74 books like Streetfight

By Janette Sadik-Khan, Seth Solomonow,

Here are 74 books that Streetfight fans have personally recommended if you like Streetfight. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier

Alexander Stahle Author Of Closer Together: This is the Future of Cities

From my list on future cities and urban design.

Who am I?

As a city researcher and urban planner I must constantly scan the urban world for trends and plans and projects. It really started when I was writing my PhD thesis on density and green spaces in cities. The thesis title became Compact Sprawl. I like counterpoints. Today I run to companies. Spacescape that is an urban planning consultancy and Placetoplan that is a webapp for citizen participation in planning. My home is covered with books about cities, architecture, transportation, parks, and natural landscapes. I am also a landscape architect, by the way. And I live in downtown Stockholm with two children and no car.

Alexander's book list on future cities and urban design

Alexander Stahle Why did Alexander love this book?

The Harvard professor Ed Glaeser is also a great speaker, and I have seen him live. In his book he describes so well why we have cities and why they are so successful. He travels through history and around the globe to reveal cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Using analysis, and argument, Glaeser makes a great case for the city's importance, offering proof that the city is humanity's greatest creation and our best hope for the future. It is not only economics, it is about society.  

By Edward Glaeser,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Triumph of the City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Understanding the modern city and the powerful forces within it is the life's work of Harvard urban economist Edward Glaeser, who at forty is hailed as one of the world's most exciting urban thinkers. Travelling from city to city, speaking to planners and politicians across the world, he uncovers questions large and small whose answers are both counterintuitive and deeply significant. Should New Orleans be rebuilt? Why can't my nephew afford an apartment in New York? Is London the new financial capital of the world? Is my job headed to Bangalore? In Triumph of the City, Glaeser takes us around…


Book cover of Tactical Urbanism: Short-Term Action for Long-Term Change

Alexander Stahle Author Of Closer Together: This is the Future of Cities

From my list on future cities and urban design.

Who am I?

As a city researcher and urban planner I must constantly scan the urban world for trends and plans and projects. It really started when I was writing my PhD thesis on density and green spaces in cities. The thesis title became Compact Sprawl. I like counterpoints. Today I run to companies. Spacescape that is an urban planning consultancy and Placetoplan that is a webapp for citizen participation in planning. My home is covered with books about cities, architecture, transportation, parks, and natural landscapes. I am also a landscape architect, by the way. And I live in downtown Stockholm with two children and no car.

Alexander's book list on future cities and urban design

Alexander Stahle Why did Alexander love this book?

Although the concept sounds theoretical, this book is about very simple techniques on how to cheap and fast change urban spaces, streets, and plazas so that they are for people (not cars). The book provides a toolkit for conceiving, planning, and carrying out projects, including how to adapt them based on local needs and challenges. Tactical Urbanism can inspire and empower citizens, urban designers, land use planners, architects, and policymakers to become key actors in the transformation of their communities.

By Mike Lydon, Anthony Garcia,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tactical Urbanism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Short-term, community-based projects - from pop-up parks to open streets initiatives - have become a powerful and adaptable new tool of urban activists, planners, and policy-makers seeking to drive lasting improvements in their cities and beyond. These quick, often low-cost, and creative projects are the essence of the Tactical Urbanism movement. Whether creating vibrant plazas seemingly overnight or re-imagining parking spaces as local gathering places, they offer a way to gain public and government support for investing in permanent projects, inspiring residents and civic leaders to experience and shape urban spaces in a new way. Tactical Urbanism, written by Mike…


Book cover of Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

Alexander Stahle Author Of Closer Together: This is the Future of Cities

From my list on future cities and urban design.

Who am I?

As a city researcher and urban planner I must constantly scan the urban world for trends and plans and projects. It really started when I was writing my PhD thesis on density and green spaces in cities. The thesis title became Compact Sprawl. I like counterpoints. Today I run to companies. Spacescape that is an urban planning consultancy and Placetoplan that is a webapp for citizen participation in planning. My home is covered with books about cities, architecture, transportation, parks, and natural landscapes. I am also a landscape architect, by the way. And I live in downtown Stockholm with two children and no car.

Alexander's book list on future cities and urban design

Alexander Stahle Why did Alexander love this book?

