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GEO 201

GEO 201 Exam 1 Prep.


Key terms:

Learning by Looking

Outside Lies Magic: Chapter one → Beginnings by John Stilgoe

People need to learn to become explorers again. People have a lack of curiosity.

Get out of the electronic life, go outside because there are beautiful and amazing things that can be seen and experienced; and it’s all free.

His teaching methods are very different than others, but that is because he teaches the art of exploration.

Exploration best happens by accident.

Axioms for Reading the Landscape by Pierce Lewis

How culture affects landscape Landscapes are becoming more and more alike.

“Landscapes are our unwitting autobiography.”

“The basic principal is this: that all human landscape has cultural meaning, no matter how ordinary that landscape.”

European Plans for the New World

Introduction: Town Planning in Frontier America by John William Reps

  • Pattern and plans of early European cities directly correlates to American cities.
  • Bastides = Detroit (models of precise geometric layouts)
  • Squares and civic open spaces.
  • Residential squares with gardens.

Focuses more on the step by step planning of the colonial city of New York and a few other cities.

After a long time had passed, the city of New York continued to develop based on the original city plans.

Of course, the plans had to be altered, because the settler never thought that New York would grow to the size that it did.

A New, Uncrowded World by Witold Rybczynski

  • Urban spread
  • Availability of land
  • Poor people could own homes
  • Laws of the Indies (blueprint for the town)

Type of settlement depended on the environment; small for mobility or large for long term.

New Jerusalems in America

A Puritan Way of Life by Gwedolyn Wright

  • Puritans molded their lives around religion and structure
  • Strong social hierarchy

A Model of Christian Charity by John Winthrop

  • Instructions on how to live
  • God, friendship, kindness
  • “All eyes are upon us”

The Mercantile City

In the Kingdom of Sugar by Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace

  • Economy was largely supported by trade with England
  • Slavery

Europeans wanted sugar, US got it from Caribbean, England sent back manufactured goods.

Focuses on how New York developed economically and how that sustained its continued growth.

Slave labor was a huge part of New York’s development; at one point the amount of black slaves that arrived in New York involuntarily far outnumbered the number of white settlers who voluntarily arrived.

Queen of Commerce, Jack of all Trades by Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace

New York’s success was due to geography (harbors).

Cities of Industry

Rails and Water by William Cronon

  • Development of Chicago and impact of the rise of the railroad.
  • Hub for trade.

The Impact of Industrialism and Modernity of American Cities by Michael Conzen

  • Expansion and growth of towns in the US.
  • Railroads, new industries, more diversity.

Going Downtown

The Business District: Downtown in the late nineteenth century by Robert M. Fogelson

Separation of business district (downtown) and residential district (uptown).

The Central Business District: Downtown in the 1920s by Robert M. Fogelson

  • Outlying business districts began to emerge
  • Downtown was densely populated and grew up
  • Cultural and industrial limits grew out

Immigrant Ghettos, Ethnic Neighborhood

Regulating Bodies and Space by Nayan Shah

San Francisco tried to combat sanitary issues by targeting Chinese-Americans

Real Estates

Visual Landscapes of a Streetcar Suburb by James Borchert

  • Lakewood, OH
  • Lakefront Estates- Elite
  • Clifton Park- Semi-elite
  • Middle Lakewood- Middle class
  • The Village- Working class
  • Apartment Landscapes- Mix of city & suburbs, mix of people

Urban Palimpsests

The Split: An Intersection Where Opposite Worlds Collide by Suzannah Lessard

Reforming the Urban Landscape (Exam 2)

A Healthy Place to Live

The “Foul Core” of New York, The Creative Destruction of Manhattan by Max Page

Slums that the tenement houses resided in Slum clearance projects and Tenement Housing Act, put in motion thanks to Jacob Riis Riis’ desire to see public parks in slum areas Crisis: Tenement housing and slums Response: Slum clearance projects and tenement housing act - Issues of slums and housing reforms. Jacob Riis: leadership, efforts, and photographs showed the truth about slums.

Jacob Riis made New Yorkers aware of the “shadows” in New York. His writings and photographs showcased the lives of those in the Lower East Side tenements as he launched the modern attacks on tenements, exposing the problem’s depth to those who had never been bold enough to explore the Lower East Side. And he believed that a negative environment had to be eliminated before it infected everyone within its reach—a “negative environmentalism” ideology. Dueled with “positive environmentalism,” where communities and individuals can transform for the better through a positive environment.

This put in motion slum clearance projects and the Tenement Housing Act.

