Last minute gift ideas for urbanists
If you're a responsible adult, you've already finished all your holiday shopping. If you're like me, you've still got some to do. So here are some gift ideas for the urbanists in your life, all from brick-and-mortar stores in DC that you can visit today or tomorrow.
Get a book
You can't go wrong with books, and most large bookstores have a shelf or two dedicated to architecture & city planning. The four urbanist books I always recommend are:
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. It's the Bible of urbanism, the seminal book on what makes a good city, and the singular most essential book in any urbanist library.
The Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler. By far the most accessible description of how suburbia happened, why it seemed to make sense at the time, and why it ultimately proved a disaster.
Suburban Nation by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck. Like Death and Life, but more contemporary, and beautifully illustrated with simple maps & diagrams that help make the point.
Walkable City by Jeff Speck. Speck is a DC resident, a GGW contributor, and one of the best urbanist writers today. He collaborated on Suburban Nation, and then with Walkable City presented the hard data that backs up his claims.
Go to the National Building Museum gift shop
The National Building Museum focuses on cities and architecture, and has great gift shop. It's open until 5pm Monday and Tuesday. They have DC street map earrings, Metro fare card trivets, city map ties, foldable paper Metrorail train cars, and all sorts of other cool stuff.
If the urbanist you love is under 40, odds are he or she has played and loved the SimCity family of computer games. You can buy the latest version at any electronics or video games store.
Cross-posted at BeyondDC.
- Shepherd Park neighbors tell car2go users to stay out
- Do you know the station? It's whichWMATA week 15
- A sunken gas station sculpture sends the wrong message about the Anacostia River
- America's Main Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, is anything but
- "Sharing" isn't a good term for services like Uber and Lyft. Is there a better one?
- See the view from a Silver Line train with this video
- Should adding more housing be illegal even when neighbors support it?