In Happy City, Charles, who is also is a good friend of mine, describes what is wrong with today’s cities and what we must do to fix them. Full of rich detail and new insights from psychologists and his own urban experiments, the book is an essential tool for understanding and improving our own communities. The message: by retrofitting our cities for happiness, we can tackle the urgent challenges of our age. The happy city, the green city, and the low-carbon city are the same place, and we can all help build them together.

By Charles Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Happy City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Happy City is the story of how the solutions to this century's problems lie in unlocking the secrets to great city living

This is going to be the century of the city. But what actually makes a good city? Why are some cities a joy to live in?

As Charles Montgomery reveals, it's not how much money your neighbours earn, or how pleasant the climate is that makes the most difference. Journeying to dozens of cities - from Atlanta to Bogota to Vancouver - he talks to the new champions of the happy city to explore the urban innovations already…


Book cover of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time

Jordan Yin Author Of Urban Planning For Dummies

From my list on planning livable cities from the bottom up.

Who am I?

I’m an urban planner and educator who is fascinated not just by cities and the experience of place, but also by the ideas and actions that go on “behind the scenes” in the planning of cities. Almost all US cities are guided by some sort of local plan and, while no plan is perfect, my hope is always that inclusive planning can help communities solve their problems to make any place a better place. I was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and have lived mostly in the eastern US – from Michigan to Alabama – where I'm constantly intrigued by the everyday “nooks and crannies” of the places and communities where I live, work, and play.

Jordan's book list on planning livable cities from the bottom up

Jordan Yin Why did Jordan love this book?

Cities have become more pedestrian-friendly over the last decade and Jeff Speck’s book is one of the reasons for this movement. Walkability saves lives, promotes a sense of community, and makes places more sustainable. Speck’s guide to “Ten Steps of Walkability” is an instant classic in the practice of urban planning with approachable ideas such as “mixing uses” and “getting parking right” that can help bridge the gap between activists, politicians, and developers to work together improve any community.

By Jeff Speck,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Walkable City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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 book, Speck reveals the invisible workings of the…


Book cover of The Works: Anatomy of a City

Spike Carlsen Author Of A Walk Around the Block: Stoplight Secrets, Mischievous Squirrels, Manhole Mysteries & Other Stuff You See Every Day (and Know Nothing About)

From my list on understanding the world outside your front door.

Who am I?

In my 30 years as a writer I’ve learned it’s not enough to simply deliver information; it has to be done in an entertaining, engaging, and inspiring way. I’ve been fascinated in how the world “works” all my life. As a kid I dismantled the family lawn mower (failing to get it re-mantled.) After teaching for two years I turned to general contracting where it was imperative to know how things “worked.”  As an editor with Readers’ Digest and Family Handyman magazine, I wrote the “How A House Works” column and headed up the DIY books division, teaching others how the world works. For the last 15 years I’ve been focused on books that explore the world around us.

Spike's book list on understanding the world outside your front door

Spike Carlsen Why did Spike love this book?

Ascher takes us on a delightful tour of  New York City, teaching us about the inner workings of one of the world’s most complex cities. In doing so, she gives us clues as to how our own cities work. Using words, statistics, history, and illustrations, Ascher makes the complex seem simple, From sewage to stoplights to subways she leaves no stone unturned. Fact to ponder: For years NYC shipped its garbage to a landfill in Texas, nearly 2,000 miles away.

By Kate Ascher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Works as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fascinating guided tour of the ways things work in a modern city

“It's a rare person who won't find something of interest in The Works, whether it's an explanation of how a street-sweeper works or the view of what's down a manhole.”  —New York Post

Have you ever wondered how the water in your faucet gets there? Where your garbage goes? What the pipes under city streets do? How bananas from Ecuador get to your local market? Why radiators in apartment buildings clang? Using New York City as its point of reference, The Works takes readers down manholes and…


Book cover of New York Recentered: Building the Metropolis from the Shore

Jonathan H. Rees Author Of The Fulton Fish Market: A History

From my list on the history of New York City.

Who am I?

