Island Press began with a simple idea: knowledge is power—the power to imagine a better future and find ways for getting us there. Founded in 1984, Island Press’ mission is to provide the best ideas and information to those seeking to understand and protect the environment and create solutions to its complex problems.
A Call to Action on the Housing and Climate Crises
In Gray to Green Communities, green affordable housing expert Dana Bourland argues that we need to move away from a traditional gray housing model, to a green housing model, which considers the health and well-being of residents, their communities, and the planet.
Bourland draws from her experience leading the Green Communities Program at Enterprise Community Partners, which resulted in the first standard for green affordable housing.
The book opens with the potential of green affordable housing, followed by the problems that it is helping to solve, challenges in the approach that need to be overcome, and recommendations for the future of green affordable housing. Gray to Green Communities brings together stories from the people and projects of the Green Communities’ program.
Gray to Green Communities will empower and inspire anyone interested in the future of housing and our planet.
Strategies for Tackling Wicked Problems
Solving today’s environmental and sustainability challenges requires more than expertise and technology. Effective solutions will require that we engage with other people, wrestle with difficult questions, and learn how to adapt and make confident decisions despite uncertainty. We need new approaches to leadership that empower professionals at all levels to tackle wicked problems and work towards sustainability.
Leadership for Sustainability gives readers perspective and skills for promoting creative and collaborative solutions. Blending systems thinking approaches with leadership techniques, it offers dozens of strategies and specific practices, illustrated by inspiring case studies. Readers will come away with a holistic understanding of how to lead from where they are by applying leadership principles and practices to a wide range of wicked situations.
Creating Safe Urban Habitats
How does a bird experience a city? A backyard? A park? As the world has become more urban, noisier from increased traffic, and brighter from streetlights and office buildings, it has also become more dangerous for countless species of birds. In The Bird-Friendly City, Timothy Beatley, a longtime advocate for intertwining the built and natural environments, takes readers on a global tour of cities that are reinventing the status quo with birds in mind. Efforts span a fascinating breadth of approaches: public education, urban planning and design, habitat restoration, architecture, art, civil disobedience, and more. Readers will come away motivated to implement and advocate for bird-friendly changes, drawing from inspiring examples that show it’s possible to make our urban environments more welcoming for many bird species.
Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy
In Diversifying Power, energy expert Jennie Stephens argues that the key to effectively addressing the climate crisis is diversifying leadership so that antiracist, feminist priorities are central.
Stephens examines climate and energy leadership related to job creation and economic justice, health and nutrition, and housing and transportation. She explains why we need to reclaim and restructure climate and energy systems so policies are explicitly linked to social, economic, and racial justices.
Diversifying Power shows that anyone working on issues related to energy or climate (directly or indirectly) can leverage the power of collective action. The work to shift away from an extractive, oppressive energy system has already begun. By highlighting the creative individuals and organizations making change happen, Diversifying Power provides inspiration and encourages action on climate and energy justice.
Strategies for Putting Housing Within Reach (and Keeping it There)
In The Affordable City, housing expert Shane Phillips argues that to effectively address the housing crisis, cities must support both tenant protections and housing abundance.
Phillips offers more than 50 policy recommendations addressing what he refers to as the “Three S’s” of Supply, Stability, and Subsidy. He makes a moral and economic case for why each is essential and recommendations for making them work together. He ends with a policy blueprint and concise implementation plan for each policy, including whether it should be pursued as an immediate, medium-term, or long-term priority.
The Affordable City is an essential tool for professional city planners, policymakers, public officials, and advocates working to improve affordability and increase community resilience through local action.
Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America
In Right of Way, journalist Angie Schmitt shows that pedestrian traffic deaths are not unavoidable “accidents,” They are predictable, occurring in stark geographic patterns that tell a story about systemic inequality. These deaths are the forgotten faces of an increasingly urgent public health crisis that we have the tools, but not the will, to solve.
Schmitt examines the increase in pedestrian deaths in the US as well as programs and movements that are beginning to respond to the epidemic. Right of Way is a call to reframe the problem, acknowledge the role of racism and classism in the public response to these deaths, and energize advocacy around road safety.
Right of Way unveils a crisis that is rooted in both inequality and the undeterred reign of the automobile in our cities. It challenges us to imagine and demand safer and more equitable cities, where no one is expendable.
Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves
Interdisciplinary in nature, Planetary Health explores how accelerating environmental change affects each dimension of human health. It then turns to the rich terrain of solutions, reimagining our cities, our food systems, our energy sector, the chemicals we use, even our economics and our ethics. The result is a comprehensive and optimistic introduction to a field that is being adopted by researchers and universities around the world.
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