The Human City - Urbanism for the Rest of Us

by Joel Kotkin

"The Human City presents the most cogent, evidence-based and clear-headed exposition of the pro-suburban argument. . . . enriching our understanding of what cities are about and what they can and must become.” —Wall Street Journal

Around the globe, most new urban development has adhered to similar tenets: tall structures, small units, and high density. In The Human City, Joel Kotkin—called “America’s uber-geographer” by David Brooks of the New York Times—questions these nearly ubiquitous practices, suggesting that they do not consider the needs and desires of the vast majority of people. Built environments, Kotkin argues, must reflect the preferences of most people—especially those of families—even if that means lower-density development.

The Human City ponders the purpose of the city and investigates the factors that drive most urban development today. Armed with his own astute research, a deep-seated knowledge of urban history, and a sound grasp of economic, political, and social trends, Kotkin pokes holes in what he calls the “retro-urbanist” ideology and offers a refreshing case for dispersion centered on human values.

Ten Principles for Reinventing America's Suburban Business Districts

by Booth, G et al, Urban Land Institute (USA)

A summary of the role of suburban business districts in the USA, and the types of public/private initiatives needed to restore their vitality and community function.

Opinion: How Landscapes Can Transform Suburban Business District Appeal And Add Real Estate Value

by Nathan Clausen, PDT Architects

A worthwhile opinion piece which explores how placemaking through landscaping can add value to otherwise tired and uninviting suburban centres. 

Destructive Cities

by Brian Haratsis

Rapid changes in technology combined with the growth of the services sector is forever changing the way Australian cities function. Much of our planning and economic development thinking, however, is based on obsolete ideas of urban development, employment, society and industry. Understanding how our very near future is going to forever change strategies for economic growth and turn urban planning on its head, is the subject of a new book by leading Australian futurist, strategic advisor and urban planner Brian Haratsis.

Our town: restoring localism

by Kotkin, Cox and Klapper (Center for Opportunity Urbanism, USA)

In this report, the Center for Opportunity Urbanism addresses the question of how to meet society’s primary challenges. Is it most effective to try and solve our myriad problems from a central federal, state or regional authority, or from a more local one?

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