Greenworks Book Club

Greenworks Book Club


USGBCThe USGBC/Island Press GreenWorks book club offers a unique opportunity to combine the impact and reach of USGBC, the largest and most influential community of leaders dedicated to transforming the way buildings and communities are designed, with Island Press’ books and thought leaders. Each month Greenworks features a new Island Press book available at a 30% discount with an author-led online webinar presentation to USGBC members.



Past Featured Books:

February 2012

City Rules by Emily Talen


City RulesCity Rules offers a challenge to students and professionals in urban planning, design, and policy to change the rules of city-building, using regulations to reinvigorate, rather than stifle, our communities. Emily Talen demonstrates that rules like zoning and subdivision regulation are primary determinants of urban form. While many contemporary codes encourage sprawl and even urban blight, that hasn't always been the case-and it shouldn't be in the future. 


Talen provides a visually rich history, showing how certain eras used rules to produce beautiful, walkable communities, while others created just the opposite. Most importantly, Talen proposes changes to these rules that will actually enhance communities' freedom to develop unique spaces.




January 2012

Urban Ecological Design by Frederick Steiner


Urban Ecological Design

This trailblazing book outlines an interdisciplinary "process model" for urban design that has been developed and tested over time. Its goal is not to explain how to design a specific city precinct or public space, but to describe useful steps to approach the transformation of urban spaces. Urban Ecological Design illustrates the different stages in which the process is organized, using theories, techniques, images, and case studies. In essence, it presents a "how-to" method to transform the urban landscape that is thoroughly informed by theory and practice.



December 2011

Human Transit by Jarrett Walker and My Kind of Transit by Darrin Nordahl


Human Transit

Public transit is a powerful tool for addressing a huge range of urban problems, from traffic congestion to climate change. But while many people support transit in the abstract, it's often hard to channel that support into good transit investments. In Human Transit, Jarrett Walker supplies the basic tools, critical questions, and means to make smarter decisions about transit services.


Whether you are in the field or simply a concerned citizen, here is an accessible guide to achieving successful public transit that will enrich any community.



My Kind of TransitIn My Kind of Transit, Darrin Nordahl argues that like life itself, transportation isn't only about the destination, but the journey. Public transit reduces traffic and pollution, yet few of us are willing to get out of our cars and onto subways and buses. But Nordahl demonstrates that when using public transit is an enjoyable experience, tourists and commuters alike willingly hand in their keys.


My Kind of Transit is an animated tour of successful transportation systems, offering smart, commonsense analysis of what makes transit fun. His humanistic treatment will help planners, designers, transportation professionals, and policymakers create transit systems the public actually wants to ride.



The World’s Water Volume 7 by Peter Gleick


World's Water V.7

Produced biennially since 1998, The World's Water is the most comprehensive and up-to-to date source of information and analysis on freshwater resources. Each new volume examines critical global trends and offers the best data available on a variety of topics related to water.


Volume 7 features chapters on U.S. water policy, transboundary waters, and the effects of fossil fuel production on water resources, among other timely issues. Water briefs provide concise updates on topics including bottled water and the state of the Colorado River.




Ideas That Matter by Mary Rowe


Ideas that Matter

 Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) is history's most celebrated urban critic. In addition to her classic, Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs authored another half dozen influential books on urban planning, economics, and design. Ideas that Matter: The Worlds of Jane Jacobs offers unprecedented insights into her work.


Originally published in 1997, and continually sought after ever since, this 2011 edition includes a new introduction by distinguished urban scholar Mary Rowe. The book is a unique combination of Jacobs' own writing (including previously unpublished speeches, letters, and articles), biography, and analysis by other scholars.



Making Healthy Places by Howard Frumkin


Making Healthy Places

This book provides a far-reaching follow-up to the pathbreaking Urban Sprawl and Public Health, which sparked a innovative discussion into the connections between constructed environments and human health. Making Healthy Places offers a fresh and comprehensive look at this vital subject today, from the scale of buildings up to metropolitan areas.


Like a well-trained doctor, Making Healthy Places presents a diagnosis of-and offers treatment for-problems related to the built environment. Drawing on the latest scientific evidence, it imparts a wealth of practical information, emphasizing demonstrated and promising solutions to common problems.