This bibliography includes literature specific to the "Sustainability" Program area, which CHG defines as the appropriate scale and pattern of development.
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Benyus, Janine M. Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired By Nature. Harper, 1998 (308 pp.). In her classic study of biomimicry, which is the art of adapting nature's designs to human technologies and systems, Benyus goes well beyond the usual discoveries, such as applying a spider's silk-making techniques to manufacturing Kevlar, or using a plant's snagging skills to create Velcro. She persuasively demonstrates how using nature as a model can serve agriculture, health care, energy creation and consumption, computer design, and economic development. A truly multidisciplinary book, Biomimicry is one of the bibles of sustainability – a must-read for any community hoping to create Earth-friendly designs that also bolster the economy.
Brown, Jessica, Nora Mitchell and Michael Beresford (eds.). The Protected Landscape Approach: Linking Nature, Culture and Community. Cambridge UK: IUCN Publications Services Unit, 2005 (268 pp.). This anthology of 17 articles examines the growing “Protected Landscape Approach” within the conservation movement. While much of the book is technical and intended for professional conservationists and heritage managers, it is accessible to most readers, especially those wishing to build a healthier quality of life for their community. Most essays focus on the evolving nature of landscape conservation, which increasingly is recognizing the interrelationships between land and human culture. As such, the book urges local cooperation among place-based entities, and it envisions “place” as a mosaic – not a separate island unto itself. Another focus is the process of sustainable land management, which is also shifting – from an “expert,” top-down approach to one that involves local voices in decision making. While community-building and tourism are subcategories here, the processes that underpin the Protected Landscape approach will benefit both. The anthology includes many examples and case studies, and while most of these are outside the U.S., their findings are no less relevant.
Cronon, William, ed. Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. New York: W.W. Norton, 1996 (561 pp.). So much of the conversation about "sense of place" concerns the relationship between humans and the environment. In this groundbreaking and somewhat controversial study, fifteen scholars from a variety of backgrounds (history, science, philosophy, gender studies, literature, etc.) examine the ways nature is constructed through culture. While the book offers few solutions to our environmental problems, the essays certainly provide a different way of thinking about them.
Daily, Gretchen C. and Katherine Ellison. The New Economy of Nature: The Quest To Make Conservation Profitable. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2002 (260 pp.). Just as ecotourism and heritage tourism use the natural and cultural environments for economic benefits, a new breed of ecological entrepreneurs is experimenting with programs and approaches that will help save our disappearing natural resources and make money at the same time. MORE
Daly, Herman. Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996 (253 pp.). A former economist for the World Bank, Daly has become one of the principal spokespersons for the sustainability movement – the idea that humans should not consume nonrenewable resources at a rate that leaves fewer supplies for future generations. What gives Daly’s argument credibility is his understanding of economics. MORE
Davidson, Eric A. You Can't Eat GNP: Economics As If Ecology Mattered. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Press, 2000 (247 pp.). Similar to the work of Herman Daly, this book argues that societies cannot separate the environment from economics; the two are intertwined, and ruining the land, sea, and sky will eventually ruin the economy. Davidson, a scientist who writes in a clear style that laypersons can appreciate, maintains that the neoclassical branch of economics, in which the environment is not factored, must give way to a more comprehensive and sustainable approach.
de Graaf, John, David Wann and Thomas H. Naylor. Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2001 (268 pp.). There are numerous books about how we’re ruining the environment, how over-consumption spoils communities, how advertising entices us to buy what we don’t need. The value of this book is that it pulls these ailments together into a whimsical critique of our quest to have more stuff – and connects it all to the shape and purpose of community. MORE
Diamond, Jared. Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail or Succeed. New York: Viking, 2005 (575 pp.). In his previous Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Guns, Germs, and Steel, geography professor Diamond looked at why civilizations grow and evolve the way they do. In Collapse he examines the opposite question: why they disintegrate. Although he deals with prehistoric cultures like Easter Island or the Anasazi, his warnings concerning the over-use of natural resources are relevant today.
Dillard, Annie. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. New York, Harper & Row, 1974 (271 pp.). Simply put, one of the finest personal explorations of the natural universe ever written – our generation's Walden. Dillard received the Pulitzer Prize for her study, which includes fascinating scientific data wrapped in her own brand of spiritual awe. If you're searching for the connections between people and nature, start here.
