Story and Sustainability: Planning, Practice, and Possibility for American Cities

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Story and Sustainability explores the role of story in planning theory and practice, with the goal of creating U.S. cities able to balance competing claims for economic growth, environmental health, and social justice. In the book, urban practitioners and scholars from fields as diverse as American studies, English,geography, history, planning, and criminal justice reflect critically on the traditional exclusionary power of storytelling and on its potential to facilitate the transformations of imagination, theory, and practice necessary to create sustainable, democratic American cities.The book begins with an editors' introduction identifying story, sustainable U.S. cities, and democracy as the three key themes. Part I advances and refines these concepts, connects them to contemporary U.S. urban planning, and provides tools that can be used when reading and interpreting the texts in part II. Part II exemplifies, amplifies, and modifies the key themes and arguments through the presentation of eight texts: theoretical and experiential, academic and nonacademic, expository and narrative, and familiar and unfamiliar. The combined focus on story and urban sustainability makes this book a unique contribution to planning literature.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"American metropolitan areas are shaped by stories about city life as varied as the dreams of city planners, the hopes of community activists and downtown developers, and the self-fulfilling prophecy of white flight generated by tales of inner city crime. At long last, *Story and Sustainability* gives these stories — and more — the attention they deserve, combining theoretical insight with on-the-ground investigation of their impact. The book is a major addition to the literature about cities."—Gerald E. Frug, Louis D. Brandeis Professor, Harvard Law School, and author of *City Making: Building Communities without Building Walls*
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262550437
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 7/6/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 279
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Eckstein is Associate Professor of English at the University of Iowa.

James A. Throgmorton is Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Blueprint Blues 1
I Storytelling, Sustainability, Democracy, and the American City 9
1 Making Space: Stories in the Practice of Planning 13
2 Imagining Sustainable Places 39
3 Democracy, Storytelling, and the Sustainable City 65
II Raising Questions/Raising Cain 79
4 The Old Neighborhood 87
5 Ceola's Vision, Our Blessing: The Story of an Evolving Community-University Partnership in East St. Louis, Illinois 113
6 Dreaming the Sustainable City: Organizing Hope, Negotiating Fear, Mediating Memory 143
7 In Search of a New Landfill Sire 167
8 Narrative and Other Tools 185
9 The Peninsula 195
10 Tales of a Geographer-Planner 207
11 The Meanest Streets 227
Notes 243
References 249
Index 261
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