Download Common Ground?: Readings and Reflections on Public Space by Anthony M. Orum, Zachary P. Neal PDF

By Anthony M. Orum, Zachary P. Neal

Public areas have lengthy been the focal point of city social task, yet investigations of the way public house works usually undertake just one of a number of attainable views, which restricts the questions that may be requested and the solutions that may be thought of. during this quantity, Anthony Orum and Zachary Neal discover how public house could be a facilitator of civil order, a website for strength and resistance, and a level for artwork, theatre, and function. they bring about jointly those usually unconnected versions for realizing public house, gathering vintage and modern readings that illustrate every one, and synthesizing them in a sequence of unique essays. all through, they provide inquiries to impress dialogue, and finish with ideas on how those versions could be mixed by way of destiny students of public area to yield extra accomplished knowing of ways public house works.

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Example text

But twelve years ago several buildings, from the corner to the middle of the block, were converted into one building with elevator apartments of small size and high rents. The incident that attracted my attention was a suppressed struggle going on between a man and a little girl of eight or nine years old. The man seemed to be trying to get the girl to go with him. By turns he was directing a cajoling attention to her, and then assuming an air of nonchalance. The girl was making herself rigid, as children do when they resist, against the wall of one of the tenements across the street.

Yet by the early 1950s Morningside Heights was becoming a slum so swiftly, the surly kind of slum in which people fear to walk the streets, that the situation posed a crisis for the institutions. They and the planning arms of the city government got together, applied more planning theory, wiped out the most run-down part of the area and built in its stead a middleincome cooperative project complete with shopping center, and a public housing project, all interspersed with air, light, sunshine and landscaping.

It all comes, first-, second-, third- or fourth-hand, out of the same intellectual dish of mush, a mush in which the qualities, necessities, advantages and behavior of great cities have been utterly confused with the qualities, necessities, advantages and behavior of other and more inert types of settlements. There is nothing economically or socially inevitable about either the decay of old cities or the fresh-minted decadence of the new unurban urbanization. On the contrary, no other aspect of our economy and society has been more purposefully manipulated for a full quarter of a century to achieve precisely what we are getting.

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