"Building Like Moses with Jacobs in Mind": Contemporary by Scott Larson

By Scott Larson

The antagonism among urbanist and author Jane Jacobs and grasp builder Robert Moses may perhaps body debates over city shape, yet in "Building Like Moses with Jacobs in Mind", Scott Larson goals to exploit the Moses-Jacobs contention as a way for interpreting and realizing the hot York urban administration's redevelopment ideas and activities. via exhibiting how the Bloomberg administration's plans borrow selectively from Moses' and Jacobs' writing, Larson lays naked the contradictions buried in such rhetoric and argues that there might be no equitable option to the social and monetary objectives for redevelopment in manhattan urban with one of these procedure. "Building Like Moses with Jacobs in brain" deals a full of life critique that indicates how the legacies of those planners were interpreted - and reinterpreted - over the years and with the evolution of city area. eventually, he makes the case that neither determine bargains a significant version for addressing obdurate difficulties - poverty, loss of cheap housing, and segregation alongside type and racial strains - that proceed to vex modern day towns. Scott Larson is an self sustaining pupil who has taught geography and concrete experiences at Vassar university, Queens university, and Hunter collage.

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Extra info for "Building Like Moses with Jacobs in Mind": Contemporary Planning in New York City

Sample text

As noted previously, with Jacobs’s death—and the outpouring of remembrances and accolades, as well as calls for renewed attention to her ideals—came compelling reasons to revisit her old antagonist as well, and with the Moses exhibit and Ballon and Jackson’s book serving as the spark, journalists, writers, and urban thinkers took up the call. A series of reviews appeared that, while not entirely embracing the idea of a rehabilitated Moses, celebrated the attempt to rethink the “power broker” from a new temporal and spatial perspective.

On the other stood a power-hungry apostle of urban modernity who “to build his highways . . threw out of their homes . . more people than lived in Albany or Chattanooga, or Spokane, Tacoma, Duluth, Akron, Baton Rouge, Mobile, Nashville or Sacramento”; “flooded the city with cars”; starved public transportation and skewed “city expenditures toward revenue-producing services” at the expense of programs for the poor (Caro 1975, 19–20). Thanks in no small part to this withering portrayal, for the better part of four decades, Moses, in the words of Washington Post culture critic Philip Kennicott, has been “synonymous with ugly and brutal city planning” (Kennicott 2007, NO1).

18 This narrative device can be traced to Caro’s damning accounts in The Power Broker and Moses’s name having over time become so synonymous with large-scale public housing projects promulgated under the urban renewal banner that history can easily be obscured. It is almost as if it does not really matter whether Moses had been involved in the urban renewal of the West Village or the bulldozing of a neighborhood for the construction of any particular public housing project. 19 Quite ironically, Rich and others have noted that in addition to launching a populist revolution, Jacobs’s ideals have been co-opted by mainstream forces within planning and development to promote largescale redevelopment efforts she most certainly would have abhorred.

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Categories: Urban Land Use Planning