January 12, 2009
In a bid to improve my urban policy cred, I've picked up How Cities Work by Alex Marshall. Thus far, it's really good: Rather than writing a brief for urbanism, Marshall tries to explain how all types of developments -- urban and suburban -- come into being around certain types of economic activity, political priorities, and transportation options. The upshot seems to be that incorporating more density and mass transit into regional planning takes a lot more thought and effort than most people are willing to admit. I look forward to reading the case studies, which include Portland, Oregon, Silicon Valley, and a planned community created by the Disney corporation (!).