The American City: What Works, What Doesn't / Edition 3

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Overview

The definitive guide to urban planning and design--completely updated and now in full color

In the Third Edition of The American City: What Works, What Doesn't, award-winning city planner and renowned urban scholar Alexander Garvin examines more than 350 programs and projects that have been implemented nationwide in 150 cities and suburbs, evaluates their successes and failures, and offers relevant lessons learned

from them.

Nearly all of the book's 650 illustrations are now in full color and consist almost entirely of photographs, maps, and diagrams produced especially for the Third Edition. Garvin discusses major urban initiatives that

have emerged over the past two decades, such as Chicago's Millennium Park, Houston's Uptown Business District, and Metropolitan Denver's FasTracks multicounty rapid transit

network. He reexamines the wide range of places and strategies covered in the previous edition, offering new analyses and insights. A new chapter on retrofitting the city for a modern commercial economy is included.

This practical guide presents six key ingredients of project success--market, location, design, financing, time, and entrepreneurship--and explains how to combine these elements in a mutually reinforcing manner. Garvin demonstrates how the synthesis of individual and private-sector efforts, community-level action, and broad-based government policy can--and has--achieved urban and suburban regeneration.

COVERAGE INCLUDES:

  • A realistic approach to city and suburban planning
  • Ingredients of success--market, location, design, financing, time, and entrepreneurship
  • Parks, playgrounds, and open space
  • Retail shopping
  • Palaces for the people--libraries, stadiums, museums, and other public facilities
  • Retrofitting the city for a modern commercial economy
  • The life and death of the City of Tomorrow--implications of national urban redevelopment programs
  • Downtown management
  • Increasing the housing supply
  • Reducing housing costs
  • Housing rehabilitation
  • Clearing the slums
  • Revitalizing neighborhoods
  • Residential suburbs
  • New-towns-in-town
  • New-towns-in-the-country
  • Land use regulation
  • Historic preservation
  • Comprehensive planning
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
The 1st edition of this work was published in 1995 and very quickly became a classic in the field of urban studies and was adopted as a textbook in many universities for courses in urban planning and related fields. It is not surprising that this new edition was eagerly anticipated. The author, a Yale Professor for Urban Planning and Management for over 35 years, in addition to being a practicing architect and real estate developer, attempted to discover what makes for successful urban planning by examining some 300 programs and projects in cities across the country. He focused on what he terms "the six ingredients of project success" -- market, location, design, financing, entrepreneurship, and time. Unlike previous works in the field, this volume addresses planning from a multidisciplinary approach including architectural, political, sociological, and economical aspects.

Each of the 18 chapters describes various projects and demonstrates how the six ingredients affect the success or failure of planning in specific areas: for example, housing rehabilitation, revitalizing neighborhoods, land use regulation, and preserving the past. Some of the projects described in the 1st edition are updated, as is all of the statistical information. Sections on some newer areas of concern -- entertainment centers, stadiums, environmental issues, and loft housing -- are also added. The table of contents presents an outline of the information in each chapter, making it fairly easy to find subtopics of a particular area; however, the index makes it possible to find specific projects and more detailed information. The text is enhanced by the inclusion of well-chosen black-and-white photographs, someshowing before and after views of urban, and occasionally suburban, development.

Although the book will probably be used most often by students and professionals in some aspect of urban planning, the easy-to-read style, interesting content, and photographs will make it appreciated by others who are interested in making the future of their own environments more beautiful and practically livable. Both academic and public libraries should find this a useful addition to their collection.

American Reference Books Annual
The 1st edition of this work was published in 1995 and very quickly became a classic in the field of urban studies and was adopted as a textbook in many universities for courses in urban planning and related fields. It is not surprising that this new edition was eagerly anticipated. The author, a Yale Professor for Urban Planning and Management for over 35 years, in addition to being a practicing architect and real estate developer, attempted to discover what makes for successful urban planning by examining some 300 programs and projects in cities across the country. He focused on what he terms "the six ingredients of project success" -- market, location, design, financing, entrepreneurship, and time. Unlike previous works in the field, this volume addresses planning from a multidisciplinary approach including architectural, political, sociological, and economical aspects.

Each of the 18 chapters describes various projects and demonstrates how the six ingredients affect the success or failure of planning in specific areas: for example, housing rehabilitation, revitalizing neighborhoods, land use regulation, and preserving the past. Some of the projects described in the 1st edition are updated, as is all of the statistical information. Sections on some newer areas of concern -- entertainment centers, stadiums, environmental issues, and loft housing -- are also added. The table of contents presents an outline of the information in each chapter, making it fairly easy to find subtopics of a particular area; however, the index makes it possible to find specific projects and more detailed information. The text is enhanced by the inclusion of well-chosen black-and-white photographs, someshowing before and after views of urban, and occasionally suburban, development.

Although the book will probably be used most often by students and professionals in some aspect of urban planning, the easy-to-read style, interesting content, and photographs will make it appreciated by others who are interested in making the future of their own environments more beautiful and practically livable. Both academic and public libraries should find this a useful addition to their collection.

