Land Use Summer Reading List

Jason Miner

If you are taking off in July or August, three books hitting the shelves this summer may give you a deeper appreciation for the work of land use planning in Oregon.
First, The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck revisits the trail, navigating it in a covered wagon. Whether your family came in a prairie schooner or watched the prairie schooners arrive, the book is a modern journey that casts light on the history of the trail. Perhaps the struggle that underlay this journey led to a different appreciation of land, and that different appreciation led to land use legislation a century later.
Move by Rossabeth Moss Kantor brings a wonky word – infrastructure – to life. Cities across the country are returning to vitality, but lurking under that vitality are aging roads, bridges, tunnels, and trails. Her call for investment in transit and sidewalks is one that 1000 Friends echoes in cities from Baker to Beaverton.
Last, A Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks describes a rural landscape and lifestyle far from the Pacific Northwest. Rebanks hails form a multi-generational farm family and tells the story of his return to the farm after attending Oxford. He doesn’t glamorize farm life or the hardships of rural places. Instead, he pens a narrative that shows the value of farms, farming, and the families that call them home.