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Urban Planning Today

A Harvard Design Magazine Reader

2006

William S. Saunders, editor
Introduction by Alexander Garvin

Urban Planning Today

A provocative and practical consideration of what works, and what does not, in American urban planning

Urban Planning Today reports on projects in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, and Portland, bringing perspectives of urban design, city planning, criticism, and law to bear on the mixed bag of results observed in these cities.

Contributors: Jonathan Barnett, Lynn Becker, Peter Calthorpe, Susan Fainstein, Bent Flyvbjerg, John Kaliski, Jerold Kayden, Matthew J. Kiefer, Hubert Murray, Richard Plunz, Leonie Sandercock, Michael Sheridan.

Any with an interest in successes, failures, and evolving perspectives will welcome this addition to a college-level collection strong in urban studies.

Midwest Book Review

American cities's penchants for single-use zoning and free-market development in pursuit of economic growth have produced problems that have long been recognized: grueling commutes and dependency on automobiles, social isolation, expensive public infrastructure, needless destruction of countryside. Eminent domain disputes rage on, despite recent Supreme Court decisions. Outdated public housing and failed single-function projects litter the landscape.

Addressing these urgent problems and debating the public's role in urban planning, the contributors to Urban Planning Today report on real projects in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Omaha, Portland, and Vancouver. They bring varying, and sometimes divergent, perspectives from backgrounds in urban design and development, city and regional planning, criticism, and law to bear on the mixed bag of results observed in these cities. Noting the increasing influence of local nonprofit developers—such as Bridge Housing in San Francisco and Phipps Houses Group, Community Preservation Corporation, and NYC2012 in New York—as well as national organizations, the contributors also imagine clear and effective roles for government leaders.

By creating a dialogue of cities's planning successes and failures, this book illustrates that adopting a single model universally will not work and that effective planning must indisputably demonstrate that any public action and private market reaction will be in the local community's interest—physically, functionally, financially, politically, aesthetically, and spiritually.

Contributors: Jonathan Barnett, Lynn Becker, Peter Calthorpe, Susan Fainstein, Bent Flyvbjerg, John Kaliski, Jerold Kayden, Matthew J. Kiefer, Hubert Murray, Richard Plunz, Leonie Sandercock, Michael Sheridan.

Urban Planning Today

William S. Saunders is editor of Harvard Design Magazine and the books Commodification and Spectacle in Architecture and Sprawl and Suburbia, both from Minnesota. He is assistant dean for external relations at the Harvard Design School, and author of Modern Architecture: Photographs by Ezra Stoller.

Alexander Garvin is president and CEO of Alex Garvin & Associates Inc. and adjunct professor of urban planning and management at Yale University.

Urban Planning Today

Any with an interest in successes, failures, and evolving perspectives will welcome this addition to a college-level collection strong in urban studies.

Midwest Book Review

Urban Planning Today

Contents

Preface William S. Saunders

Introduction: Planning Now for the Twenty-first Century Alexander Garvin

1. The Return of Urban Renewal: Dan Doctoroff’s Grand Plans for New York City Susan S. Fainstein
2. Deadlock Plus 50: On Public Housing in New York Richard Plunz and Michael Sheridan
3. Democracy Takes Command: The New Community Planning and the Challenge to Urban Design John Kaliski
4. Can Planning Be a Means to Better Architecture? Chicago’s Building Boom and Design Quality Lynn Becker
5. An Anatomy of Civic Ambition in Vancouver: Toward Humane Density Leonie Sandercock
6. Paved with Good Intentions: Boston’s Central Artery Project and a Failure of City Building Hubert Murray
7. Public Planning and Private Initiative: The South Boston Waterfront Matthew J. Kiefer
8. Omaha by Design—All of It: New Prospects in Urban Planning and Design Jonathan Barnett
9. Is Eminent Domain for Economic Development Constitutional? Jerold S. Kayden
10. From New Regionalism to the Urban Network: Changing the Paradigm of Growth Peter Calthorpe
11. Design by Deception: The Politics of Megaproject Approval Bent Flyvbjerg

Contributors