The reasons behind Detroit’s persistent racialized poverty after World War II Once America's "arsenal of democracy," Detroit is now the symbol of the American urban crisis. In this reappraisal of America’s racial and economic inequalities, Thomas Sugrue asks why Detroit and other industrial cities have become the sites of persistent racialized poverty. He challenges the conventional wisdom that urban decline is the product of the social programs and racial fissures of the 1960s. Weaving together the history of workplaces, unions, civil rights groups, political organizations, and real estate agencies, Sugrue finds the roots of today’s urban poverty in a hidden history of racial violence, discrimination, and deindustrialization that reshaped the American urban landscape after World War II. This Princeton Classics edition includes a new preface by Sugrue, discussing the lasting impact of the postwar transformation on urban America and the chronic issues leading to Detroit’s bankruptcy.
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A collection of international case studies that demonstrate the importance of ideas to urban political development Ideas, interests, and institutions are the "holy trinity" of the study of politics. Of the three, ideas are arguably the hardest with which to grapple and, despite a generally broad agreement concerning their fundamental importance, the most often neglected. Nowhere is this more evident than in the study of urban politics and urban political development. The essays in How Ideas Shape Urban Political Development argue that ideas have been the real drivers behind urban political development and offer as evidence national and international examples—some unique to specific cities, regions, and countries, and some of global impact. Within the United States, contributors examine the idea of "blight" and how it became a powerful metaphor in city planning; the identification of racially-defined spaces, especially black cities and city neighborhoods, as specific targets of neoliberal disciplinary practices; the paradox of members of Congress who were active supporters of civil rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s but enjoyed the support of big-city political machines that were hardly liberal when it came to questions of race in their home districts; and the intersection of national education policy, local school politics, and the politics of immigration. Essays compare the ways in which national urban policies have taken different shapes in countries similar to the United States, namely, Canada and the United Kingdom. The volume also presents case studies of city-based political development in Chile, China, India, and Africa—areas of the world that have experienced a more recent form of urbanization that feature deep and intimate ties and similarities to urban political development in the Global North, but which have occurred on a broader scale. Contributors: Daniel Béland, Debjani Bhattacharyya, Robert Henry Cox, Richardson Dilworth, Jason Hackworth,
Urban Crisis, Urban Hope recognises that our cities are in crisis. It resurrects the concept of the city and its neighbourhoods as a crucible for new ideas and a site of innovative action, recognising the desperate need for support, resources and complementary visions at urban and national scales. The collection of essays brings together leading thinkers and doers from across the spectrum of policy and practice to present both critical analysis and an agenda for action, showing how government and public services not only can be agents of hope, but must be if our cities are to thrive.
Tracing two centuries of rise, fall, and rebirth in the heart of downtown Detroit. Downtown Detroit is in the midst of an astonishing rebirth. Its sidewalks have become a dreamland for an aspiring creative class, filled with shoppers, office workers, and restaurant-goers. Cranes dot the skyline, replacing the wrecking balls seen there only a few years ago. But venture a few blocks in any direction and this liveliness gives way to urban blight, a nightmare cityscape of crumbling concrete, barbed wire, and debris. In Dream City, urban designer Conrad Kickert examines the paradoxes of Detroit's landscape of extremes, arguing that the current reinvention of downtown is the expression of two centuries of Detroiters' conflicting hopes and dreams. Kickert demonstrates the materialization of these dreams with a series of detailed original morphological maps that trace downtown's rise, fall, and rebirth. Kickert writes that downtown Detroit has always been different from other neighborhoods; it grew faster than other parts of the city, and it declined differently, forced to reinvent itself again and again. Downtown has been in constant battle with its own offspring—the automobile and the suburbs the automobile enabled—and modernized itself though parking attrition and land consolidation. Dream City is populated by a varied cast of downtown power players, from a 1920s parking lot baron to the pizza tycoon family and mortgage billionaire who control downtown's fate today. Even the most renowned planners and designers have consistently yielded to those with power, land, and finances to shape downtown. Kickert thus finds rhyme and rhythm in downtown's contemporary cacophony. Kickert argues that Detroit's case is extreme but not unique; many other American cities have seen a similar decline—and many others may see a similar revitalization.
It has become conventional to think of urbanism and landscape as opposing one another—or to think of landscape as merely providing temporary relief from urban life as shaped by buildings and infrastructure. But, driven in part by environmental concerns, landscape has recently emerged as a model and medium for the city, with some theorists arguing that landscape architects are the urbanists of our age. In Landscape as Urbanism, one of the field's pioneers presents a powerful case for rethinking the city through landscape. Charles Waldheim traces the roots of landscape as a form of urbanism from its origins in the Renaissance through the twentieth century. Growing out of progressive architectural culture and populist environmentalism, the concept was further informed by the nineteenth-century invention of landscape architecture as a "new art" charged with reconciling the design of the industrial city with its ecological and social conditions. In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, as urban planning shifted from design to social science, and as urban design committed to neotraditional models of town planning, landscape urbanism emerged to fill a void at the heart of the contemporary urban project. Generously illustrated, Landscape as Urbanism examines works from around the world by designers ranging from Ludwig Hilberseimer, Andrea Branzi, and Frank Lloyd Wright to James Corner, Adriaan Geuze, and Michael Van Valkenburgh. The result is the definitive account of an emerging field that is likely to influence the design of cities for decades to come.
Instead of more unity, what America needs is more disagreement, whereby people routinely engage in conversations that cross borders of political, religious, and philosophical difference, extremes included, with no expectation of reaching agreement.
While the problems facing our cities increase in number and magnitude, there are few coordinated mechanisms in place for effecting change. In an effort to bridge existing gaps in communication and information, Burton A. Weisbrod and James C. Worthy, in conjunction with Northwestern University's Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, organized a conference to address these issues. The Urban Crisis collects the papers from this conference, opening a dialogue between academicians and practitioners and offering a blueprint for improving both the process and the substance of policy.