Over at Where, Dan Lorentz identified the top 5 books that he considers “the basics of urbanism”, as well as a “Tall Stack of Other Suggestions”:
Based on that library visit, on posted comments from readers, on behind-the-scenes advice from Where contributors and my interpretation—from my own very amateurish (and American) perspective—of what counts as “accessible” and “concise,” here are five books about the basics of urbanism that I’d now recommend to relatively clueless, but curious friends.
Here’s what Dan chose for the top 5:
#1 The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (1961)
#2: The Option of Urbanism by Christopher Leinberger (2007).
#3 The Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler (1993)
#4 Cities Back from the Edge by Roberta Gratz, with Norman Mintz (1998)
#5 How Cities Work by Alex Marshall (2000)
I have to add the caveat, that I wouldn’t necessarily suggest all of these as the best books for ideological Market Urbanists, especially since I haven’t read them all yet. But, it seems like a great selection to get introduced to the main urbanist ideas if you haven’t been already. Even ideologues should keep an open mind to alternative ideas.
I guess this would fall under the category of introducing “Urbanism for Capitalists”. I’ll have to follow up by recommending books introducing “Capitalism for Urbanists”, and finally essential reading for Market Urbanists.
What do you think of Dan’s list? Have you read them? What books would you pick? How about the best books specifically for Market Urbanists? And, the best books for introducing capitalism to urbanists?
If you haven’t noticed already, I’ve added some reading selections to the sidebars via Amazon. I’d like to note that if you make purchases after being referred from this site, I get a small portion as a referral fee – even if you buy something else. I don’t intend to be sales pitchy – this sight isn’t a money-maker for me, and I don’t intend it to be, but every little bit helps cover the modest expenses of maintaining the site.