The Transatlantic Collapse Of Urban Renewal: Postwar Urbanism From New York To Berlin

Paperback | October 12, 2012

byChristopher Klemek

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The Transatlantic Collapse of Urban Renewal examines how postwar thinkers from both sides of the Atlantic considered urban landscapes radically changed by the political and physical realities of sprawl, urban decay, and urban renewal. With a sweep that encompasses New York, London, Berlin, Philadelphia, and Toronto, among others, Christopher Klemek traces changing responses to the challenging issues that most affected the lives of the world’s cities. 

In the postwar decades, the principles of modernist planning came to be challenged—in the grassroots revolts against the building of freeways through urban neighborhoods, for instance, or by academic critiques of slum clearance policy agendas—and then began to collapse entirely. Over the 1960s, several alternative views of city life emerged among neighborhood activists, New Left social scientists, and neoconservative critics. Ultimately, while a pessimistic view of urban crisis may have won out in the United States and Great Britain, Klemek demonstrates that other countries more successfully harmonized urban renewal and its alternatives. Thismuch anticipated book provides one of the first truly international perspectives on issues central to historians and planners alike, making it essential reading for anyone engaged with either field.

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The Transatlantic Collapse of Urban Renewal examines how postwar thinkers from both sides of the Atlantic considered urban landscapes radically changed by the political and physical realities of sprawl, urban decay, and urban renewal. With a sweep that encompasses New York, London, Berlin, Philadelphia, and Toronto, among others, Chris...

Christopher Klemek is assistant professor in the Department of History at George Washington University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:October 12, 2012Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022600595X

ISBN - 13:9780226005959

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Final Frontier

I. Interlocking Foundations of the Urban Renewal Order

1. Atlantic Crossings of the Urban Renewal Order: From Interwar Berlin, via Wartime London, to Postwar Toronto

2. Assembling the Four Pillars: An Urban Renewal Order Takes Shape in the United States, 1934–66

II. Converging Critiques of the Urban Renewal Order

3. Aesthetic Critiques: The Urbanist Establishment Rediscovers the Old City

4. Policy Objections: Social Scientists Question the Urban Renewal Order

5. Outsider’s Revolt: Jane Jacobs and Outright Rejection from Beyond the Urbanist Establishment

III. The Transatlantic Collapse of the Urban Renewal Order

6. The First Wave of Resistance: Freeway Revolts

7. The Tide Shifts: Neighborhood Protectionism

8. A Bitter End? Self-Destruction by Democracy

IV. Aftermath(s): Ideological Polarization and Political Struggle after the Fall of the Urban Renewal Order

9. New Left Urbanism vs. Neocon Urban Crisis: Divergent Intellectual Responses in the United States

10. The Anti-experts: Citizen Participation, Advocacy Planning, and the Urbanist Establishment

11. Nixon Urbanistes and “the Waterloo of Planning”

12. Softer Landings after the Fall: Divergent Legacies of the Urban Renewal Order

Conclusion: First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin

Appendix

Notes

Index

Editorial Reviews

The Transatlantic Collapse of Urban Renewal demonstrates convincingly how valuable it is to reexamine urban renewal outside the typical national and single-city context and employing the international diffusion perspective. . . . Suffice it to say, this is an important book that would benefit in so many ways courses in planning history and theory, and should guide future research in this important planning field.”