Planning for AuthentiCITIES  book cover
1st Edition

Planning for AuthentiCITIES

ISBN 9780815384922
Published July 19, 2018 by Routledge
410 Pages

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Book Description

Authenticity resonates throughout the urbanizing world. As cities’ commercial corridors and downtowns start to look increasingly the same, and gentrification displaces many original neighborhood residents, we are left with a sense that our cities are becoming "hollowed out," bereft of the multi-faceted connections that once rooted us to our communities. And yet, in a world where change is unrelenting, people long for authentic places. This book examines the reasons for and responses to this longing, considering the role of community development in addressing community and neighbourhood authenticity.

A key concept underscoring planning’s inherent challenges is the notion of authentic community, ranging from more holistic, and yet highly market-sensitive conceptions of authentic community to appreciating how authenticity helps form and reinforce individual identity. Typically, developers emphasize spaces’ monetary exchange value, while residents emphasize neighbourhoods’ use value—including how those spaces enrich local community tradition and life. Where exchange value predominates, authenticity is increasingly implicated in gentrification, taking us further from what initially made communities authentic. The hunger for authenticity grows, in spite and because of its ambiguities. This edited collection seeks to explore such dynamics, asking alternately, "How does the definition of ‘authenticity’ shift in different social, political, and economic contexts?" And, "Can planning promote authenticity? If so, how and under what conditions?" It includes healthy scepticism regarding the concept, along with proposals for promoting its democratic, inclusive expression in neighbourhoods and communities.

Table of Contents


Laura Tate and Brettany Shannon

Introduction: Planning for AuthentiCITIES

Part I: Mooring

Chapter 1

Leslie Shieh and Jessica Chen

Chinatown, not Coffeetown: Authenticity and placemaking in Vancouver’s Chinatown

Chapter 2

Vikas Mehta

Neighbourhood authenticity and sense of place

Chapter 3

Daniel Kudla

Urban authenticity as a panacea for urban disorder? Business improvement areas, cultural power, and the worlds of justification

Chapter 4

Justin Meyer

A framework of neighbourhood authenticity for urban planning: Three aspects and three types of change

Chapter 5

Naka Matsumoto

Negotiating diversity: The transitioning Greektown of Baltimore City, Maryland

Chapter 6

Laura Lieto

Planning and authenticity: A materialist and phronetic perspective

Part II: Performing

Chapter 7

Maria Francesca Piazzoni

Authenticity makes the city: How "the authentic" affects the production of space

Chapter 8

Brettany Shannon

Authenticity’s many performances in the urban studies literature

Chapter 9

David Franco

Tactical urbanism as the staging of social authenticity

Chapter 10

Lauren Lastrapes

Sincerity, performative authenticity, and tourism in New Orleans

Chapter 11

Angela Babb, Adrianne Bryant, and Daniel C. Knudsen

Gardening in America

Chapter 12

Keiro Hattori

Utilizing comical mascots (yuru-kyara) to create city authenticity?

Chapter 13

Brettany Shannon

Authentic Downtown Project: Intentional community-making in the digital age

Part III: Healing

Chapter 14

Shu-Mei Huang and Jeffrey Hou

Relocated authenticity: Placemaking in displacement in southern Taiwan

Chapter 15

Michael Harris

Coding the "authenti-city": North Harbour and Århusgade Quarter, Copenhagen

Chapter 16

Cecilia Giusti and Edna Ledesma

Diálogos for Latino Communities

Chapter 17

Jeffrey Schiffer

Planning for reconciliation: Indigenous authenticity in community engagement and urban planning in Canadian cities

Chapter 18

Laura Tate

Urban-social imaginaries of authenticity—and the John Lennon Wall

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Laura Tate, PhD (University of British Columbia), is an urban planning scholar, lecturer and consultant. Laura has an extensive practice background in city planning and public health. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, and has most recently held the position of Visiting Lecturer at the California Polytechnic State University.

Brettany Shannon, PhD in Urban Planning and Development (University of Southern California), studies how media arts and digital communications intersect with urban and social placemaking. As the USC Bedrosian Center for Governance Scholar-in-Residence, she continues her research in the interview-based podcast, Los Angeles Hashtags Itself.


"In our interdependent urban world how do people sustain real community? Tate & Shannon weave sixteen answers into three hopeful strategies: discover and invent objects to moor people to a shared place; perform social actions designed to carve out community spaces; and use purposeful cultural, political and professional strategies to heal spatial rifts hewn by indifferent development. Bravo!" -Charles Hoch, Professor Emeritus, Department of Urban Planning & Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

"Planning for AuthentiCITIES is a timely, novel, and stimulating book that will advance conversations and debates about the growing desire for and claims making about "authenticity." Written in an engaging manner and marked by compelling portraits of efforts on the ground to preserve perceived authenticity, this comprehensive text promises to guide conversations within and beyond the classroom about this charged topic. Crucially, this collection provides insights about when, how– and whether– planners ought to grapple with concerns for authenticity." -Japonica Brown-Saracino, Associate Professor of Sociology, Boston University, USA

"Planning for AuthentiCITIES contributes in a particularly lively way to our understanding of the role of place, identity and territory in our post-structuralist age. Co-editors Laura Tate and Brettany Shannon have enlisted both established scholars and new talents in a volume which brings to life the dynamics of how we see ‘authenticity’ as animating city and space, while not shrinking from individual and collective experiences of exclusion, marginality and inequality." -Tom Hutton, Professor of Urban Studies and City Planning, University of British Columbia, Canada