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The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster
     

The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster

by Lawrence J. Vale
 

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In 1871, the city of Chicago was almost entirely destroyed by what became known as The Great Fire. Thirty-five years later, San Francisco lay in smoldering ruins after the catastrophic earthquake of 1906. Or consider the case of the Jerusalem, the greatest site of physical destruction and renewal in history, which, over three millennia, has suffered wars,

Overview

In 1871, the city of Chicago was almost entirely destroyed by what became known as The Great Fire. Thirty-five years later, San Francisco lay in smoldering ruins after the catastrophic earthquake of 1906. Or consider the case of the Jerusalem, the greatest site of physical destruction and renewal in history, which, over three millennia, has suffered wars, earthquakes, fires, twenty sieges, eighteen reconstructions, and at least eleven transitions from one religious faith to another. Yet this ancient city has regenerated itself time and again, and still endures. Throughout history, cities have been sacked, burned, torched, bombed, flooded, besieged, and leveled. And yet they almost always rise from the ashes to rebuild. Viewing a wide array of urban disasters in global historical perspective, The Resilient City traces the aftermath of such cataclysms as:
--the British invasion of Washington in 1814
--the devastation wrought on Berlin, Warsaw, and Tokyo during World War II
--the late-20th century earthquakes that shattered Mexico City and the Chinese city of Tangshan
--Los Angeles after the 1992 riots
--the Oklahoma City bombing
--the destruction of the World Trade Center

Revealing how traumatized city-dwellers consistently develop narratives of resilience and how the pragmatic process of urban recovery is always fueled by highly symbolic actions, The Resilient City offers a deeply informative and unsentimental tribute to the dogged persistence of the city, and indeed of the human spirit."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...through the depth of the essays collected within it, The Resilient City far surpasses previous edited volumes on urban reconstruction."--H-NET

"Cities, like people, often show their deepest character under terrifying stress. This book brings together histories of fire, earthquake, terrorism, and war to demonstrate that the most traumatic urban disasters can then become the most dramatic urban recoveries. These horrifying and inspiring analyses reveal the resilient essence of urbanism itself."--Robert Fishman, Taubman College of Architecture and Planning, University of Michigan

"A fascinating collection."--Sir Peter Hall, author of Cities in Civilization


"If you are looking for an antidote to the depressing faree typical of the disaster literature, pick up The Resilient City... The book is also commendable for its vast geographic reach and long temporal arc, and for drawing from a variety of disciplines..."--Ari Kelman, Technology and Culture

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195175844
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
12/10/2004
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 7.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence J. Vale is Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of From the Puritans to the Projects: A History of Public Housing in America, among other titles. Thomas J. Campanella is Assistant Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of Republic of Shade and Cities from the Sky.

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