Archive for the 'Economic Development_ Urban' Category

Smart Cities. Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia. Anthony Townsend

Smart Cities.  Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia. Anthony Townsend. 2013.  Slate magazine says,  “Townsend has collected fascinating stories of urban renewal and innovation from around the globe and packaged them into lessons that are neat and digestible”. Our City is pursuing an Intelligent City initiative and I found much useful information that applies in this book.   I especially found his views of bottom up initiatives  useful as that is the model my City is using.  He references many organizations and website that have some valuable ideas and programs for any City to investigate. Very much worth the read and this is an author to follow.

The introduction is available at npr.org.

Naked City. The death and life of authentic urban places. Sharon Zukin

English: Looking southeast at Ikea store in Re...

Naked City. The death and life of authentic urban places. Sharon Zukin. 2010 . ISBN 9780195382853.  A very useful viewpoint of how New York ( and related large cities have dealt ( or not dealt) with progressive change in its neighborhoods.  By looking closer at Brooklyn, Harlem, East Village, Union Square, Red Hook, neighborhood gardens the author illustrates the relentlessness of change and how city approaches can help or hinder that. What is interesting is that when a neighborhood moves from gritty to cool, then gentrification and rising property values will follow, at some time or another.  The author does not forget her history with notes on  the likes of Jane  Jacobs and Robert Moses as well as notable mayors and their impacts.   Good grounding for the urbanest.

The Lean CEO. Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence. Jacob Stoller.

English: John leading Lean and Mean

The Lean CEO. Leading the Way to World-Class Excellence. Jacob Stoller.   2015. ISBN 9780071833073.  This is the missing  book that puts together the plethora of lean successes across industries , public sector and geographies.  You will learn not only where Lean came from ( Deming and much more) , but how successful it has been in some many sectors and why it has not been more widely adopted in N America.  For tech companies after the Lean Startup you must  become the lean grownup to survive and grow. This book will help point the way.  Clearly written with  lots of examples makes this an engrossing book. Well worth anyone’s time to sit down and read it.

Screw the Valley. A Coast-to-Coast Tour of Americas New Tech Startup Culture: New York, Boulder, Austin, Raleigh, Detroit, Las Vegas, Kansas City. Timothy Sprinkle.

Geographic center of the contiguous United Sta...

Screw the Valley.  A Coast-to-Coast Tour of Americas New Tech Startup Culture: New York, Boulder, Austin, Raleigh, Detroit, Las Vegas, Kansas City. Timothy Sprinkle. 2015. ISBN 9781940363301.  A very ambitious book.  Look at seven locations that are building up a tech economy, that are not in Silicon Valley. The author visited Detroit, New York City, Las Vegas, Austin , Kansas City , Raleigh-Durham and Boulder.  He met as many people, companies, accelerator/incubators, angels/VCs that he could and documented what he heard.  These locations are all going about this in their own way with or without government assistance.  The grass roots energy is considerable as is the commitment of local entrepreneurs who are paying their success back into the community. If your location/group/community is thinking about this path the book is a fresh view and there are some insights to be gained. The sheer size of this task allows you to forgive the very very odd mistake on why certain folks did very well.   Good read and it proves once again that cities can and will do it their way .

City 2.0. The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There. TED Books 2013

TED (conference)

City 2.0.  The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There.  TED Books 2013. An excellent resource . It is pragmatic and full of real world achievable examples. The bonus is the linkage to individual  writers and their individual TED talks. If you are in planning and urban design – a must read.  Clearly written and a fairly quick read.

Walkable City . How Downtown can save America one step at a time. Jeff Speck

English: A car of the Portland Streetcar syste...

Walkable City . How Downtown can save America one step at a time. Jeff Speck. 2012.  ISBN 9780865477728. The author, a city planner /designer has written an urban yet very readable guide to helping cities get away from their car addictions.  Many of our local public forums return to keeping our city( New Westminster) a walkable city.  Specks book is a great first step in seeing what can be and is being done in many places.  He does an excellent job of stipping us of the car based blinders and prejudices that we all have in North America. I appreciated that he noted the efforts of Vancouver and Portland in these efforts.

I just completed a journey to Greece and Western Turkey and it is blindingly how much more interesting an old, pre car built city is for walking than one that is car based.  And how increased traffic can really bind up these cities. Too bad they look to the West for insight son how to handle this.  Kind of like asking a heroin addict how to kick the habit.

Speck also does a great job of showing/ linking our car based designs to increased carbon footprints and how some thoughts in design can ameliorate/prevent  self induced issues.  That was again brought to me in the Turkish city of Marmaris which had many covered streets/bazaars that were very pedestrian oriented. This was in a city that has an average daily temp of 30 degs. Shade is really important.  Terminal 2 in Heathrow, UK  is another good example , which uses mostly north facing windows to prevent increased heat build up in the open plan building. Its is a good job.  If you fly Star  Allinace you can experience this.

I recommend this to anyone interested in living in a more interesting,  energetic and vibrant city.