New Books Dig Into America's Most Pressing Questions

Posted 07/22/13 by Jake Lynch in Policy

Cover image © Island Press

The convergence of a number of modern crises - the unsustainability of current oil consumption levels, the poor health of the American population, the impacts of pollution and the decimation of local main streets - has sparked great interest of late in designing transportation and living systems that might work better than those America is currently laboring under.

RTC is proud to be contributing to that discussion, through our work creating more walkable and bikeable communities.

For those of you eager to learn more about the role that transportation and planning must play in averting pending natural, social and economic chokepoints, here's a couple of interesting reads hitting the shelves this month.

Our own Kevin Mills contributes to Transport Beyond Oil, in which a range of transportation, planning, development and policy experts address the fact that 70 percent of the oil America uses each year goes to transportation, and ways to dramatically reduce that figure.

"Over a century of public investment in road networks has made driving the easy choice," Mills writes. "Meeting the call for walking and bicycling networks in communities across America is a very inexpensive way to reduce oil demand while promoting healthier people and places. Restoring balance in our transportation options is about as close as we get to a no-brainer in American politics."

Transport Beyond Oil is available for purchase through the publisher, Island Press. Or ask your local bookstore to order it in!

A frequent contributor to Rails to Trails magazine, Jay Walljasper has produced a fascinating book outlining the real and practical steps communities can take to encourage more vibrant, sustainable and forward-thinking public spaces.

How to Design Our World for Happiness: A Commons Guide to Placemaking, Public Space and Enjoying a Convivial Life, was produced by Walljasper and his colleagues a, and includes chapters on 12 steps to creating a community commons, how to design cities for happiness, and the need for more pedestrian-oriented streets.

Download and read the book for free at

comments powered by Disqus