Here are some resources we find useful . . .

Livable City publications

The Path to a Livable City. Our 100-year plan for more livable San Francisco neighborhoods.

The Real Costs of San Francisco’s Off-Street Residential Parking Requirements. Despite the fact that nearly 30% of all San Francisco households and 40% of renters don’t even own cars, and 50% of San Francisco commuters get to work every day without a car, for the past 50 years the City has required that at least one off-street parking space be provided for almost every new housing unit built throughout the City. Since every parking space adds $20,000 to $50,000 dollars to the cost of a housing unit, these parking requirements make housing for cars cheaper and housing for people more expensive! In a city with a ongoing affordable housing crises and a supposed Transit-First Policy, it’s time we rethink our outdated parking requirements. Learn more in this TLC report The Real Costs of San Francisco’s Off-Street Residential Parking Requirements or read the executive summaries for neighborhood organizationspolicymakers, and housing lenders & developers.

Download past issues of The Livable City Journal.
Issue #1 (February ’04)
Issue #2 (June ’04)

Our livability partners

San Francisco

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is a membership organization dedicated to promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation.

Walk San Francisco is a member based pedestrian advocacy organization that is making San Francisco a more livable and walkable city.

San Francisco Transit Riders is a rider-based, grassroots organization working to improve transit in San Francisco.

San Francisco Beautiful is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the city´s urban environment.

Housing Action Coalition is a citywide coalition that advocates for the creation of well-designed, well-located housing that meets the needs of present and future residents of San Francisco.

Nature in the City is dedicated to restoring Franciscan nature and biodiversity by connecting people to nature where they live.

Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association is dedicated to promoting a sense of friendly association and community involvement throughout Hayes Valley.

San Jose/Guerrero Coalition to Save Our Streets is a coalition dedicated to improving the San Jose/Guerrero Neighborhood.

Better Valencia Project is a neighborhood effort dedicated to making San Francisco’s Valencia Street a complete street.

San Francisco Cityscape is an online journal of bay area urban design.

San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) is a public policy think-tank promoting good planning and good government

Neighborhood Parks Council advocates for better parks and recreation and greener streets for San Francisco.

Bay Area

Greenbelt Alliance is dedicated to protecting open space and promoting livable communities across the Bay Area.

TransForm (formerly Transportation and Land Use Coalition) is a partnership of over 90 groups working for a sustainable and socially just Bay Area.

United States and international

Alliance for Biking & Walking is the national coalition of state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations.

Project for Public Spaces is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and sustaining public places that build communities.

Reconnecting America/Center for Transit-oriented Development is a new national organization formed to link transportation networks and the communities they serve.

TransAct is a collection of information and resources about making communities more livable and helping the environment through innovative transportation projects and initiatives.

Centre for Sustainable Transportation is a research institute dedicated to encouraging more sustainable transportation policy.

Comprehensive Sustainable Urban Travel bibliographies, with a particular emphasis on cycling and walking, all regularly updated, together with full list of relevant organisations, contact details and web sites.

Detour Publications provides information related to urban ecology and transportation planning. explores carfree cities past, present, and future, and provides practical solutions to the problems of urban automobile use.

Center for Livable Communities helps local governments and community leaders be proactive in their land use and transportation planning, and adopt programs and policies that lead to more livable and resource-efficient land use patterns.

Congress for New Urbanism is a movement centered on intelligent neighborhood planning, and a return to the type of urban communities built to a human scale, and not to the scale that only benefits the car.

ADAPT is an advocacy organization representing the interests of people with disabilities, which sponsors many projects related to mobility and access issues.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology operates programs that address transportation, land use and housing issues in urban America.

The Community Transportation Association is a coalition of agencies that provide mobility services for non-drivers.

The Conservation Law Foundation has programs and materials dealing with transportation equity.

Gender and Transport / Social Exclusion & Transport, Dept. of Planning, University of Manchester.

Victoria Transport Policy Institute provides resources for planning and evaluating TDM, bicycling and walking programs, including the Online TDM Encyclopedia.

The Institute for Local Self Reliance provides technical assistance and information on environmentally sound economic development strategies.

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives is the “international environmental agency for local governments” which provides tool to help communities become healthier and more environmentally responsible.

The Living Room is an advocacy webzine for “exploring the physical and social structures of human society and their relationship to the rest of life.” It devotes attention to urban community, land use and transportation issues.

The Smart Growth Network includes planners, govt. officials, lenders, community developers, architects, environmentalists and activists. It encourages development that protects the environment and pays for itself without raising property taxes.

David Engwicht provides workshops and educational materials for “street reclaiming” by neighborhood residents.

City Repair offers photos and notes from a street reclaiming project in Portland, OR.

Gehl Architects ‘urban quality consultants’ based in Copenhagen, led by urbanist Jan Gehl.

A Livable City bibliography


Alexander, Christopher et. al. A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction.

Alexander, Christopher et al. A New Theory of Urban Design.

Alexander, Christopher. The Phenomenon of Life (four volumes).