I’m Professor of History at Colorado State University Pueblo and have published eight books, mostly about the history of food. After encountering Up in the Old Hotel for the first time during the early 1990s, I started reading New York City history in my spare time. The Fulton Fish Market: A History is my way to blend my expertise with my hobby. Each of these books are beautifully written, informative, and fun. If you’re interested in the history of New York City and you’re looking for something else to read, I hope you’ll find my book to be the same.

Jonathan's book list on the history of New York City

Jonathan H. Rees Why did Jonathan love this book?

Speaking of consolidation, I wanted to throw in a book that is both shorter and not yet a classic so that even people who are deep into this subject will find something new to read. 

Schlichting’s book is a history of the development of New York City edges. As a New Jerseyite who barely spent any time outside of midtown Manhattan while growing up, most of these places might as well as have been the ends of the earth, but they’re still important because they’re still part of the City. 

I’m sure a lot of New Yorkers will feel the same way, which will make the history of the Upper East River or Flushing Meadows seem fresh and new to you too.  

By Kara Murphy Schlichting,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked New York Recentered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The history of New York City's urban development often centers on titanic municipal figures like Robert Moses and on prominent inner Manhattan sites like Central Park. New York Recentered boldly shifts the focus to the city's geographic edges--the coastlines and waterways--and to the small-time unelected locals who quietly shaped the modern city. Kara Murphy Schlichting details how the vernacular planning done by small businessmen and real estate operators, performed independently of large scale governmental efforts, refigured marginal locales like Flushing Meadows and the shores of Long Island Sound and the East River in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.…


Book cover of The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011

Lynne B. Sagalyn Author Of Times Square Remade: The Dynamics of Urban Change

From my list on exciting a passion for understanding cities.

Who am I?

I fell in love with understanding cities toward the end of my college studies. It was the late 1960s and urban issues were foremost in the nation’s consciousness. The times were difficult for cities and many of the problems, seemingly intractable. That drew me to graduate work in urban studies and afterward, teaching about real estate development and finance. My work on public/private partnerships and the political economy of city building has drawn a wide audience. In explaining how cities are built and redeveloped, my goal has been to de-mystify the politics and planning process surrounding large-scale development projects and how they impact the physical fabric of cities.

Lynne's book list on exciting a passion for understanding cities

Lynne B. Sagalyn Why did Lynne love this book?

Time and time again, I refer to this book because it is chock full of fascinating history about New York told in an unusual way.

Packed with beautifully reproduced photos on every page, it takes as its subject the seemingly dull characteristic of urban experience—the street grid—and fashions over 200 short succinct stories of people, politics, and real estate development. It’s a bravo book.

By Hilary Ballon (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Greatest Grid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Laying out Manhattan's street grid and providing a rationale for the growth of New York was the city's first great civic enterprise, not to mention a brazenly ambitious project and major milestone in the history of city planning. The grid created the physical conditions for business and society to flourish and embodied the drive and discipline for which the city would come to be known. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York celebrating the bicentennial of the Commissioners' 1811 Plan of Manhattan, this volume does more than memorialize such a visionary effort,…


Book cover of New York Nocturne: The City After Dark in Literature, Painting, and Photography, 1850-1950

Matthew Beaumont Author Of Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London

From my list on the city at night.

Who am I?

I first started walking in cities at night in my late teens – mainly London but also the Italian cities I travelled through alone when I went interrailing after leaving school. I discovered that cities have a quite different character at night, and that you cannot know the streets of one intimately if you don’t explore it – safely! – after dark. In my professional career as a scholar and lecturer, I have for decades almost unconsciously been drawn to those writers who themselves discovered, to their horror or delight, that the city at night is a foreign country. The books I’ve listed, fictional or non-fictional, are postcards from this foreign land. 

Matthew's book list on the city at night

Matthew Beaumont Why did Matthew love this book?

This richly illustrated account of the century in which Manhattan was the preeminent metropolitan city at night is written by a scholar I admire enormously, who has become a friend since I first read this book. Sharpe has an encyclopedic knowledge of the art and literature of the modern city, and New York Nocturne is in consequence a treasure trove of cultural-historical information. But it is also beautifully written. It reads not only the paintings, photographs, poems, and novels about New York with sensitivity and insight, but the sometimes glamorous, sometimes painfully arduous lives of those who lived in it. 

