April 11, 2010

How to Create Livable, Sustainable Communities

New Planners Press book is a reference for planners, officials, and citizens.

CHICAGO — A new book from the American Planning Association’s (APA) Planners Press and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) provides local officials, planners, and engaged citizens with an easy-to-use reference for protecting and enhancing the character and design of metro-edge and rural communities.

Envisioning Better Communities by internationally recognized author and lecturer Randall Arendt includes more than 500 photographs and illustrations showing Americans need not live amid sprawling and characterless visual blight. By following simple design choices and making effective municipal decisions, the quality, livability and attractiveness of communities across the country can be tremendously improved.

“At its heart,” writes Arendt in the Introduction, “this book is about how to imagine better futures for communities.”  He continues, “I hope that perusing this book will help officials and residents see new possibilities and foster confidence that a better future can be fashioned by significantly updating current [planning and zoning] regulations.”

Written in a clear, nontechnical style, the book is divided into five parts: balancing development and conservation; conservation subdivision design; residential neighborhood design; downtown appearance and viability; and transforming commercial strips into mixed use centers and corridors. Appendices cover image preference surveys, road access ordinances and related topics.

Arendt is a senior conservation advisor at the Natural Lands Trust and a Royal Town Planning Institute fellow. He has written more than 20 books and publicationsincluding Rural by Design: Maintaining Small Town Character, also published by APA. He is a highly sought speaker about creative development design and has produced conservation subdivision plans and designs for clients in 21 states.

Envisioning Better Communities is available through APA's PlanningBooks.com for $59.95. 228 pages. ISBN: 978-1-932364-81-1.

Complimentary review copies are available for members of the media by contacting Denny Johnson, djohnson@planning.org or 202-349-1006.


Denny Johnson, APA Public Affairs, 202-349-1006; djohnson@planning.org