From Library Journal
Marshall criticizes New Urbanism for being more about style than substance, but he acknowledges that the more it recognizes the hard truths of regional planning, the more it can become a positive force. A journalist by trade, Marshall writes with wit, reason, and style, effectively driving home his well-researched premise that cities exist and evolve based on transportation systems, the building of wealth, and government guidance or misguidance. He offers few solutions to current urban problems, setting his sights on enlightening the reader about why and how cities evolve. Marshall cites the human craving for simple solutions to complex problems and makes it clear that when people come together to plan a regional city consciously, as they have in Portland, OR, difficult choices must be made. [...] How Cities Work is very strongly recommended for both academic and public libraries as an excellent resource on the history and future of American cities. Drew Harrington, Pacific Univ., Forest Grove, OR
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Concern with traffic, environmental indifference and careless land development patterns, indeed, growing awareness of the many consequences of sprawl has led to calls for 'smart growth.' One of the smartest ways to prepare to effectuate smarter growth is to read How Cities Work. In a gentle but lucid and persuasive way Alex Marshall reminds us that the responsibility for making and maintaining good communities is a public one--that city-building is a public art dependent on public leadership, not acquiescence to private caprice. Anyone interested in helping to sustain rather than complain about the loss of community must read this book." --Alex Krieger, Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design "This is an outstanding book that I hope and expect will make a major contribution to the current debate on cities and suburbs." --Robert Fishman, author of American Planning Tradition: Culture and Policy and Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia " ... rich in evocative metaphors ... written in a lively style"--Geography, January 2002 "How Cities Work is an engaging read, containing important messages relevant not only to those in the urban design profession, but also to the wider public who have a role in deciding how cities should be shaped."--Journal of Urban Design, Vol. 7 No. 3, 2002