Winner of the Bancroft Prize
In twenty-first-century America, some cities are flourishing and others are struggling, but they all must contend with deteriorating infrastructure, economic inequality, and unaffordable housing. Cities have limited tools to address these problems, and many must rely on the private market to support the public good.
It wasn't always this way. For almost three decades after World War II, even as national policies promoted suburban sprawl, the federal government underwrote renewal efforts for cities that had suffered during the Great Depression and the war and were now bleeding residents into the suburbs. In Saving America's Cities, the prizewinning historian Lizabeth Cohen follows the career of Edward J. Logue, whose shifting approach to the urban crisis tracked the changing balance between government-funded public programs and private interests that would culminate in the neoliberal rush to privatize efforts to solve entrenched social problems. A Yale-trained lawyer, rival of Robert Moses, and sometime critic of Jane Jacobs, Logue saw renewing cities as an extension of the liberal New Deal. He worked to revive a declining New Haven, became the architect of the "New Boston" of the 1960s, and, later, led New York State's Urban Development Corporation, which built entire new towns, including Roosevelt Island in New York City.
Logue's era of urban renewal has a complicated legacy: Neighborhoods were demolished and residents dislocated, but there were also genuine successes and progressive goals. Saving America's Cities is a dramatic story of heartbreak and destruction but also of human idealism and resourcefulness, opening up possibilities for our own time.
- Great range of both riverfront and coastal promenade designs, spanning across the globe, each showcasing a unique way of resolving challenges with site adjustment, environmental factors, sustainability, and highlighting ways to improve or create better public access for a more culturally rich social cohesion between the infrastructure, community and the environment.- Many of the projects are focused on improving pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly zones within the waterfront designs.- Book features full-color photography throughout, with detailed diagrams and illustrations, key guidelines and informative text panels.Waterfronts, the unique places where land and water meet, are a finite resource, embodying the special history and character of each city. The last decades have witnessed profound changes along abandoned or underused waterfronts, bringing in new pedestrian areas, new business opportunities, and new vitality. This trend is accelerating in cities around the globe.Waterfront Promenade Design seeks to answer to the question of how we can go about rejuvenating waterfronts by promoting good landscape planning and design. In total, 34 great waterfront design practices were selected from all over the world, each with their own unique way of solving the problems posed by their allocated sites, social conditions, and public policies. All resulted in more vibrant, accessible, resilient, and culturally rich public spaces, attuned to these needs.In order to strengthen the waterfront's coherence and connection, this book pays special attention to the design of traversable space along waterfronts, ensuring that promenades are maintained as pedestrian and cyclists-friendly zones. Based on in-depth analysis, this book provides useful design and planning approaches for professionals, decision-makers, and scholars.
Urban and rural collide in this wry, inspiring memoir of a woman who turned a vacant lot in downtown Oakland into a thriving farm
Novella Carpenter loves cities-the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parents' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways: a homegrown vegetable plot as well as museums, bars, concerts, and a twenty-four-hour convenience mart mere minutes away. Especially when she moved to a ramshackle house in inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door. She closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop.
What started out as a few egg-laying chickens led to turkeys, geese, and ducks. Soon, some rabbits joined the fun, then two three-hundred-pound pigs. And no, these charming and eccentric animals weren't pets; she was a farmer, not a zookeeper. Novella was raising these animals for dinner. Novella Carpenter's corner of downtown Oakland is populated by unforgettable characters. Lana ("anal" spelled backward, she reminds us) runs a speakeasy across the street and refuses to hurt even a fly, let alone condone raising turkeys for Thanksgiving. Bobby, the homeless man who collects cars and car parts just outside the farm, is an invaluable neighborhood concierge. The turkeys, Harold and Maude, tend to escape on a daily basis to cavort with the prostitutes hanging around just off the highway nearby. Every day on this strange and beautiful farm, urban meets rural in the most surprising ways.
For anyone who has ever grown herbs on their windowsill, tomatoes on their fire escape, or obsessed over the offerings at the local farmers' market, Carpenter's story will capture your heart. And if you've ever considered leaving it all behind to become a farmer outside the city limits, or looked at the abandoned lot next door with a gleam in your eye, consider this both a cautionary tale and a full-throated call to action." Farm City" is an unforgettably charming memoir, full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmers' tips, and a great deal of heart. It is also a moving meditation on urban life versus the natural world and what we have given up to live the way we do.
