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Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your Bookshelf

There are countless Urban Design courses, tutorials, articles available online, but for some, having a book is still a necessity to learn. This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. Planning and Urban Design Standards (2006)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfThe new student edition of the definitive reference on urban planning and design Planning and Urban Design Standards, Student Edition is the authoritative and reliable volume designed to teach students best practices and guidelines for urban planning and design. Edited from the main volume to meet the serious student’s needs, this Student Edition is packed with more than 1,400 informative illustrations and includes the latest rules of thumb for designing and evaluating any land-use scheme–from street plantings to new subdivisions. Students find real help understanding all the…
Author(s): American Planning Association, Frederick R. Steiner , et al.

2. Urban Design: A Typology of Procedures and Products (2017)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfUrban Design: A Typology of Procedures and Products, 2nd Edition provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to urban design, defining the field and addressing the controversies and goals of urban design. Including over 50 updated international case studies, this new edition presents a three-dimensional model with which to categorize the processes and products involved: product type, paradigm type, and procedural type. The case studies not only illuminate the typology but provide information that designers can use as precedents in their own work. Uniquely, these case study projects are framed by the…
Author(s): Jon Lang

3. Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2014)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfCharles Montgomery’s Happy City is revolutionizing the way we think about urban life. After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks, and condo towers an improvement on the car dependence of the suburbs? The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, during an exhilarating journey through some of the world’s…
Author(s): Charles Montgomery

4. The Urban Design Reader (Routledge Urban Reader Series) (2012)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfThe second edition of The Urban Design Reader draws together the very best of classic and contemporary writings to illuminate and expand the theory and practice of urban design. Nearly 50 generous selections include seminal contributions from Howard, Le Corbusier, Lynch, and Jacobs to more recent writings by Waldheim, Koolhaas, and Sorkin. Following the widespread success of the first edition of The Urban Design Reader, this updated edition continues to provide the most important historical material of the urban design field, but also introduces new topics and selections that address the…
Author(s): Michael Larice, Elizabeth Macdonald

5. Urban Design: The Composition of Complexity (2019)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfUrban design is a process of establishing a structural order within human settlements; responding to dynamic emergent meanings and functions in a constant state of flux. The planning/design process is complex due to the myriad of ongoing (urban) organizational and structural relationships and contexts. This book reconnects the process with outcomes on the ground, and puts thinking about design back at the heart of what planners do. Mixing accessible theory, practical examples and carefully designed exercises in composition from simple to complex settings, Urban Design is an essential textbook for classrooms and design…
Author(s): Ron Kasprisin

6. The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience (2015)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfPermaculture is more than just the latest buzzword; it offers positive solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges confronting us. And nowhere are those remedies more needed and desired than in our cities. The Permaculture City provides a new way of thinking about urban living, with practical examples for creating abundant food, energy security, close-knit communities, local and meaningful livelihoods, and sustainable policies in our cities and towns. The same nature-based approach that works so beautifully for growing food―connecting the pieces of the…
Author(s): ToHemenway

7. The Nature of Urban Design: A New York Perspective on Resilience (2015)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfThe best cities become an ingrained part of their residents' identities. Urban design is the key to this process, but all too often, citizens abandon it to professionals, unable to see a way to express what they love and value in their own neighborhoods. New in paperback, this visually rich book by Alexandros Washburn, former Chief Urban Designer of the New York Department of City Planning, redefines urban design. His book empowers urbanites and lays the foundations for a new approach to design that will help cities to prosper in an uncertain…
Author(s): Alexandros Washburn

8. The Urban Design Handbook: Techniques and Working Methods (Second Edition) (2013)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfThe go-to guide for the practice of sustainable urbanism, updated to include new case studies and analytic tools. This invaluable guide, brought up to date in its revised edition, offers an introductory course in urbanism and provides an operations manual for architects, planners, developers, and public officials. Based on Urban Design Associates’ in-house training procedures, this unique handbook details the techniques and working methods of a major urban design and architecture firm. Covering the process from basic principles to developed designs, the book outlines the range of project types and services that urban designers can…
Author(s): Urban Design Associates

9. Urban Design (2009)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfCollects essays written on the establishment and cultivation of urban design as a distinct architectural and planning practice….
Author(s): William S. Saunders

10. Urban Design Thinking: A Conceptual Toolkit (2016)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfUrban Design Thinking provides a conceptual toolkit for urban design. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, it shows how the design of our cities and urban spaces can be interpreted and informed through contemporary theories of urbanism, architecture and spatial analysis. Relating abstract ideas to real-world examples, and taking assemblage thinking as its critical framework, the book introduces an array of key theoretical principles and demonstrates how theory is central to urban design critique and practice. Thirty short chapters can be read alone or in…
Author(s): Kim Dovey

11. Urban Design for Planners: Tools, Techniques, and Strategies (2018)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfUrban Planners: Take the Leadership Role in Urban Design Designing a good community entails so much more than architecture. But too often architects lead the discussion on urban design. In her clarion call for real community-based urban design, Emily Talen challenges planners to reengage in urban design to ensure that it supports and promotes diverse, sustainable, vibrant, and equitable communities. This book is a step-by-step guide to observing, analyzing, and designing civic minded, well-functioning, and pedestrian-oriented places. For planners to connect urban design…
Author(s): Emily Talen

12. Retrofitting Suburbia, Updated Edition: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs (2011)

 Best Urban Design Books That Should Be On Your BookshelfUpdated with a new Introduction by the authors and a foreword by Richard Florida, this book is a comprehensive guide book for urban designers, planners, architects, developers, environmentalists, and community leaders that illustrates how existing suburban developments can be redesigned into more urban and more sustainable places. While there has been considerable attention by practitioners and academics to development in urban cores and new neighborhoods on the periphery of cities, there has been little attention to the redesign and redevelopment of existing suburbs. The authors, both architects and noted experts on…
Author(s): Ellen Dunham-Jones, June Williamson

Best Urban Design Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some urban design books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Fundamentals of Sustainable Urban Design

Author(s): Avi Friedman
ID: 2845952, Publisher: Springer, Year: 2021, Size: 39 Mb, Format: pdf

Climate Resilient Urban Areas: Governance, Design and Development in Coastal Delta Cities

Author(s): Rutger de Graaf-van Dinther
ID: 2855164, Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2021, Size: 8 Mb, Format: pdf

Reviewing Design Process Theories: Discourses in Architecture, Urban Design and Planning Theories

Author(s): Mahmud Rezaei
ID: 2887535, Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Springer, Year: 2021, Size: 2 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are absolutely chart-busters according to Los Angeles Times, others are written by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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