'Wimping Out' Writing About Green Cities?

<p>UCLA planning professor Matthew Kahn describes his personal experience publishing his book, <em>Green Cities</em>.</p>
March 18, 2007, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"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.]

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Published on Thursday, March 15, 2007 in Urban Planning Research, A blog by Randall Crane
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