If you are at all interested in town planning, design, architecture, the built environment etc, these are worth a read. I’ll be happy to extend the list if people have an interesting read to add.
Full list coming soon.
But to start the ball rolling a couple of my favourite books.
City Making in Paradise. Nine decisions that saved Vancouver
By Michael Harcourt, Sean Rossiter, Ken Cameron, Kenneth Duncan Cameron
Published by Douglas & McIntyre
This critical work explores the issues and citizen action that made Vancouver one of the world’s most livable cities—an international urban poster child—and challenges policy-makers and the public to reinvigorate the debate for the next generation of successful sustainable city building.
Time and again, Vancouver is recognized internationally as one of the best places to live. It achieved that reputation by breaking rules and forging its own brand of North American urbanism. This compelling book details the nine most important decisions made in the Greater Vancouver region since the 1940s. Authors Mike Harcourt and Ken Cameron, themselves key players in several of these developments, reveal the political machinations, the ideological struggles and the personal commitment that lay behind each one. By tracing today’s successes back to their roots, they illustrate their central theme; that cities are the result of the daily choices we make as leaders, activists and citizens.
About the Authors
Mike Harcourt is a former premier of British Columbia (1991–96), mayor of Vancouver (1980–86) and city alderman (1972–80.) He is chair of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee for Cities and Communities.
Ken Cameron has held senior planning and management positions with the City of New Westminster and the Greater Vancouver Regional District since the late 1970s. He is CEO of the British Columbia Homeowner Protection Office.
Sean Rossiter wrote an award-winning column about civic affairs for Vancouver magazine for sixteen years. Recipient of three City of Vancouver Heritage Awards, he is also the author of nineteen books.
The Vancouver Achievement: Urban Planning and Design
By John Punter, Punter, John Vincent, 1945-
Published by UBC Press, 2003
ISBN 077480971X, 9780774809719
This book examines the development of Vancouver’s unique approach to zoning, planning, and urban design from its inception in the early 1970s to its maturity in the management of urban change at the beginning of the twenty-first century. By the late 1990s, Vancouver had established a reputation in North America for its planning achievement, especially for its creation of a participative, responsive, and design-led approach to urban regeneration and redevelopment. This system has other important features: an innovative approach to megaproject planning, a system of cost and amenity levies on major schemes, a participative CityPlan process to underpin active neighbourhood planning, and a sophisticated panoply of design guidelines. These systems, processes, and their achievements place Vancouver at the forefront of international planning practice.
Dream City: Vancouver and the Global Imagination
By Lance Berelowitz
Published by Douglas & McIntyre, Limited, 2005
ISBN 1553651707, 9781553651703
Vancouver, located at the edge of a continent and the edge of national consciousness, has become the model for post-industrial urbanism. Does it deserve the attention? This provocative new book explores the links between the city’s seductive natural setting, turbulent political history, planning and design culture, and the local and global forces that are reshaping Vancouver’s urban environment at a ferocious pace. Filled with historical and contemporary photographs and maps, “Dream City offers compelling insight into how buildings, public spaces, extraordinary landscapes, and civic values have merged to form a uniquely 21st-century city.