Duany, Andres; Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Robert Alminana. The New Civic Art

Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. First published in 1961, Jacobs’ work remains the classic work on making livable cities.

Katz, Peter. The New Urbanism.

Kunstler, James Howard. The Geography of Nowhere.

Leinberger, Christopher. The Option of Urbanism.

Lynch, Kevin. Good City Form.

Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City.

Rowe, Colin and Fred Koetter. Collage City.

Solomon, Daniel. Global City Blues.

Solomon, Daniel. Rebuilding.

Speck, Jeff. Walkable City and Walkable City Rules


Hiss, Tony. The Experience of Place.

Sucher, David. City Comforts: How to Build an Urban Village.

Whyte, William. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces.

Project for Public Spaces, Inc. How to Turn a Place Around: A Handbook for Creating Successful Public Spaces.

Jan Gehl

Gehl, Jan. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space.

Gehl, Jan and Lars Gemzoe. Public Spaces, Public Life: Copenhagen

Gehl, Jan and Lars Gemzoe. New City Spaces

Melbourne: Places for People [PDF version] Report to the City of Melbourne by Gehl Architects, 2004

London: Toward a Fine City for People [PDF version] Report to Transport for London by Gehl Architects, 2004

Enrique Peñalosa

Project for Public Spaces’ placemaker profile of Peñalosa.

Progressive Transport and the Poor: Bogotá’s Bold Steps Forward by Robert Cervero.

film interview of Peñalosa by Clarence Eckerson of the Open Planning Project.

Transit villages

Dittmar, Hank, and Gloria Ohland. The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented Development.

Bernick, Michael and Robert Cervero. Transit Villages in the 21st Century.

Kelbaugh, Douglas. The Pedestrian Pocket Book: A New Suburban Design Strategy.

Transportation and cities

Bradsher, Keith. High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV.

Crawford, J. H. Carfree Cities.

Engwicht, David. Reclaiming Our Cities and Towns: Better Living With Less Traffic.

Kay, Jane Holtz. Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took over America, and How We Can Take It Back.

Kenworthy, Jeffrey and Peter Newman. Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence.

Poticha, Shelley, Gloria Ohland, et al. Street Smart: Streetcars and Cities in the 21st Century

Tumlin, Jeffrey. Sustainable Transportation Planning.

Vuchic, Vukan. Transportation for Livable Cities

Vuchic, Vukan. Urban Transit: Operations, Planning, and Economics

Walker, Jarrett. Human Transit

Transportation economics

Cobb, Clifford, et al. The Roads Aren’t Free: Estimating the Full Social Costs of Driving and the Effects of Accurate Pricing. Redefining Progress, San Francisco.

Hammond, M. Jeff, et alTax Waste, Not Work: How Changing What We Tax Can Lead to a Stronger Economy and Cleaner Environment. Redefining Progress, San Francisco.

Hammond, M. Jeff, Gary Wolff, Clifford Cobb, and Mark Frame. Greening the Golden State: A Tax Reform for California’s Future. Redefining Progress, San Francisco.

Shoup, Donald. The High Cost of Free Parking.


Solnit, Rebecca. Wanderlust: A History of Walking.

Street design

Appleyard, Donald. Livable Streets.

Engwicht, David. Mental Speed Bumps: The smarter way to tame traffic.

Jacobs, Allan. Great Streets.

Jacobs, Allan, Elizabeth Macdonald, and Yodan Rof. The Boulevard Book: History, Evolution, Design of Multiway Boulevards.

Planning and Governance

Diers, Jim. Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way

Fulton, Willam. Guide to California Planning

Jacobs, Allan B. Making City Planning Work

Ostrom, Virginia. Governing the Commons


Duany, Andres, Sandy Sorlien, and William Wright. SmartCode and Manual. Available online at SmartCode Central (

Elliott, Donald L. A Better Way to Zone: Ten Principles to Create More Livable Cities

Levine, Jonathan. Zoned Out: Regulation, Markets and Choices Transportation and Land Use

Parolek, Daniel G., Karen Parolek, and Paul C. Crawford. Form-Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers

Buildings and Architecture

de Botton, Alain. The Architecture of Happiness

Brand, Stewart. How Buildings Learn

Dalziel, Robert and Sheila Qureshi Cortale. A House in the City: Home Truths in Urban Architecture


Gratz, Roberta Brandes. “Urban Virtues.” Metropolis, March 2008

Semes, Steven W. The Future of the Past: A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism, and Historic Preservation

Ecological Design

Benyus, Janine. Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.

Hawken, Paul, Amory Lovins, and Hunter Lovins. Natural Capitalism.

Johnson, StevenEmergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software.

McDonough, William and Michael Braungart. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

McHarg, IanDesign with Nature

Todd, John and Nancy Jack Todd. From Eco-Cities to Living Machines: Principles of Ecological Design

Van Der Ryn, Sym and Stuart Cowan. Ecological Design

Thackara, John. In the Bubble: Desiging in a Complex World