Reading list

(Updated 26-Dec-2021)

Here is a growing list of useful reading materials. Recommendations are welcome, by e-mail to

  • Responding to the 1960s: Designing Adaptable Communities in Vancouver (Walter G. Hardwick, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in Environment & Behavior, Environment and Behavior May 1994 vol. 26 no. 3 338-362) . Abstract and purchase online (
    CityHallWatch comment: This article covers how cultural transformations of the 1960s led to socially and ecologically aware values and sensibilities becoming incorporated into the design of neighbourhoods (downtown Vancouver, False Creek, Champlain Heights, etc.) Covers ideas of the day and interactive consultative public process. The article holds these up as models to emulate.
  • Vancouver Ltd. (Donald Gutstein, 1975, library call number 352.071 V22g, copies at Vancouver Public Library).
    CityHallWatch comment: This is an excellent analysis of the dynamics between politicians, developers, media and communities. Many of the pages could be read today without any revisions!
  • Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years (Michael Kluckner, 2012, Whitecap Books)
  • Cities for People (Jan Gehl, 2010, Island Press)
  • The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History (Spiro Kostof, 1991, Little, Brown and Company)
  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Jane Jacobs, 1961, Random House)
  • The Developers (James Lorimer, 1978, James Lorimer & Company) – This book sets the stage for Vancouver. Tracks the history of the big developers that had so much influence on the shape of Canadian cities.

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