If you're looking for some new reading for yourself or a person you know who's interested in history, cities and urban planning, a reader has kindly sent along to me a list of 50 of the best books on urban history. The classics are on there, including Jacobs, Mumford and Reps, but there are many lesser known titles as well covering everything from Chinese urbanism to American infrastructure.
Along the same lines, last month Austin Contrarian compiled a list of recommended readings on urban economics, including the Death and Life follow up The Economy Of Cities, which is worth reading alone for the provocative theorizing about the urban origins of agriculture, but which goes far beyond that to illuminate the economic basis for many of the conclusions in Death and Life.
I could add many others to these lists which I've enjoyed over the past few years, but would invite commenters to share their own recommendations.
Two glaring omissions are Cities in Civilization by Peter Hall and Nature's Metropolis by William Cronon - the former probably the most complete history of urbanization, at least from a western perspective (it actually has a place in all 6 categories from the list), and the latter a detailed economic history of Chicago which of course serves as a template for many western cities in the USA.ReplyDelete
I'd submit personal fave Fin-De-Siecle Vienna by Carl E. Schorske, which is a lively social and cultural history of an era of change and genius for that city.