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North Castle Books

Urban Economics and Land Use in America: The Transformation of Cities in the Twentieth Century
Authored by: Alan Rabinowitz

Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-1410-0 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1411-7
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USD: $90.95 USD: $36.95
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Available to all countries
Information: 272pp. Tables, figures, maps, bibliographic references, index.
Publication Date: March 2004.  


Description: This is a book about the reality of place in America, the events and influences that led to the America we recognize today. It is a book about the growth of American cities and their suburbs during the twentieth century, about institutions and metropolitan governance, about real estate development and finance, about housing and the lack of it, about the emergence and perhaps the eventual debilitation of cities and suburbs alike. It is also a chronicle of ideas and events, an account and analysis of social change that led to marketplace happenings, and as its consequences to the land use decisions we're now living with.

Incorporating the thinking of visionary city planners and land use economists, the author shows how their ideas frequently lost out to more short-sighted views that played a major role in shaping social change in America during the last century. He dissects the economic, social, and political attitudes of the times, and the economic realities and fictions that played themselves out in the misuse of America's open spaces that he believes has led to many of today's urban ills. The result is a lucid primer on the economics of land, its development and usage, and on how things actually get done in the real estate industry.

Selected Contents:

List of Tables and Figures
I. Introduction
1. Overview
2. How Garden Cities Became the Standard for the Development of American Suburbs
II. Setting the Scene
3. Generations of Babbitts and Ebenezers
4. Some Historical Themes and Sensibilities
5. Public Lands and the Native Population
6. Visions of the Twenty-first Century
III. Notes on Suburbanization
7. The Suburbs According to Richard T. Ely in 1902
8. Patterns of Transportation and Metropolitanization, 1900-2000
IV. The Record: 1900-2000
9. Structuring the Political Economy of America, 1900-1930
10. Restructuring America, 1930 Through World War II
11. Restructuring Continued: The Fractious Postwar Period
12. Destructuring America, 1968-2000
V. Looking Onward
13. The Metropolitan System in Gear
14. Remaking America in the 21st Century
Appendix A: "A Short History of S & Ls"
About the Author

Comment(s): "This book provides a comprehensive and highly readable analysis of urbanisation in the USA during the last century. Alan Rabinowitz's wealth of experience as an urban planner and consultant contributes to a personal approach that is both informative and thought-provoking. The book will be valuable to all academics and professionals involved in land use planning and I would particularly recommend it to readers whose work is based in Europe and who may be less familiar with urban planning in the American context." -- Sarah Monk Deputy Director, Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, England

"Urban economics and urban policy appear in new light in Alan Rabinowitz's astute, historically sound, comprehensive analyses. Vividly written, Urban Economics and Land Use in America is a major contribution in its connecting of history, economics, politics and ideology to reveal how cities and suburbs responded to pressures in the twentieth century." -- S.M. Miller, Senior Fellow, Commonwealth Institute and Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Boston University

"For most of the 20th century, either Alan Rabinowitz or his father was directly involved in urban land-use planning and real estate development in the United States. Drawing on this wealth of personal experience, along with his insightful reading of the literature, legislation, and jurisprudence of urban affairs, Dr. Rabinowitz masterfully summarizes the nation's changing housing, banking and social policies and paints a vivid historical picture of the urban forms they produced. For those seeking to understand how the American metropolis became what it is today, this book is the place to start." -- Douglas S. Massey, Princeton University

Review(s): "Rabinowitz augments his authority in real estate economics and his varied experiences of the city with voracious reading, life reflections, and access to important documents. ... Recommended." -- Choice

"The book provides a lucid amount of how cities are shaped by forces beyond their boundaries. ...Readers interested in urban history, urban governance, and public-private development will most appreciate this text. ...it meets its goal: providing readers with a broadened understanding of which factors shaped American cities over the last century." -- Journal of American Planning Association, Vol.72, No.4

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