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Starting 'Em Early: Urban Planning for the Kiddies

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As urbanist principles continue to gain appreciation in the mainstream, it's only fitting that a children's book has come on the scene to save young minds from the evils of sprawl. Called "Where Things Are, From Near to Far," the new book from Planetizen Press follows a mother and son on a trek that includes stops along the pristine countryside to a colorful, centralized American city complete with quaint beaux-arts fire stations and orderly row-houses. But with most U.S. cities a polycentric mess of tract houses and office parks, will the youngsters even be able to comprehend what's on the page? Co-Author Chris Steins recently assured the New York Times that there are no value judgments made in the book: "We know lots of people live in the suburbs, and that every type of community has value." Yeah, yeah. Looks to us like another attempt to indoctrinate feeble young minds with East Coast Bias. For our little ones, we'll be holding out for a more realistic book release. Perhaps "Where Cheap Parking Is, From McDonalds to the Mall"? ---Dan Caroselli
· My First Book of Urban Planning [NY Times]
· Starting 'Em Early: Urban Planning for the Kiddies [Amazon]