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Reading: Start-Up City: Inspiring Private & Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun by Gabe Klein

October 21, 2015 Books, Featured 1 Comment
This new book is only 5 days old
This new book is only 5 days old

I just received what looks to be a great little book: Start-Up City: Inspiring Private & Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun by Gabe Klein with David Vega-Barachowitz, forward by Robin Chase.  It’s literally a little book — 6×6. But it has 256 pages beautifully filled with 95 color photos & illustrations.

With the advent of self-driving vehicles and other technological shifts upon us, Gabe Klein asks how we can close the gap between the energized, aggressive world of start-ups and the complex bureaucracies struggling to change beyond a geologic time scale. From his experience as a food-truck entrepreneur to a ZipCar executive and a city transportation commissioner, Klein’s career has focused on bridging the public-private divide, finding and celebrating shared goals, and forging better cities with more nimble, consumer-oriented bureaucracies.
In Start-Up City, Klein, with David Vega-Barachowitz, demonstrates how to affect big, directional change in cities—and how to do it fast. Klein’s objective is to inspire what he calls “public entrepreneurship,” a start-up-pace energy within the public sector, brought about by leveraging the immense resources at its disposal. Klein offers guidance for cutting through the morass, and a roadmap for getting real, meaningful projects done quickly and having fun while doing it.
This book is for anyone who wants to change the way we live in cities without waiting for the glacial pace of change in government.

From food truck to ZipCar to municipal bureaucrat with stints in Washington D.C. & Chicago — Gabe Klein has a wide range of experience to share.  The contents show you how the book is organized:

Why Should You Care About Getting S*it Done in Cities?

Chapter 1. Lesson #1: Don’t Be Afraid to Screw Up and Learn
It is necessary to make mistakes. Just make them as quickly as possible, learn from them, and try not to repeat.

Chapter 2. Lesson #2: Manage S.M.A.R.T.
On managing others, empowering your team, and shamelessly promoting their accomplishments

Chapter 3. Lesson #3: Where there’s a will, there’s a way
On how to evaluate your budget quickly, assess and align your stakeholders, and build beautiful cities (in no time)

Chapter 4. Lesson #4: Sell Your City
On marketing your projects, communicating with the public, and celebrating the dastardly

Chapter 5. Lesson #5: Fund Creatively
On how to find funding where none seemingly exists, making the most of a slim budget, and getting creative with the basics

Chapter 6. Lesson #6: Bridge the Public-Private Divide
On forging a proactive bureaucracy, and making life better for everyone in the process

Chapter 7. Lesson #7: Prepare for Disruption
On the present and anticipated technological shifts and business models that are transforming urban life and challenging the status quo

Chapter 8. Lesson #8: Drive Change
Understanding the implications of autonomous, connected mobility, what it means for cities, and how government can make sure they are driving change, rather than reacting to it

Conclusion: The Big Picture and You

The book looks easy to read, will make good reference material. You can preview the book at Island Press, ordered from Left Bank Books here.

— Steve Patterson




Reading: End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities are Moving Beyond Car-Based Planning

September 24, 2015 Books, Featured, Planning & Design, Transportation Comments Off on Reading: End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities are Moving Beyond Car-Based Planning

I recently received a very interesting new book: End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities are Moving Beyond Car-Based Planning by Peter Newman and Jeffrey Kenworthy. It’s always nice to hear that at least other cities are changing their planning practices away from old car-based models.

When looking at books I start with the table of contents:

  1. The Rise and Fall of Automobile Dependence
  2. Urban Transportation Patterns and Trends in Global Cities
  3. Emerging Cities and Automobile Dependence
  4. The Theory of Urban Fabrics: Understanding the End of Automobile Dependence
  5. Transportation Planning: Hindrance or Help?
  6. Overcoming Barriers to the End of Automobile Dependence
  7. The End of Automobile Dependence: A Troubling Prognosis?
  8. Conclusion: Life after Automobile Dependence

And I look through the index to see covered topics.

Published by Island Press
Published by Island Press

From publisher Island Press:

Cities will continue to accommodate the automobile, but when cities are built around them, the quality of human and natural life declines. Current trends show great promise for future urban mobility systems that enable freedom and connection, but not dependence. We are experiencing the phenomenon of peak car use in many global cities at the same time that urban rail is thriving, central cities are revitalizing, and suburban sprawl is reversing. Walking and cycling are growing in many cities, along with ubiquitous bike sharing schemes, which have contributed to new investment and vitality in central cities including Melbourne, Seattle, Chicago, and New York.

We are thus in a new era that has come much faster than global transportation experts Peter Newman and Jeffrey Kenworthy had predicted: the end of automobile dependence. In The End of Automobile Dependence, Newman and Kenworthy look at how we can accelerate a planning approach to designing urban environments that can function reliably and conveniently on alternative modes, with a refined and more civilized automobile playing a very much reduced and manageable role in urban transportation. The authors examine the rise and fall of automobile dependence using updated data on 44 global cities to better understand how to facilitate and guide cities to the most productive and sustainable outcomes.

This is the final volume in a trilogy by Newman and Kenworthy on automobile dependence (Cities and Automobile Dependence in 1989 and Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence in 1999). Like all good trilogies this one shows the rise of an empire, in this case that of the automobile, the peak of its power, and the decline of that empire.

I look forward to checking out the references to Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT).

