By Steven Conn
T is a paradox of yankee lifestyles that we're a hugely urbanized state jam-packed with humans deeply ambivalent approximately city lifestyles. An aversion to city density and all that it contributes to city lifestyles, and a conception that town was once where the place "big government" first took root in the United States fostered what historian Steven Conn phrases the "anti-urban impulse." In reaction, anti-urbanists referred to as for the decentralization of town, and rejected the function of presidency in American existence in desire of a go back to the pioneer virtues of independence and self-sufficiency. during this provocative and sweeping publication, Conn explores the anti-urban impulse around the twentieth century, analyzing how the tips born of it have formed either the locations within which americans reside and paintings, and the anti-government politics so powerful this present day. starting within the booming commercial towns of the innovative period on the flip of the twentieth century, the place debate surrounding those questions first arose, Conn examines the development of anti-urban hobbies. : He describes the decentralist circulation of the Thirties, the try to revive the yank small city within the mid-century, the anti-urban foundation of city renewal within the Nineteen Fifties and '60s, and the Nixon administration's software of establishing new cities as a reaction to the city challenge, illustrating how, via the center of the twentieth century, anti-urbanism used to be on the middle of the politics of the hot correct. Concluding with an exploration of the hot Urbanist experiments on the flip of the twenty first century, Conn demonstrates the whole breadth of the anti-urban impulse, from its inception to the current day. Engagingly written, completely researched, and forcefully argued, american citizens opposed to the town is critical analyzing for a person who cares not only in regards to the historical past of our towns, yet approximately their destiny in addition.
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Extra resources for Americans Against the City: Anti-Urbanism in the Twentieth Century
Different solutions to the same problem, perhaps, but Burnham and Addams also saw that either would require the intervention of government—on the municipal level surely, but at the state and federal level as well. Benjamin Marsh called for a “civic census” conducted by the federal government to study city planning nationally. 38 Burnham hoped that many of his improvements—the relocation of rail yards, for example—would be undertaken voluntarily. But he recognized that much of his plan would require public authority.
The other mapped the wages that residents of these twelve square blocks earned. For most families, that amounted to between $5 and $15 for a six-day week (approximately $120 to $360 a week in current dollars). Hull House workers walked these streets, knocking on every door, and collected all this information on a standardized survey schedule (a sample schedule was included in the published book). ”22 It was an exhaustive and doubtless an exhausting project. The challenge was how to turn all that information into something visual.
In the ideal city,” one writer asserted, “the multitude of problems that arise from the congestion of population will not be abandoned to the inhumanity of commercialism or to the chance of philanthropy. ”10 Planning and zoning became ways cities took on the problems that resulted from congestion. 12 It was surely no accident that New York Mayor Gaynor appointed Benjamin Marsh to chair his congestion committee. Marsh had already made his reputation in the emerging world of planning and had made clear his commitment to the Progressive agenda.