The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs

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PublicAffairs, Mar 30, 2010 - History - 400 pages
In the 1970s, New York City hit rock bottom. Crime was at its highest, the middle class exodus was in high gear, and bankruptcy loomed. Many people credit New York's "master builder" Robert Moses with turning Gotham around, despite his brutal, undemocratic. and demolition-heavy ways.

Urban critic and journalist Roberta Brandes Gratz contradicts this conventional view. New York City, Gratz argues, recovered precisely because of the waning power of Moses. His decline in the late 1960s and the drying up of big government funding for urban renewal projects allowed New York to organically regenerate according to the precepts defined by Jane Jacobs in her classic, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and in contradiction to Moses's urban philosophy.

As American cities face a devastating economic crisis, Jacobs's philosophy is again vital for the redevelopment of metropolitan life. Gratz who was named as one of Planetizen's Top 100 Urban Thinkers gives an on-the-ground account of urban renewal and community success.
 

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Contents

1
1
2
35
3
61
4
95
5
121
6
151
7
187
8
211
Conclusion
253
Epilogue
301
Appendix
315
Notes
321
Bibliography
331
Index
335
The Center for the Living City
351
Copyright

9
227

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About the author (2010)

Roberta Brandes Gratz is an acclaimed urbanist who has published three previous books on the subject, including most recently The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. Her writing has also appeared in the Nation, the New York Times Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. She previously served on the NYC Landmark's Preservation Commission and currently sits on the Sustainability Advisory Board for NYC. She splits her time between New York City and New Orleans.

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