— Steve Patterson



Reading: Parking Management for Smart Growth by Richard W. Willson

July 23, 2015 Books, Featured, Parking Comments Off on Reading: Parking Management for Smart Growth by Richard W. Willson

Parking management is a popular topic, I have numerous books on the subject. Now I have one more: Parking Management for Smart Growth by Richard W. Willson:

The average parking space requires approximately 300 square feet of asphalt. That’s the size of a studio apartment in New York or enough room to hold 10 bicycles. Space devoted to parking in growing urban and suburban areas is highly contested—not only from other uses from housing to parklets, but between drivers who feel entitled to easy access. Without parking management, parking is a free-for-all—a competitive sport—with arbitrary winners and losers. Historically drivers have been the overall winners in having free or low-cost parking, while an oversupply of parking has created a hostile environment for pedestrians.

In the last 50 years, parking management has grown from a minor aspect of local policy and regulation to a central position in the provision of transportation access. The higher densities, tight land supplies, mixed land uses, environmental and social concerns, and alternative transportation modes of Smart Growth demand a different approach—actively managed parking.

This book offers a set of tools and a method for strategic parking management so that communities can better use parking resources and avoid overbuilding parking. It explores new opportunities for making the most from every parking space in a sharing economy and taking advantage of new digital parking tools to increase user interaction and satisfaction. Examples are provided of successful approaches for parking management—from Pasadena to London. At its essence, the book provides a path forward for strategic parking management in a new era of tighter parking supplies.

The book, published by Island Press, is available in softcover & hardcover
The book, published by Island Press, is available in softcover & hardcover

To see the topics covered, here’s the contents:

  1. Introduction: What is a Parking Space Worth?
    Parking as a Contested Space
    Problems of Unmanaged Parking
    Understanding Parking Behavior
    Strategic Parking Management
    Key Terms
    Map of the Book
  2. Parking Management Techniques
    Origins of Parking Management
    Understanding and Organizing Parking Management Methods
    Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Parking Management
    Parking Management Gone Wrong
  3. Creating a Parking Management Strategy
    Planning and Strategy in Parking Management
    Parking Management Stakeholders
    Process for Developing a Parking Management Strategy
    Process Pays
  4. Managing an Integrated Parking Supply (Rick Williams)
    Management Principles
    Organizational Structure: Administration and Management
    Defining the Role of On-Street Parking
    Relationship of On- and Off-Street Parking Assets
    Rate Setting Policy and Protocols
    Measuring Performance
    Identifying and Communicating the Integrated Parking System
    New Technologies
    Financial Analysis and Management
  5. Best Practice Strategies
    Best Practice: Individual Measures
    Best Practice: Integrated Strategies
    Global Perspective
    Case Study Conclusions
  6. Implementing Strategic Parking Management
    Politics and Community Participation
    Technical Challenges
    Greening Parking Operations
    Parking Enforcement
    Conclusions on Implementation
  7. Parking Management for Smart Growth
    A Paradigm Shift
    Why Not Rely on Pricing Alone?
    A Broader Vision for Strategic Parking Management
    It’s Time

I’m looking forward to diving into some of these topics. The book came out last month, you can read an excerpt or order from Left Bank Books.

— Steve Patterson


Hidden Jewels of North St. Louis: Capturing the Beauty Beyond the Delmar Divide

July 10, 2015 Books, Featured, History/Preservation, North City Comments Off on Hidden Jewels of North St. Louis: Capturing the Beauty Beyond the Delmar Divide

My friend, filmmaker Phillip Johnson, has begun an interesting new project:

Hidden Jewels of North St. Louis is a photo book/video project telling the story of North St. Louis through the lens of homeowners living north of the “Delmar Divide” it is also a book that explores the reasons behind the Delmar Divide and projects a vision of a new North Side.

Here’s the video to kickoff the fundraising effort:

To contribute to this project go to gofundme.com/HiddenJewelsofSTL

— Steve Patterson


Reading: Roads Were Not Built for Cars: How Cyclists were the First to Push for Good Roads & Became the Pioneers of Motoring by Carlton Reid

Click image to hear a webinar featuring author Carlton Reid
Click image to hear a webinar featuring author Carlton Reid

When I had my stroke in February 2008 I owned 5-6 bicycles, the oldest was a very original 1950s Huffy. I kept my bright orange Kronan, a reproduction of a single-speed WWII Swedish Army bike, as art. I love all things bicycle.

My library includes a few coffee table books on bicycles and their history. Those books briefly touch on early dirt roads and how cyclists pushed for better roads on which to ride, but they quickly get into the various bike designs, mechanicals, etc. A new book just out focuses not on bicycles, but on the early cyclist’s push for better roads. In ‘Roads Were Not Built for Cars: How Cyclists were the First to Push for Good Roads & Became the Pioneers of Motoring’ author Carlton Reid goes into great detail, from publisher Island Press:

In Roads Were Not Built for Cars, Carlton Reid reveals the pivotal—and largely unrecognized—role that bicyclists played in the development of modern roadways. Reid introduces readers to cycling personalities, such as Henry Ford, and the cycling advocacy groups that influenced early road improvements, literally paving the way for the motor car. When the bicycle morphed from the vehicle of rich transport progressives in the 1890s to the “poor man’s transport” in the 1920s, some cyclists became ardent motorists and were all too happy to forget their cycling roots. But, Reid explains, many motor pioneers continued cycling, celebrating the shared links between transport modes that are now seen as worlds apart. In this engaging and meticulously researched book, Carlton Reid encourages us all to celebrate those links once again.

The book is available in paperback and iPad formats. See roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com for more information.

I love bikes…I just can’t ride one anymore.

— Steve Patterson