2005 Planetizen Top 10 Book List

2005 Planetizen Top 10 Book List


From festival marketplaces to squatter metropolises, "conviviality" to "root shock," and "eko-communer" to "litter on a stick," this year's Planetizen top books list has it all.

2005 Planetizen Top 10 Book List


Ten top books (along with five honorable mentions) include works by and about some familiar personalities -- James Rouse, Jane Jacobs, Dolores Hayden, Lawrence Vale – while covering a range of new topics.

  • The Natural Step for Communities, for example, details the efforts of over 60 Swedish "eco-municipalities" (eko-communer) to create completely sustainable towns.
  • Shadow Cities reveals a hidden world -- a billion people strong and growing – where entire cities exist without any form of property rights.
  • In Root Shock, a psychiatrist tackles the psychological impact of urban renewal on African-American communities.
  • The Resilient City seeks to explain why, for hundreds of years, cities have continually survived and flourished in the face of incredible devastation.

    More traditional books examine the role of the public commons in urban design (Squares), the relationship between urban design and health (a hot topic in 2004, Urban Sprawl and Public Health), and the life of one of America's great urban innovators, James Rouse (Better Places, Better Lives).

    Two reference books look towards the past and the future:

  • The Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Architecture, a 1,500 page tome, defines everything from the Garden City movement to public housing and edge cities.
  • Hayden's A Field Guide to Sprawl introduces a new vocabulary for the 21st century, lamenting starter mansions and category-killers that cover a new suburban domain of impervious surfaces.

    Finally, in her latest manifesto (Dark Age Ahead), Jane Jacobs outlines the decline of Western Civilization -- but not without a few ideas for stemming the tide.

    The list was compiled by the Planetizen editorial team based on a number of criteria, including editorial reviews, sales rankings, popularity, Planetizen reader nominations, number of references, recommendations from experts and the book's potential impact on the urban planning, development and design professions.

    Special thanks to Planetizen Associate Editor
    David Gest for coordinating and compiling this year's list.

    Related Link: 2005 Planetizen Top 10 Book List

    For more information contact:

    David Gest

    Email: [email protected]
    Web: http://www.planetizen.com

  • Posted December 18, 2004

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