The Politics of Place: A History of Zoning in Chicago

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Lake Claremont Press, 2006 - History - 191 pages
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Only in Chicago Can Zoning Be Epic...

Chicago is renowned for its distinctive skyline, its bustling Loop business district, and its diverse neighborhoods. How the face of Chicago came to be is a story of enterprise, ingenuity, opportunity--and zoning. Until now, however, there has not been a book that focuses on the important, often surprising, role of zoning in shaping the 'The City that Works.'

"The Politics of Place: A History of Zoning in Chicago" reviews the interplay among development, planning, and zoning in the growth of the Gold Coast, the Central Area, and, more recently, massive 'Planned Developments'; such as Marina City, Illinois Center, and Dearborn Park. It tells the story of bold visions compromised by political realities, battles between residents and developers, and occasional misfires from City Council and City Hall.

What emerges is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes inspection of the evolving character of the city's landscape. Schwieterman and Caspall recount the many planning innovations that have originated in Chicago, the complexities and intrigue of its zoning debates, and the recent adoption of a new zoning ordinance that promises to affect the city's economy and image for years to come.


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Early LandUse Control in Chicago 3
Zoning the Great City 17
Zoning Comes of Age 27
Renewing the City 35
The Rise of Planned Development 45
Downzoning and Density Controls 55
Aesthetics and Urban Design 97
Aldermen and the Community 103
The 30Year Struggle to Overhaul Zoning 113
A New Zoning Ordinance 119
F The Recollections of Harry F Chaddick 151
Photo Credits and Permissions 177
About the Chaddick Institute 191

Zoning and InTown Living 67
A City of Skyscrapers 79

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About the author (2006)

Joseph P. Schwieterman, Ph.D., is professor of Public Service Management and director of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University. He has hosted the Chaddick Institute's workshops on planning and zoning since 1995, and now works closely with the new DePaul Real Estate Center. Schwieterman holds an M.S. in transportation from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago, and is a member of the American Planning Association and Lambda Alpha International. He has written extensively on urban and transportation topics, including several books. Dana Caspall earned a B.A. in accounting from Michigan State University and an M.S. in Public Service Management from DePaul University, where she wrote a thesis entitled Managing a Modern Metropolis: A Historical Sketch of Zoning in the City of Chicago. An experienced auditor who works for the federal government, she has spent much of her professional life investigating business and governmental programs.

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