We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

Rethinking the American City

An International Dialogue

Edited by Miles Orvell and Klaus Benesch. Foreword by Dolores Hayden

Publication Year: 2013

Whether struggling in the wake of postindustrial decay or reinventing themselves with new technologies and populations, cities have once again moved to the center of intellectual and political concern. Rethinking the American City brings together leading scholars from a range of disciplines to examine an array of topics that illuminate the past, present, and future of cities.

Rethinking the American City offers a lively and fascinating survey of contemporary thinking about cities in a transnational context. Utilizing an innovative format, each chapter opens with an iconic image and includes a brief and provocative essay on a single topic followed by an extended dialogue among all the essayists. Topics range from energy use, design, and digital media to transportation systems and housing to public art, urban ruins, and futurist visions. By engaging with key contemporary concerns—public and private space, sustainability, ethnic and racial divisions, and technology—this volume illuminates how global society has imagined American urban life.

Contributors: Klaus Benesch, Dolores Hayden, David M. Lubin, Malcolm McCullough, Jeffrey L. Meikle, David E. Nye, Miles Orvell, Andrew Ross, Mabel O. Wilson, Albena Yaneva.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (9.2 MB)
p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (837.4 KB)
pp. i-iv

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.4 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more

Forward

Dolores Hayden

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.1 MB)
pp. vii-x

In the past two or three decades, researchers from many academic disciplines have explored the history of the built environment, enlarging the history of architecture from the aesthetic study of individual works by well-known architects to the economic, political, social, and cultural analysis of ordinary buildings. Ordinary buildings are shaped by many...

read more

Introduction

Miles Orvell and Klaus Benesch

pdf iconDownload PDF (508.9 KB)
pp. xi-xviii

As early as 1903, the German sociologist Georg Simmel defined urban spaces as sites of increased human interdependence and interconnection, where “the relationships and concerns of the typical metropolitan resident are so manifold and complex that . . . their relationships and activities intertwine with one another into a many-membered organism.”1 To study ...

read more

1 Energy

David E. Nye

pdf iconDownload PDF (543.4 KB)
pp. 1-28

Just five moments provide a capsule history of the role of energy in American urban transportation. Imagine, first, an image of late nineteenth-century Broadway, in New York City, with parallel tracks, on one of which is an electric streetcar and on the other a horse-drawn car. The second moment is on a busy New York street corner, where cars, pedestrians, and ...

read more

2 Sustainability

Andrew Ross

pdf iconDownload PDF (538.1 KB)
pp. 29-48

The abject failure of international leaders to reach binding emission- reductions targets in 2009 at the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen, in 2010 in Cancun, and in 2011 in Durban has compounded the despair that thoughtful people now feel about the future. Even if the political obstacles to carbon policy making were to rapidly dissolve, many...

read more

3 The Multicultural City

Mabel O. Wilson

pdf iconDownload PDF (521.4 KB)
pp. 49-70

In a sixth-floor apartment of a twenty-one-story residential high-rise, my home office desktop sits in front of a ten-foot-long horizontal window that looks onto Manhattan’s scenic Riverside Drive. As I work, my gaze often shifts back and forth between layers of windows that clutter my computer screen to rustic views of Riverside Park and the Hudson River beyond. For...

read more

4 Ruins

Miles Orvell

pdf iconDownload PDF (514.7 KB)
pp. 71-92

What is a ruin? Anything in the built environment can fall into ruins: from houses to Main Street stores, from office buildings to factories, from infrastructure (railroad lines and highways) to utility plants, from gas stations to shopping centers and malls to whole cities (Detroit is the most obvious example, but also ghost towns)....

read more

5 Aesthetic Space

David M. Lubin

pdf iconDownload PDF (490.9 KB)
pp. 93-118

On a mild, spring-like morning in February 2005, I attended a brunch in New York City hosted by a friend whose rooftop apartment overlooks Central Park. We were there to witness the opening moments of an art installation by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, The Gates. At an appointed time, workers stationed along the park’s myriad footpaths unfurled hundreds ...

read more

6 Designing the City

Albena Yaneva

pdf iconDownload PDF (524.0 KB)
pp. 119-142

In 2001, I began an ethnography of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam, headed by Rem Koolhaas. Early on in my work, Rem gave me a tour of the office, and the first thing he showed me was the Whitney table. “This is the project of the extension of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. . . this is a table of...

read more

7 Mobility

Klaus Benesch

pdf iconDownload PDF (503.9 KB)
pp. 143-166

What do the Baltimore/Washington International and Chicago O’Hare Airports, California's controversial High Speed Rail, the new hub of Florence’s TAV, and the contest-winning models of Transbay Terminal in San Francisco and a new Union Station in Chicago all have in common? If juxtaposed, what are the narratives that unfold from their bold visions of...

read more

8 The Digital City

Malcolm McCollough

pdf iconDownload PDF (618.8 KB)
pp. 167-192

Urban computing has come of age.1 The era of handheld mobile computing brings situated technologies too. Today’s new phenomena of interpersonal navigation, environmental sensing, big data, and grids of smart things have implications at the scale of the city. Recent examples abound: for example, Velib and Zipcar in transportation, Foursquare and Layar...

read more

9 Future City

Jeffrey L. Meikle

pdf iconDownload PDF (534.8 KB)
pp. 193-214

Future city. The very words have a promising ring, evoking optimism and more particularly a faith in progress—whether the ever-onward-and-upward evolutionary variety of the late nineteenth century or the rational planning invoked by countless utopian visionaries during the twentieth century. Rows of skyscrapers set in healthful green space; separate zones of...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF (366.8 KB)
pp. 215-218

Miles Orvell: Let’s now spend a few minutes with some final reflections on what may have emerged as we’ve thought about things during the last two days, which feels like about two weeks, mentally, and has been quite fascinating. The talks we’ve heard have been so very different, and yet I think we’ve all sensed, at times, the coalescence...

Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF (367.5 KB)
pp. 219-222

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF (410.2 KB)
pp. 223-232

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (396.8 KB)
pp. 233-244

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF (180.3 KB)
pp. 245-246


E-ISBN-13: 9780812209013
E-ISBN-10: 081220901X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812245615
Print-ISBN-10: 081224561X

Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 10 illus.
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Architecture/Technology/Culture
Series Editor Byline: Series editors: Klaus Benesch, Jeffrey L. Meikle, David E. Nye, Miles Orvell

Research Areas

Recommend

UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • City planning -- United States -- History -- 21st century.
  • Cities and towns -- United States -- History -- 21st century.
  • Architecture and society -- United States -- History -- 21st century.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access