Greening Cities – two recommend green book reads!

Our campus sustainability committee has a green read each semester. This spring the book we are reading is   Green Metropolis by David Owen – and we are lucky that the author will come to speak on campus in March too. The book discussed how people living in densely populated cities (like NYC) are actually much greener than the suburban sprawl. People don’t often own cars as they walk or bike or take public transportation since parking is so bad/expensive; they live in small spaces hence less heating cost (and heat escaping benefits neighbors);  and with smaller places they don’t accumulate lots of “stuff.”  Owen makes some controversial and cranky comments that should lend to interesting discussions and debates.  (here is a NYT review of the book)

Our Friends of the Library book club is also reading a green city book this spring called Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward Glaeser – a Harvard Econ Professor.  This book also promotes how cities are greener than non urban areas, again concentrating on NYC – they live longer and use less energy, etc. This book too lends itself to debates and discussing as Glaeser clearly want to get people fired up.  (here is the book review from NYT)

Overall, either book would be a great green read for any library book group!


If you haven’t heard about Streetswiki, check it out! The audience: planners, academics, and really anybody who wants to write or read about cities and how to make them more sustainable. What a great venue for libraries to get involved and/or hear whats happening in your town. It is a community created online wiki (so anyone can add or edit) on transportation, urban environmental, and public space issues. The goal is to share expertise and opinions and network with professionals and citizens, along with providing research and ideas on sustainable cities. It tag teams with streetsblog andstreetsfilm, all part of the Livable Streets Network.