Here are some books that we have read and recommend.
Car culture has ensnared much of the world--and it's no wonder. Convenience and comfort (as well as some clever lobbying) have made the car the transportation method of choice for generations. But as the world evolves, the high cost of the automobile is made clearer--with its dramatic effects on pollution, the way it cuts people off from their communities, and the alarming rate at which people are injured and killed in crashes. Walker argues that the simplest way to tackle many of these problems at once is with one of humankind's most perfect inventions--the bicycle. In How Cycling Can Save the World, Walker takes readers on a tour of cities like Copenhagen and Utrecht, where everyday cycling has taken root, demonstrating cycling's proven effect on reducing smog and obesity, and improving quality of life and mental health. Interviews with public figures--such as Janette Sadik-Khan, who led the charge to create more pedestrian- and cyclist- friendly infrastructure in New York City--provide case studies on how it can be done, and prove that you can make a big change with just a few cycling lanes and a paradigm shift. Meticulously researched and incredibly inspiring, How Cycling Can Save the World delivers on its lofty promise and leads readers to the realization that cycling could not only save the world, but have a lasting and positive impact on their own lives.
Jeff Speck has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive. And he has boiled it down to one key factor: walkability. The very idea of a modern metropolis evokes visions of bustling sidewalks, vital mass transit, and a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly urban core. But in the typical American city, the car is still king, and downtown is a place that's easy to drive to but often not worth arriving at. Making walkability happen is relatively easy and cheap; seeing exactly what needs to be done is the trick. In this essential new book, Speck reveals the invisible workings of the city, how simple decisions have cascading effects, and how we can all make the right choices for our communities. Bursting with sharp observations and real-world examples, giving key insight into what urban planners actually do and how places can and do change, Walkable City lays out a practical, necessary, and eminently achievable vision of how to make our normal American cities great again.