Friday, October 9, 2009

Uptown Urban Studies Virtual Book Club

Okay, the title "Uptown Urban Studies Virtual Book Club" sounds more impressive than the idea behind the name. I try to keep up with interesting books that seem relevant to issues relating to building a better community, identifying the neighborhood's strengths and weaknesses, and contemplating both Uptown's (and surrounding neighborhoods) past and future. I know there's a lot of others out there who read those same books, too. The plan so far is that I'll announce a couple of weeks ahead of time what book I'll be posting about next, and then anyone who wants to can read along and join in the discussion.

My list of potential books includes those I already own or have read, as well as some I've seen that look interesting. Some possible titles (in no particular order) include:

First up will be Big-Box Swindle, followed by Green Metropolis.

Any and all suggestions for additional books are welcome!


  1. Great list -- I'll particularly second the Jane Jacobs, Donald Shoup, and Anthony Flint choices. Also, as a Magers & Quinn employee, thanks for linking to us rather than the megasite-which-shall-not-be-named...

  2. Vuchic, Vukan R. Transportation for Livable Cities. (New Bruswick, NJ: Center for Urban Policy Research, 1999).

    Whyte, William H. The Social Life of Small Urban Space. (Project for Public Spaces, 2001). I've watched the video and haven't had the opportunity to read the book, but Whyte was very influential on public space design.

    Also agree with Anthony Flint. Have 30 pages left. Good read.

    - Thatcher

  3. Great idea! So whats the "due date" for completing the first read? I'm going to try to participate if time allows.

    Suburban Nation by Andres Duany et. al is another good one.

    Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler

    The Image of the City by Kevin Lynch (if you are interested in urban design and the psychology of how people experience cities)

  4. Also:

    The Transportation/Land Use Connection by Terry Moore and Paul Thorsnes (American Planning Association, 1994) though it's a bit more technical on its policy recommendations.

    The Transit Metropolis by Robert Cervero, as it has a number of case studies on various city transit systems. More of a text book but I do recall finding it very interesting.

    The Continuing City by James E Vance, JR. but it's also a text book type book. It's sub title is "Urban Morphology in Western Civilization". Very good read on the physical changes to urban areas over time.

    I'm willing to share my books in the event anyone wants to borrow one.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions! Keep adding them if you think of more, and we'll get around to them all eventually.

    In the meantime, here's the schedule for the next few months:

    Big Box Swindle: October 31

    Green Metropolis: November 20

    The Suburbanization of New York: December 18

  6. I like this idea. I'm game. I have a few of those books!


  7. Of course, I'd like it more if we met up in real life.