Synopses & Reviews
San Francisco is perhaps the most exhilarating of all American cities--its beauty, cultural and political avant-gardism, and history are legendary, while its idiosyncrasies make front-page news. In this revised edition of his highly regarded study of San Francisco's economic and political development since the mid-1950s, Chester Hartman gives a detailed account of how the city has been transformed by the expansion--outward and upward--of its downtown. His story is fueled by a wide range of players and an astonishing array of events, from police storming the International Hotel to citizens forcing the midair termination of a freeway. Throughout, Hartman raises a troubling question: can San Francisco's unique qualities survive the changes that have altered the city's skyline, neighborhoods, and economy?
Hartman was directly involved in many of the events he chronicles and thus had access to sources that might otherwise have been unavailable. A former activist with the National Housing Law Project, San Franciscans for Affordable Housing, and other neighborhood organizations, he explains how corporate San Francisco obtained the necessary cooperation of city and federal governments in undertaking massive redevelopment. He illustrates the rationale that produced BART, a subway system that serves upper-income suburbs but few of the city's poor neighborhoods, and cites the environmental effects of unrestrained highrise development, such as powerful wind tunnels and lack of sunshine. In describing the struggle to keep housing affordable in San Francisco and the seemingly intractable problem of homelessness, Hartman reveals the human face of the city's economic transformation.
"The importance of Chester Hartman's book reaches far beyond the case of San Francisco. It is a major work on the politics and economics of urban development, a work that uniquely foresees alternative ways to improve our cities. It will become a landmark of urban research."and#151;Manuel Castells, University of California
"The further one reads into Chester Hartman's story of San Francisco redevelopment, the more bizarre and engrossing the story becomes. Centering his account on the downtown Yerba Buena Center project, Hartman wonderfully illuminates the conflicts of interest, ambitions, misrepresentations, extravagant promises, brutality, waste, incompetence, and sheer silliness that characterized the ill-fated American experiment called Urban Renewal and puts it into a social and economic context."and#151;Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities
A revised and updated edition of this classic chronicle of urban development in San Francisco's downtown. City for Sale tells a tale of power, greed, and poor planning in this detailed account of how the city has been transformed by the expansion, outward and upward, of its downtown to the detriment of the elderly and working people of the city.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 403-463) and index.
About the Author
Chester Hartman is President and Executive Director of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council in Washington, D.C. He is author of Between Eminence and Notoriety: Four Decades of Radical Urban Planning (2001), and editor of Challenges to Equality: Poverty and Race in America (2001) and Housing Issues of the 1990s (1989).
Table of Contents
1. The Larger Forces
2. Superagency and the Redevelopment Booster Club
3. The Assault on South of Market
4. The Neighborhood Fights Back
5. Into the Courts
6. The Redevelopment Agency Flounders
7. Resolving the Convention Center Deadlock
8. South of Market Conquered
9. Moscone Center Doings
10. Yerba Buena Gardens, TODCOand#8217;s Housing, and the South of Market Neighborhood
11. City Hall
12. High-Rises and the Anti-High-Rise Movement
13. The Housing Crisis and the Housing Movement
14. The Lessons of San Francisco