Urban Design Downtown: Poetics and Politics of Form
by Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Tridib Banerjee
ISBN 0520209303 (0-520-20930-3)
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Hardcover, University of California Press, 1998
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Book summary: 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.
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