Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step At A Time by Jeff Speck (2012) As someone who doesn't own a car, bikes a limited amount, and pretty much walks most everywhere I go (when not with someone else), walking and the city I live in is something I think about as much as I think about anything. This book was really engaging to me—I don't usually read entire non-fiction books, just parts, or do a lot of skimming, but I read it cover to cover, kind of feeling in the company of a friend with a similar passion. It was weird, when I got to the last chapter I started feeling like I had some problems with it, maybe knowing it was coming to an end, or maybe it was getting less specific and more into the realm of politics, or maybe more complex issues like WHO are the people we're talking about—the people in cities, some who care about other people more than others. THAT subject is bottomless and endless and important. But most of the book was more about the specifics of urban areas, the relationships of structures to modes of transit to the people using them and living there. A lot of what he says is reinforcing things I always think about, so that's nice, but even better I learned some new things and was forced to think about some very specific problems and solutions in different ways, because some of the things he proposes seem counter-intuitive at first. I could go more into the particulars, but then I'd be re-writing the book. I hope all city planners check this book out, and are aware of his ideas here. I might actually re-read this book at some point, or else go further with similar reading he refers to.
Books I've Finished Reading