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Pacific Northwest QuarterlyTimothy Gibson tells a fascinating story in Securing the Spectacular City. It is a story about Seattle's emergence as a world-class city and the decisions, manipulation, and backroom deals that led to its rise as a major player on the global stage. Although based on Seattle, the work has clear applications and lessons for most large cities in North America. It is, in essence, a case study of the conflicts and collisions that are all too commonplace between two groups in the urban United States. On one side are the civic boosters and the urban elite (for example, developers, real estate interests, and a seeming majority of any given community's politicians). On the other side are advocates for the disadvantaged and the disadvantaged themselves (for example, leaders of nonprofit agencies, socially oriented organizations and groups, low-income populations and the homeless).
What one learns about the development process is quite revealing, making the book worthwhile reading for policymakers, academics interested in urban studies, and those from the development and real estate sector, whose decisions significantly affect the urban scene.
— Brian Coffey, University of Washington, Tacoma