City Limits
In February, when urban planner and veteran City Hall insider Alexander Garvin was tapped to oversee the rebuilding of lower Manhattan, all the local papers hit the same historical note. "Not since Robert Moses imposed his single-minded mark on the region decades ago," the Daily News wrote, "has an individual been asked to lead the re-creation of such a crucial swath of real estate."

Ah, the ghost of New York's "master builder." There's no purging him, is there? Even as clean-up workers were still unearthing human remains from Ground Zero, pressure was building on Garvin to hurry up and deliver a master reconstruction plan in a New York minute -- long-term consequences be damned.

This month, just as Garvin plunges forward with a design that will remake Manhattan on a Moses-like scale, McGraw-Hill is reissuing a newly updated version of his critically acclaimed 1995 book, The American City: What Works, What Doesn't. If Garvin's blueprint for a revitalized downtown reflects the urban philosophy he's sketched out in his book, New Yorkers need not fret the second coming of Robert Moses.

Garvin's credo is straightforward: "Only when a project also has a beneficial impact on the surrounding community can it be considered successful planning. For him, there is no singular, shining model of urban planning that can be carbon-copied; a particular region, city, or neighborhood has its own distinct features and assets that need to be capitalized on by a given project.

Encyclopedic in scale, The American City is a sweeping survey of more than 250 urban and suburban revitalization projects in America. To fine-tune his recipe for a successful formula, Garvin casts his eye over the last hundred years. He cites Chicago's creation of a lakeshore network of parks in the early 1900s -- which spurred a residential housing boom -- as one successful example. Historic preservation, as it was pioneered by Charleston and New Orleans in the mid-20th Century, is another kind.

Portland's recent rebirth also embodies, to Garvin, another successful model -- and on a much larger and fuller scale. After the city invested in a riverfront park, mass transit (a light-rail system), and walkable streets, the business community responded in kind, resulting in a boomlet of retail stores, office buildings, hotels, and apartment houses.

"Thus," Garvin concludes, "urban planning should be defined as public action that will produce a sustained and widespread private market reaction." In particular, he indicts Moses' brand of redevelopment as producing the opposite effect, because many of his colossal structures -- such as the recently razed New York Coliseum and the superblock housing projects -- resulted in a form of de facto segregation, in which residents in the area were effectively cut off from their neighbors. "This separation," Garvin writes, prevents any redevelopment benefits from "spilling over into surrounding neighborhoods and thus stimulating further private activity."

A well-respected professor of planning and architecture at Yale University, Garvin's ethos is part Frederick Law Olmsted, part Jane Jacobs: he's passionate about parks and open space but he's also an ardent proponent of mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods. The dapper academic, who favors bowties, is also no ivory-tower theorist; he's been a member of the New York City Planning Commission for the last seven years, and from 1970 to 1980, he served in city government as deputy commissioner of housing and director of comprehensive planning. Perhaps most importantly, nothing in Garvin's book or career suggests he is about to turn into a 21st century public works despot a la Moses.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071801621
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/15/2013
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 457,180
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexander Garvin has combined a career in urban planning and real estate with teaching, architecture, and public service. He is currently President and CEO of AGA Public Realm Strategists. Between 1996 and 2005 he was

Managing Director for Planning of NYC2012, the committee to bring the Summer Olympics to New York in 2012. During 2002–2003, he was Vice President for Planning, Design and Development of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Over the last 44 years he has held prominent positions in five New York City administrations, including Deputy Commissioner of Housing and City Planning Commissioner.

Garvin is Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning and Management at Yale University, where he has taught a wide range of subjects, including "Introduction to the Study

of the City," which for more than 46 years has remained one of the most popular courses in Yale College. In addition, he teaches two courses in the School of

Architecture, including a seminar on "Intermediate Planning and Development."

Among other honors, Garvin has received the 2012 Award of Merit from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the 2004 Distinguished

Service Award from the New York City Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). The first edition of

The American City won the 1996 AIA Book Award in Urbanism.

Garvin is also the author of Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communities and The Planning Game: Lessons from Great Cities. He earned his B.A., M.Arch., and M.U.S. from Yale University.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 A Realistic Approach; Ch. 2. Ingredients of Success; Ch. 3. Parks; Downtown Strategies (new); Ch. 4. Retailing; Ch. 5. Magnets; Ch. 6. Modernization; Ch. 7. Retrofitting for Vehicles; Ch. 8. Reclaiming Public Realm; Ch. 9. Downtown Management; Housing Strategies (new); Ch. 10. Increasing Housing; Ch. 11. Reducing Cost; Ch. 12. Housing Rehab; Ch. 13. Clearing Slums; Ch. 14. Revitalizing Neighborhoods; Suburban Strategies (new); Ch. 15. Residential Suburbs; Ch. 16. New Enclaves; Ch. 17. New Towns; Regulatory Strategies (new); Ch. 18. Land Use Regulations; Ch. 19. Historic Preservation; Ch. 20. Comprehensive Planning; Index
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