By William Chapman Sharpe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked New York Nocturne as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As early as the 1850s, gaslight tempted New Yorkers out into a burgeoning nightlife filled with shopping, dining, and dancing. Electricity later turned the city at night into an even more stunning spectacle of brilliantly lit streets and glittering skyscrapers. The advent of artificial lighting revolutionized the urban night, creating not only new forms of life and leisure, but also new ways of perceiving the nocturnal experience. New York Nocturne is the first book to examine how the art of the gaslit and electrified city evolved, and how representations of nighttime New York expanded the boundaries of modern painting, literature,…


Book cover of Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City

Don N. Hagist Author Of The Revolution's Last Men: The Soldiers Behind the Photographs

From my list on people in the American Revolution.

Who am I?

I’ve spent years studying individual people involved in the American Revolution, especially the British soldiers and their wives. These were the people who did the day-to-day work, and their stories deserve to be told. I troll archival collections to find original documents that allow me to piece together the lives of the thousands of individuals who made up the regiments and battalions, focusing not on what they had in common, but on how they were different from each other, part of a military society but each with their own lives and experiences. They made the history happen.

Don's book list on people in the American Revolution

Don N. Hagist Why did Don love this book?

Books on the war’s campaigns usually aggregate large numbers of people into bland terms like “regiments” and “refugees,” singling out only a few key players as individuals.

This book takes a refreshingly different approach, examining one of the war’s major operations from the level of participants of all sorts, from senior government officials down to the soldiers, civilians, and spies caught up in the fighting. The campaign itself has heretofore been almost entirely overlooked, or seen only in terms of a few of the battles that were part of it.

The result is a vivid account of the many components of a major campaign, and the legions of individuals involved.

By Todd W. Braisted,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grand Forage 1778 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After two years of defeats and reverses, 1778 had been a year of success for George Washington and the Continental Army. France had entered the war as the ally of the United States, the British had evacuated Philadelphia, and the redcoats had been fought to a standstill at the Battle of Monmouth. While the combined French-American effort to capture Newport was unsuccessful, it lead to intelligence from British-held New York that indicated a massive troop movement was imminent. British officers were selling their horses and laying in supplies for their men. Scores of empty naval transports were arriving in the…


Book cover of The New York Stories

Scott Brooks Author Of And There We Were and Here We Are

From my list on if you love old black-and-white movies.

Who am I?

I'm a New Yorker with a background in the performing arts. Though a lifelong reader and bookstore loiterer, my early writing career was focused on the stage as well as the pursuit of a career in screenwriting. This led to many years writing and producing theatre as well as working in film and TV both as a writer and in production. The books I've chosen, I feel influenced the American language in the last century, an influence reflected in the tone of the novels and films from that period described by scholars as “Between the Wars.” It's a period that fascinates me for it exists now only in books and movies and is therein preserved.

Scott's book list on if you love old black-and-white movies

Scott Brooks Why did Scott love this book?

John O’Hara’s name should be spoken in the same breath as Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and Hemingway. Maybe it isn’t, because he never had that one homerun book that stood out in the canon, like a Gatsby or a Grapes of Wrath. Though I think Butterfield 8 and Appointment in Samara stand up to either of the above, I have chosen this collection of short stories. He wrote more short stories for the New Yorker than anyone ever did and is credited with inventing that particular style that the periodical became known for. Each of these stories – all short and fast as an uppercut – shows the flawed humanity striving in the city from the 30s to the 60s – from ad men to secretaries, to bums and soda jerks. With his trademark crackling dialogue, this collection of gritty Americana will leave you feeling like you are standing in an…

By John O'Hara,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New York Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Superb... These thirty-two stories inhabit the Technicolor vernaculars of taxi drivers, barbers, paper pushers and society matrons... O'Hara was American fiction's greatest eavesdropper, recording the everyday speech and tone of all strata of mid-century society' Wall Street Journal

John O'Hara remains the great chronicler of American society, and nowhere are his powers more evident than in his portraits of New York's so-called Golden Age. Unsparingly observed, brilliantly cutting and always on the tragic edge of epiphany, the stories collected here are among O'Hara's finest work, and show why he still stands as the most-published short story writer in the history…


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