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Cityscapes and Capital: The Politics of Urban Development

Overview

As American cities seek to revitalize their urban centers and surrounding region, planners and politicians often look for quick-fix schemes. But cities that have achieved success, Michael Pagano and Ann Bowman claim, have done so through an alliance of politics and economics focused upon a long-term vision of what the city can be. Arguing that "politics matter," Pagano and Bowman demonstrate the critical role played by political leaders in molding a city's future and in forging coalitions to ensure success. They ...

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Overview

As American cities seek to revitalize their urban centers and surrounding region, planners and politicians often look for quick-fix schemes. But cities that have achieved success, Michael Pagano and Ann Bowman claim, have done so through an alliance of politics and economics focused upon a long-term vision of what the city can be. Arguing that "politics matter," Pagano and Bowman demonstrate the critical role played by political leaders in molding a city's future and in forging coalitions to ensure success. They contend that market failure does not explain why city governments get involved in subsidizing development; rather, governments intervene in response to changing fiscal conditions and political leaders' perceptions of their city's image and its place in the hierarchy of cities.

Pagano and Bowman draw on comparative data from ten medium-sized cities, which they divide into four categories: survivalist cities (high distress, high activism), expansionist cities (low distress, high activism), market cities (high distress, low activism), and maintenance cities (low distress, low activism). Examining forty city-supported development projects within these four categories, they show how city investment in, and regulation of, development projects is the most effective way for political leaders to control and shape the future of their city. The book also emphasizes the importance of comparing initial expectations and goals to results in evaluating the success of city-supported development.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

American Political Science Review
Michael Pagano and Ann Bowman have written an informative and provocative book that opens new terrain for students of urban politics and local economic development. Based on a comparative analysis of ten medium-sized U.S. cities and forty development projects, Cityscapes and Capital explores the role of image, vision, and leadership in mobilizing public capital to attract private capital to maintain or expand a city's niche within regional, national, and increasingly global urban hierarchies.

— Richard E. DeLeon

Journal of the American Planning Association
A theoretically astute, methodologically sound, and policy-relevant study.
Journal of Politics
The authors' genuinely unique contribution to our understanding of urban development—a contribution that will and should command the attention of future scholars—lies in their emphasis on the vision, images, and aspirations of urban leadership... Its wide scope makes it ideal for use in the classroom.
American Political Science Review - Richard E. DeLeon
Michael Pagano and Ann Bowman have written an informative and provocative book that opens new terrain for students of urban politics and local economic development. Based on a comparative analysis of ten medium-sized U.S. cities and forty development projects, Cityscapes and Capital explores the role of image, vision, and leadership in mobilizing public capital to attract private capital to maintain or expand a city's niche within regional, national, and increasingly global urban hierarchies.
Journal of the American Planning Association - Robert A. Beauregard
Cityscapes and Capital is an outstanding piece of research. Its argument concerning local perceptions cannot be ignored by urban political theorists, and its analysis raises intriguing research questions and points to numerous policy implications.
Booknews
Arguing that "politics matters," the authors demonstrate the critical role played by political leaders in shaping a city's future, drawing on comparative data on 40 development projects in 10 medium-sized American cities. They conclude that cities can achieve successfully revitalized urban centers through an alliance of politics and economics focused on a long-term vision rather than a quick fix. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801857676
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael A. Pagano is professor of political science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Ann O'M. Bowman is professor in the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Politics Matters 1
2 Public Capital, Systems of Cities, and Perceptual Orbits 20
3 Aspirations, Visions, and Images 44
4 Cities and Economic Development 68
5 Measuring Successful Development 92
6 Urban Outcomes 106
7 On Politics, Markets, and Images 137
App. A. City Population and Land Area 144
App. B. The Development Tools Used by the Study Cities 147
Notes 163
Index 179
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