#ForewordFriday: Patient Placemaking Edition

In Within Walking Distance, journalist and urban critic Philip Langdon takes an in-depth look at six walkable communities—and the citizens, public officials, and planners who are making them satisfying places to live. Langdon has been called "one of the most experienced and knowledgeable writers on urbanism today" and his book is "hard to put down" (Public Square). In the book, Langdon explores walkable communities around the country that range in terms of size, history, wealth, education, and more. The six communities are: Center City Philadelphia; the East Rock section of New Haven, Connecticut; Brattleboro, Vermont; the Little Village section of Chicago; the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon; and the Cotton District in Starkville, Mississippi. From the experience of these places, Langdon draws lessons that can be applied to a range of communities across the nation.

One of these lessons is the importance of local commitment. With the careful observation of a seasoned journalist, Langdon gives voice to stories of citizens coming together to improve their communities, including fifteen mothers and grandmothers pitching tents and conducting a hunger strike to force the Chicago Board of Education to build a much-needed high school in their predominantly Mexican-American community and residents of the only Zip code in Philadelphia that had no public green space banding together to build a park through volunteer labor.

Check out an excerpt of the book below, and then pick up the e-book for just $14.99, this month only.