Recommended Reading

Over the past several decades, the renewed (and evolving) practice of placemaking has made dramatic progress towards a more endearing, adaptable and resilient future, fueled by some of the most astute thinkers of our time. Here’s a collection of our favorites.

Places of the Heart
Colin Ellard | Bellevue Literary Press, 2015
Cumulative effects of immersion in boring buildings can be seriously hazardous to one’s health

A Black Urbanist
Kristen Jeffers | Blurb, 2015
How to get the inequity of walkable urbanism into the hands of the people

People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities
Kaid Benfield | Island Press, 2014
25 essays making sense of where we live, better than “green,” “sustainable,” and “smart growth” labels ever could

Cognitive Architecture: Designing for How We Respond to the Built Environment
Ann Sussman and Justin Hollander | Routledge, 2014
Psychology and neuroscience can help architects and planners take human nature seriously when designing buildings and places

Charter of The New Urbanism
Congress for the New Urbanism | CNU, 1999, Second Edition 2013
Principles of urbanism

Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns
John Massengale and Victor Dover | Wiley, 2013
Street design manual that takes its cues from today’s great walkable urbanism to build tomorrow’s livable places

New Media for Designers + Builders
Stephen Mouzon | The Guild Foundation Press, 2013
User-intensive e-book provides a road map for revising the communications efforts of the design and construction community

Urbanism Without Effort
Charles Wolfe | Island Press, 2013
The effortless most often comes from the authentic, which are the dots this book connects, both verbally and with beautiful photography

Reshaping Metropolitan America: Development Trends and Opportunities to 2030 (Metropolitan Planning + Design)
Dr. Arthur C. Nelson | Island Press, 2013
Compelling demographic and statistical evidence of walkable places dominating the next generation of development

Designing Suburban Futures: New Models from Build a Better Burb
June Williamson, Ellen Dunham-Jones | Island Press, May 7, 2013
How sprawl can be redeveloped into more resilient, livable places

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
Charles Montgomery | Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
Journalist Charles Montgomery tackles city planning via the user experience. Wielding satisfying story-telling with solid urban design analysis and case studies, he hones in on what matters to most of us: happiness. Our own, and those we care about.

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time
Jeff Speck | Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
A commonsense user’s manual on making walkable places: streets matter

Principles of Urban Retail Planning and Development
Robert Gibbs | Wiley, 2012
Savvy combo of the retail numbers required to make the nationals’ business models pencil, along with how to organize shopping into walkable neighborhood formats, with a tenacious mix of local entrepreneurs

Made for Walking
Julie Campoli | Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2012
12 neighborhoods in the U.S. & Canada where one can live comfortably without a car point out needed transportation reform

Sprawl Repair Manual
Galina Tachieva | Island Press, 2010
Companion to SmartCode Sprawl Repair Module

Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up
Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, Jean-Paul Fitoussi | The New Press, 2010
Figuring quality of life, well-being, and satisfaction into our economic governance decisions

13 Ways to Kill Your Community
Doug Griffiths | Frontenac House, 2010
Down-to-earth, pragmatic Alberta Legislative Assembly member representing a largely rural constituency reviews townbuilding as a theoretical saboteur hellbent on destroying his community

Cities for People
Jan Gehl | Island Press, 2010
Transforming urban environments based on how people use spaces

A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Rebecca Solnit | Penguin Books, 2010
Our best acts are the exception rather than the norm and disasters often shake us into community building.

Light Imprint Handbook: Integrating Sustainability and Community Design
Thomas Low | Civic by Design, 2010
Sustainable stormwater and natural drainage practices in community design

The Language of Towns and Cities
Dhiru Thadani | Rizzoli, 2010
Exquisitely illustrated urban planning & design dictionary

The Original Green
Stephen A. Mouzon | New Urban Guild, 2010
Unlocking the mystery of true sustainability

The Smart Growth Manual
Andrés Duany, Jeff Speck, with Mike Lydon | McGraw-Hill, 2009
Challenges and best practices for urban development

Canons of Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism
Congress for the New Urbanism | CNU, 2009
Principles of sustainable urbanism

The Architecture of Community
Leon Krier | Island Press, 2009
Indispensable beacon of principle and methodology

New Urbanism: Best Practices Guide
Robert Steuteville, Philip Langdon | New Urban News, 2009
Sourcebook on the ideas and techniques of the New Urbanism

The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream
Christopher Leinberger | Island Press, 2009
The developer and financier’s perspective on sustainable urbanism

The Long Descent: A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age
John Michael Greer | New Society Publishers, 2008
Handy post-industrial how-to guide: “the community, not the individual, is the basic unit of human survival.”

