1st Edition

Rebuilding the American City Design and Strategy for the 21st Century Urban Core

By David Gamble, Patty Heyda Copyright 2016
    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    264 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Urban redevelopment in American cities is neither easy nor quick. It takes a delicate alignment of goals, power, leadership and sustained advocacy on the part of many. Rebuilding the American City highlights 15 urban design and planning projects in the U.S. that have been catalysts for their downtowns—yet were implemented during the tumultuous start of the 21st century. The book presents five paradigms for redevelopment and a range of perspectives on the complexities, successes and challenges inherent to rebuilding American cities today. Rebuilding the American City is essential reading for practitioners and students in urban design, planning, and public policy looking for diverse models of urban transformation to create resilient urban cores.

    Introduction Section 1. The Anchor Institution: Leveraging Stability 1.1 Buffalo, NY—Buffalo Niagara Medical campus 1.2 New Orleans, LA—Tulane City Center 1.3 Philadelphia, PA—University of Pennsylvania PennConnects Section 2. The Urban River: Leveraging a Natural Resource 2.1 Chattanooga, TN—21st Century Waterfront 2.2 Green Bay, WI—CityDeck 2.3 New York, NY—Brooklyn Bridge Park Section 3. The Existing Urban Fabric: Leveraging the Existing Condition 3.1 Saint Louis, MO—Botanical Heights 3.2 San Antonio, TX—Pearl District 3.3 San Francisco, CA—Proxy Section 4. The Urban Park System: Leveraging Underutilized Land and Infrastructure 4.1 Atlanta, GA—BeltLine 4.2 Birmingham, AL—Railroad Park 4.3 Houston, TX—Buffalo Bayou Section 5. The Downtown District: Leveraging Proximities and Transit 5.1 Denver, CO—Union Station 5.2 Louisville, KY—West Main Street 5.3 Portland, OR—South Waterfront Appendix: Methodology


    David Gamble is a Lecturer in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, USA. He is a registered architect and certified urban planner and Principal of Gamble Associates based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The practice focuses on urban revitalization and community development.

    Patty Heyda is an Assistant Professor of Urban Design and Architecture at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, USA. She conducts research on the processes underpinning contemporary urbanism and design through drawing, writing and design projects.

    "There’s plenty to like in Rebuilding the American City: Design and Strategy for the 21st Century Urban Core...After a succinct introduction, 15 U.S. case studies show both the public side and the messy underside of rebuilding key parts of cities....This book is the real deal, worth a dozen thinly disguised puff pieces and not to be confused with them." -- Harold Henderson, Planning Magazine


    "Transforming our cities, building a bridge to a more sustainable and productive way of life, is both essential and hard work. This book provides a highly informative account of how 15 US cities succeeded by leveraging their key assets – anchor institutions, natural features, existing momentum, obsolescent lands and transit investment – to do so." –Ken Greenberg, Greenberg Consultants

    "Without ignoring issues of equity and displacement, Rebuilding American Cities celebrates the inventiveness of cities as they leverage the assets of the city by breaking down barriers, blurring boundaries, and building connections. In an age when government no longer leads in rebuilding cities, the authors tell the behind –the-scenes story of how public, private, and nonprofit civic entrepreneurs collaborate to make it happen. Rebuilding American Cities is essential reading for those who want to know how urban revitalization really happens from the viewpoint of those who actually make it happen." –Todd Swanstrom, Des Lee Professor, University of Missouri—St. Louis