In our current moment, filled with peril and possibility, Sustainable Urbanism and Direct Action is a welcome and timely intervention that casts a needed spotlight on effective ways to be actively engaged in forging a collective future that is more just, meaningful, and sustainable.— International Journal of Communication
Benjamin Heim Shepard is an exuberant and indispensable chronicler of contemporary urban life and grassroots organizing. With this volume, he brings together the energy of the street and the nuances of theory to produce a fascinating account of how activists are contesting and redefining urbanism for our time. — L.A. Kauffman, Author of Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism
This volume is an epic and essential activist primer exploring the many current Social Movements with a serious personal investment as well as a sense of humor. Ben is not only a dedicated activist but also a scholar, historian and a very gifted writer. He tackles a huge range of issues but is able to give them a coherence and context which ultimately makes the whole greater than the parts. A celebration of the activism of everyday life!— Fly-O, Comic Book Artist and Illustrator; Peops: Portraits and Stories
How can we build and sustain community in urban neighborhoods? Ben Shepard deftly melds centuries of theory and decades of insights from seasoned activists to produce compelling answers. Shepard playfully paints vibrant portraits of potent campaigns to reclaim and remake public spaces for the common good. From mobilizations to protect affordable housing, community gardens, bike lanes, and public health, to innovative efforts to create economic and social justice for all, Shepard forges viable pathways towards a desirable 21st century. A must read for engaged scholars and activists seeking to make a sustainable urbanism.
— Ron Hayduk, Professor, San Francisco State University
In this well-written account, Benjamin Shepard shows how publics, places, and propitious moments combine to reveal the dialectical interplay between urban order and resistance. Shepard skillfully invokes the work of revolutionary thinkers and activists, such as Marx, Lukacs and Goldman to elucidate his case studies. He delivers a host of concise, colorful narratives about practicable public spaces, while relating a bigger story about the city, where contest is the requisite buy-in for personal and collective freedom.
— Anthony Maniscalco, Author of Public Spaces, Marketplaces, and the Constitution
A great read, full of hope and progress from an activist who dives deep into the struggle in the city that never sleeps. While sharing both theory and action, Shepard's book is serious fun, powerfully framed by mutual aid, the feeling of immediacy and his awareness of the effectiveness of protest.
— Wendy E. Brawer, Founding Director, Green Map System
Participate in any action in New York, and you’ll have a strong chance of coming across Benjamin Heim Shepard. For thirty years, this big, rugged, brown-haired guy with the look of a leading man has been in all the battles. He’s protested for bike lanes, community gardens, with drug users, against the pharmaceutical industry… Some people practice sports every day. Benjamin protests every day. “Every day,” he says, as if he’s delivering the secret of youth.— Mathieu Magnaudeix, U.S. Correspondent for Mediapart
Benjamin Heim Shepard is an organizer, ecologist, provocateur, theorist, and community historian -- a true trickster poly-math -- and he brings all these gifts and lenses to his latest work, Sustainable Urbanism: Case Studies in Dialectical Activism, guiding us beyond gentrification to a livable, post-carbon city.— Andrew Boyd, Beautiful Trouble Wrangler-in-Chief and Climate Clock Chief Existential Officer