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Recommended Reading: Retrofitting Suburbia

November 5, 2010

In the “briefings” section on page five of PM3, we mentioned Ellen Dunham-Jones’ TED talk, “Retrofitting Suburbia.” In the presentation she makes a grand case for how we can, rightly, take what already exists in American suburbs and turn them into something more sustainable. Something more inhabitable.

Well, it was more than a TED fling for Dunham-Jones. And, if you were skeptical of the need to re-examine “suburbia,” she just got all crazy, and released a book. Here’s the description:

While there has been considerable attention by practitioners and academics to development in urban cores and new neighborhoods on the periphery of cities, there has been little attention to the redesign and redevelopment of existing suburbs. Here is a comprehensive guidebook for architects, planners, urban designers, developers and anyone interested in the subject that illustrates how existing suburbs can be redesigned and redeveloped. The authors, both architects and noted experts on the subject, show how development in existing suburbs can absorb new growth and evolve in relation to changed demographic, technological, and economic conditions.

We’re down. Really.

This book’s contents discusses everything from turning malls into inhabitable public space, to improving (or, rather, using) walkability to reduce suburbia’s car-infatuated carbon footprint. If you’re a suburbanite, we’d highly recommend you read this book.

I’m ordering mine right now.

Watch the TED talk here.
Order the book on Amazon here.

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