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Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Spaceby Michael Sorkin
Synopses & Reviews
America's cities are being rapidly transformed by a sinister and homogenous design. A new Kind of urbanism--manipulative, dispersed, and hostile to traditional public space--is emerging both at the heart and at the edge of town in megamalls, corporate enclaves, gentrified zones, and psuedo-historic marketplaces. If anything can be described as a paradigm for these places, it's the theme park, an apparently benign environment in which all is structured to achieve maximum control and in which the idea of authentic interaction among citizens has been thoroughly purged. In this bold collection, eight of our leading urbanists and architectural critics explore the emblematic sites of this new cityscape--from Silicon Valley to Epcot Center, South Street Seaport to downtown Los Angeles--and reveal their disturbing implications for American public life.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -249).
About the Author
Michael Sorkin, an architect and writer, teaches at Cooper Union and Yale, and is the author of The Exquisite Corpse. For ten years, he was the archtecture critic of The Village Voice.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Michael Sorkin, "Variations on a Theme Park"
Margaret Crawford, "The World in a Shopping Mall"
Langdon Winner, "Silicon Valley Mystery House"
Neil Smith, "New City, New Frontier: The Lower East Side as Wild, Wild West"
Edward W. Soja, "Inside Exopolis: Scenes from Orange County"
Trevor Boddy, "Underground and Overhead: Building the Analogous City"
Mike Davis, "Fortress Los Angeles: The Militarization of Urban Space"
M. Christine Boyer, "Cities for Sale: Merchandising History at South Street Seaport"
Michael Sorkin, "See You in Disneyland"
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