Support your community and the vibrance of your city by purchasing at your local bookstore. For those here in Copenhagen I can wholeheartedly recommend Books & Company in Hellerup for all your literary needs.
Modern man does not experience himself as a part of nature but as an outside force destined to dominate and conquer it.
- Small is Beautiful, E.F. Schumacher
- A treasure-trove of writings from Schumacher, published in 1973, acting a bible for all things local and sympathetic to the overexploited natural capital which underpins our unsustainable march towards ecological exhaustion.
- The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs
- A book which needs little introduction. Jacobs adopts a pugnacious tone throughout this famously critical and extensive book in which she critiques the trend towards renovation & modernism in the context of 1960s New York, and argues for diversity, human-centricity and community as the cornerstones of urbanism.
- A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander
- For those, like me, with a background in software engineering and systems architecture, but with the architecture of building and the build environment as an avocation, this book is a revelation. The book presents a taxonomy of reusable design elements for the built environment at every scale. The authors envisioned a democratisation of the trade of architecture, where anybody could apply a robust set of design patterns to design their home, garden or city. The book inspired a new approach to software architecture which is now almost universally applied to systems engineering projects in companies from investment banks to big tech.
- Cities for People, Jan Gehl
- Jan Gehl is a living legend in urbanism, and he has written widely about the notion of design cities from a human perspective. Of all of his books (that I have read), Cities for People stands out. Surely a must read!
- The City in History, Lewis Mumford
- A lovely retrospective of the evolution of the city. As with many urbanism texts, Mumford presents his own philosophy for the future of our cities as organic reflections of human culture & activity: a fine philosophy to remember in the age of the smart city, where technology, applied carelessly, threatens the fundamental humanity of our cities.
- The Smart Enough City, Ben Green
- Retrofitting Suburbia, Ellen Dunham-Jones & June Williamson