The Genesis of the Tenement, How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York by Jacob Riis

  • Tenement housing in New York
  • Allowed landlords to make extra money
  • Began as a solution to the housing shortage, but soon became places unfit for humans
  • Caused sickness
  • Crisis: Lack of housing
  • Response: Tenement houses

No Small Plans

In Search of Spatial Order, Dreaming the Rational City: The Myth of American City Planning by Christine M. Boyer

  • “Civic Vision” of the 1890s and early 1900s
  • Idea that parks and “garden cities” were crucial to both the physical and mental health of the city’s inhabitants
  • Chicago World’s fair strived to create a model for an all-around healthy and beautiful city
  • Crisis: Physical and mental health of city dwellers
  • Response: Civic projects

The additional production and consumption as American cities expanded brought about great deterioration for life and activity. Improvers saw a need to revitalize and restore the balance between urban dwellers and nature as right and just.

Enter the park, aesthetic reforms, and the Civic Vision.

Parks to reconnect man with nature. Aesthetic reforms to handle the conflict of the degrading reality and nature. The focus was on exterior settings: “the creation of civic vision and public pageantry in the ceremonial composition of buildings; the authority and dignity of classical architecture; the aesthetic unity of color, design, and texture; the collaborative effort of artists, architects, and engineers.”

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

  • Chicago World’s Fair
  • Planning of the grand buildings and parks
  • A model for what a city could and should be - advanced, beautiful, and gleaming
  • Impact still present today (Chicago, Disney, Lincoln Memorial)
  • Crisis: Desire for a new kind of city
  • Response: Chicago World’s Fair design

Destruction and Renewal

The Roots and Routes of Urban Renewal by Samuel Zipp

This essay looks at the ideas underpinning urban renewal, the ideas behind clearing out slums and creating opportunities for higher class housing, businesses, and so forth. Modern urban planning and architecture perspectives separate the history of urban renewal from modernism’s cultural influence to illustrate how modernist ideals of social reform found a new home with real estate developers and urban planners. Understanding the history of urban renewal requires showing how it was shaped as both policy and idea.

The essay seeks to demonstrate how the motive of planning, profit, and reform idealism worked alongside each other to form an “Ethic of city rebuilding” and provide an aggressive program for getting rid of slums and restoring property values. The history of urban renewal reveals the tense and productive relations between the “Ethic of city-building” and ridding slums from the city to restore property values.

Urban Renewal in Greenwich Village, Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City by Anthony Flint

  • Jane Jacobs’ fight against urban renewal
  • Committee to Save the West Village
  • Officials in charge had ulterior motives to team up with developers
  • Crisis: Deterioration of cities
  • Response: Urban Renewal

In Search of the Middle Landscape

Urbanity Vs. Suburbanity, Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia by Robert Fishman

  • Attempted adaption of English suburbs in France and the United States
  • Successful in the United States, not in France
  • Housing intervention in Paris that led to the creation of wide boulevards lined with apartment houses
  • Crisis: Anti-urbanism
  • Response: Suburbs

This reminds me of my thoughts during The Business District: Downtown in the Late Nineteenth Century By Fogelson in the Going Downtown section. Then I said: rich Americans live outside the city whilst rich Europeans live in the center. American cities are unique because they were built alongside new innovative transportation methods that gave way to a new ideal—the bourgeois utopia.

I attributed the American bourgeois utopia to the new transportation methods, and it seems that this is partially correct. It began as an attempt to adapt English suburbs in France and the United States; it was unsuccessful in France, but anti-urbanism brought it to life in the United States. The separation of work and residence, new transportation, and an anti-urbanism desire in American cities gave way to suburbanization.

Are Great Cities a Menace? The Garden City as a Way Out by Lawrence Weiller

  • Cities are harmful to people’s health
  • Separation from nature
  • Separation of classes
  • Crowds cause nervous strain and excitability
  • Livelihood and well being of children is diminished
  • Political tension
  • Economic waste due to lost time
  • Proposed solution is to have more, smaller cities and garden cities
  • Crisis: Detrimental effects of cities

A Machine for Living

The New Age of Automobility, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States by Kenneth T. Jackson

  • At first, cars were not popular
  • Olds started the movement of reasonably priced automobiles
  • Ford was responsible for the creation of the Model T and the assembly line
  • Funds acquired from general taxation were used to build roads
  • Fall in use of public transit

The oddity of the the motorcar was that it was becoming the common private instrument operated within public spaces. Therefore one had to rely on general taxation to support private transportation. A “testimony both to the public perception of the benefits of automobility and to the intervention of special interest groups.”

