American Urban Form: A Representative History

American Urban Form: A Representative History

by Sam Bass Warner Jr., Andrew Whittemore

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Overview

An illustrated history of the American city's evolution from sparsely populated village to regional metropolis.

American Urban Form—the spaces, places, and boundaries that define city life—has been evolving since the first settlements of colonial days. The changing patterns of houses, buildings, streets, parks, pipes and wires, wharves, railroads, highways, and airports reflect changing patterns of the social, political, and economic processes that shape the city. In this book, Sam Bass Warner and Andrew Whittemore map more than three hundred years of the American city through the evolution of urban form. They do this by offering an illustrated history of “the City”—a hypothetical city (constructed from the histories of Boston, Philadelphia, and New York) that exemplifies the American city's transformation from village to regional metropolis.

In an engaging text accompanied by Whittemore's detailed, meticulous drawings, they chart the City's changes. Planning for the future of cities, they remind us, requires an understanding of the forces that shaped the city's past.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262300926
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 02/24/2012
Series: Urban and Industrial Environments
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 200
File size: 23 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sam Bass Warner, noted urban historian and Visiting Professor of Urban History at MIT, is the author of The Urban Wilderness: A History of the American City and other books.

Andrew H. Whittemore is Assistant Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Texas Arlington.

Andrew H. Whittemore is Assistant Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Texas Arlington.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 The City's Seventeenth-Century Beginnings 8

2 The City in the Mid-Eighteenth Century 20

3 The Merchant Republic, 1820 32

4 The City Overwhelmed, 1860 48

5 The City Restructured, 1895 64

6 Toward a New Economy and a Novel Urban Form, 1925 84

7 The Federally Supported City, 1950 102

8 The Polycentric City, 1975 118

9 The Global City, 2000 136

Notes 155

Suggested Reading 161

Index 173

Series List 181

What People are Saying About This

Robert L. Fishman

This book represents a fresh approach to a perennial problem -- arguably the perennial problem -- in urban history. It will surely be, as the authors intend, a very useful and enlightening book for planners and design professionals seeking to learn from a single volume the most important elements of American urban history. The range of detailed, accurate, and insightful knowledge the authors display from the colonial city to the present is simply astonishing. And I believe the book will generate much useful comment and debate among urban historians about how to conceptualize and to present our field.

Michael H. Ebner

American Urban Form -- assaying Boston, New York, and Philadelphia -- merits acclaim. Imagining our urban past, present, and future, Sam Bass Warner and Andrew Whittemore frame their lively narrative with twenty-first century sensibilities as they plumb the near and more distant past. Assembling chronologically organized big-picture views, the co-authors explain the shaping forces which created assorted urban forms. This superb book, to its credit, features Whittemore's hand-crafted and sumptuously detailed urban landscapes, best thought of as a luminous historical exhibition. A wide range of readers -- architects, artists, planners, historians, journalists, lawyers, mayors, legislators, policy makers, and general readers -- surely will learn much from this book.

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

With its rich narrative and outstanding visual representation of urban form changes, this concise book succeeds in making the reader experience the American city through time and understand the forces behind its evolution. The hypothetical city becomes real through engaging and detailed accounts of events, spaces, and social interactions.

Endorsement

This book represents a fresh approach to a perennial problem—arguably the perennial problem—in urban history. It will surely be, as the authors intend, a very useful and enlightening book for planners and design professionals seeking to learn from a single volume the most important elements of American urban history. The range of detailed, accurate, and insightful knowledge the authors display from the colonial city to the present is simply astonishing. And I believe the book will generate much useful comment and debate among urban historians about how to conceptualize and to present our field.

Robert L. Fishman, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, Taubman College, University of Michigan

From the Publisher

With its rich narrative and outstanding visual representation of urban form changes, this concise book succeeds in making the reader experience the American city through time and understand the forces behind its evolution. The hypothetical city becomes real through engaging and detailed accounts of events, spaces, and social interactions.

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA

American Urban Form—assaying Boston, New York, and Philadelphia—merits acclaim. Imagining our urban past, present, and future, Sam Bass Warner and Andrew Whittemore frame their lively narrative with twenty-first century sensibilities as they plumb the near and more distant past. Assembling chronologically organized big-picture views, the co-authors explain the shaping forces which created assorted urban forms. This superb book, to its credit, features Whittemore's hand-crafted and sumptuously detailed urban landscapes, best thought of as a luminous historical exhibition. A wide range of readers—architects, artists, planners, historians, journalists, lawyers, mayors, legislators, policy makers, and general readers—surely will learn much from this book.

Michael H. Ebner, Lake Forest College

This book represents a fresh approach to a perennial problem—arguably the perennial problem—in urban history. It will surely be, as the authors intend, a very useful and enlightening book for planners and design professionals seeking to learn from a single volume the most important elements of American urban history. The range of detailed, accurate, and insightful knowledge the authors display from the colonial city to the present is simply astonishing. And I believe the book will generate much useful comment and debate among urban historians about how to conceptualize and to present our field.

Robert L. Fishman, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, Taubman College, University of Michigan

Customer Reviews