Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Book list: Summer reading

(Image from TravelPod.)

This list is from a content mill most likely, The 50 best books for urban history books, but it does remind us that "Summer Reading Season" is upon us, and that we ought to take some time out for some more in-depth reading.

I have to say that there are many gems on the above list, books that wouldn't necessarily make typical lists, tomes that we can definitely learn from including:

  1. City on the Edge: The Transformation of Miami by Alejandro Portes
    While no longer cutting-edge, this book is still a good read for better understanding the effect of immigration and multiple cultures on Miami as a city.

  2. The Fragmented Metropolis: Los Angeles, 1850-1930 by Robert M. Fogelson
    Study LA from its beginnings as an agricultural village to the booming city of over 2 million in this definitive work of urban history.

  3. Camden After the Fall: Decline and Renewal in a Post-Industrial City by Howard Gillette
    This biography of Camden, New Jersey takes a look at what it takes for a city to recover when people and money start leaving in droves.

  4. The Politics of Urban Beauty by Michele H. Bogart
    Since 1898, the Art Commission of the City of New York has been dictating what artwork, from architecture to trash cans, will be allowed in the city. This control has serious implications for urban design and the politics of public spaces– issues which are explored in-depth in this book.

There are many books that I want to get to, but haven't, including:

- Anacostia: Death and Life of an American River by John Wennersten

- City Making And Urban Governance In The Americas: Curitiba And Portland (Design and the Built Environment) by Clara Irazábal

- Cultural Quarters: Principles and Practice by Simon Roodhouse

- The Future of the Past: A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism, and Historic Preservation by Stephen Semes (I heard him speak on this topic in advance of the book at a National Trust for Historic Preservation conference, probably in Louisville in 2004 or maybe in St. Paul in 2007? I can't remember exactly)

- Historic Preservation and the Livable City by Eric W. Allison and Lauren Peters

- The Just City by Susan Fainstein

- Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places by Sharon Zukin

- Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward Glaeser

- Reconsidering Jane Jacobs (Frank Gruber has a series of reviews of this book at Huffington Post.)

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