Home » Books » Recent Articles:

New Book — Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future

March 12, 2018 Books, Featured, Transportation Comments Off on New Book — Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future

There’s major change going on in transportation today — it is still undetermined if this change is a good thing. A new book from Island Press discusses the pros and cons:

For the first time in half a century, real transformative innovations are coming to our world of passenger transportation. The convergence of new shared mobility services with automated and electric vehicles promises to significantly reshape our lives and communities for the better—or for the worse.

The dream scenario could bring huge public and private benefits, including more transportation choices, greater affordability and accessibility, and healthier, more livable cities, along with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The nightmare scenario could bring more urban sprawl, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and unhealthy cities and individuals.

In Three Revolutions, transportation expert Dan Sperling, along with seven other leaders in the field, share research–based insights on potential public benefits and impacts of the three transportation revolutions. They describe innovative ideas and partnerships, and explore the role government policy can play in steering the new transportation paradigm toward the public interest—toward our dream scenario of social equity, environmental sustainability, and urban livability.

Many factors will influence these revolutions—including the willingness of travelers to share rides and eschew car ownership; continuing reductions in battery, fuel cell, and automation costs; and the adaptiveness of companies. But one of the most important factors is policy.

Three Revolutions offers policy recommendations and provides insight and knowledge that could lead to wiser choices by all. With this book, Sperling and his collaborators hope to steer these revolutions toward the public interest and a better quality of life for everyone. (Island Press)

Here’s the main chapters so you can see the topics addressed:

Chapter 1. Will the Transportation Revolutions Improve Our Lives—or Make Them Worse? \ Daniel Sperling, Susan Pike, and Robin Chase
Chapter 2. Electric Vehicles: Approaching the Tipping Point \ Daniel Sperling
Chapter 3. Shared Mobility: The Potential of Ride Hailing and Pooling \ Susan Shaheen
Chapter 4. Vehicle Automation: Our Best Shot at a Transportation Do-Over? \ Daniel Sperling, Ellen van der Meer, and Susan Pike
Chapter 5. Upgrading Transit for the Twenty-First Century \ Steven E. Polzin and Daniel Sperling
Chapter 6. Bridging the Gap Between Mobility Haves and Have-Nots \ Anne Brown and Brian D. Taylor
Chapter 7. Remaking the Auto Industry \ Levi Tillemann
Chapter 8. The Dark Horse: Will China Win the Electric, Automated, Shared Mobility Race? \ Michael J. Dunne

You can preview selected pages on Google Books.

This book isn’t a utopian fantasy about how transportation will be. Instead it’s a very grounded review of problems we’ll face as technology forces change — and how we might navigate it. You can buy it directly from Island Press, Left Bank Books, Amazon (additional preview), or other retailers.

— Steve Patterson




New Book | The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America during the 1960s by Peter B Levy

February 19, 2018 Books, Featured Comments Off on New Book | The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America during the 1960s by Peter B Levy

I was alive during the 1960s…but only the last few years. As such, I have no memory of the many cultural changes that took place between 1960-1970. I asked my oldest brother, 67, about becoming a teenager in the 60s…in our hometown of Oklahoma City. His reply:

Race Riots, rampant drug use, and anti war protests were all prevalent around the country, but primarily on the coasts. Race, drugs, and war protests were virtually nonexistent in Oklahoma at the time. The were some sit-ins downtown OKC and Tulsa, but nothing that matched the rest of the country or the riots in Tulsa in the 20s.

You can read more about the Tulsa race riot here.

A new academic book, due out next month, looks at race riots in America. The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America during the 1960s is by Peter B. Levy:

Between 1963 and 1972 America experienced over 750 urban revolts. Considered collectively, they comprise what Peter Levy terms a ‘Great Uprising’. Levy examines these uprisings over the arc of the entire decade, in various cities across America. He challenges both conservative and liberal interpretations, emphasizing that these riots must be placed within historical context to be properly understood. By focusing on three specific cities as case studies – Cambridge and Baltimore, Maryland, and York, Pennsylvania – Levy demonstrates the impact which these uprisings had on millions of ordinary Americans. He shows how conservatives profited politically by constructing a misleading narrative of their causes, and also suggests that the riots did not represent a sharp break or rupture from the civil rights movement. Finally, Levy presents a cautionary tale by challenging us to consider if the conditions that produced this ‘Great Uprising’ are still predominant in American culture today. (Cambridge University Press)

You can read the introduction here. I was unable to find any reviews, other than those on the Cambridge site. Again, this is an academic book — not a coffee table book.

