some of this is helpful Jun 5, 2010
This is painful to read, it sheds a harsh light on how barren our public space has become. No wonder we're spending so much trying to make it up in our houses.
The authors assume quaint cozy neighborhoods are possible. I see them as a phase. The truly successful attract wealth and they escalate the property values to unsustainable (corner store can't afford to be there any more, cottages are knocked down and a family "compound" is built, farmland being sold off in pieces to keep up with taxes). This is a flaw in the concept of property tax based on property "value" - what someone else would pay for your property at any given time. No small problem in communities that are growing.
They offer a multitude of concepts that can improve the livability of most towns. Unfortunately, developers look after only their own interests and town planners are volunteers in most of America. By the time towns hire a professional planner, the damage has been done. I will offer the book to my own town planners but I'm not holding out hope that it'll impact their limited perspective of their role or authority.