Book Reviews

  • Book Review

    Triumph of the City

    Released February 10th, 2011, Trimuph of the City is the latest book to examine the value of cities. Written by Ed Glaseser, an economist at Harvard, the book explores "How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier." Dwelling largely on the social aspects of cities, Glaeser walks through the various aspects of city life that enable cities to succeed or fail including public health, public education, and transportation. He walks through evidence-based examples of why cities work to increase their residents wealth and health, examining the spread of ideas and disease as well.

  • Garbage Land – Book Review

    Garbage Land, by Elizabeth Royte, is billed as a book about "the secret trail of trash". The author follows her waste streams from her Brooklyn home to their various destinations across the Northeast. This includes ride alongs with "san men", visits to metal scrappers, discussions with composters, tours of MRF plants (materials recovery facility), water treatment plants, and the Fresh Kills landfill.

  • The Wealth of Cities by John Norquist – Book Review

    Milwaukee's former Mayor, John Norquist, in his book The Wealth of Cities writes up the impacts of U.S. policies on our cities, lays out his foundational beliefs that today form a key plank of the New Urbanism movement, and shares his insight into how he believes cities should be governed.

  • The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg – Book Review

    The Great Good Place, by Ray Oldenburg, discusses a part of community life that is fading in the U.S.

  • The Great Reset by Richard Florida – Book Review

    Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, takes a broad look at the current economic crisis in his latest book.

  • Book Review

    The High Cost of Free Parking

    The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup

    The High Cost of Free Parking makes the American Planning Association’s 100 Essential Books of Planning, and for good reason.

  • Book Review

    Carjacked – The Culture of the Automobile

    Carjacked by Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez

    Carjacked, The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effects On Our Lives, explores the love, lust, and reality of America's car culture.

  • Book Review

    City Comforts – How to Build an Urban Village

    City Comforts by David Sucher

    “City Comforts - How to Build an Urban Village” by David Sucher is almost a CliffsNotes on the topic of urban planning.

  • Traffic

    Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) – Book Review

    Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt

    Tom Vanderbilt's in-depth, fact filled, and thought provoking "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)" dives into how factors, such as human nature, the automobile, and the built environment impact how we drive.

  • Book Review

    Green Metropolis

    Author David Owen, makes a strong argument, and one that flies in the face of many activities and technologies that are traditionally labeled as 'green'. Instead he argues that truly living green, is living dense.

  • Book Review

    Pedaling Revolution

    Pedaling Revolution by Jeff Mapes

    Jeff Mapes, author of “Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities,” provides an in-depth history of cycling, and looks at how cycling is changing U.S. cities for the better.

  • The Plan of Chicago – Book Review

    The Plan of Chicago is a quick and easy read that's perhaps best described as a launchpad. Carl Smith breaks down key aspects of Burnham's plan in his book and details how they came to be, who influenced them, and how they turned out. For someone who hasn't actually read the actual plan (not required or expected for reading this book), author Carl Smith uses just the right amount of detail to illustrate the concepts.