Edgell, David L. Managing Sustainable Tourism: A Legacy for the Future. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press, 2006 (144 pp.). This slim volume by a seasoned tourism scholar is less about “managing” sustainable tourism programs than it is about the evolution of the sustainability niche. Edgell succinctly recounts the developments, reports, and research in the hospitality sector that have led to the sustainability movement, an analysis that argues more or less that a responsible approach to tourism – economically, environmentally, socially – is not only preferred but necessary, given the industry's reliance on and connection to environmental and social contexts. The book would be a good introduction to the tourism developments that have led to and continue to frame the sustainability debate within travel industry circles, i.e., ecotourism, cultural tourism, heritage tourism. Edgell also describes many sustainable tourism programs, and from these examples he extracts several seminal principles that underpin the movement, such as authenticity, local participation, and environmental protection. However, he says less about how these and other topics are dealt with, especially when controversy erupts – the “managing” element that the title promises. The book makes a good argument for sustainable tourism, and it includes some fine case studies; but there could be more about how these programs operate. Weaver's study, Sustainable Tourism, while a textbook, tackles the issues in a more helpful manner.
Edwards, Andres. The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 2005 (206 pp.). This helpful book provides a concise overview of the sustainability trend, examining it from social, cultural, built, economic, and biotic perspectives. Communities, businesses, and organizations hoping to design and implement sustainable practices would do well to consult this book, which serves as a good introduction or primer—clear and not heavy on technical applications. Edwards offers a brief history of sustainability and then explains how the concept has worked its way into most contemporary economic and social circles. In addition numerous best practices that are described throughout the text, the index is most helpful, providing dozens of examples of organizations, websites, publications, and consultants who work in the sustainability sector. A good place to start.
Ehrenfeld, John. Sustainability By Design. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008 (246 pp.). There is no question that sustainability is one of the fastest growing sectors of the development and economic industries. But what does "sustainable" really mean, and how can communities use this understanding to build healthy places? Ehrenfeld's book is not about community building per se, but the challenges he presents and the answers he puts forth will make a valuable contribution to any discussion about sustainability.
Esty, Daniel and Andrew Winston. Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006 (366 pp.). This book's title pretty much tells the whole story: business can no longer afford to ignore resource limitations, and “smart” companies are figuring out how to incorporate “green” strategies and make money at the same time. Like many other books that document successful sustainable-business projects, Green to Gold tends to focus on companies whose link to the environment is obvious, such as manufacturers, oil firms, and chemical industries, never mentioning tourism or community development. Still, the value of this book is its clear argument for environmental awareness and the many tools the authors provide to help companies develop plans to incorporate a sustainable culture throughout the value chain – looking not only at the company's activities, but up- and downstream toward suppliers and the purchasing public. While repetitive (reading the introduction and last chapter will provide most of what you need), Green to Gold is an excellent manifesto for “smart” commerce, as well as a very good map to help companies and communities move in the “green” direction while enhancing the bottom line.
Gladwell, Malcom. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2000 (301 pp.). This wonderful bestseller explores a number of sociological, cultural, and historical trends and events to explain why a thing "tips" – that is, why something, like Sesame Street, a certain politician, or a new clothing style, suddenly becomes fashionable. Gladwell's analysis covers a lot of ground, much of it psychological, but the interesting thing for community building is his observation that "small things" (see the title) are what matters, not new stadiums, malls, convention centers, and the like.
Fodor, Eben. Better Not Bigger: How To Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 1999 (175 pp.). Fodor is a long-time activist in the growth battles in Portland, Oregon, one of the few cities that has enacted policies like Urban Growth Boundaries. This book stems from his research into the costs and consequences of the growth machine. MORE
Harris, Rob, Tony Griffin and Peter Williams. Sustainable Tourism: A Global Perspective. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002 (311 pp.). Sustainable tourism is one of the growth markets within the tourism industry. This collection of nearly 20 essays could spend a little more time with the question of what sustainable tourism actually is, and less time documenting "best practices" that are far from conclusive, and somewhat repetitive. MORE
Hart, Stanley and Alvin Spivak. The Elephant in the Bedroom: Automobile Dependence and Denial. Pasadena, CA: New Paradigm Books, 1993 (173 pp.). This short but highly provocative book has become a controversial classic in the field of transportation studies. Hart and Spivak argue that we unfairly subsidize our car culture while cheating public transit. MORE
Hart, Stuart. Capitalism at the Crossroads: Aligning Business, Earth, and Humanity, 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton School Publishing, 2007 (260 pp.). While this book focuses more on developing sustainable business practices in the third world, or what Hart refers to as the Base of the Pyramid (BoP), where more than four billion people live on less than a dollar a day, the principles that underlie his strategies are no less relevant for any community or commercial enterprise hoping to create sustainable programs that go "beyond greening." Of particular interest is Hart's insistence that businesses "become indigenous," that is, that they listen to and incorporate the voices and values of local people, so new commercial enterprises are driven from the ground up, rather than the typical corporate top-down approach.
