The City as an Entertainment Machine

Overview

The City as an Entertainment Machine explores how consumption and entertainment change cities, but it reverses the "normal" causal process. That is, many chapters analyze how consumption and entertainment drive urban development, not vice versa. People both live and work in cities, and where they choose to live shifts where and how they work. Amenities enter as enticements to bring new residents or tourists to a city, and so amenities have become new public concerns for many cities in the United States and much ...

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Overview

The City as an Entertainment Machine explores how consumption and entertainment change cities, but it reverses the "normal" causal process. That is, many chapters analyze how consumption and entertainment drive urban development, not vice versa. People both live and work in cities, and where they choose to live shifts where and how they work. Amenities enter as enticements to bring new residents or tourists to a city, and so amenities have become new public concerns for many cities in the United States and much of northern Europe. Old ways of thinking, old paradigms-such as "location, location, location" and "land, labor, capital, and management generate economic development"-are too simple, as is "human capital drives development." With these earlier ideas we ask, "How do amenities and related consumption attract talented people, who in turn drive the classic processes which make cities grow?" This new question is critical for policymakers, urban public officials, and business and nonprofit leaders who are using culture, entertainment, and urban amenities to enhance their locations-for present and future residents, tourists, conventioneers, and shoppers.

This volume details the impacts of opera, used bookstores, brew pubs, bicycle events, Starbucks' coffee shops, gay residents, and other factors on changes in jobs, population, inventions, and more. It is the first study to assemble and analyze such amenities for national samples of cities (and counties). It interprets these processes by showing how they add new insights from economics, sociology, political science, public policy, and geography. Considerable evidence is presented on how consumption, amenities, and culture drive urban policy by encouraging people to move to or from different cities and regions.

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Editorial Reviews

Urban Studies
The City as an Entertainment Machine brings together a number of research projects conducted largely in America and one in the UK, which seek to assess the impacts of ‘amenities’ on urban growth. The thesis is that the consumer is the all-powerful figure who can generate a level of economic growth for a place and it is therefore important to understand this consumer in more detail, in order that places know how to meet consumer demand. The volume as a whole considers policy to be a straightforward and one-way set of discourses in which, providing the amenities are present, the consumer will continue obediently to demand commodities. How these policies are understood, ignored and resisted by different groups in the public sphere is not up for consideration, which limits the insights offered.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739124222
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 2/24/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Nichols Clark is professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. His books include Citizen Politics in Post-Industrial Society,City Money, The New Political Culture, and Urban Innovation.
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Taking Entertainment Seriously Terry Nichols Clark 1

2 A Political Theory of Consumption Terry Nichols Clark 15

3 Urban Amenities: Lakes, Opera, and Juice Bars-Do They Drive Development? Terry Nichols Clark 97

4 Consumers and Cities Edward L. Glaeser Jed Kolko Albert Saiz 135

5 The New Political Culture and Local Government in England Anne Bartlett Terry Nichols Clark Dennis Merritt 143

6 Technology and Tolerance: The Importance of Diversity to High-Technology Growth Richard Florida Gary Gates 157

7 Gays and Urban Development: How Are They Linked? Terry Nichols Clark 179

8 Starbucks, Bicycle Paths, and Urban Growth Machines: E-mails Among Members of the Urban and Community Section of the American Sociological Association Listserv Compiled Terry Nichols Clark 193

9 Amenities Drive Urban Growth: A New Paradigm and Policy Linkages Terry Nichols Clark Richard Lloyd Kenneth K. Wong Pushpam Jain 209

10 Scenes: Social Context in an Age of Contingency Daniel Silver Terry Nichols Clark Clemente Jesus Navarro Yanez 241

Index 277

About the Authors 281

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