Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect
Author: Robert J. Sampson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Social Science
For over fifty years numerous public intellectuals and social theorists have insisted that community is dead. Some would have us believe that we act solely as individuals choosing our own fates regardless of our surroundings, while other theories place us at the mercy of global forces beyond our control. These two perspectives dominate contemporary views of society, but by rejecting the importance of place they are both deeply flawed. Based on one of the most ambitious studies in the history of social science, Great American City argues that communities still matter because life is decisively shaped by where you live. To demonstrate the powerfully enduring impact of place, Robert J. Sampson presents here the fruits of over a decade’s research in Chicago combined with his own unique personal observations about life in the city, from Cabrini Green to Trump Tower and Millennium Park to the Robert Taylor Homes. He discovers that neighborhoods influence a remarkably wide variety of social phenomena, including crime, health, civic engagement, home foreclosures, teen births, altruism, leadership networks, and immigration. Even national crises cannot halt the impact of place, Sampson finds, as he analyzes the consequences of the Great Recession and its aftermath, bringing his magisterial study up to the fall of 2010. Following in the influential tradition of the Chicago School of urban studies but updated for the twenty-first century, Great American City is at once a landmark research project, a commanding argument for a new theory of social life, and the story of an iconic city.
Author: Jane Jacobs
Category: Social Science
Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.
Author: Jane Jacobs
In The Death and Life of Great American Cities durchleuchtet Jane Jacobs 1961 die fragwürdigen Methoden der Stadtplanung und Stadtsanierung in Amerika, der "New Yorker" nannte es das unkonventionellste und provozierendste Buch über Städtebau seit langem. Die deutsche Ausgabe wurde schnell auch im deutschsprachigem Raum zu einer viel gelesenen und diskutierten Lektüre. Sie ist jetzt wieder in einem Nachdruck zugänglich, mit einem Vorwort von Gerd Albers (1993), das nach der Aktualität dieser Streitschrift fragt.
How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Author: Martin Fuller
Publisher: CRC Press
Despite having no formal training in urban planning, Jane Jacobs deftly explores the strengths and weaknesses of policy arguments put forward by American urban planners in the era after World War II. They believed that the efficient movement of cars was of more value in the development of US cities than the everyday lives of the people living there. By carefully examining their relevance in her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs dismantles these arguments by highlighting their shortsightedness. She evaluates the information to hand and comes to a very different conclusion, that urban planners ruin great cities, because they don't understand that it is a city's social interaction that makes it great. Proposals and policies that are drawn from planning theory do not consider the social dynamics of city life. They are in thrall to futuristic fantasies of a modern way of living that bears no relation to reality, or to the desires of real people living in real spaces. Professionals lobby for separation and standardization, splitting commercial, residential, industrial, and cultural spaces. But a truly visionary approach to urban planning should incorporate spaces with mixed uses, together with short, walkable blocks, large concentrations of people, and a mix of new and old buildings. This creates true urban vitality.
The Making and Breaking of a Great American City
Author: Ross Miller
A hard-hitting study of how ambition and greed are leading our cities to disaster. Before there was a Ground Zero in New York City, Block 37 was a giant hole in the heart of a great American city. In 1990, Chicago's Block 37 (as a key part of a 27 acre urban renewal project) was razed to the ground. After the expenditure of nearly $250 million of public and private capital, nothing has been built on this once vital and densely-occupied city block. This stubborn vacancy at the center of Chicago's historic downtown eerily presaged the post 9/11 wasteland in Lower Manhattan. In a new critical introduction, Ross Miller makes the historical and political connections necessary to understand how modern city planning and redevelopment really works. By exploring one American urban block in meticulous detail, Miller clarifies the opaque process that continually breaks and remakes our most vital cities. Here's the Deal is a thrilling true-life story of back room deals and political promises. Told throughout with the scrupulousness of serious scholarship and the excitement of a novel, Here's the Deal is already considered a modern classic of urban literature.
Author: Lydia Voigt,Dee Wood Harper,William E. Thornton
Category: Social Science
Author: Rick Sapp,Brian Solomon
Publisher: Firefly Books Limited
Illustrates the transformation of American and Canadian cities in the last century with photographs and descriptions of the important structures present during each shot.
