~ Richard Florida, author, The Rise of the Creative Class;

Professor, University of Toronto and NYU;

co-founder and Editor-at-Large, The Atlantic Cities

“People Habitat promises to give us 25 ways to look at greener, healthier cities, but as anyone who has read one of Kaid Benfield's books, articles, or blog posts knows, he delivers at least that many insights on every page. He doesn't just love cities – he gets them, in all their social, demographic, economic, and almost always paradoxical and volatile complexity.”
















~ “Thoroughly Enjoyable and Scholarly Read,”
by Jane Lafleur, Executive Director, Friends of Midcoast Maine

“I must say I could not put it down and I completed it in one day. The writing is clear, articulate and thoughtful. I kept asking myself if I was enjoying it so much because I enjoy the way Benfield thinks and expresses himself or because it was personal, scholarly, and so genuinely fun to read about the topics I care so very much about. It is both, of course. I hope everyone takes the time to read this book, from the layperson to the planning student to the old time planner, lawyer, advocate, place-maker or architect who thinks he or she knows it all.”


~ Hon. Parris N. Glendening, President, Governors’ Institute on Community Design;

governor of Maryland, 1995-2003


“Kaid Benfield’s writings about the shape and strength of our communities constantly challenge readers to think about issues and problems in new ways.  He correctly reminds us that ‘green’ is not always green, ‘sustainable’ is often not, and ‘smart growth’ is more than a tag to be hung on a new project like a sales ticket.”

~ Lloyd Alter, Managing Editor, Treehugger.com


“Kaid Benfield, like Jane Jacobs, is a talented writer who isn't burdened by preconceptions or jargon, who can explain the ideas of others or express his own in a style that is accessible and comprehensible.  These 25 essays are not just about cities; they are about making sense of the way we live.”

~ Hon. John O. Norquist, President, Congress for the New Urbanism;

mayor of Milwaukee, 1988-2004;

author, The Wealth of Cities


“Kaid Benfield, an environmentalist who loves cities, exposes the phoniness of claiming ‘green’ status for buildings that can only be reached by car.  If you love cities, you'll love Kaid's book.”

~ Keith Laughlin, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

“I strongly encourage anyone with even a passing interest in the quality of the place where they live to read Kaid Benfield's writing.  His framing of the ecology of ‘people habitat’ is immensely useful in celebrating how an enormous number of small actions to create healthier local places can contribute to a healthier planet.”

~ Douglas Kelbaugh, Professor and Dean Emeritus of Architecture and Urban Planning,

University of Michigan

“Environmentalist Kaid Benfield clearly explains how dense cities, if done right, are a friend not an enemy of nature.  I always have my students read a blog or two of his on walkable, mixed use, transit-rich, livable, healthy and lovable urbanism.  People Habitat finally gathers his insightful writings into its own dense little city of ideas.”

~ Stephen A. Mouzon, author, The Original Green: Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability

“Kaid Benfield distills the true essence of a broad range of city-building and sustainability issues more often and more capably than almost anyone else I've ever read.  Many authors write because they’re hoping to change things for the better, and it’s easy to explode into shouting and fist-pounding when all is not well in the world.  Kaid, however, keeps it positive better than anyone else I read, repeatedly pointing out places and principles done well, and higher ideals to which we should aspire.”

~ Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president and CEO, American Society of Landscape Architects

“After reading this book, you’ll know why Kaid Benfield is one of the nation’s leading thinkers regarding the future of America’s urban cores. Together, these writings offer a ‘greenprint’ for both development and redevelopment of our cities that can help mayors, city planners, and all informed urbanites shape the future for the better.”

~ Treehugger.com, “A must read for anyone who cares about cities,” by Lloyd Alter

“Planning jargon and archispeak don't cross Kaid Benfield's lips.  It's all just great photographs, a first person conversational style, and a serious dose of common sense, something that is often lacking in our discussions of building sustainable cities.  For me, reading this book was like sitting around a fire talking about city life with an old friend. If you have not read Kaid before, he will quickly feel like an old friend, talking directly from and to the heart, getting to the essence of what makes places that we love and what we can do to make more places like them.”

~ MZStrategies.com, “Finding Planning Inspiration on a Cold Winter Night,” by Mariia Zimmerman

“The book, a collection of 25 essays from one of America’s best urban thinkers, combines wit, pop culture, idealism and technical insights to create a thought-provoking, soul-searching and inspiring look at environmental urbanism, smart growth, urban design and architecture.”

~ The Dirt (American Society of Landscape Architects),
“Loveable Places Are Sustainable,” by Jared Green

“Unlike other environmentalists, Benfield sees cities, and, really, the greater metropolitan regions in which cities sit, as a huge piece of the answer. Cities were once viewed as a place to escape from. Suburbs were the answer to oppressive social and environmental conditions. Today mayors and planners increasingly understand that if we want people to live in denser, more sustainable communities, they must have green spaces, be well-designed, trick-o-treater-friendly, and lovable . . . The essay, ‘Cities Need Nature,’ which explains why green infrastructure offers so many social and ecological benefits, is worth the price of the book alone.

~ Smart Growth Maryland, “People Habitat: A Holistic Approach to 21st Century Communities,”
by David Whitaker

“Much like Jane Jacobs before him, Kaid Benfield’s writings change the way we think about our communities. With a keen eye toward urban places, he illuminates the complex and often overlooked characteristics that make up livable and healthy communities . . .


“In People Habitat, Kaid Benfield describes the foundations of healthy and livable places and offers guideposts to assist those who seek to adapt and revitalize communities. It is highly recommended reading for urbanists, planning professionals and those looking for principles to enhance their lives as well as the environments in which they live and work.”

~ “Every Community Leader Should Read This,” by Victor Dover

“I absolutely love this book. After several delightful re-reads, I’m now going to loan my copy to the mayor of our town.


People Habitat reveals what a long trek forward environmentalism has taken in recent decades: now the good guys are FOR the right kind of development of great places for people, not just against development of wilderness and farmland. Kaid Benfield feels deeply about cities and towns, and he is their genuine advocate, not merely grudgingly accepting of them.


“These essays are both very personal and fact-filled. They are argued using the same convincing blend of accessible folksiness, humility, shrewd storytelling, and unassailable data that a great litigator would employ-- not surprising given the author’s lifetime on the front lines in environmental law and policy and his pioneering role in the successful smart growth movement.”

~ “A personal, humble and entertaining look at some of our most important societal challenges,”
by John Simmerman, President & CEO, Active Towns

“In this fantastic book Mr. Benfield weaves together 25 thoughtful and thought provoking essays about our natural habitat: cities. I must admit that I found it to be an exhilarating ride as the book shifted from one topic to the next and presented perspectives from a multitude of angles. I came away in the end with both a strong feeling of hope for mankind and a sense of urgency to create great places, lovable places. I highly recommend People Habitat to anyone interested in transforming our human settlements into greener, healthier cities.”