Developing Large-Scale Consumer Landscapes, The Making of the American Landscape by Michael P. Conzen

  • Landscape of the US revolves around mass consumption
  • Rise of shopping, entertainment, and advertising

Questioning the Suburban Ideal

Nostalgia and Futurism, Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth by Dolores Hayden

  • Discusses the American architectural styles that were used in Seaside, Celebration, gated enclaves, and smart homes.
  • The author analyzes all of the styles of planning and architecture through an in-depth analysis over many years.
  • She looks at how the styles are unique and what makes them the most attractive to people. - Walt Disney

American corporations promote consumerism by building highways, malls, and single-family houses everywhere, all designed to encourage consumption. Significant urban challenges are often “solved” with new house forms for model homes but don’t solve anything. Such real estate developments may demonstrate local solutions to physical problems, but they do not change the nation’s economic and political characteristics that enable sprawl.

In Seaside’s Florida resort community, the goal was to attract people back outside for a relaxed conversation with friends and family. Seaside also promised environmentally sound landscaping–no lawns means no buzzing lawnmowers, no water for irrigation, and no fertilizer and pesticides to keep them up. After Seaside was chosen as the film location for The Truman Show, tourism picked up, a choice with an implied critique of Seaside as an overly controlled, cute place.

Disney had hoped to build an expanded version of his Southern California theme park, own the surrounding hotels, and build a model town called Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT). EPCOT never became a housing development—instead, it became the theme park it is today.

Urban Futures

In Pursuit of a Twenty-first Century Just City: The Evolution of Equity Planning Theory and Practice by Jason W. Reece

Examining the role of equity in planning is critical at this contentious period in US history. Racism and anti-immigrant sentiments have arisen in public policy debates, cities have again experienced riots, and inequality has grown.

Historically, equity in planning has wrought tension. The field has struggled to balance activism and technocratic expertise. This article provides a literature review to inform and explore how planners can engage equity in this current contentious time period.

As a response to the capitalist-dominated city of the nineteenth century, the Progressive Era introduced Equity Planning.

Activism against urban social problems started in the mid-nineteenth century when New York, as the US’s first metropolis, reached one million residents. Progressive social activism developed in response to unsafe and unsanitary conditions typical of people living in crowded urban tenements–brought to life by one of the earliest social reformers Jacob Riis.

Eventually, city planning became a legitimate discipline in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The “City Beautiful” movement would dramatically change cityscapes and addressed aesthetics, social ills, and the general dysfunction of urban space at the time. It integrated principles of physical determinism and incorporated conventional social ills, proposing that we could also improve its citizenry by calming a city’s disorder.

Whereas both groups sought to improve the quality and character of urban life, social progressives emphasized the need for social equity and consequently political activism, while those of the City Beautiful school stressed a culture based on “civic virtues and shared aesthetics.”

Cities used zoning intending to segregate and socially marginalize specific demographics that had migrated in large numbers.

New Deal interventions brought new bureaucracies that, combined with government pressure on mortgage lending, enabled a significant homeownership expansion but withheld mortgage loans to areas deemed a financial risk (where residents were primarily people of color).

We shape our cities through traditional planning issues like transportation, housing, land use, and community development. To achieve just cities in the 21st Century, we must employ more than good practices and deliberately place marginalized communities at the forefront of the Just City vision.

Riots have reemerged in US cities in the twenty-first century. Replicating the civil disorders of the 1960s, rioting occurred in Ferguson, Missouri (outside St. Louis) in 2014 and in Baltimore, Maryland, the following year […] largely in response to what were perceived as racially motivated police shootings. Racial discrimination, neighborhood distress, economic inequality, and police brutality were other factors cited as triggering these recent disturbances. Neighborhoods in Baltimore and Ferguson were looted and burned, precipitating the deployment of the National Guard as was done during the riots of the 1960s.

Sharing the City

Kate Pocrass Mundane Journey’s profile

Reminiscent of chapter one (Beginnings) of Outside Lies Magic by John Stilgoe, where he points out with clarity the programming we’ve attuned ourselves to when out and about in the world.

It doesn’t have to be something in a guidebook. It’s just suddenly, everything is an object or subject of interest.

As Kate Pocrass put it, Mundane Journey’s is about

Making people look at something they ordinarily wouldn’t

Walking the City: Manhattan Projects by Ben Jacks

Choosing to walk. Draws attention to everyday walking.