- Books & Links -


Strangely finding a book that deals with the car pollution is not easy, most books that cover the subject do so as a subset of urban design or transport planning. The following is a short list of the better knowen publications which are accessible to the professional and non-professional reader alike.

CarFree Cities, by J.H.Crawford

In CarFree Cities Crawford challenges the universal assumption that the car is essential in the urban environment. He shows how CarFree cities are a real option which could provide a more sustainable and humane environment. Attempting anything less leaves us struggling to achieve very little, after all does it really make very much difference if its 100 or 400 vehicles that thunder down you street every hour ?. Carfree cities is a beacon of sanity that shows how to end the danger, pollution, and breakdown of social systems that stem from auto-centrism. By rejecting the assumption that continued urban car use is inevitable, Crawford returns to us the street life and social connection we enjoyed for thousands of years.  If you really want to understand the role of the automobile or If you are interested in the built environment - then this book and the more recent Carfree Design Manual are essential reading.

End of the Road: From World Car Crisis to Sustainable Transportation
by Wolfgang Zuckermann

Published in 1993, End of the Road was one of the first books to examine the growing problem of the automobile in today's world. Zuckermann helps us to think about how we can begin to transport ourselves sustainably now that the post-fossil-fuel era is  our horizon. Persuasively argued, clearly written, and eminently readable,

Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America, and how We Can Take it Back, By Jane Holtz Kay

Asphalt Nation is a powerful examination of how the automobile has ravaged America's cities and landscape over the past 100 years. The architecture critic for The Nation, Kay writes in the columnist's shorthand style, leaping from one example to another. This disturbing and inspiring book reveals the shocking economic, environmental and cultural price we are paying for our dependence on the auto.

The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape by James Howard Kunstler

Easy to read, observant and often amusing, The geography of nowhere takes a look at American cities and  tallies up the huge economic, social, and spiritual cost that America is paying for its car-crazed lifestyle. It is also a wake up call to build communities that are once again worthy of our affection.

Car Sick: Solutions for Our Car-addicted Culture, Lynn Slomann

Mass motorisation has ruptured community ties, bankrupted a nation of family shops, and bred a nation of obese children and adults. Politicians stumble from one transport crisis to the next. Lynn Sloman proposes a way forward - not through the big-bang civil engineering projects, but by getting people to think about their choices. Based on UK experience Car Sick describes many of the problems with private car use and proposes ways to reduce Car Dependence.

Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream.
by Andres Duany , Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk , Jeff Speck .

Described as the "Bible of new Urbanism". Suburban Nation assesses sprawl's costs to society, be they ecological, economic, aesthetic, or social. Knowledgeable and easy to read this book explains how America replaced towns with urban sprawl, details the problems which resulted and attempts to offer solutions. DPZ are Founders of the Congress for New Urbanism and are at the forefront of the New Urbanism movement.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs,

With a keen eye for real life Jane Jacobs observed how New York works as a living city. This put her on a collision course with the abstract imbecility of town planners. One of the most influential books written on urban planning in the 20th century. First published in 1961, the book is a scathing critique of modernist planning and transport policies claimed by Jacobs to be destroying many existing inner-city communities. This is a dense and richly detailed book that is not easy to read from cover to cover. However repeated visits reveal ever deeper layers of understanding. It is as relevant a book today as when it was first written.

Road to Ruin. By Dom Nozzi

America has been obsessed with a desire to improve conditions for cars, not people. This traps communities in a vicious cycle that delivers a declining, sprawling, financially bankrupting future regardless of the quality of regulations, plans, planners, or elected officials. Nozzi delivers an easy-to-follow introduction to sprawl's causes and offers common-sense solutions available to communities. A well referenced book based on new urbanist principles.