— Steve Patterson


NEW BOOKS — Beyond Mobility: Planning Cities for People and Places & Design As Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity

December 18, 2017 Books, Featured Comments Off on NEW BOOKS — Beyond Mobility: Planning Cities for People and Places & Design As Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity

Last week I received two new books from Island Press. Since both look interesting I thought I’d share in a combined post.

Beyond Mobility: Planning Cities for People and Places by Robert Cervero, Erick Guerra, and Stefan Al

Cities across the globe have been designed with a primary goal of moving people around quickly—and the costs are becoming ever more apparent. The consequences are measured in smoggy air basins, sprawling suburbs, unsafe pedestrian environments, and despite hundreds of billions of dollars in investments, a failure to stem traffic congestion. Every year our current transportation paradigm generates more than 1.25 million fatalities directly through traffic collisions. Worldwide, 3.2 million people died prematurely in 2010 because of air pollution, four times as many as a decade earlier. Instead of planning primarily for mobility, our cities should focus on the safety, health, and access of the people in them.

Beyond Mobility is about prioritizing the needs and aspirations of people and the creation of great places. This is as important, if not more important, than expediting movement. A stronger focus on accessibility and place creates better communities, environments, and economies. Rethinking how projects are planned and designed in cities and suburbs needs to occur at multiple geographic scales, from micro-designs (such as parklets), corridors (such as road-diets), and city-regions (such as an urban growth boundary). It can involve both software (a shift in policy) and hardware (a physical transformation). Moving beyond mobility must also be socially inclusive, a significant challenge in light of the price increases that typically result from creating higher quality urban spaces.

There are many examples of communities across the globe working to create a seamless fit between transit and surrounding land uses, retrofit car-oriented suburbs, reclaim surplus or dangerous roadways for other activities, and revitalize neglected urban spaces like abandoned railways in urban centers.

The authors draw on experiences and data from a range of cities and countries around the globe in making the case for moving beyond mobility. Throughout the book, they provide an optimistic outlook about the potential to transform places for the better. Beyond Mobility celebrates the growing demand for a shift in global thinking around place and mobility in creating better communities, environments, and economies. (Island Press)

Design As Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity edited by David de la Pena, Diane Jones Allen, Randolph T. Hester, Jeffrey Hou, Laura J. Lawson, and Marcia J. McNally

How can we design places that fulfill urgent needs of the community, achieve environmental justice, and inspire long-term stewardship? By bringing community members to the table, we open up the possibility of exchanging ideas meaningfully and transforming places powerfully. Collaboration like this is hands-on democracy in action. It’s up close. It’s personal. For decades, participatory design practices have helped enliven neighborhoods and promote cultural understanding. Yet, many designers still rely on the same techniques that were developed in the 1950s and 60s. These approaches offer predictability, but hold waning promise for addressing current and future design challenges. Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity is written to reinvigorate democratic design, providing inspiration, techniques, and case stories for a wide range of contexts.

Edited by six leading practitioners and academics in the field of participatory design, with nearly 50 contributors from around the world, Design as Democracy shows how to design with communities in empowering and effective ways. The flow of the book’s nine chapters reflects the general progression of community design process, while also encouraging readers to search for ways that best serve their distinct needs and the culture and geography of diverse places. Each chapter presents a series of techniques around a theme, from approaching the initial stages of a project, to getting to know a community, to provoking political change through strategic thinking. Readers may approach the book as they would a cookbook, with recipes open to improvisation, adaptation, and being created anew.

Design as Democracy offers fresh insights for creating meaningful dialogue between designers and communities and for transforming places with justice and democracy in mind.

