The corporate downtown, with its multitude of social dilemmas and contradictions, is the focus of this well-illustrated volume. How are downtown projects conceived, scripted, produced, packaged, and used, and how has all this changed during the twentieth century? The authors of Urban Design Downtown offer a critical appraisal of the emerging appearance of downtown urban form. They explore both the poetics of design and the politics and economics of development decisions.
Following a historical review of the various phases of downtown transformation, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and Tridib Banerjee turn to contemporary American downtowns. They examine the phenomenon of public-space privatization, arguing that corporate open spaces are the consumer-oriented result of policies that have promoted downtown renovation and restructuring but at the same time have neglected the cities' existing poverty-stricken cores.
The book's case studies of individual West Coast downtown projects capture the essence of late twentieth-century urbanism. This analysis of downtown urban America, which offers extensive insight into the design and development process, will interest architects, city planners, developers, and urban designers everywhere.
Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris is Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning at the School of Public Policy and Social Research, University of California, Riverside. Tridib Banerjee is a Professor at the University ofSouthern California's School of Urban Planning and Development. His most recent book, coedited with Michael Southworth, is City Sense and City Design (1990).
"Insightful and a delight to read, the book should be read by city officials, land developers, and anyone involved or merely interested in the evolution and design of urban form and space."—Richard T. Lai, Arizona State University