An unusual book club dedicated to new urbanism meets each month in Lansing Michigan and discusses books that explore designing and creating a livable city where sprawl is reduced,Â density of living space increasedÂ and walking and biking promoted through design.
According to one of the groupâ€™s organizers, LansingÂ ArchitectÂ Amanda Harrell-Seyburn, the book club, now in its seventh month, is diversifying the participants which at the start was predominately planners and architects. Seyburn writes a weekly column for Lansing City Pulse which you can read here. Shown at left is the Lansing skyline shot by Lansing developer Carl Hausmann in 1949.
â€œWe are building a more diverse group of people who care about the community she told me recently.â€
The group has read and discussed a variety of books including, â€œSprawl: A Compact Historyâ€ to â€œThe Devil in the White Cityâ€ â€œHow Buildings Learnâ€ andÂ â€Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainability.â€
The group meets the fourth Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. (discussion starts at 6 p.m.) at The Soup Spoon CafÃ© at Michigan Avenue and Clifford Street. Â This month on Thursday, January 27 the group will return to the early roots of new urbanism and discuss the landmark book â€œThe Death & Life of Great American Citiesâ€ by Jane Jacobs. On Thursday, February 24, the group will discuss a classic follow-up book â€œthe Naked City: Death & Life of Authentic Urban Placesâ€ by Sharon Zukin. Read more about Jane Jacobs here.
Â For more information on the Book Club e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Â New Urbanist designers place a high importance on cities which are compact, conserve energy and promote historic preservation.
Read more about new urbanism here. After decades of false starts and one-way streets headed out of town, Lansing Michigan has reinvigorated much of its downtown by applying new urbanism principles.