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The Making of Portland, Maine
Situated on a peninsula jutting into picturesque Casco Bay, Portland has long been admired for its geographical setting—the “beautiful city by the sea,” as native son Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called it. At the same time, Portland’s deep, ice-free port has made it an ideal site for the development of coastal commerce and industry. Much of the city’s history, John F. Bauman shows, has been defined by the effort to reconcile the competing interests generated by these attributes—to balance the imperatives of economic growth with a desire to preserve Portland’s natural beauty. Caught in the crossfire of British and French imperial ambitions throughout the colonial era, Portland emerged as a prosperous shipbuilding center and locus of trade in the decades following the American Revolution. During the nineteenth century it became a busy railroad hub and winter port for Canadian grain until a devastating fire in 1866 reduced much of the city to ruins. Civic leaders responded by reinventing Portland as a tourist destination, building new hotels, parks, and promenades, and proclaiming it the “Gateway to Vacationland.” After losing its grain trade in the 1920s and suffering through the Great Depression, Portland withered in the years following World War II as it wrestled with the problems of deindustrialization, suburbanization, and an aging downtown. Efforts at urban renewal met with limited success until the 1980s, when a concerted plan of historic preservation and the restoration of the Old Port not only revived the tourist trade but eventually established Portland as one of America’s “most livable cities.”
Women's Movements, State Restructuring, and Global Development in Ecuador
Since the early 1980s Ecuador has experienced a series of events unparalleled in its history. Its “free market” strategies exacerbated the debt crisis, and in response new forms of social movement organizing arose among the country’s poor, including women’s groups. Gendered Paradoxes focuses on women’s participation in the political and economic restructuring process of the past twenty-five years, showing how in their daily struggle for survival Ecuadorian women have both reinforced and embraced the neoliberal model yet also challenged its exclusionary nature. Drawing on her extensive ethnographic fieldwork and employing an approach combining political economy and cultural politics, Amy Lind charts the growth of several strands of women’s activism and identifies how they have helped redefine, often in contradictory ways, the real and imagined boundaries of neoliberal development discourse and practice. In her analysis of this ambivalent and “unfinished” cultural project of modernity in the Andes, she examines state policies and their effects on women of various social sectors; women’s community development initiatives and responses to the debt crisis; and the roles played by feminist “issue networks” in reshaping national and international policy agendas in Ecuador and in developing a transnationally influenced, locally based feminist movement.
The politics of the past must be rethought. They were designed for a world where the U.S. manufactured at home, and where portions of U.S.-based labor had traded social stability for high wages. In this thought-provoking work, David Ranney shows how our world has changed and offers a plan for remaking progressive politics to meet the crises brought about by what George H. W. Bush first termed "the new world order. "Drawing from his experiences in Chicago politics, first as a factory worker and later as an activist and academic, Ranney shows how the increasing mobility of capital, the easy availability of credit, and a changing government policies have reshaped the urban world where U.S. workers live their everyday lives. This is not the story of the interconnectedness of modern business, but rather the need for self-respecting people who bring home a weekly paycheck to see the common, global problems they face, and to work together to bring about meaningful change.Showing how globalization has led to specific local consequences for cities and the workers that inhabit them, David Ranney presents a means for taking stock of the effects of globalization; a look at these changes in labor markets; economic development politics; housing policy; and employment policies; and an organizing strategy for this new economic and social era.
Global Downtowns reconsiders one of the defining features of urban life—the energy and exuberance that characterize downtown areas—within a framework of contemporary globalization and change. It analyzes the iconic centers of global cities through individual case studies from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the United States, considering issues of function, population, imagery, and growth. Contributors to the volume use ethnographic and cultural analysis to identify downtowns as products of the activities of planners, power elites, and consumers and as zones of conflict and competition. Whether claiming space on a world stage through architecture, media events, or historical tourism or facing the claims of different social groups for a place at the center, downtowns embody the heritage of the modern city and its future.
Essays draw on extensive fieldwork and archival study in Beijing, Barcelona, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dar es Salaam, Dubai, Nashville, Lima, Philadelphia, Mumbai, Havana, Beirut, and Paris, among other cities. They examine the visions of planners and developers, cultural producers, governments, theoreticians, immigrants, and outcasts. Through these perspectives, the book explores questions of space and place, consumption, mediation, and images as well as the processes by which urban elites learn from each other as well as contest local hegemony.
Global Downtowns raises important questions for those who work with issues of urban centrality in governance, planning, investment, preservation, and social reform. The volume insists that however important the narratives of individual spaces—theories of American downtowns, images of global souks, or diasporic formations of ethnic enclaves as interconnected nodes—they also must be situated within a larger, dynamic framework of downtowns as centers of modern urban imagination.
