The course aimed to give students from a variety of backgrounds an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing cities over the coming decades. To examine how cities can be re-made in ways that will inspire and enable all to live well and within tightly bounded environmental limits. In short, how to ensure cities and their citizens thrive in an uncertain future?
Putting together the lectures and readings meant going back through some of the books on my shelves in search of references – a rewarding activity in itself. Like most This Big City readers I’m constantly on the lookout for good writing about cities – there’s no shortage of it on the Internet of course, but sometimes it’s great to settle down with a longer read and lose yourself in a good book. With that in mind I thought I’d share the reading list we put together for the course. I’d happily recommend all the books below, although some have a more specialist focus than others.
- An Engineer Imagines - Peter Rice
- Cities for People – Jan Gehl
- Cities in the International Marketplace – H.V. Savitch and Paul Kantor
- Cities People Planet – Herbet Girardet
- City Cycling – John Pucher and Ralph Buehler (Eds)
- Ecosystem Services Come to Town – Gary Grant
- Green Metropolis – David Owen
- Human Transit – Jarrett Walker
- Makeshift Metropolis – Witold Rybczynski
- Sustainable Urban Design – Adam Ritchie and Randall Thomas (Eds)
- The Art of City Making – Charles Landry
- The Energy Glut – Ian Roberts and Phil Edwards
- The Wealth of Cities – John Norquist
- Triumph of the City – Edward Glaeser
- Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change – Peter Calthorpe
- Whole Earth Discipline – Stewart Brand
Clearly this isn’t a definitive list, there are plenty of great books that aren’t included (Jeff Speck’s The Walkable City and John Reader’s Cities are just two examples from a very long list) and if you’ve got a suggestion for a great city read then I’d love to hear it.
Image via dr_tr.