Hawken, Paul. The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability. New York: HarperCollins, 1993 (250 pp.). Business leader Hawken has provided one of the earliest and clearest manifestos highlighting why and how corporations and other industries need to get on board the sustainability wave. Working from historical and ethical perspectives, the author argues for a "restorative" economic system, one that "creates, increases, nourishes and enhances life on earth." In this far-reaching examination of our cultural values, social structures, economic drivers, and political realities, Hawken demonstrates to businesses trying to earn a profit and activists hoping to save the environment how they can work together toward sustainable ends. The book is filled with many case studies and recommendations.
Hawken, Paul, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1999 (396 pp.). Businessman Hawken and the Lovins, founders of the Rocky Mountain Institute, coined the term “Natural Capitalism,” which shares much with the ecological economics promoted by Hermann Daly and others. Natural Capitalism demands that businesses and corporations account for the Triple Bottom Line – that in addition to the financial ledger, today's companies must also factor in environmental and social costs. The first part of the book, an overview of the earth's ecological problems, explains why the market simply doesn't have a choice in the matter; if we keep operating without taking society and nature into account, we'll simply run out of resources very soon. The most helpful sections in the book are the many, many practices that the authors include to demonstrate that the market and the environment are not at odds. In fact, they argue that there is profit in doing the right thing, and they present numerous examples of old businesses that have revised their policies, or new businesses that are thriving in this new economic landscape. Their examples are worldwide, and while most of the case studies don't relate directly to place-making, their lessons are no less applicable. Essentially, they argue that the market is an effective tool for building healthy communities, and it shouldn't be thought of as an end in itself.
Holliday, Charles O., Stephan Schmidheiny and Philip Watts. Walking the Talk: The Business Case for Sustainable Development. Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing Unlimited, 2002 (288 pp.). For anyone who still maintains that community development has to be either jobs or the environment, they should consult this book, written by CEOs of three of the world's largest corporations, including Shell Oil and DuPont. Walking the Talk introduces the concepts of “Eco-efficiency,” Corporate Social Responsibility, and other socially and environmentally sustainable forms of development. The authors have been involved with these and related movements since the 1980s. Complete with more than 60 best practices from around the world, the book demonstrates that sustainable development is not only possible, but imperative, given our environment's precarious decline during the last half century. Far from “tree huggers,” the three authors argue that the market can and should partner social and environmental NGOs to better understand and connect to the communities in which they do their work, at the same time the NGOs can use market forces to help build healthier places. From our perspective, the book still argues for too much “growth” (the authors seldom suggest consumers simply do with less, for example), but the cases presented here may persuade those who believe absolutely in Adam Smith's free-market approach to consider a broader triple bottom line – market, environment, society. The book is helpful for individual businesses that want to operate in a more responsible manner, as well as entire communities trying to build healthier and more sustainable places for their citizens.
Honey, Martha. Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1999 (405 pp.) This well-written and extremely comprehensive study of ecotourism lays a good deal of the blame for the unmet promise of ecotourism squarely on the shoulders of the major players in the travel industry. Honey’s criticisms of and recommendations for ecotourism are applicable to other place-based forms of tourism. MORE
Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1985 (396 pp.). Nearly two decades after its publication, Jackson’s sweeping history is still one of the finest and clearest overviews of how American-style suburbs came to dominate the landscape – showing how the automobile, federal programs, racism, and economic conditions created the perfect storm that pushed development outward, ruining cities in the process. MORE
Kay, Jane Holtz. Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1997 (418 pp.). Kay’s encyclopedic indictment of America’s auto-mandatory culture probably won’t sit well with folks in sprawling megalopolises that remain addicted to their cars. Still, the book is without doubt one of the most expansive and well-written histories of how the automobile came to trump every other form of public transportation – and what this has meant to the shape of community. MORE
Kunstler, James Howard. The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America’s Man-Made Landscapes. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993 (303 pp.). Kunstler’s first and still most widely read critique of modern architecture, urban design, and suburban lifestyles should be read by anyone concerned about the nature of place-making in America. Often funny, always witty, Kunstler says what a lot of us have always thought: many of our towns are ugly but they don’t have to be.
Kunstler, James Howard. Home from Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the 21st Century. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996 (318 pp.). In some ways an epilogue to The Geography of Nowhere, Kunstler provides more examples of how to redress some of the problems he documented in the earlier book. His recommendations fall in line with those of New Urbanists and other traditionalists.
Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac. New York: Ballentine Books, 1949 (303 pp.). There's little doubt that Leopold's collection of essays will become one of the most important books about land, nature, and community published in the 20th century. For anyone concerned about those topics, this volume is a must-read. Trained as a forester, Leopold reads like a philosopher, and nearly every sentence in this book rings of eloquent truth. The chapter, “Thinking Like a Mountain,” though just a few pages, is one of the most profound statements about the ecological system to see print. Leopold's most important contribution, “The Land Ethic,” argues that humans must shift their relationship to nature from a purely economical model to an ethical connection, best described in this famous line: “a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it.” In many ways, he anticipated the development of what's come to be called environmental ethics. Read and relish this beautiful book, and find ways to apply Leopold's prophetic words to your activities.
Masumoto, David Mas. Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm. New York: Harper Collins, 1995 (233 pp.). Masumoto’s lyrical treatise uses his peach farm in California as a metaphor for the increasingly commodified nature of community. Just as peaches and other foods are becoming more mass-produced and plastic, so are our towns. The author suggests we create "microbrewed communities," which, like microbrewed beer, celebrate uniqueness and distinctiveness, unlike the national watered-down but familiar brands. A wonderful book!
McDonough, William and Michael Braungart, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York: North Point Press, 2002 (193 pp.). This classic study of sustainable design has tremendous implications for building healthy communities, something rarely mentioned in the book. The authors discuss Triple Bottom Line economic theory, the importance of being "native to place" in terms of product development (rather than homogenous and copycat), and reaching audiences that are "buying green" – voting with their wallets. Whenever McDonough and Braungart, who are longtime practitioners of eco-efficiency and industrial ecology, describe their processes for designing new cars or buildings, just transfer their ideas to the larger community context.
McHarg, Ian. Design with Nature. Philadelphia: Natural History Press, 1969 (198 pp.). One of the forerunners of ecological planning, McHarg demonstrates in this classic book how communities can save their natural, historical, and built heritage, at the same time they enhance economic development. Design with Nature includes both philosophical arguments and practical case studies that feature many maps and other visual demonstrations.
Mowforth, Martin and Ian Munt. Tourism and Sustainability: New Tourism in the Third World. London: Routledge, 1998 (363 pp.). Although the focus here is on tourism in the Third World, the principles discussed are relevant for most heritage tourism sites, as well as the governments, tourism agencies, NGOs, and others that work with heritage in general and heritage tourism specifically. MORE
Oelschlaeger, Max. The Idea of Wilderness. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991 (477 pp). Concepts such as sustainability, wilderness, and ecology are grounded in humankind's historical, social, ethical, economic, scientific, and religious connections to the environment, and environmental ethicist Oelschaeger covers them all here. Too often, however, as Oelschlaeger argues in this massive study, we try to solve the “environmental crisis” or execute “sustainable development” by privileging the same technical, scientific and modernist perspectives that got us into this mess in the first place – ignoring cultural or ethical contexts. In his ambitious, sprawling history of the idea of wilderness, which stretches from Paleolithic beliefs to contemporary concepts, Oelschlaeger traces the evolution of our relationship to nature, putting our most significant nature philosophers in context (Thoreau, Muir, Leopold), and persuasively linking their work to the larger sphere of intellectual history. If you're looking for a breezy, lightweight exploration of the wilderness idea, find another book. This tome is philosophically complex and conceptually meaty, but for readers hungry for an exhaustive, multidisciplinary exploration of wilderness, there aren't many better books with which to begin.
Putnam, Robert. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000 (541 pp.). A follow-up book to the 1995 famous essay of the same title, Putnam’s lengthy study looks at the nature of public participation in America – the causes for its decline as well as some practical solutions. Putnam’s research into urban design suggests sprawl is not conducive to community-building.
Roseland, Mark. Toward Sustainable Communities: Resources for Citizens and Their Governments. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 1998 (240 pp.). This new edition of Roseland’s previous volume of nearly the same title provides many more resources for communities, especially since the advent of the Internet and the wealth of information one can find there. Filled with best practices from around the world, Toward Sustainable Communities is an excellent beginner’s tool for places looking to develop more sustainable policies. MORE
Rypkema, Donovan. The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader’s Guide. Washington, D.C.: The National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1994 (131 pp.). Rypkema provides a wonderfully readable and practical guide for historic preservation activists who need ammunition to keep city councils and developers from ripping down old structures. Let’s hope more city councils hear the arguments in this book. MORE
Oldenburg, Ray. The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, General Stores, Bars, Hangouts, and How They Get You Through the Day. New York: Paragon House, 1989 (338 pp.). Oldenburg’s interesting and lively look at what he terms "third places" – those spaces where citizens meet in informal ways – has become one of the classics of place-based literature, and with good reason. The eradication of third places goes a long way toward explaining the shape of our communities. MORE
Sanders, Scott Russell. Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World. Boston: Beacon Press, 1993 (203 pp.). This is a beautiful narrative about trying to establish a sense of place by not bowing to the great God restlessness. Sanders argues that we need to stay with our environments, stay with our beliefs, and stay with our families. We’re fans of just about everything Sanders writes, most of which deals with community and place-based issues.
