'Wimping Out' Writing About Green Cities?

UCLA planning professor Matthew Kahn describes his personal experience publishing his book, Green Cities.

"Now that six months have past, I can look back at the entire experience and reflect. I learned that I am not a good writer. I learned that writing a book for a wide audience is much harder than writing a single academic article. I learned that I vastly over estimated my book's sales potential."

"...My book is a 'two handed' empirical debate between optimists (think of Julian Simon) and pessimists (think of Paul Ehrlich) concerning the question of whether economic growth mitigates or exacerbates environmental problems.... A good friend of mine told me that I made a mistake with my book's title. He told me that to enhance sales it should have been titled: 'Green Cities: Economic Growth and the Environment'. I would like to use the remainder of my time posting here to explain why I made my 'urban' choice."

..."One prominent economist has told me that I wimped out. He said that I didn't write a strong 'bottom line' on whether Development 'greens' or 'browns' cities. He also said that I didn't offer strong policy prescriptions for building a green city.' "

[Editor's note: Green Cities is one of Planetizen's Top 10 Books for 2007.]

Full Story: Kahn, On Green Cities


building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95