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Sustaining Cities

Urban Policies, Practices, and Perceptions

Linda Krause

Publication Year: 2012

What has happened to cities after the global economic recession? Sustaining Cities answers this question by explaining how failed governmental policies contributed to urban problems and offering best practices for solving them.From social scientists and urban planners to architects and literary and film critics, the authors of this unique collection suggest real responses to this crisis. Could the drastic declines in housing markets have been avoided? Yes, if we reframe our housing values. Do you want to attract corporate investment to your town? You might want to think twice about doing so. The extinction of the “Celtic Tiger” may be charted in statistics, but the response in popular Irish mystery novels is much more compelling. China, while not immune to market vicissitudes, still booms, but at a considerable cost to its urban identities.Whether constructing a sustainable social framework for Mexican mega-cities or a neighborhood in London, these nine essays consider some strikingly similar strategies. And perhaps, as the contributors suggest, it’s time to look beyond the usual boundaries of urban, suburban, and exurban to forge new links among these communities that will benefit all citizens. Accessible to anyone with an interest in how cities cope today, Sustaining Cities presents a cautionary tale with a hopeful ending.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Series: New Directions in International Studies

Title Series Information

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. vii

This volume would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of many individuals. In April 2009 Patrice Petro and I organized an international conference, “Sustaining Cities: Urban Lost and Found,” which was held at the University of...

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pp. 1-10

In one of my favorite Gary Larson cartoons, a distant mushroom cloud looms and cars jam the street as people flee the conflagration. Unfazed, a dog focuses on what’s in front of his nose. “And then Jake saw something that captured his attention.” From my...

Part I. Urban Politics: Market Rules

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pp. 11

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Sustainable City: Crisis and Opportunity in Mexico

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pp. 13-24

During the last two or three decades, urban theories mainly have been directed toward analyzing the impact globalization has had in the territory being studied, and highlighting issues of squatter settlements, urban poverty, and environmental deterioration. As has...

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Hostage Cities: Unsustainable Competition for Corporate Investment

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pp. 25-42

Upping the ante are major employers like Manpower, GE Healthcare, and Astronautics that can threaten to relocate and then play places against each other. The winning locality gets the company, certainly, but the competitive pressures hike up the price...

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3. Reframing Housing Value

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pp. 43-60

Housing is fundamental to sustaining the quality of our cities: how we conceive, craft, conserve, and transform our residential communities shapes the health and vitality of our civic realm. Yet how we characterize and value housing in this country has been parochial...

Part II. Urban Practices: Connecting Communities

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pp. 61

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4. Notes Toward a History of Agrarian Urbanism

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pp. 63-75

The agrarian and the urban are two categories of thought that have more often than not been opposed to one another. Across many disciplines, and for many centuries, the city and the country have been called upon to define each other through a binary opposition...

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5. The Art of Place-Making

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pp. 76-94

Many people today, throughout the world, seem to feel that any place, be it city or neighborhood, should have its own distinctive character, its own place identity. In an ever globalizing world, once regionally inflected built form—the kind of environment that...

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Beyond Boundaries

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pp. 95-108

Andrea Kahn, in “Defining Urban Sites,” contrasts the urban boundary conditions of a sixteenth-century sketch of Milan by Leonardo da Vinci to an historical eighteenth-century plan depicting an ideal Renaissance plan of Palmanuova. The Renaissance plan...

Part III. Urban Perceptions: Tigers, Tricksters, and Other Urban Legends

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pp. 109

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7. Chinese Cities: Design and Disappearance

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pp. 111-121

As a way of “envisioning the urban,” let us, first, list six characteristics of the Chinese city today found almost everywhere. The first characteristic is a certain operatic quality. In the Chinese Sichuan Opera, there is a secret technique known as “changing face,” or...

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8. From "The Dead" to the Dead: The Disposable Bodies and Disposable Culture of Celtic Tiger Noir

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pp. 122-134

Detective Carl McCadden is a lonely man. His wife has just left him. “‘I felt like a case you’d solved,’” she explains. “‘I was interesting once. Years ago.’” McCadden’s mood is black. He’s “calmly, almost contentedly, waiting to hit the bottom.” It is in the midst of this...

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9. Imagining and Reimagining a Promised Land: the Gangster Genre and Harlem's Mystic Past, Present, and Future

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pp. 135-153

In the opening scene of Ridley Scott’s American Gangster (2007), crime boss Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson takes his protégé, Frank Lucas, to a newly opened big-box electronics store on 125th Street. Johnson uses the occasion to bemoan the changes in the community...

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 155-158


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pp. 159-167

E-ISBN-13: 9780813554174
E-ISBN-10: 0813554179
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813554167
Print-ISBN-10: 0813554160

Page Count: 176
Illustrations: 9 photographs 3 figures
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: New Directions in International Studies