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The City and Citizenship 1. Suburbs and the Evolution of Modern Cities  Modern cities first centralized, then decentralized  Fishman: decline of central.

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Presentation on theme: "The City and Citizenship 1. Suburbs and the Evolution of Modern Cities  Modern cities first centralized, then decentralized  Fishman: decline of central."— Presentation transcript:

1 The City and Citizenship 1

2 Suburbs and the Evolution of Modern Cities  Modern cities first centralized, then decentralized  Fishman: decline of central cities part of “constant upheaval and self- destruction”  Consider not just suburbs, but their emergence in the context of metropolitan trends (and their effect on central cities)  Demographic evidence  Population shifts : 23% suburban in 1950, >50% by 2000  Commuting patterns: 38% from suburb to suburb, 19% suburb to city  Office space: 57% now in suburbs  Suburbanization  Classic (since early 19 th century): "a process involving the systematic growth of fringe areas at a pace more rapid than that of core cities, as a lifestyle involving a daily commute to jobs in the center"  Contemporary (late 20 th century): suburbs now have complex economies with specialized services, retail, hospitals, etc. May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 2

3 Suburban Form: Sprawl  Sprawl  Skyline v. sprawl  Fishman: "familiar decentralized world of highways and tract houses, shopping malls, and office parks”  Suburbs lack "dominant single core and definable boundaries"  “Technoburb has no proper boundaries; however defined, it is divided into a crazy quilt of separate and overlapping political jurisdictions”  Panoply of names:  "exurb, spread city, urban village, megalopolis, outtown, sprawl, slurb, the burbs, nonplace urban field, polynucleated city, technoburb“  Mumford: “formless urban exudation”  Seemingly unplanned: "no one imagined the form of the new. Instead it was built up piecemeal, as a result of millions of uncoordinated decisions made by housing developers, shopping-mall operators, corporate executives, highway engineers and, not least, the millions of Americans who saved and sacrificed to buy single-family homes in the expanding suburbs" May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 3

4 Subdivisions & Tract Housing May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 4 Colorado Springs Suburban Ranch House Newer Suburban Tract House

5 Causes of Suburbanization  Emergence of suburbs not an accident  Technological developments  Advantages of geographical concentration (primarily for industry and transportation) undermined by technological developments  mass transportation, first buses and trains, then cars  Spread of electrical grid  Mass marketing  Especially of new housing developments  Linked to “labor-saving” devices, peacetime economy  Suburban “utopias”  Played on cultural ideal of land  Ideal of domesticity, especially for middle-class women  Political interventions  Housing policy, e.g. FHA loans  Planning by municipalities  Federal government support for development/maintenance of highways May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 5

6 Levittown May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 6 Curving Streets Dream House

7 Promoting Suburbia May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 7 1958 California advertisement Cabinets! Closets!

8 Highways May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 8 Highway interchange Dallas, 1960 Paying for highways

9 Shopping Malls May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 9 Lakewood, California Sharpstown Mall, Houston TX Woodfield Mall

10 Suburbs and Car Culture  Facilitated by development of Interstate Highway System  Garages and houses  Motels supplant hotels  Theaters: movie palaces, drive-ins, multiplexes  Gasoline service stations (suburban “corner stores”?)  Shopping: downtown department stores, mall complexes, strip malls  Production  Factories move to suburbs  Corporate offices move (and are “balkanized”) May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 10

11 The Impact of Cars May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 11

12 Shopping, Working, Walking? May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 12

13 Signs, Signs, Everywhere… May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 13

14 Are Suburbs “Cities?”  No, not according to typical definitions, even of “modern” cities  No center or boundaries  Little distinction between functional zones  Yes, according “post-modern” criteria  "Instead of a single privileged center, there would be a multitude of crossings, no one of which could assume priority. And the grid would be boundless by its very nature, capable of unlimited extension in all directions"  Not defined by space, but by time (how long it takes to get to something, not how far it is)  The City “a la carte”  defined by each family for own purposes: "each family home has become the central point for its members. Families create their own 'cities' out of the destinations they can reach (usually traveling by car) in a reasonable length of time“  Overlapping networks  Household: moving kids around to school, practice, lessons  Consumption (Mallopolis)  Production May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 14

15 Suburban Form: Technoburbs and the Technocity  Technoburbs are part of a broader technocity  Resulted from the “almost simultaneous decentralization of housing, industry, specialized services, and office jobs”  No longer suburbs, but new form of city  Technoburbs no longer need urban “core”  They are “a peripheral zone, perhaps as large as a county, that has emerged as a viable socioeconomic unit”  Residents oriented to immediate surroundings rather than to central city (multicentered)  Technoburbs in more direct communication with each other (or other technocities) than with “center”  Symbolized by “beltways” (the “Main Streets” of the technoburb)  Decline of “suburbs” and rise of “technoburbs”  “Renewed linkage of work and residence”  Commuting is multidirectional, rather than “tidal wash” May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 15

16 Back to Sprawl – A Critique  Duany, et al paint a grim picture:  “cookie-cutter houses, wide, treeless, sidewalk-free roadways, mindlessly curving cul-de-sacs, a streetscape of garage doors – a beige vinyl parody of Leave It to Beaver. Or, worse yet, a pretentious slew of McMansions”  “a national landscape that is largely devoid of places worth caring about”  Sprawl built by insisting on segregation of the five key components  Housing subdivisions  Shopping centers  Office and business parks  Civic institutions  Roadways  End result: “an uncoordinated agglomeration of standardized single-use zones with little pedestrian life and even less civic identification, connected only by an overtaxed network of roadways.”  That is, sprawl the result of planning designed to “make cars happy”  This contrasted to “traditional neighborhoods” and to possibility of “good growth” May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 16

17 Sprawl – Bruegmann’s “Defense”  Sprawl not a recent American development  Many cities in history have experienced “sprawl”  American sprawl distinctive because it’s a mass phenomenon  Sprawl happens when there is prosperity and (housing) choice  Examine “sprawl” as cultural concept  Set of diagnoses and solutions that reveal cultural and historical contexts  Thus, Duany’s description of sprawl reveals author’s attitudes more than it defines what sprawl is  Bruegmann’s definition: “low-density, scattered urban development without systematic large-scale or regional public land-use planning” May 5, 2015The City and Citizenship 17


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