Street Violence across the World
Gangs, often associated with brutality and senseless destructive violence, have not always been viewed as inherently antagonistic. The first studies of gangs depicted them as alternative sources of order in urban slums where the state’s authority was lacking, and they have subsequently been shown to be important elements in some youth life cycles. Despite their proliferation there is little consensus regarding what constitutes a gang. Used to denote phenomena ranging from organized crime syndicates to groups of youths who gather spontaneously on street corners, even the term “gang” is ambiguous.
Global Gangs offers a greater understanding of gangs through essays that investigate gangs spanning across nations, from Brazil to Indonesia, China to Kenya, and from El Salvador to Russia. Volume editors Jennifer M. Hazen and Dennis Rodgers bring together contributors who examine gangs from a comparative perspective, discussing such topics as the role the apartheid regime in South Africa played in the emergence of gangs, the politics behind child vigilante squads in India, the relationship between immigration and gangs in France and the United States, and the complex stigmatization of youths in Mexico caused by the arbitrary deployment of the word “gang.”
Featuring an afterword by renowned U.S. gang researcher Sudhir Venkatesh, this volume provides a comprehensive look into the experience of gangs across the world and in doing so challenges conventional notions of identity.
Contributors: Enrique Desmond Arias, George Mason U; José Miguel Cruz, Florida International U; Steffen Jensen, DIGNITY–Danish Institute Against Torture; Gareth A. Jones, London School of Economics and Political Science; Marwan Mohammed, École Normale Supérieure, Paris; Jacob Rasmussen, Roskilde U; Loren Ryter, U of Michigan; Rustem R. Safin, National Research Technological U, Russia; Alexander L. Salagaev, National Research Technological U, Russia; Atreyee Sen, U of Manchester; Mats Utas, Nordic Africa Institute; Sudhir Venkatesh, Columbia U; James Diego Vigil, U of California, Irvine; Lening Zhang, Saint Francis U.
Jewish Quarters in Paris, London, and Berlin
Looks at how contemporary Jewish neighborhoods interact with both local and transnational influences. Global Neighborhoods analyzes the organization of everyday life and the social integration of contemporary Jewish neighborhoods in Paris, London, and Berlin. Concentrating on the post-Holocaust era, Michel S. Laguerre explains how each urban diasporic site has followed a different path of development influenced by the local milieu in which it is incorporated. He also considers how technology has enabled extraterritorial relations with Israel and other diasporic enclaves inside and outside the hostland. Shifting the frame of reference from assimilation theory to globalization theory and the information technology revolution, Laguerre argues that Jewish neighborhoods are not simply transnational social formations, but are fundamentally transglobal entities. Connected to multiple overseas diasporic sites, their interactions reach beyond their homelands, and they develop the logic of their social interactions inside this larger network of relationships. As with all transglobal communities, there is constant movement of people, goods, communications, ideas, images, and capital that sustains and adds vibrancy to everyday life. Since all are connected through the network, Laguerre contends that the variable shape of the local is affected by and affects the global.
Changing Faces of the Eternal City
Is 21st-century Rome a global city? Is it part of Europe's core or periphery? This volume examines the "real city" beyond Rome's historical center, exploring the diversity and challenges of life in neighborhoods affected by immigration, neoliberalism, formal urban planning, and grassroots social movements. The contributors engage with themes of contemporary urban studies–the global city, the self-made city, alternative modernities, capital cities and nations, urban change from below, and sustainability. Global Rome serves as a provocative introduction to the Eternal City and makes an original contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship.
Flooding and Urban Ecology in Los Angeles
Although better known for its sunny skies, Los Angeles suffers devastating flooding. This book explores a fascinating and little-known chapter in the city's history—the spectacular failures to control floods that occurred throughout the twentieth century. Despite the city's 114 debris dams, 5 flood control basins, and nearly 500 miles of paved river channels, Southern Californians have discovered that technologically engineered solutions to flooding are just as disaster-prone as natural waterways. Jared Orsi's lively history unravels the strange and often hazardous ways that engineering, politics, and nature have come together in Los Angeles to determine the flow of water. He advances a new paradigm—the urban ecosystem—for understanding the city's complex and unpredictable waterways and other issues that are sure to play a large role in future planning.
As he traces the flow of water from sky to sea, Orsi brings together many disparate and intriguing pieces of the story, including local and national politics, the little-known San Gabriel Dam fiasco, the phenomenal growth of Los Angeles, and, finally, the influence of environmentalism. Orsi provocatively widens his vision toward other cities for which Los Angeles may offer a lesson—both of things gone wrong and a glimpse of how they might be improved.