I have a piece in the latest issue of the American Prospect called “This Is How You’ll Get There.” It’s a review of two books: Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), by journalist Tom Vanderbilt, and Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century, by three brilliant supergeeks (two from GM’s advanced auto division; one from MIT’s Smart Cities program).

I know book reviews aren’t the most exciting genre in the world, but I quite like this one, mainly because the books kind of blew my mind. The first is about the quirks and dysfunctions of our current transportation system; the second is about the transportation system of the future. Though Reinventing the Automobile is written in dry, wonky engineer-speak, it adds up to something fairly radical. The message: building 21st century transportation means building 21st century cities.

Anyway, go read it!

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.