Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character (American release, February 22, 2021, UK and European release, Spring 2021) focuses on how to understand the innate identity of an urban place. The book provides a catalog of techniques that emphasize “bottom up,” resident-based input. Such input includes local history, building forms, natural and open spaces, cultural assets and tradition, and related policy, planning, and regulatory examples.

The book has received positive attention during its “release season,” spanning American, Australian, United Kingdom, and European launch dates, and events via Zoom, podcast, radio, print, and online publications. We wanted to summarize these months of activity in one place.

Books are now readily worldwide at bookstores worldwide, through digital outlets such as Amazon and AmazonUK, or directly from the publisher.Review the special “landing page” for Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character here.

Below, please find an early November update on developments and release events for the book.

Place Parts

Initial book launch activity featured “Place Parts, A Sustaining Place Companion,” comprised of 18 short videos addressing book concepts and approaches–often with live guests–see the Place Parts series elsewhere on this site, and on the Place Parts YouTube Channel.


Several advance reviews appear in the video below. They were followed by reviews and endorsements listed thereafter.

The 11 advance reviews

Articles, Podcasts, Radio Interviews, and Presentations

Summer 2020: “LEARNING the City: Beyond the Urban Diary,” The Journal of Public Space,

December 22, 2020 and March 10: Book Excerpts in Planetizen, and

January 6, 2021: Excerpt, “A Farewell to One Size Fits All Urbanism,” CNU Public Square,

February 2: Urbanistica Podcast

April 14: Urban Design Group, London, Panelist, “Character and Local Distinctiveness,”; video at

April 17: Urbanistica Podcast, Clubhouse Follow-Up

April 19: University of Washington Law School, Land Use Planning Seminar, Guest Speaker

May 4 and May 10: Feature in UW Notes/UW News, Seattle,– points to

May 9: Jane’s Walk London Festival, Urbanism Book Club,

May 11: “Editor’s Pick” Review in Europe Now Journal (Council for European Studies):

May 25: Nicole Bremner Podcast, London,

May 27: Urban Futures Project (Imagining/Activating Futures in Unsettled Times), Zagreb,;

May 27 and June 1: Features in Cornell AAP “Conversations” and Newsletter, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

June 2: Delphi Conversation V, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (five panelists), and

June 10: Talking Headways Podcast (Overhead Wire/Streetsblog),

June 11: Town Hall Seattle Conversation

June 24: Opinion, “Rosetta Stone Urbanism,” Book Brunch,

June 27: Interview, BBC Radio Bristol, by Steve Yabsley, at 2:21:26 (if expired, contact us for an alternate link)

June 28: Interview, BBC Radio Guernsey, by Claire Cathcart, at 3:17:55 (if expired, contact us for an alternate link)

July 1: Book Launch Event/Round Table, ISUF (International Seminar on Urban Form) 28, Glasgow,; session at (four panelists)

July 1: Interview, BBC Radio London, by Robert Elms, at 3:09:18 (if expired, contact us for an alternate link)

July 5: Feature in Next City, “LEARN-ing to Sustain a City’s Culture and Character,”

July 13: Congress for the New Urbanism “On the Park Bench” Author’s Forum on Urbanism webinar/book presentation and interview;

July 27 (online version July 30): Feature in Big Issue North, “Why Don’t We Just… Listen to What Cities Say?”

August 5: Comment/Review in Crosscut (Seattle) by Knute Berger, “To solve the city’s biggest problems, the city needs to think small”

August 26: Lead feature in the Journal of the Academy of Urbanism (UK), Here and Now, “Why Don’t We Just… Listen to What Cities Say?”

September 26: Review in TreeHugger, by Lloyd Alter, “Are Context Cities the New Smart Cities?”

October 12: Bristol Ideas, Festival of the Future City Discussion with George Ferguson and Chuck Wolfe, “How do You Create and Sustain a City’s Unique Culture and Character?” via Crowdcast,

January 2022: Review in Choice, the book review journal of the Association of College and Research Libraries:

“Sensitive to the global forces precipitating urban change, Wolfe and Haas use the tools of observation, photography, and interviews to examine urban sustainability, particularly the unique character, history, and essential nature of urban places. The authors are broadly experienced in their subject…. [S]ubstantive, illuminating, and richly illustrated…this volume is a primer on how to redesign urban space while remaining sensitive to its modern, global niche and vigilant in preserving its culture, history, and authenticity. Almost methodically, using rich photographic evidence, the authors prescriptively detail the importance of urban context and historical character, chapter by chapter. The book might be effective in certain upper-level urban studies or urban design programs. Recommended.”

February 11, 2022: Keynote Address, “LEARNing the City in Transformative Times,” Kamla Raheja Memorial Lecture Series 2022, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidihi Institute for Memorial Studies, Mumbai, India, via Facebook Live and YouTube,


A review in the Council on Tall Buildings and Sustainable Habitats Journal,

A CLE Presentation/Panel for Section on State and Local Government Law, American Bar Association

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