New And Notable: All Roads Lead To Congress, Green Metropolis & Innovating For Sustainability

We wanted to take a few moments to again discuss some of our more interesting recent acquisitions here at the Metro Transportation Library.

The legislative process can seem mechanical and dry While learning procedures like the markup or cloture. What students of the political process hunger for, and greatly benefit from, is seeing lawmaking from the inside the backroom politics that makes the process so fascinating, so real, so compelling.

All Roads Lead To Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding drives students through one piece of legislation: The Surface Transportation Bill. The book explains the maneuvering and negotiating that go on amongst members of Congress and their staffers as they haggle over a huge pot of money.

The Bill provides an example of both sides of the domestic legislative coin, as members of Congress formulating the bill fight over both policy issues (mostly along party lines) and money (mostly along regional lines).

While working on the Hill, authors Costas Panagopoulos and Joshua Schank were able to follow the path of this legislation from inception to law, observing firsthand the twists and turns of its journey. While filled with details and dialogue reminiscent of a good novel, All Roads Lead To Congress is sure to explain the various rules that structure legislation, the leadership styles and strategies at play, the tensions among levels of government, and the impact of the executive.

New York City is a model of sustainability: its extreme density and compactness — and horrifically congested traffic — encourage a car-free lifestyle centered on walking and public transit. Its massive apartment buildings use the heat escaping from one dwelling to warm the ones adjoining it. As a result, New Yorkers’ per capita greenhouse gas emissions are less than a third of the average American’s.

In Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, And Driving Less Are The Keys To Sustainability, author David Owen attacks the powerful anti-urban bias of American environmentalists like Michael Pollan and Amory Lovins, whose rurally situated, auto-dependent Rocky Mountain Institute he paints as an ecological disaster area.

The environmental movement’s disdain for cities and fetishization of open space, backyard compost heaps, locavorism and high-tech gadgetry like solar panels and triple-paned windows is, he warns, a formula for wasteful sprawl and green-washed consumerism. Owen’s lucid, biting prose crackles with striking facts that yield paradigm-shifting insights. The result is a compelling analysis of the world’s environmental predicament that upends orthodox opinion and points the way to practical solutions.

One of the challenges met by green entrepreneurs and product developers who have tried to develop more sustainable products is that efforts to have better products in environmental terms do not always translate into effective business cases.

Innovating For Sustainability: Green Entrepreneurship In Personal Mobility strives for a better understanding of the implications of environmental issues in new product development.

Through an empirical study in the human powered vehicle sector, author Luca Berchicci examines how and to what extent the environmental ambition of product developers and managers influences the way new products and services are developed. The understanding of this phenomenon is particularly important since managers are encouraged and/or motivated to undertake environmental new product development projects.

From the descriptions and analyses of the two cases study Luca Berchicci suggests that a high level of environmental ambition increases the complexity of the product innovation process. Moreover, a high level of environmental ambition may hamper a product innovation process because it may lead the developers away from the market that their product is to serve. Accordingly, this book attempts to explain and predict how environmental ambition influences new product development processes. This claim provides a theoretical contribution to existing research in both product innovation and green product innovation. Moreover, this book (part of the Routledge Studies in Innovation, Organization, and Technology series) provides an original and deep insight on the diverse facets of greening.