“The content of a book holds the power of education and it is with this power that we can shape our future and change lives”
THRIVE’s ambition is to help create an even better Amherstburg. One of the ways we hope to do that is by educating residents on what actually makes great communities great. And then we can collectively shape our future together. We believe reading books can help power that change.
Now there are many titles that one could recommend to the THRIVE Collective. Here are the seven that we have started with, any two of which comes as part of your paid membership:
Walking Home - Ken Greenberg
A book full of strategies and ideas for any community where people want to connect with their neighbours; where they can walk and children can play, without fear of cars. Where one can call their town, with pride and satisfaction - “home”. The author will be one of THRIVE’s future speakers so this is an excellent book to start with.
Walkable City - Jeff Spec
The author has spent his life understanding what makes communities thrive. And he boils it down to “walkability”. Healthy is one of THRIVE’s core values and healthy outdoor activity has never been more important than it is right now with Covid. This book clearly outlines the “ten steps of walkability” and the great majority of them clearly apply to Amherstburg.
Happy City - Charles Montgomery
“Happiness” we all want to be happy don’t we? Focus on the positive, the joyful and not the negative. This book details how community design can transform our lives for the better. The author shares his insights from years of experience, psychology, and his own experiments on how to successfully achieve happiness.
Street Fight - Janet Sadik-Khan
When one talks about exciting ideas from Copenhagen, or NewYork city some people respond by saying those are very large cities - we are small Amherstburg! And of course a small community of 22,000 is a lot different than a city of millions. But their actions can definitely help educate us and many of them can be scaled down to fit our community. However, ideas are often not enough. Towns like Amherstburg need advocates, communicators, doers and sometimes “street fighters” to make things happen. This is the story of a woman that was instrumental in removing cars from Time Square and making it a pedestrian plaza. If NYC could do that then surely Amherstburg can pull off some audacious initiatives to make it an even better town too.
101 Things I learned In Urban Design School - Mathew Frederick and Vikas Mehta
Worried about having the time to read hundreds of pages on urban best practices? Then this might be the book for you. Nothing complex about this read - just 101 thought provoking ideas on how to make a better community. Each idea only covers two pages and one of those two pages contains a small sketch. Reading this book will not only surprise you regarding how much you learn, but you will undoubtedly see many ideas that we should make happen in Amherstburg.
Eg #45 Some trees are more urban than others
Eg #71 Make streets high friction (you will need to buy the book to understand this one)
Truth to Power - Al Gore
Climate change and the action we need to take to prevent it is woven through all the initiatives THRIVE will be working on. It is the greatest threat to our planet and we cannot assume someone else will save us. Amherstburg has to do its part. This book helps you learn the science and find your climate voice. THRIVE will be hosting speakers on climate change. This book will help you engage with them.
Urban Planning for Dummies - Dr Jordan Yin
I know you probably think the Dummies’ books are only for people who can’t be bothered doing their homework. Or maybe you would not be caught dead reading one at Downtown Espresso Cafe because people might think less of you. Well, not this “Dummies” book. It has a number of excellent chapters.
Eg #8 The City Beautiful.
#11 Greening of the City.
#17 Getting People Involved.
How to Join and Get your Books...
Just head over to the T.H.R.I.V.E website and click on the Join the Collective. Once you pay your membership fee (by e-transfer or by dropping off cash or cheque at the River Bookshop during our business hours) you can visit us to pick out your two books from the 7 we have highlighted here.
We're excited to be a part of this and we hope you are too!
See you soon!