Literary Review of Canada
Directing the many moving parts of a great city
NOVÆ RES URBIS Toronto
The timing of Perfect City is, well, perfect. With Toronto in the cross-hairs of Premier Doug Ford, this book is a survival guide for those who give a damn about cities and realize their vital importance to the economy and society.
Praise for Perfect City
Pico Iyer - essayist
"As a lifelong observer of cities, I couldn't stop devouring--and learning from--Joe Berridge's uncommonly eye-opening and enjoyable account. He mixes impressions with facts, a lifetime's worth of knowledge with a constantly fresh eye and pen so that the book is at once a delight and an illumination. It also happens to be an indispensable guide to where our global community is going."
Richard Florida, University of Toronto, Author Rise of the Creative Class
“There is nobody better to help us build a more perfect city than Joe Berridge. Based on decades of experience and hands-on work in cities across the world, his book is the playbook for building great cities. Read it if you want to help build a great city or just live in one that is more perfect for you.”
Dame Alison Nimmo
“This book is a love story of cities. It is so well observed -- the places, the people, the history and what the future holds. Joe tells a very personal and beautifully written story direct from the front line. An absolute must read for everyone who cares about, and wants to understand, what makes cities and their citizens tick.”
Sir Howard Bernstein, former Chief Executive of Manchester City Council.
“Joe Berridge is one of few people I have worked with who understands place – what makes a place work and what makes it successful and, crucially, how the people who live and work in it can prosper. His analysis is essential reading at a time all places are striving to be successful and to support people to achieve their full potential.”
Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council
“Cities need to continually evolve to meet the demands of the future. There is both a distinctiveness (from the past) and a similarity to the challenges ahead for cities. We should and can learn from each other. Joe Berridge’s book helps us to experience the cities that he and his team have worked in but, more than that, they have taken the time to get under the skin of these places and their people and to bring it all to life for us.” –
Dan Doctoroff, Sidewalk Labs
“Each city has its own DNA. In Perfect City, Joe Berridge expertly demonstrates, with the love and deep knowledge of cities that one of the great urban planners brings to bear, how cities can capitalize on their unique strengths and plan around their weaknesses to be the best they possibly can be."
Graham Fraser – journalist and former Commissioner of Official Languages
‘Your book is wonderful. I loved it. I zipped through it in almost à sitting; having bought it yesterday, I finished it today. I was delighted by your argument about immigration and urban vitality— and your nuanced view of Toronto’s accidental success and systemic failures.’
Jason Thorne, Chief Planner, Hamilton ON
I just finished reading Perfect City by @joe_berridge. A brilliant book. For anyone who plans cities, loves cities, thinks about the future of cities, or wants to build better cities, this is a must-readThe Moses-Jacobs tension was definitely one of my favourite themes in the book. As was the “blob” of bureaucracy, which admittedly made me cringe just a wee bit!
Mayor Fred Eisenburger, Hamilton
Joe is one of my planning hero’s and definitely has some insight on how and why city can and should be shaped and by whom!
Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner, City of Toronto
(‘Perfect City’)Was my July subway read. I heard Joe’s voice as I read it. Loved the Moses/Jacobs evaluative tension.