An accessible yet thorough explanation of the qualities that make pedestrian plazas/malls work. Also includes a discussion of why so many pedestrian malls failed in the US.
A powerful report, with plenty of examples and visuals, explaining the principles behind placemaking: That process should be valued over product.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities (link)
Jane Jacobs, 1961
The book that started a new era of urban philosophy. What makes cities great places to live? Jacobs explores what makes streets safe, how neighborhoods form, and the importance of neighborhoods in the greater context of the city.