In this Book

Reclaiming American Cities
buy this book Buy This Book in Print
summary
For most of the past century, urban America was dominated by top-down policies serving the white business and cultural elite, the suburbs, and the automobile. At times these approaches were fiercely challenged by reformers such as Jane Addams and Jane Jacobs. Yet by the 1980s, mainstream policies had resulted in a nation of ravaged central cities, sprawling suburbs, social and economic polarization, and incalculable environmental damage. In the 1990s, this entrenched model finally yielded to change as local citizens, neighborhood groups, and other stakeholders, empowered by a spate of new laws and policies, began asserting their own needs and priorities. Though hampered by fiscal crises and internal disagreements, these popular initiatives launched what the author terms a new era of “humane urbanism” marked by a determination to make cities and suburbs greener, healthier, safer, more equitable, more efficient, and generally more people-friendly. In the process, the mayors, architects, engineers, and bureaucrats who had previously dominated urban policy found themselves relegated to supporting roles. As Rutherford H. Platt points out, humane urbanism can take many forms, from affordable housing and networks of bike paths to refurbished waterfronts and urban farms. Often spontaneous, low-tech, and self-sustaining programs, their shared goal is to connect people to one another and to bring nature back into the city. Reclaiming American Cities examines both sides of this historic transformation: the long struggle against patricians and technocrats of earlier decades and the recent sprouting of grassroots efforts to make metropolitan America more humane and sustainable.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xiv
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction: A Train Journey into the Past and Future
  2. pp. 1-10
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part I: The Patrician Decades, 1900-1940
  2. pp. 11-14
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. American Cities in 1900: A Patchwork of Silk and Rags
  2. pp. 15-31
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. Competing Visions in the Progressive Era
  2. pp. 32-60
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part II: The Technocrat Decades, 1945-1990
  2. pp. 61-66
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. The Central City Renewal Engine
  2. pp. 67-96
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. The Suburban Sprawl Engine
  2. pp. 97-114
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. Battling the Bulldozer: The Indiana Dunes and Other Sacred Places
  2. pp. 115-130
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. Legacies of Sprawl: A Witch's Brew
  2. pp. 131-152
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part III: The (More) Humane Decades, 1990-Present
  2. pp. 153-156
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 7. Replanting Urbanism in the 1990s: A Garden of Acronyms
  2. pp. 157-188
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 8. New Age "Central Parks": Two Grand Slams and a Single
  2. pp. 189-202
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 9. Reclaiming Urban Waterways: One Stream at a Time
  2. pp. 203-222
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 10. Humane Urbanism at Ground Level
  2. pp. 223-248
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 249-250
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 251-284
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Further Reading
  2. pp. 285-286
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 287-299
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Back Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.