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Cities and Sovereignty

Identity Politics in Urban Spaces

Edited by Diane E. Davis and Nora Libertun de Duren

Cities have long been associated with diversity and tolerance, but from Jerusalem to Belfast to the Basque Country, many of the most intractable conflicts of the past century have played out in urban spaces. The contributors to this interdisciplinary volume examine the interrelationships of ethnic, racial, religious, or other identity conflicts and larger battles over sovereignty and governance. Under what conditions do identity conflicts undermine the legitimacy and power of nation-states, empires, or urban authorities? Does the urban built environment play a role in remedying or exacerbating such conflicts? Employing comparative analysis, these case studies from the Middle East, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia advance our understanding of the origins and nature of urban conflict.

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Cities in the Commonwealth

Two Centuries of Urban Life in Kentucky

Allen J. Share

From the 1780s, when Louisville and Lexington were tiny clusters of houses in the wilderness, to the 1980s, when more than half of all Kentuckians live in urban areas, the growth of cities has affected nearly all aspects of life in the Commonwealth. These urban centers have led the state in economic, social, and cultural change.

Cities in the Commonwealth examines the crises that have shaped the history of Kentucky's cities and sheds light on such continuing concerns as urban competition, provision of essential services, the importance of the arts, and the struggle for racial justice.

By allowing contemporaries to tell much of the story in their own words, Allen J. Share conveys a sense of the exuberance and dynamism of urban life and thought in Kentucky.

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Cities, Sagebrush, and Solitude

Urbanization and Cultural Conflict in the Great Basin

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Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City

Somerville, MA

Overcoming a past of deteriorating homes, empty storefronts, and corrupt city administrations, Somerville, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, today proudly defines itself as a longtime immigrant city, a historically blue collar town, and a hip new urban center with a progressive city government.

In Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City, Susan Ostrander shows how beneath current high levels of engagement by Somerville residents lies a struggle about who should be the city's elected leaders and how they should conduct the city's affairs. It is a struggle waged between diverse residents--relatively new immigrants and a new middle class-trying to gain a foothold in democratic participation, and the city's political "old guard." 

Citizenship and Governance in a Changing City informs current debates about the place of immigrants in civic and political life, and the role of voluntary associations in local politics and government. In the process, Ostrander provides useful lessons for many midsize urban communities.
 

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The City as Campus

Urbanism and Higher Education in Chicago

Sharon Haar

We are witnessing an explosion of universities and campuses nationwide, and urban schools play an important role in shaping the cities outside their walls. In The City as Campus, Sharon Haar uses Chicago as a case study to examine how universities interact with their urban contexts, demonstrating how higher education became integrated with ideas of urban growth as schools evolved alongside the city.

The City as Campus shows the strain of this integration, detailing historical accounts of battles over space as campus designers faced the challenge of weaving the social, spatial, and architectural conditions of the urban milieu into new forms to meet the changing needs of academia. Through a close analysis of the history of higher education in Chicago, The City as Campus explores how the university's missions of service, teaching, and research have metamorphosed over time, particularly in response to the unique opportunities-and restraints-the city provides. Illustrating how Chicago serves as a site of pedagogical transformation and a location for the larger purpose of the academic community, The City as Campus presents a social and design history of the urban campus as an architectural idea and form.

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City in Common

Culture and Community in Buenos Aires

Addresses ways that cultural imaginaries point toward alternative urban futures.

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City of Industry

Genealogies of Power in Southern California

Victor Valle

City of Industry is a stunning expose on the construction of corporate capitalist spaces. Investigating Industry's archives, including sealed FBI reports, Valle uncovered a series of scandals from the city's founder James M. Stafford to present day corporate heir Edward Roski Jr., the nation's biggest industrial developer. While exposing the corruption and corporate greed spawned from the growth of new technology and engineering, Valle reveals the plight of the property-owning servants, especially Latino working-class communities, who have fallen victim to the effects of this tale of corporate greed.

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City of Noise

Sound and Nineteenth-Century Paris

Aimée Boutin

Beloved as the city of light, Paris in the nineteenth century sparked the acclaim of poets and the odium of the bourgeois with its distinctive sounds. Street vendors bellowed songs known as the Cris de Paris that had been associated with their trades since the Middle Ages; musicians itinerant and otherwise played for change; and flâneurs-writers, fascinated with the city's underside, listened and recorded much about what they heard. Aimée Boutin tours the sonic space that orchestrated the different, often conflicting sound cultures that defined the street ambience of Paris. Mining accounts that range from guidebooks to verse, Boutin braids literary, cultural, and social history to reconstruct a lost auditory environment. Throughout, impressions of street noise shape writers' sense of place and perception of modern social relations. As Boutin shows, the din of the Cris contrasted economic abundance with the disparities of the capital, old and new traditions, and the vibrancy of street commerce with an increasing bourgeois demand for quiet. In time, peddlers who provided the soundtrack for Paris's narrow streets yielded to modernity, with its taciturn shopkeepers and wide-open boulevards, and the fading songs of the Cris became a dirge for the passing of old ways.

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City

Rediscovering the Center

By William H. Whyte. Foreword by Paco Underhill

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.

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The City, Revisited

Urban Theory from Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York

Dennis R. Judd

The contributors to The City, Revisited trace an intellectual history that begins in 1925 with the publication of the influential classic The City, engaging in a spirited debate about whether the major theories of twentieth-century urban development are relevant for studying the twenty-first-century metropolis.

Contributors: Janet Abu-Lughod, Northwestern U and New School for Social Research; Robert Beauregard, Columbia U; Larry Bennett, DePaul U; Andrew A. Beveridge, Queens College and CUNY; Amy Bridges, U of California, San Diego; Terry Nichols Clark, U of Chicago; Nicholas Dahmann, U of Southern California; Michael Dear, U of California, Berkeley; Steven P. Erie, U of California, San Diego; Frank Gaffikin, Queen's U of Belfast; David Halle, U of California, Los Angeles; Tom Kelly, U of Illinois at Chicago; Ratoola Kunda, U of Illinois at Chicago; Scott A. MacKenzie, U of California, Davis; John Mollenkopf, CUNY; David C. Perry, U of Illinois at Chicago; Francisco Sabatini, Ponticia Universidad Catolica de Chile; Rodrigo Salcedo, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Santiago; Dick Simpson, U of Illinois at Chicago; Daphne Spain, U of Virginia; Costas Spirou, National-Louis U in Chicago.

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