My book, Scenario Planning for Cities and Regions, has been included in the “Planners Library” feature in the August/September issue of the American Planning Association’s magazine, Planning. Reviewer Harold Henderson comments that “scenario planning looks to be made for the tumult of 2020 and whatever follows,” and notes “one of the book’s many strengths is […]
Cities are complex, soÂ they can be easily seen in different ways. The same urban block can be viewed as blighted, sustainable, congested, or a historic assetâ€”all depending on who you ask. The fundamental importance seeing means that at the heart of graduate programs in urban planning are courses in observationâ€”sometimes called â€œresearch methods”â€”the survey, the […]
In the acknowledgements section at the end of his book, The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City, author Alan Ehrenhalt demurred he is “no Jane Jacobs” but says he followed her advice for researching cities, namely to study them through close personal observation using a minimum of preconceptions. The results of this […]
Witold Rybczynski’s 2007 book Last Harvest: From Cornfield to New Town is truly a unique book: an accessible, detailed narrative of the process of real estate development. The book describes the construction of a subdivision named New Daleville in southern Chester County in suburban Philadelphia. Or exurban, rather, since the development is over 45 miles […]
I have mixed feelings about zoning, which may explain my thoughts about Donald Elliott’s new book about it, A Better Way to Zone. A land use law consultant in Colorado, Elliott’s book is dedicated to making “simplicity and understandability not just an aspiration but a guiding principle in zoning.” While I agree with much of […]
The newest buzzword among urban scholars just might be Christopher Leinberger’s “walkable urbanism,” which he contrasts with our country’s postwar “drivable sub-urban” pattern of development. In this post I review the University of Michigan professor’s latest book The Option of Urbanism and find a refreshing, if optimistic analysis of our recent urban history. Find out what I think sets this book apart from its competition, and why Leinberger thinks reforming Wall Street’s Real Estate Investment Trusts may be the key to cultivating genuine urbanism in American again.
Zachary M. Schrag’s recently published book The Great Society Subway has been on my “to read” list for quite some time now. Since the first time I visited Washington, D.C. I was captivated by the city’s Metro system, which I first began to explore in earnest when I lived in the city without a car […]