Placebook: A Few Good Books

This boat gets it right, at least for what's outside my window. Image Credit: Flickr user ChoudHound under Creative Commons.

This boat gets it right, at least for what’s outside my window. Image Credit: Flickr user ChoudHound under Creative Commons.

As the rain trickles down and the fog forms on another Greensboro day, I realized that yesterday I forgot a major shoutout. My friend Dr. Rodney Harrell, who is a senior policy analyst at AARP was quoted in that Washington Post story about rising condo association fees. Thankfully, he’s dug a bit deeper with his analysis at his own site. Be sure to subscribe to him as well, always good insights and keep up with AARP’s policy arm, especially if you are of a certain age.

A couple other nods are in order too. First, for Aaron Renn. Renn was one of the first city bloggers and continues to show why he’s one of the best. Here, he presents a solid analysis on why states should consider their metro areas in their economic development strategies. Governing also has thoughts on how cities can use institutions as drivers of economic development. Oh and Aaron’s snuck a book out on us.

Speaking of books, Kaid Benfield, another titan of city blogging (and Asheville native) has dropped his new book, People Habitat. People Habitat is more than just a new way of referring to the built and un built environment, its bringing our discipline back down to common sense. Catch a teaser here and be sure to purchase the book, namely at an independent bookstore.

And please, stay dry, and read more links:

If you are in Greensboro, take the recycling survey; Winston-Salem, consider entering this year’s small business contest.

When a streetcar is for and not for transit.

On the rails today: What it’s like to be an Amtrak conductor; Amtrak is coming back to Roanoke,VA by 2017 and automated operations are on their way back to the DC Metro.

My friends at Placemakers present a Q&A that tells you all you need to know about boutique hotels and how they fit into a new urban environment. Another good Q&A comes from the New York Times and its Ask Real Estate column.

Detroit’s all ready for its annual auto show(and hoping that it can save some morale), it’s art museum is getting at least 300 million dollars to stay afloat.

Proof that sometimes things on the African continent work just like things here at home, what happens when some factories leave and others stay in Webuye, Kenya.

Not enough bikes in Texas and books at this NYC public school.

More mixed-use development is coming to Atlanta, this time at an old railyard.

It’s truly the best and the worst of times in this tale of two Midwestern cities, both sharing a port and at odds with politics.

And finally, let’s do what we can to prevent street harassment and manage change better in cities.

About Kristen Jeffers

I'm Kristen. Almost five years ago, I got tired of not seeing black women as nerded out about trains, better streets, riding bikes, walking not just out of necessity, tall buildings, old buildings and honestly a lot of other things. I was in grad school for community and economic development (ok, it’s actually an MPA), and I wanted to make sure people knew I existed and that I could help them do this thing called placemaking better. Five years later, I’m still doing that, although not from my hometown of Greensboro, NC, but from Kansas City, MO. I spend most of my time in Kansas City promoting better biking and walking infrastructure metro-wide with BikeWalk KC and the Kansas City B-cycle. But I also wrote a book A Black Urbanist (you can grab that over on the right) and sometimes I give speeches and help other communities tell their stories at design charrettes and public meetings. I’ve also written or appeared in all of the major “urbanist” publications, either as a subject or as a writer, as well as most of my hometown papers as subject or writer as well.