The Suburbanization of New York

Is the World's Greatest City Becoming Just Another Town?

Jerilou Hammett, Kingsley Hammett

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     7 × 9 in (17.8 × 22.9 cm)
192 pages
20 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 3/1/2007
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568986784

What's next for New York? Is it cooking or cooling? Brimming with vitality or sinking into somnolence? Will it retain its edgy preeminence as global crucible, the place par excellence where the world's peoples come to clash and fuse and create the future? Will the forces of suburbanization--now sprawling and malling their way into town--tame the raucous metropolis, subdue its contrarian politics, make of it just another outlet for Disneyfied culture, big-box commerce, and franchise food? Or is something altogether new busy being born at the contested urban-suburban frontier? Only two things are sure: New York is in rapid motion, and this book is a great guide to where it might be headed. Its diverse array of observations--written by some of the country's smartest (and wittiest) analysts and activists--are incisive and accessible, provocative and entertaining, perfect for an urban studies course and for anyone interested in pondering the past and future of cities." --Mike Wallace, Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898

The city that never sleeps also never stops changing. And while New Yorkers are renowned for their trendsetting, this thought-provoking book argues that New York City itself has become a follower rather than a leader. Once-distinctive streets and neighborhoods have become awash in generic stores, apartment boxes, and garish signs and billboards. Legendary neighborhoods (Little Italy, Hell's Kitchen, Harlem, the Lower East Side) have been smoothed over with cute monikers, remade for real-estate investment and for sale to the highest bidder.

What does the future hold for the legendary metropolis, gateway to immigrants and strivers, magnet for builders and dealers, muse for artists and dreamers? Will the current political, economic, and social influences dull its once-famous creative edge and culture of opposition? What will become of the special allure of New York? The Suburbanization of New York presents fourteen timely, provocative articles that explore the radical transformation unfolding in New York City and raise serious questions about the future of any metropolis struggling to maintain its unique identity. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the field of urban studies or the forces shaping our cities today.

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