Retrofitting Suburbia
Ellen Dunham-Jones, June Williamson | Wiley, 2008
Urban design solutions for redesigning suburbs

SmartCode & Manual v8.0
Andrés Duany, Sandy Sorlien, Bill Wright | New Urban News, 2008
Detailed notes explaining each section of the SmartCode

A Legal Guide to Urban and Sustainable Development
Daniel K. Slone, Doris S. Goldstein, Andrew Gowder | Wiley, 2008
Legal guide for planners, developers and architects

Form Based Codes
Daniel G. Parolek, Karen Parolek, Paul Crawford | Wiley, 2008
A guide for planners, urban designers, municipalities, and developers

New Urbanism and Beyond: Designing Cities for the Future
Tigran Haas | Rizzoli, 2008
Sourcing from debates at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, examines New Urbanism today and speculates about it’s future

Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature
Doug Farr | Wiley, 2007
Companion to SmartCode Sustainable Urbanism Modules

The SmartCode Solution to Sprawl
Chad Emerson | Environmental Law Institute, 2007
Practical examination of the SmartCode

New Urbanism and American Planning: The Conflict of Cultures
Emily Talen | Taylor & Francis, 2007
Survey of the last hundred years of urbanist ideals and cultures

A Living Tradition
Steve Mouzon | New Urban Guild Foundation, 2007
Architectural traditions of the Bahamas over the past four centuries

Long Emergency
James Howard Kunstler | Grove Press, 2006
Surviving the end of oil, climate change, and other converging catastrophes of the 21st century

Principles of Urban Structure
Nikos Salingaros | Tecne Press, 2005
Concepts from mathematics and physics directly applied to human-scaled urbanist projects

The Boulevard Book: History, Evolution, Design of Multiway Boulevards
Allan Jacobs, Elizabeth MacDonald, Yodan Rofe | The MIT Press, 2003
A must read for urban designers implementing the classic multiway boulevard

Solving Sprawl
F. Kaid Benfield | Island Press, 2003
Models of Smart Growth in communities across America

The New Transit Town
Hank Dittmar, Gloria Ohland | Island Press, 2003
Best practices In Transit-Oriented Development

Sidewalks in the Kingdom
Eric Jacobsen | Brazos Press, 2003
Urbanism and Christian faith

New Civic Art : Elements of Town Planning
Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Robert Alminana | Rizzoli, 2003
Encyclopedic reference book on the art and science of urban planning

Place Making
Charles Bohl | Urban Land Institute, 2002
Developing town centers, main streets, and urban villages

Greyfields into Goldfields
Lee Sobel | CNU, 2002
Dead malls become living neighborhoods

Suburban Nation
Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck | North Point, 2001
The rise of sprawl and the decline of the American dream

The Wealth Of Cities
John Norquist | Basic Books, 1999
Revitalizing the centers of American life

The Great Good Place
Ray Oldenberg | Da Capo Press, 1999
Cafés, coffee shops, bookstores, bars, hair salons, and other hangouts at the heart of a community

The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream
Peter Calthorpe | Princeton Architectural Press, 1995
Manual on regional planning technique

The Geography of Nowhere
James Howard Kunstler | Free Press, 1994
The rise and decline of America’s man-made landscape

The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Jane Jacobs | Modern Library, 1993
“Perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning.” -New York Times

American Architecture and Urbanism
Vincent Scully | Henry Holt & Co, 1988
History on architecture and planning

The Elusive City: Five Centuries of Design, Ambition and Miscalculation (Icon Editions)
Jonathan Barnett | Icon, 1987
History of planning since the 18th Century

The Timeless Way of Building
Christopher Alexander | Oxford, 1979
Architectural theory and design

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
Christopher Alexander | Oxford, 1977
250 patterns consisting of a design problems and solutions

The Image of the City (Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies Series)
Kevin Lynch | The MIT Press, 1960
Mental maps we make of cities reveals the character and feeling of the place. This classic looks for reasons some cities make us feel comfortable, and others don’t, based on the success of their pathways, boundaries, disconnects, and nodes.