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Book Review

Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities: Design Strategies for the Post-Carbon World

How can North American cities be designed to reduce carbon emissions? The answer, according to architecture professor Patrick Condon, lies in the past, 1880 to 1945 to be specific. That’s when multiple North American cities were designed as streetcar cities that were “walkable, transit accessible, and virtually pollution-free while still dramatically extending the distance citizens […]

Book Review

Carjacked

Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 254 pages, ISBN 9780230618138 If you are solidly or fervently in the carfree camp, this book might exasperate you. Despite the edgy first word in the title, this book is not edgy – it’s […]

Book Review

The Road to Somewhere: David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries

“Mainstream” may not be the best word to describe David Byrne, yet when a man best known for his role in a rock band writes a book – albeit not completely or for many even sufficiently – about cycling and the infrastructure needed to support it, one is tempted to believe that the issue has […]

Book Review

Car Troubles: Critical Studies of Automobility and Auto-Mobility

Edited by Jim Conley and Arlene Tigar McLaren Ashgate Publishing, 2009, 258 pages, ISBN 9780754677727 Car Troubles is a collection of 13 academic essays, all but two written by professors at universities in Canada, UK, USA and New Zealand. The editors make a distinction between the system that supports car travel (vehicles, roads, gas suppliers) […]

Book Review

Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities

As I pedal to work every day – a middle-aged woman on a red girl’s bike – I’m so busy watching for turning cars and shattered glass that I rarely pause to wonder if I am, at that moment, part of a cultural revolution. Jeff Mapes would say that I am.

Book Review

One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility

One Less Car is about the politics of cycling in North America. One chapter covers the 1890s, while the rest of the book focuses on “biketivism” from the 1960s onward. It began, Furness states, in Holland in 1965. [...]

Book Review

Sidewalks: Conflict and Negotiation over Public Space

Two urban planning professors have written an entire book about sidewalks, 330 pages on this part of the transportation infrastructure built for non-motorists. (Cultural note: Since both authors live and work in the United States, they use the term sidewalk not pavement, footpath or platform.) The book considers sidewalks as public spaces that serve social, […]

Book Review

The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, Philosophy, and Literature of Pedestrianism

Geoff Nicholson is a walker. It is what he likes to talk about; it is how he defines himself. So he requested and received his publisher’s approval to write a book about walking. However, this book is not about the ‘art of walking’. The author readily admits that he was in fact laid-up for much of the writing process due to injury.

Book Review

After the Car

When we take a moment to look at our traffic-saturated cities, with cars parked everywhere, roads and freeways spreading like the arms of an octopus, and the government’s blind support for the car industry, we are justified in asking how long can this situation last. It is high time to realise that we are closer and closer to radical changes in the car system. Kingsley Dennis and John Urry explore in their book what changes may occur, and develop potential paths for future transportation. According to them, the days of spontaneous “car get away” are counted.