Savitz, Andrew. The Triple Bottom Line. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, 2006 (300 pp.). The sustainable, place-enhancing development that CHG advocates can certainly benefit from a “Triple Bottom Line” approach to development and reporting – accounting not only for the financial bottom line, but social and environmental bottom lines as well. TBL thinking has been around for decades, often characterized as “sustainable development” or covered in movements like “corporate social responsibility.” The term “triple bottom line” was coined in 1998, and Savitz's book nicely outlines the evolution of TBL thinking, at the same time it provides practical suggestions for incorporating the approach into one's development models. There is little doubt TBL will become a more important factor in the management of communities, businesses, and corporations, simply because more and more people recognize the economy does not exist separate from the environment or the society in which it operates. This is a good book to familiarize yourself with the TBL philosophy, a trend CHG fully embraces.
Schor, Juliet. The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need. New York: Basic Books, 1998 (353 pp.) Economist Schor follows up her Overworked American with an incisive study of consumerism in America. She provides many examples of how to do more with less – and why we should in the first place.
Schumacher, E.F. Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. New York: Harper & Row, 1973 (305 pp.). Including the often-anthologized chapter "Buddhist Economics," this prophetic book was one of the earliest to question the "growth-is-good" and "more-is-better" philosophies that underpin most economic theories. The book is really a collection of Schumacher's essays and lectures, most of which not only attack status quo development thinking, but which also provide practical examples of how economics can lead to a better quality of life. Many of Schumacher's ideas show up today in the trend toward downsizing or the more sustainable approaches to economics, such as Natural Capitalism. Today, the Schumacher Society carries on his work.
Sen, Amartya. Development as Freedom. New York: Anchor Books, 1999 (366 pp.). Winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, Sen provides another dense, paradigm-shifting view of economic development. Sen maintains that civic engagement, civil society, and other more ethical pursuits (unlike the technical, mechanical qualities that tend to define economics) are necessary for attaining a more just and sustainable world.
Weaver, David. Sustainable Tourism: Theory and Practice. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006 (240 pp.). Although written for university courses, this book represents one of the best historical and philosophical overviews of the sustainable tourism concept; it should be consulted by any scholar or practitioner interested in a more responsible approach to tourism. Weaver does an excellent job of putting the sustainability movement in its tourism context, tracing its emergence through various other developments such as ecotourism (Weaver's earlier publications mostly treat this approach) and other contemporary schools of thought that are not specific to tourism. Weaver provides numerous helpful examples of the principles that underpin sustainable tourism, connects these principles to case studies worldwide, and constantly tests the principles. That, perhaps, is the book's most beneficial feature – the author's willingness to show how the principles can be misappropriated or hijacked by programs that “use” the approach as a tool for profit, rather than a technique for sustainable development. He constantly puts tourism programs under the microscope to examine their economic, environmental, and social commitments to sustainability. The book is filled with tables, charts, stories, and graphs that help to measure a given program on the sustainability scale. Weaver compares the new trends in alternative tourism with the mass hospitality sector, and describes in detail the people, organizations, and methods that contribute to appropriate sustainable tourism. One hopes that every student of tourism and hospitality is exposed to this text. It is a good introduction, not only to sustainable tourism, but to the overall travel and tourism industry.
Worster, Donald. Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas. 2nd Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994 (505 pp.). Our understanding of place, nature, the environment, and related concepts is grounded in historical, philosophical, social, and theological views, and historian Worster does an excellent job of presenting and explaining them in this indispensable work. Worster shows how our relationship to nature has historically swayed between the extremes of the transcendental-utilitarian pendulum, and he convincingly demonstrates how these different attitudes influence public, corporate, technological, and political policies. Worster is primarily interested in “ecology,” and by exploring its development historically and conceptually, he provides an interesting overview of the science that frames ecological progress, as well as the values systems that underpin experimentation itself. Anyone interested in ecological studies, especially the modern-day focus on biodiversity, sustainability, and "sense of place," should consult this important book. Along with Nash's Wilderness and the American Mind, Worster's study is an essential look at the topic.