In this Book

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Named by Newsweek magazine to its list of "Fifty Books for Our Time."

For sixteen years William Whyte walked the streets of New York and other major cities. With a group of young observers, camera and notebook in hand, he conducted pioneering studies of street life, pedestrian behavior, and city dynamics. City: Rediscovering the Center is the result of that research, a humane, often amusing view of what is staggeringly obvious about the urban environment but seemingly invisible to those responsible for planning it.

Whyte uses time-lapse photography to chart the anatomy of metropolitan congestion. Why is traffic so badly distributed on city streets? Why do New Yorkers walk so fast—and jaywalk so incorrigibly? Why aren't there more collisions on the busiest walkways? Why do people who stop to talk gravitate to the center of the pedestrian traffic stream? Why do places designed primarily for security actually worsen it? Why are public restrooms disappearing? "The city is full of vexations," Whyte avers: "Steps too steep; doors too tough to open; ledges you cannot sit on. . . . It is difficult to design an urban space so maladroitly that people will not use it, but there are many such spaces." Yet Whyte finds encouragement in the widespread rediscovery of the city center. The future is not in the suburbs, he believes, but in that center. Like a Greek agora, the city must reassert its most ancient function as a place where people come together face-to-face.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. 2-9
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. 12-17
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  1. 1 Introduction
  2. pp. 18-24
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  1. 2 The Social Life of the Street
  2. pp. 25-41
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  1. 3 Street People
  2. pp. 42-72
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  1. 4 The Skilled Pedestrian
  2. pp. 73-84
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  1. 5 The Physical Street
  2. pp. 85-95
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  1. 6 The Sensory Street
  2. pp. 96-119
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  1. 7 The Design of Spaces
  2. pp. 120-148
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  1. 8 Water, Wind, Trees, and Light
  2. pp. 149-157
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  1. 9 The Management of Spaces
  2. pp. 158-172
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  1. 10 The Undesirables
  2. pp. 173-181
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  1. 11 Carrying Capacity
  2. pp. 182-190
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  1. 12 Steps and Entrances
  2. pp. 191-209
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  1. 13 Concourses and Skyways
  2. pp. 210-222
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  1. 14 Megastructures
  2. pp. 223-238
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  1. 15 Blank Walls
  2. pp. 239-245
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  1. 16 The Rise and Fall of Incentive Zoning
  2. pp. 246-272
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  1. 17 Sun and Shadow
  2. pp. 273-283
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  1. 18 Bounce Light
  2. pp. 284-292
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  1. 19 Sun Easements
  2. pp. 293-300
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  1. 20 The Corporate Exodus
  2. pp. 301-314
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  1. 21 The Semi-Cities
  2. pp. 315-326
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  1. 22 How to Dullify Downtown
  2. pp. 327-333
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  1. 23 Tightening Up
  2. pp. 334-341
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  1. 24 The Case for Gentrification
  2. pp. 342-347
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  1. 25 Return to the Agora
  2. pp. 348-359
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  1. APPENDICES A. Digest of Open-Space Zoning Provisions in New York City
  2. pp. 360-364
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  1. B. Mandating of Retailing at Street Level
  2. pp. 365-366
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 367-383
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 384-394
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 395-403
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 404-405
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780812208344
Related ISBN
9780812220742
MARC Record
OCLC
833592932
Pages
408
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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