How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl, and the Roads Not Taken

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University of Texas Press, 2000 - Political Science - 243 pages

Do cities work anymore? How did they get to be such sprawling conglomerations of lookalike subdivisions, megafreeways, and "big box" superstores surrounded by acres of parking lots? And why, most of all, don't they feel like real communities? These are the questions that Alex Marshall tackles in this hard-hitting, highly readable look at what makes cities work.

Marshall argues that urban life has broken down because of our basic ignorance of the real forces that shape cities-transportation systems, industry and business, and political decision making. He explores how these forces have built four very different urban environments-the decentralized sprawl of California's Silicon Valley, the crowded streets of New York City's Jackson Heights neighborhood, the controlled growth of Portland, Oregon, and the stage-set facades of Disney's planned community, Celebration, Florida.

To build better cities, Marshall asserts, we must understand and intelligently direct the forces that shape them. Without prescribing any one solution, he defines the key issues facing all concerned citizens who are trying to control urban sprawl and build real communities. His timely book will be important reading for a wide public and professional audience.

 

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How cities work: suburbs, sprawl, and the roads not taken

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What does a good place to live in America look like? Is it a teeming city like New York, a stylish designer community like Seaside, FL, or an innovative if imperfect mid-sized city like Portland, OR ... Read full review

How cities work: suburbs, sprawl, and the roads not taken

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

What does a good place to live in America look like? Is it a teeming city like New York, a stylish designer community like Seaside, FL, or an innovative if imperfect mid-sized city like Portland, OR ... Read full review

Contents

A TALE OF TWO TOWNS
1
THE END OF PLACE
41
THE DECONSTRUCTED CITY
65
TRADING PLACES
85
JACKSON HEIGHTS
111
THE MASTER HAND
133
PORTLAND AND OREGON
157
NO PLACE CALLED HOME
187
GETTING THERE
209
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
215
NOTES
217
SELECTED REFERENCES
225
INDEX
231
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

A recent Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Alex Marshall is a freelance journalist in New York City, who has written about urban design for the Washington Post, George, Metropolis, Planning, and other national publications.

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