City: Urbanism and Its End [NOOK Book]

Overview

How did neighborhood groceries, parish halls, factories, and even saloons contribute more to urban vitality than did the fiscal might of postwar urban renewal? With a novelist’s eye for telling detail, Douglas Rae depicts the features that contributed most to city life in the early “urbanist” decades of the twentieth century. Rae’s subject is New Haven, Connecticut, but the lessons he draws apply to many American cities.

City: Urbanism and Its End begins with a richly textured ...

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City: Urbanism and Its End

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Overview

How did neighborhood groceries, parish halls, factories, and even saloons contribute more to urban vitality than did the fiscal might of postwar urban renewal? With a novelist’s eye for telling detail, Douglas Rae depicts the features that contributed most to city life in the early “urbanist” decades of the twentieth century. Rae’s subject is New Haven, Connecticut, but the lessons he draws apply to many American cities.

City: Urbanism and Its End begins with a richly textured portrait of New Haven in the early twentieth century, a period of centralized manufacturing, civic vitality, and mixed-use neighborhoods. As social and economic conditions changed, the city confronted its end of urbanism first during the Depression, and then very aggressively during the mayoral reign of Richard C. Lee (1954–70), when New Haven led the nation in urban renewal spending. But government spending has repeatedly failed to restore urban vitality. Rae argues that strategies for the urban future should focus on nurturing the unplanned civic engagements that make mixed-use city life so appealing and so civilized. Cities need not reach their old peaks of population, or look like thriving suburbs, to be once again splendid places for human beings to live and work.

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Editorial Reviews

Richard Luecke
Douglas Rae... has written a book to stir old memories, but also to jar current assumptions of what it takes to make cities work.
The Christian Century
Library Journal
Over the 20th century, a fateful convergence of economic, social, and governmental developments precipitated a profound slide for many of America's vital, once-powerful cities. In this energetic study, Rae (management, political science, & urban studies, Yale) analyzes the rise and decline of the American metropolis. To distinguish between municipal government and the forces that actually run a city, he focuses on one convincingly representative city, New Haven, CT, and particularly on the tenure of two key mayors. Among other phenomena, Rae examines the advent of the automobile and the AC electrical grid, the movement west (and later overseas) of production centers, fluctuating immigration rates, the northern migration of many African Americans just as jobs vanished in mid-century, the growth of suburbs, and the decline of civic participation and "social capital"-or the myriad ways, including the corner store and the fraternal organization, by which community connectedness and trust are maintained (see, for example, Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone). Amply documented with references, charts, and graphs and animated with captivating anecdotes and photographs, this accomplished study is an important addition to regional libraries and urban studies collections. All academic and large public libraries should also consider purchase.-Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Worthington Libs., OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“A terrific read, moving seductively from the minutiae of neighborhood history to grand global forces.”—Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone

“An extraordinarily detailed study of New Haven, tracing the city’s rise in the early part of the 20th century and its fall in the second half—an almost archetypal tale of the American city.”—Edward Rothstein, New York Times

“For anyone with the slightest interest in cities, this book is that rare combination: a must-read volume that you can’t put down.”—Planning Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300134759
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Series: The Institution for Social and Policy St
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 944,917
  • File size: 12 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Douglas W. Rae is Richard Ely Professor of Management and professor of political science at Yale University. In 1990–91 he served as chief administrative officer of the city of New Haven under John Daniels, the city’s first African-American mayor.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Creative Destruction and the Age of Urbanism 1
2 Industrial Convergence on a New England Town 35
3 Fabric of Enterprise 73
4 Living Local 113
5 Civic Density 141
6 A Sidewalk Republic 183
7 Business and Civic Erosion, 1917-1950 215
8 Race, Place, and the Emergence of Spatial Hierarchy 254
9 Inventing Dick Lee 287
10 Extraordinary Politics: Dick Lee, Urban Renewal, and the End of Urbanism 312
11 The End of Urbanism 361
12 A City After Urbanism 393
Notes 433
Bibliography 477
Acknowledgments 499
Index 503
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