By Sarah Bell
Urban communities in the United States have a rich history of resistance and renewal in the face of powerful interests and political indifference. From the Ground Up is a timely contribution to the literature documenting how citizens are able to shape their cities to make them more liveable, safe and just. It is a casebook of projects and movements to improve local environments and communities in US cities. 12 case studies from 9 cities tell stories of how cities in the US are being reimagined and remade as places where people and nature can thrive and be better prepared for the shocks and stresses of climate change, environmental degradation and economic uncertainty. The book is intended as a ‘call for action’ by showcasing exemplars of progressive urban change, demonstrating how neighbourhoods and cities can be transformed to improve resilience and equality. It is beautifully written and illustrated, reflecting a care for detail and clarity that is a feature of the patient, humble nature of much of the work of the citizens, activists, public servants and professionals that it reports.