The code of the city

Author: Eran Ben-Joseph
Publisher: The MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262025881
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Traces the evolution of urban development codes and standards, examines their effect on city planning and design, and proposes alternatives that will encourage innovation.

The Making of Grand Paris

Author: Theresa Enright
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262034697
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In 2007 the French government announced the "Grand Paris" initiative. This ambitious project reimagined the Paris region as integrated, balanced, global, sustainable, and prosperous. Metropolitan solidarity would unite divided populations; a new transportation system, the Grand Paris Express, would connect the affluent city proper with the low-income suburbs; streamlined institutions would replace fragmented governance structures. Grand Paris is more than a redevelopment plan; it is a new paradigm for urbanism. In this first English-language examination of Grand Paris, Theresa Enright offers a critical analysis of the early stages of the project, considering whether it can achieve its twin goals of economic competitiveness and equality. Enright argues that by orienting the city around growth and marketization, Grand Paris reproduces the social and spatial hierarchies it sets out to address. For example, large expenditures for the Grand Paris Express are made not for the public good but to increase the attractiveness of the region to private investors, setting off a real estate boom, encouraging gentrification, and leaving many residents still unable to get from here to there. Enright describes Grand Paris as an example of what she calls "grand urbanism," large-scale planning that relies on infrastructural megaprojects to reconfigure urban regions in pursuit of speculative redevelopment. Democracy and equality suffer under processes of grand urbanism. Given the logic of commodification on which Grand Paris is based, these are likely to suffer as the project moves forward.

Changing Lanes

Author: Joseph F. DiMento
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262018586
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Urban freeways often cut through the heart of a city, destroying neighborhoods, displacing residents, and reconfiguring street maps. These massive infrastructure projects, costing billions of dollars in transportation funds, have been shaped for the last half century by the ideas of highway engineers, urban planners, landscape architects, and architects -- with highway engineers playing the leading role. In Changing Lanes, Joseph DiMento and Cliff Ellis describe the evolution of the urban freeway in the United States, from its rural parkway precursors through the construction of the interstate highway system to emerging alternatives for more sustainable urban transportation. DiMento and Ellis examine the competing visions of the different professions involved in planning these highways and their varying approaches to improving city life. They describe controversies that arose over urban freeway construction, focusing on three cases: Syracuse, which early on embraced freeways through its center; Los Angeles, which rejected some0routes and then built I-105, the most expensive urban road of its time; and Memphis, which blocked the construction of I-40 through its core. Finally, they consider the emerging urban highway removal movement and other innovative efforts by cities to re-envison urban transportation.0.

Blue and Green

Author: Scott L. Cummings
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262534312
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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How an alliance of the labor and environmental movements used law as a tool to clean up the trucking industry at the nation's largest port. In Blue and Green, Scott Cummings examines a campaign by the labor and environmental movements to transform trucking at America's largest port in Los Angeles. Tracing the history of struggle in an industry at the epicenter of the global supply chain, Cummings shows how an unprecedented “blue-green” alliance mobilized to improve working conditions for low-income drivers and air quality in nearby communities. The campaign for “clean trucks,” Cummings argues, teaches much about how social movements can use law to challenge inequality in a global era. Cummings shows how federal deregulation created interrelated economic and environmental problems at the port and how the campaign fought back by mobilizing law at the local level. He documents three critical stages: initial success in passing landmark legislation requiring port trucking companies to convert trucks from dirty to clean and drivers from contractors to employees with full labor rights; campaign decline after industry litigation blocked employee conversion; and campaign resurgence through an innovative legal approach to driver misclassification that realized a central labor movement goal—unionizing port truckers. Appraising the campaign, Cummings analyzes the tradeoffs of using alternative legal frameworks to promote labor organizing, and explores lessons for building movements to regulate low-wage work in the “gig” economy. He shows how law can bind coalitions together and split them apart, and concludes that the fight for legal reform never ends, but rather takes different turns on the long road to justice.

Growing smarter

Author: Robert Doyle Bullard
Publisher: The MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262026109
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Experts from academia, government, and nonprofit organizations offer an environmental justice perspective on Smart Growth, discussing equitable solutions to suburban sprawl and urban decay.

Zoned in the USA

Author: Sonia A. Hirt
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801454700
Format: PDF, ePub
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Why are American cities, suburbs, and towns so distinct? Compared to European cities, those in the United States are characterized by lower densities and greater distances; neat, geometric layouts; an abundance of green space; a greater level of social segregation reflected in space; and—perhaps most noticeably—a greater share of individual, single-family detached housing. In Zoned in the USA, Sonia A. Hirt argues that zoning laws are among the important but understudied reasons for the cross-continental differences. Hirt shows that rather than being imported from Europe, U.S. municipal zoning law was in fact an institution that quickly developed its own, distinctly American profile. A distinct spatial culture of individualism—founded on an ideal of separate, single-family residences apart from the dirt and turmoil of industrial and agricultural production—has driven much of municipal regulation, defined land-use, and, ultimately, shaped American life. Hirt explores municipal zoning from a comparative and international perspective, drawing on archival resources and contemporary land-use laws from England, Germany, France, Australia, Russia, Canada, and Japan to challenge assumptions about American cities and the laws that guide them.