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Favorite Books

Egotopia: The social/psychological forces behind the sprawl/chain store/billboard culture

False Dawn; Is American style capitalism THE ANSWER for the world? This former Thatcher guru thinks not. More an economic text, but has some relevance.

I actually liked Kunstler's The City in Mind, despite some racism (he is not kind to Mexico City). A nice quick survey,
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Best Planning Books

Three come to mind.

1. Geography of Nowhere - James Howard Kunstler
2. Asphalt Nation - Jane Holtz Kay
3. Better Not Bigger - Eben Fodor
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Better not Bigger

Eben Fodor's book is a fairly short read that is a Chamber of Commerce's nightmare. He very clearly points out that commercial growth and the resulting demand for sprawling housing places significant stress on tax payers, public services and quality of life in general. He doesn't advocate no growth, rather when considering economic development activities are reviewed a full cost analysis would give the community a better prespective on good growth versus bad growth.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Rural must read.

Holding Our Ground by Tom Daniels is a rural planner must read.
 

GeekyBoy

Cyburbian
Messages
41
Points
2
Gotta be the classic - Jane Jacob's "Death and Life of Great American Cities" - shocking how relevant it is even now (and even more shocking how quite a few municipalities haven't yet learnt "the lesson").

GB
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
Messages
3,150
Points
27
"Spaces of Hope" by David Harvey
"The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping / Harvard Design School Project on the City 2" by Koolhaus et al
"Good City Form" by David Lynch
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I really liked Jane Jacob's "Death and Life of Great American Cities" and Alexander Garvin's "The American City: What Works, What Doesn't"

I found a book on Amazon that looks like it could be a good one:

"Upset Citizens & Customers: How to Deal With the Angry, Difficult Demanding Public"

by Donald W. Slowik
 

trishm1

Member
Messages
17
Points
1
Talk about a good book...Have you read "A Good Place To Live" by Terry Pindell???
I recently read his book and loved it! I am rereading some of the chapters. As a budding planner and having a bit of the wander-lust, I found his book to be especially pleasant reading. I learned quite a bit about planning and downtown revitalization issues from this book and highly recommend it to anyone.
 

OhioPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
304
Points
11
My fav:
The Zoning Game by Richard Babcock. Although old, its amazing how much of his assessment of the problems with city development still apply today.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I have two fiction suggestions for reading, both developmetn related:

1) A Man in Full - Tom Wolfe. About development and teh people in Atlanta. Great descriptions of edge cities and how and partiqally why they exist. Good to see a developer get screwed once in a while

2) The apprenticeship of duddy kravitz. Mordecai Richler. "A man without land is nothing" Seeing how Richler shapes teh locations and desires and ties them all back to the premise of the importance of land to a landless nation (jews in montreal) is intersting and amusing. Also is intersting as it helps to show the characters what is truly important .
 

KEViNO

Member
Messages
10
Points
1
Favourite planning-related ~author~

Witold Rybczynski

Home: A Short History of an Idea. New York: Viking, 1986.

The Most Beautiful House in the World. New York: Viking, 1989.

City Life: Urban Expectations in a New World. New York: Scribner, 1995.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
"Night as Frontier" . A great social study of urban areas night vs. day.

"How to Lie With Maps". A short study in map production, general graphic design, and creating or debunking misleading graphics (depending on what side of the table you're on!). I love this one.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
bturk said:
[B"How to Lie With Maps". A short study in map production, general graphic design, and creating or debunking misleading graphics (depending on what side of the table you're on!). I love this one. [/B]
Right with you there, bturk. "how to Lie with Maps" is a must read.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,288
Points
44
"The History of Cities" by Lewis Mumford. This really started my interest in planning. BTW, I hate the "Green Book." Little value to real life situations.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
The Green Book

The Green Book should be burnt. Engineers should be forced to design in the context of "place".
 

prudence

Cyburbian
Messages
688
Points
20
See Spot Run.

It's the only one EVERYBODY can understand...and there's a "feel-good" message at the end.
 

Thom

Member
Messages
3
Points
0
"'The History of Cities' by Lewis Mumford. This really started my interest in planning"

Same here, in fact it's one of the principle reasons I've decided to go to planning grad school. Although, I'm unfamiliar with many of the books listed, so I guess I have alot of reading to do.
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
who has read the harvard design book for city 1 & 2? let's talk about this book. Also there is another book that's like these harvard books, lots of pics and schematics. really cool looking but is there substance?
 

jestes

Cyburbian
Messages
230
Points
9
Re: Favourite planning-related ~author~

KEViNO said:
Witold Rybczynski

Home: A Short History of an Idea. New York: Viking, 1986.


Ditto that, great book. I also enjoyed City Sense and City Design Kevin Lynch and Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life Robert N. Belah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven M. Tipton.
 
Top