My Kind of City (Hardcover)
Collected Essays of Hank Dittmar
Island Press, 9781642830361, 256pp.
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
—Scott Bernstein, Founder and Chief Strategy + Innovation Officer, Center for Neighborhood Technology
Hank Dittmar was a globally recognized urban planner, advocate, and policy advisor. He wrote extensively on a wide range of topics, including architectural criticism, community planning, and transportation policy over his long and storied career.
In My Kind of City, Dittmar has organized his selected writings into ten sections with original introductions. His observations range on scale from local ("My Favorite Street: Seven Dials, Covent Garden, London") to national ("Post Truth Architecture in the Age of Trump") and global ("Architects are Critical to Adapting our Cities to Climate Change"). Andrés Duany writes of Hank in the book foreword, "He has continued to search for ways to engage place, community and history in order to avoid the tempting formalism of plans."
The range of topics covered in My Kind of City reflects the breadth of Dittmar's experience in working for better cities for people. Common themes emerge in the engaging prose including Dittmar's belief that improving our cities should not be left to the "experts"; his appreciation for the beautiful and the messy; and his rare combination of deep expertise and modesty. As Lynn Richards, CEO of Congress for the New Urbanism expresses in the preface, "Hank's writing is smart without being elitist, witty and poetic, succinct and often surprising."
My Kind of City captures a visionary planner's spirit, eye for beauty, and love for the places where we live.
About the Author
Hank Dittmar (1956–2018) was the founding principal of Hank Dittmar Associates, an international urban planning firm. Before that, he was chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, founding president and CEO of Reconnecting America, and executive director of the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership. His long, varied career included service as a regional planner, airport director, policy advisor, and outreach worker with street gangs in Chicago. He published extensively on planning, urban design, and architecture.
Praise For My Kind of City: Collected Essays of Hank Dittmar…
— Don Chen, President, Surdna Foundation
— Adapted from the preface by Lynn Richards, President and CEO, Congress for the New Urbanism
— From the foreword by Andres Duany, Partner, DPZ Partners