Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown / Edition 1

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Overview

After decades of decline and decay, scores of downtowns in urban America are coming to life once again. Others continue to languish despite massive public investment. In Cities Back from the Edge, Roberta Brandes Gratz teams up with Main Street expert Norman Mintz to tell us why. Based on their firsthand observations of downtown change throughout the country, this book is filled with stories of urban recovery from Mansfield, Ohio to Los Angeles, from Pasco, Washington to SoHo. Throughout this book the authors address the key issues facing the nation's cities and towns today, including transportation planning and sprawl containment, the threat of big-box superstore retailers, and the preservation of the essential downtown components necessary to anchor a thriving, vibrant community. Gratz and Mintz show us that rebuilding authentic places, reconnecting communities, and stimulating innovative change are within everyone's reach. With proven ideas on how to correct the mistakes of the past several decades, this book offers new hope that our cities will not merely be rebuilt - but reborn.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Cities Back From the Edge was featured again in The New York Times. Frank Rich writes, "In their new book persuasively arguing for less grandiose, more indigenous urban renewal, Roberta Brandes Gratz and Norman Mintz write that a 'collection of visitor attractions does not add up to a city' whether those attractions are cultural centers, convention centers, aquariums, stadiums or enclosed malls." --The New York Times
Wall Street Journal
In Cities Back From the Edge, Gratz and Mintz offer a love song for the city...their volume, attractively packaged and richly illustrated, is really a cookbook for downtown revitalization. It turns out the most valuable contribution to urban understanding of the year isn't only a book, it's also a bumper sticker: Think globally, act locally.
From the Publisher
In Cities Back from the Edge, Gratz and Mintz offer a love song for the city...their volume, attractively packaged and richly illustrated, is really a cookbook for downtown revitalization. It turns out the most valuable contribution to urban understanding of the year isn't only a book, it's also a bumper sticker: Think globally, act locally."—The Wall Street Journal

Cities Back From the Edge was featured again in The New York Times. Frank Rich writes, "In their new book persuasively arguing for less grandiose, more indigenous urban renewal, Roberta Brandes Gratz and Norman Mintz write that a 'collection of visitor attractions does not add up to a city' whether those attractions are cultural centers, convention centers, aquariums, stadiums or enclosed malls."—The New York Times

"...provides a fascinating insight into the US Urban Design scenario..." (Urban Design, Autumn 2001)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471361244
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/27/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 7.05 (w) x 10.12 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERTA BRANDES GRATZ, the award-winning journalist and urban critic, is author of the urban design classic The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way. A former staff reporter for the New York Post, Gratz has also written for The Wall Street Journal, New York Newsday, The Nation, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications.

NORMAN MINTZ has played a leading role in the field of downtown revitalization for more than 25 years. He is Design Director at the Grand Central Partnership in New York City and a consultant on downtown revitalization across the country.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Sect. 1 Where Are We?
Ch. 1 Mansfield, Ohio - Getting Off the Big Project Merry-Go-Round 9
Ch. 2 The Mess We Have Made 33
Ch. 3 Project Planning or Urban Husbandry - The Choice 59
Sect. 2 Transportation and Place
Ch. 4 Death and Rebirth of the Public Realm 87
Ch. 5 Rebuilding Place, Valuing Transit 113
Ch. 6 Undoing Sprawl 139
Sect. 3 Big, Little, and Predator
Ch. 7 Free Competition or No Competition? 169
Ch. 8 You Don't Have to Be Wal-Mart to Be Wal-Mart 195
Ch. 9 To Market, To Market 209
Sect. 4 Downtown Essentials
Ch. 10 Public Buildings, Public Policies 235
Ch. 11 Back to Basics 251
Ch. 12 Investing in People 273
Sect. 5 It's Happening
Ch. 13 The SoHo Syndrome 295
Conclusion: Back from the Edge
Index
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