Last year I purged my book shelves by giving away hundreds of books that I’ve collected over the years. I kept a dozen, or so, that were too significant to give up. Since it’s been a slow news week for Downtown Austin, I thought I would use this time to recommend a couple of books that you can read over the holidays. After reading these books it will come as no surprise why hundreds of thousands of people across the country are retreating back to the cities after 50 years of suburban growth.
- “How Buildings Learn” by Stewart Brand
This book is interesting to me, not only because it has lots of pictures of old architecture, rather because Stewart Brand attempts to follow how the greatest buildings change use over the course time.
- “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” by Jane Jacobs
Long considered the urban planner’s bible, this book should be required reading for our elected officials (City Council and staff, County Commissioners, CAMPO board)
I encourage you to check out another book by Stewart Brand “The Clock of The Long Now“. This book is about many things including how civilizations evolve, how the digital age changes the way we archive and access our collective knowledge, and more. Throughout the book is a story about the design of a 10,000 clock that will be installed in the side of a mountain. Great read.