An Intimate Look at a Great American City
Author: Bradford Frost,Annmarie Erickson,Detroit Institute of Arts
Publisher: Painted Turtle
Through a unique partnership model with forty-five community organizations, the Detroit Institute of Arts' 2012 community photography project Reveal Your Detroit offered Detroit residents the chance to respond to the Museum's contemporary photography exhibition Detroit Revealed: Photographs 2000-2010. Using disposable cameras, each participant captured people, places, and things that make their lives in Detroit distinctive, inspired by the questions "what does your Detroit look like?" and "how do you want others to see it?". In the final display, over 2,300 images rotated across 60 digital photo frames, from a selection of over 10,000 submitted. For this volume, author Bradford Frost selected 192 images from the exhibit to showcase the perspectives of hundreds of residents and the places they presented, from the gritty to the sublime. Reveal Your Detroit is composed of two main sections—The Authentic City and Detroit's Vital Transformation—photo essays that evoke Detroit's spirited resolve and response to the dominant imagery of the city in decline. Photographers visit favorite Detroit sites like Eastern Market, the Detroit Riverfront, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Comerica Park, Michigan Central Station, and the Fox Theater; but they also highlight lesser known spots, like the cobblestone streets of West Canfield in Midtown, Hostel Detroit in Corktown, and the Central Business District Community Garden Downtown. Photos highlight Detroit's vibrant street and folk art, the diversity of the city's natural environment, and the vitality of residents and businesses in a range of city neighborhoods. The participating community groups are introduced in short text sections throughout the book and credited in the captions of each photo they submitted. Frost concludes with a personal section containing snapshots of a few of his own Detroit highlights. Reveal Your Detroit is not only a beautiful gift book and record of a transforming American city, it is also a testament to the possibilities of creative partnership between grassroots organizations and larger cultural institutions. Anyone with roots in Detroit or an interest in community-based art will appreciate the multilayered picture created by Reveal Your Detroit.
Urban Life in the Age of Atlantic Capitalism
Author: Jay Kinsbruner
Publisher: University of Texas Press
The colonial Spanish-American city, like its counterpart across the Atlantic, was an outgrowth of commercial enterprise. A center of entrepreneurial activity and wealth, it drew people seeking a better life, with more educational, occupational, commercial, bureaucratic, and marital possibilities than were available in the rural regions of the Spanish colonies. Indeed, the Spanish-American city represented hope and opportunity, although not for everyone. In this authoritative work, Jay Kinsbruner draws on many sources to offer the first history and interpretation in English of the colonial Spanish-American city. After an overview of pre-Columbian cities, he devotes chapters to many important aspects of the colonial city, including its governance and administrative structure, physical form, economy, and social and family life. Kinsbruner's overarching thesis is that the Spanish-American city evolved as a circumstance of trans-Atlantic capitalism. Underpinning this thesis is his view that there were no plebeians in the colonial city. He calls for a class interpretation, with an emphasis on the lower-middle class. His study also explores the active roles of women, many of them heads of households, in the colonial Spanish-American city.
Author: Alan Ehrenhalt
Category: Political Science
In The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City we travel the nation with Alan Ehrenhalt, one of our leading urbanists, as he explains how America’s cities are changing, what makes them succeed or fail, and what this means for our future. Just a couple of decades ago, we took it for granted that inner cities were the preserve of immigrants and the poor, and that suburbs were the chosen destination of those who could afford them. Today, a demographic inversion is taking place: Central cities increasingly are where the affluent want to live, while suburbs are becoming home to poorer people and those who come to America from other parts of the world. Highly educated members of the emerging millennial generation are showing a decided preference for urban life and are being joined in many places by a new class of affluent retirees. Ehrenhalt shows us how the commercial canyons of lower Manhattan are becoming residential neighborhoods, and how mass transit has revitalized inner-city communities in Chicago and Brooklyn. He explains why car-dominated cities like Phoenix and Charlotte have sought to build twenty-first-century downtowns from scratch, while sprawling postwar suburbs are seeking to attract young people with their own form of urbanized experience. The Great Inversion is an eye-opening and thoroughly engaging look at our urban society and its future. From the Hardcover edition.
Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City
Author: Jed Horne
Publisher: Random House
Category: Social Science
Hurricane Katrina shredded one of the great cities of the South, and as levees failed and the federal relief effort proved lethally incompetent, a natural disaster became a man-made catastrophe. As an editor of New Orleans’ daily newspaper, the Pulitzer Prize—winning Times-Picayune, Jed Horne has had a front-row seat to the unfolding drama of the city’s collapse into chaos and its continuing struggle to survive. As the Big One bore down, New Orleanians rich and poor, black and white, lurched from giddy revelry to mandatory evacuation. The thousands who couldn’t or wouldn’t leave initially congratulated themselves on once again riding out the storm. But then the unimaginable happened: Within a day 80 percent of the city was under water. The rising tides chased horrified men and women into snake-filled attics and onto the roofs of their houses. Heroes in swamp boats and helicopters braved wind and storm surge to bring survivors to dry ground. Mansions and shacks alike were swept away, and then a tidal wave of lawlessness inundated the Big Easy. Screams and gunshots echoed through the blacked-out Superdome. Police threw away their badges and joined in the looting. Corpses drifted in the streets for days, and buildings marinated for weeks in a witches’ brew of toxic chemicals that, when the floodwaters finally were pumped out, had turned vast reaches of the city into a ghost town. Horne takes readers into the private worlds and inner thoughts of storm victims from all walks of life to weave a tapestry as intricate and vivid as the city itself. Politicians, thieves, nurses, urban visionaries, grieving mothers, entrepreneurs with an eye for quick profit at public expense–all of these lives collide in a chronicle that is harrowing, angry, and often slyly ironic. Even before stranded survivors had been plucked from their roofs, government officials embarked on a vicious blame game that further snarled the relief operation and bedeviled scientists striving to understand the massive levee failures and build New Orleans a foolproof flood defense. As Horne makes clear, this shameless politicization set the tone for the ongoing reconstruction effort, which has been haunted by racial and class tensions from the start. Katrina was a catastrophe deeply rooted in the politics and culture of the city that care forgot and of a nation that forgot to care. In Breach of Faith, Jed Horne has created a spellbinding epic of one of the worst disasters of our time. From the Hardcover edition.
Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City
Author: Robert W. Snyder
Publisher: Cornell University Press
In the 1970s, when the South Bronx burned and the promise of New Deal New York and postwar America gave way to despair, the people of Washington Heights at the northern tip of Manhattan were increasingly vulnerable. The Heights had long been a neighborhood where generations of newcomers—Irish, Jewish, Greek, African American, Cuban, and Puerto Rican—carved out better lives in their adopted city. But as New York City shifted from an industrial base to a service economy, new immigrants from the Dominican Republic struggled to gain a foothold. Then the crack epidemic of the 1980s and the drug wars sent Washington Heights to the brink of an urban nightmare. But it did not go over the edge. Robert W. Snyder's Crossing Broadway tells how disparate groups overcame their mutual suspicions to rehabilitate housing, build new schools, restore parks, and work with the police to bring safety to streets racked by crime and fear. It shows how a neighborhood once nicknamed "Frankfurt on the Hudson" for its large population of German Jews became “Quisqueya Heights”—the home of the nation’s largest Dominican community. The story of Washington Heights illuminates New York City’s long passage from the Great Depression and World War II through the urban crisis to the globalization and economic inequality of the twenty-first century. Washington Heights residents played crucial roles in saving their neighborhood, but its future as a home for working-class and middle-class people is by no means assured. The growing gap between rich and poor in contemporary New York puts new pressure on the Heights as more affluent newcomers move into buildings that once sustained generations of wage earners and the owners of small businesses. Crossing Broadway is based on historical research, reporting, and oral histories. Its narrative is powered by the stories of real people whose lives illuminate what was won and lost in northern Manhattan’s journey from the past to the present. A tribute to a great American neighborhood, this book shows how residents learned to cross Broadway—over the decades a boundary that has separated black and white, Jews and Irish, Dominican-born and American-born—and make common cause in pursuit of one of the most precious rights: the right to make a home and build a better life in New York City.
Creating the Green Metropolis
Author: Matt Slavin
Publisher: Island Press
Highlights how America's largest cities are acting to develop sustainable solutions to conflicts between development and environment. Specifically designed for undergraduate and graduate courses in sustainability, this book provides empirically based, multidisciplinary case studies of sustainability policy, planning, and practice in action.
The Life and Times of an American City
Author: C. L. Sonnichsen
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
A history of Tucson, Arizona, traces the development of this great southwestern city from its beginning as a mud village in northern Mexico two centuries ago to its emergence as an American metropolis.