The most pressing question facing the small and mid-sized cities of America's industrial heartland is how to reinvent themselves. Once-thriving communities in the Northeastern and Midwestern U. S. have decayed sharply as the high-wage manufacturing jobs that provided the foundation for their prosperity disappeared. A few larger cities had the resources to adjust, but most smaller places that relied on factory work have struggled to do so. Unless and until they find new economic roles for themselves, the small cities will continue to decline. Reinventing these smaller cities is a tall order. A few might still function as nodes of industrial production. But landing a foreign-owned auto manufacturer or a green energy plant hardly solves every problem. The new jobs will not be unionized and thus will not pay nearly as much as the positions lost. The competition among localities for high-tech and knowledge economy firms is intense. Decaying towns with poor schools and few amenities are hardly in a good position to attract the "creative-class" workers they need. Getting to the point where they can lure such companies will require extensive retooling, not just economically but in terms of their built environment, cultural character, political economy, and demographic mix. Such changes often run counter to the historical currents that defined these places as factory towns. After the Factory examines the fate of industrial small cities from a variety of angles. It includes essays from a variety of disciplines that consider the sources and character of economic growth in small cities. They delve into the history of industrial small cities, explore the strategies that some have adopted, and propose new tacks for these communities as they struggle to move forward in the twenty-first century. Together, they constitute a unique look at an important and understudied dimension of urban studies and globalization.
Large or small, America's cities have had a difficult time generating admiration, respect, or understanding. They have served the nation as sources of commerce, finance, and the arts. They have taken millions of new Americans from their point of entry and helped newcomers elevate themselves economically into the American mainstream. In recent years, the greatest of cities have become command centers of a new global economy. However, the headlines from urban America proclaim riot, decline, and despair.This book is different, it is about solutions: the breakthroughs - the indicators that can serve as models for neighborhoods, communities, and cities in the twenty-first century. In vivid, colorful, and provocative prose, authors Neal R. Peirce and Robert Guskind describe six innovative experiments in urban revitalization: the winners of the Rudy Bruner Award for Excellence in the Urban Environment. The Bruner Award recognizes and rewards innovative projects that blend empowerment, diversity, and equity with effective design, social responsibility, and economic viability.Peirce and Guskind describe the premises underlying each project, the barriers that were overcome, and the results that were achieved. They also provide the vital lessons of what made these efforts work, and lessons that stand as requirements for successful projects elsewhere: openness to innovation; decentralized decision-making; broad-based participation; empowerment of locally driven solutions. This is essential reading for students, policy-makers, planners, and all those seeking a glimpse of a future in which we can take pride in being Americans.
Virtually every city in the nation's older industrial regions, no matter its size, grapples with the challenge of unused or abandoned manufacturing facilities and other industrial sites. Local public officials, economic development practitioners, and site owners who have sought to revitalize fallow industrial properties face daunting challenges: contamination of the buildings, equipment, and surrounding land and water. Public concern about health effects from hazardous chemicals, changing environmental law, and evolving private sector development and financing priorities have made it increasingly difficult for communities to restore and reuse former manufacturing sites. This study, sponsored by the Northeast-Midwest Institute, offers analysis and practical guidance on how these blighted areas--brownfields--have been and can be brought back to life.
"Here is one of the great stories in American urban history told by a great historian. In 1949, Boston was 'a hopeless backwater, ' its skyline stunted, and its municipal government a national disgrace; by 1970 a 'New Boston' had been created, with new office buildings, new developments, and new economic dynamism. Thomas H. O'Connor, the dean of Boston historians, brings to this tale of transformation rich learning, intimate familiarity with his subject, and a lucid sometimes witty pen." - Jack Beatty, author of The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley 1874-1958 and Senior Editor, Atlantic Monthly
How can an urban community revitalize dormant empty spaces for the long term? Building Platforms explores the phenomenon of interim usage, time-limited projects that can serve as a trial run for the development of long-term solutions. Drawing from illuminating examples, the volume is a must-have for urban development.
There is endless talk about the need for an urban renaissance; can it happen in the real world? In this broad, challenging and highly engaging book, Nicholas Schoon argues that the foremost priority for regeneration is to make neighbourhoods and cities places where people with choices choose to live.
The author surveys the last two centuries of metropolitan growth and decay, analyzes the successes and failures of recent changes in urban policy and proposes a wide range of radical measures to make the renaissance a reality. Comprehensively researched, The Chosen City is a wake up call for everyone interested and involved in urban regeneration - degree students and academics, planning and housing professionals, architects, surveyors, developers and politicians. The text is illustrated with powerful black and white images from a leading national newspaper photographer.