The complexity of cities have posed a challenge to all who choose to write about them in a comprehensive way. On the one hand, this can result in lengthy books which draw their authors across a vast intellectual terrain. Patrick Geddesâ€™sÂ Cities in EvolutionÂ exceedsÂ 400 pages, and the paperback edition of Lewis Mumfordâ€™s magnum opus The City […]
A few years back, I was asked to name the books that had made the biggest impact on me. Three came immediately to mind: Jane Jacobâ€™s Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tom Sugrueâ€™s Origins of the Urban Crisis, and Thomas Kuhnâ€™s Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Beyond those, I struggled to think of more […]
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.
I’ve engaged in some speculation before about the size and character of Google’s effort to digitize the nearly 5 million volumes in the University of Michigan library as part of their plan to digitize the libraries of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, the University of Oxford, and The New York Public Library. I’ve also […]
This event featuring a new book about the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood caught my eye. It’s the first I’ve heard of the book which sounds quite interesting. As a note, Mt. Pleasant was also the subject of Brett Williams’ 1988 work, Upscaling Downtown: Stalled Gentrification in Washington DC, meaning it has been “gentrifying” in somebody’s mind […]
I just returned from visiting my girlfriend Libby in Michigan and parents in Maine. In Michigan Libby and I stayed at the Inn on Ferry Street, ate a Coney dog, saw a Tigers game, browsed the shelves in John King Books North, and spent time in Ferndale and Royal Oak. I noticed construction has begun […]
A revised permanent page of books about DC. Feel free to post comments or suggestions over there in the comments. There’s a permanent link to the page on the sidebar under “Hot Topics.”