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Urban Books – Wishlist

From time to time I come across reviews or press releases of great books.  Here are two that have made it onto my wishlist.

Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century

The guys from Worldchanging.com have released their book, and it looks great, you can get it from amazon, click on the image to the right to buy it.  At the moment, it is about 40% off the retail price, so if you are interested in that sort of thing, get it now!

The book begins with a forward from Al Gore and an introduction by Bruce Sterling, followed by 600 pages of innovative ideas for creating a bright green future, divided into seven main chapters:

  • Stuff (which covers topics like green design, reducing one’s ecological footprint, biomimicry, sustainable agriculture, clothing, cars and emerging technologies);
  • Shelter (covering topics like green building and landscaping, bright green home decor, clean energy, sustainable water systems, disaster relief and humanitarian design);
  • Cities (topics like smart growth, sustainable communities, transportation, greening infrastructure, product-service systems, leapfrogging and megacity challenges);
  • Communities (topics like education, women’s rights, public health, holistic approaches to community development, copyleft, South-South science, social entrepreneurship and micro-lending, and philanthropy);
  • Business (topics like socially responsible investment, worldchanging start-ups, ecological economics, corporate social responsibility and green business);
  • Politics (topics like networked politics, new media, transparency, human rights, non-violent revolution and peacemaking);
  • Planet (the big picture — everything from placing oneself in a bioregion to climate foresight to environmental history to green space exploration).

Source: WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century [An Update]

Click here to buy – Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century

The Perfect $100,000 House

I love affordable! 1000 square feet at $100 per square foot sounds pretty good. We’re at the beginning of the process of designing our own home, and books like this help to work out the affordable and beautiful aspects of a house that’s not a McMansion or a shoe box.  I’m hoping that there are some sustainable solutions presented as well.

An architecture and design critic’s search for an ideal American home, that’s both beautiful and affordable.

 Most would be hard pressed to find an American not interested in real estate. From birth, we’re conditioned to consider owning our own homes as the fulfillment of the American Dream. But consumers today are more likely than not to find themselves either priced out of the market or forced to settle for cookie-cutter conformity. Where housing is concerned, cheap and well crafted rarely exist together. Or do they?

Founding Editor in Chief of Dwell magazine and noted critic Karrie Jacobs believes that they do. The Perfect $100,000 House chronicles her coast-to-coast search for just that: a well-built, intelligently designed, reasonably priced, decent-size house with at least a little curb appeal. Throughout her journey, Jacobs meets architects and builders who are revolutionizing the way Americans think about homes, about construction techniques, and about community.

From a Teletubbiesesque subdivision outside Taos, New Mexico, to nuevo-retro shotgun houses in Houston, the options available to prospective home buyers are as diverse as the terrain along Jacobs’s fourteen-thousand-mile trek. And no matter where her search ends, she’ll at long last be home.

Source: The Perfect $100,000 House – Karrie Jacobs – Penguin Group (USA)

Click here to buy – The Perfect $100,000 House: A Trip Across America and Back in Pursuit of a Place to Call Home

Do you have any favorite books to recommend?

 

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.