– Steve Patterson


Reading: The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics, by Ryan D. Enos

December 11, 2017 Books, Featured Comments Off on Reading: The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics, by Ryan D. Enos

A recent book explores the the interrelationship between several fields, including geography & politics. The underlying research is fascinating.

The Space between Us brings the connection between geography, psychology, and politics to life. By going into the neighborhoods of real cities, Enos shows how our perceptions of racial, ethnic, and religious groups are intuitively shaped by where these groups live and interact daily. Through the lens of numerous examples across the globe and drawing on a compelling combination of research techniques including field and laboratory experiments, big data analysis, and small-scale interactions, this timely book provides a new understanding of how geography shapes politics and how members of groups think about each other. Enos’ analysis is punctuated with personal accounts from the field. His rigorous research unfolds in accessible writing that will appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike, illuminating the profound effects of social geography on how we relate to, think about, and politically interact across groups in the fabric of our daily lives. (Cambridge University Press)

You can read the Preface and Chapter 1 here.

  1. The Red Line
  2. The Demagogue of Space
  3. The Demagogue’s Mechanism: Groups, Space, and the Mind
  4. Laboratories: Assigning Space
  5. Boston: Trains, Immigrants, and the Arizona Question
  6. Chicago: Projects and a Shock to Social Geography
  7. Jerusalem: Walls and the Problem of Cooperation
  8. Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles: Contact and Exit
  9. Phoenix: The Arc of Intergroup Interactions and the Political Future

This is an academic book, though the subject matter is accessible to all. Time is spent explaining the research methodology used in the research, easily skipped unless you’re curious.

Author Ryan D. Enos worked as a teacher on the South side of Chicago, so Chicago’s North-South divide, like St. Louis’ Delmar Divide, makes a great subject for study.  Enos is now an Associate Professor at Harvard University. The banner at the to of his website proclaims:

I am a Social Scientist studying political psychology, race and ethnic politics, and political behavior in the United States and other countries. 

The Space Between Us is available locally from Left Bank Books, Amazon, and other booksellers.

— Steve Patterson


Reading: The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy

December 4, 2017 Books, Featured Comments Off on Reading: The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy

If you think everyone has an equal chance in our society…you’re probably white. Though I’m a white male, I realized years ago the system has long been rigged to favor those who had money & privilege. A recent book looks at the formal & informal rules put into place to maintain an unequal society.

Why do black families own less than white families? Why does school segregation persist decades after Brown v. Board of Education? Why is it harder for black adults to vote than for white adults? Will addressing economic inequality solve racial and gender inequality as well? This book answers all of these questions and more by revealing the hidden rules of race that create barriers to inclusion today. While many Americans are familiar with the histories of slavery and Jim Crow, we often don’t understand how the rules of those eras undergird today’s economy, reproducing the same racial inequities 150 years after the end of slavery and 50 years after the banning of Jim Crow segregation laws. This book shows how the fight for racial equity has been one of progress and retrenchment, a constant push and pull for inclusion over exclusion. By understanding how our economic and racial rules work together, we can write better rules to finally address inequality in America. (Cambridge University Press)

Here’s a look at the chapters in the book:

  1. American Politics and Economic Outcomes for African Americans
  2. Stratification Economics
  3. Creating Structural Changes
  4. The Racial Rules of Wealth
  5. The Racial Rules of Income
  6. The Racial Rules of Education
  7. The Racial Rules of Criminal Justice
  8. The Racial Rules of Health
  9. The Racial Rules of Democratic Participation
  10. What Will It Take to Rewrite the Hidden Rules of Race?

I like that the authors suggest ways to change the rules to level the field, showing us how to get to an inclusive economy. Amazon has a preview of the first pages, it can also be ordered through Left Bank Books.

— Steve Patterson




Stopped at the Metro store at 8th & Pine, got a full fare Gateway Card for my husband to use. Still waiting on a reduced-fare card for myself. #stl ... See MoreSee Less

20 hours ago  ·  

Ribbon has been cut The Bloom Café is now open for breakfast & lunch Monday-Saturday. Will train disabled persons to work in the hospitality industry. #stl ... See MoreSee Less

22 hours ago  ·