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GEO 201

Planted 02021-03-01

GEO 201 Exam Prep.

Exam 1: The City in Time and Space


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

Exam 2: Reforming the Urban Landscape

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.

Exam 3 (Final Exam): Whose City?


The Post-Fordist City

What cannot be seen will not be heard: the production landscape in Moline, Illinois by Jeff R. Crump (1999)

Flexible accumulation

  • Increased international economic competition led to the replacement of the old fordist regime of accumulation
  • In the new flexible regime of accumulation:
    • Corporations have become much more internationally mobile, using global communication networks and a globally integrated financial system.
    • Production now is increasingly decentralised by a flexible workforce consisting of subcontracted workers with mostly low wages and few benefits.

Origins of Deindustrialization (in the early 1970s):

  • Oil Embargo (1973)
  • High rates of unemployment (from 8.5% in 1974 to 10% to 1982)
  • Growing trade deficit (first time)
  • Low growth rates (<1% per year)
  • Declining wages

From Fordism to Post-Fordism:

  • As a production process
  • As a labor system
  • As a new form of governance
Fordism as production process Post-Fordism as production process
Mass production of goods based on assembly line Small batch production
Uniformity and standardization Flexible production
Large inventories of parts and loss of production time due to long set up times, inventory bottlenecks JIT production aided by computers
Quality control testing after production Quality control in process
Cost reduction through wage control Reduction in lost time
Fordism as labor system Post-Fordism as labor system
Single task for each worker Multiple tasks for workers
High job specialization Elimination of job demarcation
Little/no training or experience needed Specialized job training
Emphasis on worker co-responsibility
No job security High security for core workers, no job security for temp workers
Fordism and role of the state Post-Fordism and role of the state
Regulation of working conditions (OSHA) Deregulation
Collective bargaining and union organizing Local/firm based negotiations
Socialization of welfare Privatization of collective needs and social security
The “subsidy” state/city
Centralization Decentralization and intercity competition
Firm financed R&D State financed R&D

Urban Entrepreneurialism:

  • Economic development (not service provision)
    • marketing cities and regions
    • product specialization
  • Public-private partnerships (not centralized gov. planning)
    • Subsidizing large-scale projects for private industry (e.g. stadiums, shopping districts, festival sites)
  • Global Competitions
    • Olympics
    • World fairs

Critiques of the Public-Private Partnership model:

  • Public risk‐taking and private gain.
  • Under‐budget, then cost‐overruns
  • Redevelopment limited to targeted areas
  • Outsourcing and bankruptcy
  • Opportunities for corruption
  • Public pays higher prices for services (cost + profit)
  • Public interests neglected

Urban Redevelopment projects:

  • Waterfronts
  • Railyards, train depots
  • Factories, manufacturing zones

Deindustrialization of Quad Cities:

  • By 1980, 40,000+ farm implement workers
  • By 1990, 21,000 farm implement workers
  • 30‐acres of abandoned industrial buildings along the riverfront
  • Brought on by Farm Crisis, fueled by structural changes in agriculture
    • Credit crisis for small farmers
    • Switch to agribusiness
    • Globalization of industry

Deindustrialization weakened the worker’s ability to influence and reshape the Moline, IL landscape, allowing business leaders, led by John Deere, free reign. Such a post-industrial landscape serves to revive capital accumulation, help as an image-maker for Deere & Company, and function as an economic development strategy based on tourism.

Cities like Moline serve as a canvas that mythologizes corporations like John Deere while obscuring the city’s history, culture, and current circumstances.

Moline’s working class is muffled; what cannot be seen may not be heard or even remembered.

The City Quietly Remade

Constructing the ‘Genuine American City’: Neo-Traditionalism, New Urbanism and Neo-Liberalism in the Remaking of Downtown Milwaukee by Kenny, Judith T., and Jeffrey Zimmerman (2004)

Milwaukee sought to create wealth through neo-traditional imagery and build Milwaukee’s future on values like authenticity, vibrancy, and diversity. Reassuring visitors and prospective investors, it hoped to draw people back from the suburbs.

To analyze Milwaukee’s efforts to ‘remake itself as a center of cultural and economic wealth,’ this paper looks at:

  • How The Genuine American City campaign of Milwaukee was designed to promote Milwaukee by promoting its midwestern values.
  • How Milwaukee’s traditional urban form, design, investment strategies, and the New Urbanist landscape are linked.
  • How Milwaukee’s Mayor, John Norquist, Neo-liberal views, his vision for Milwaukee, and New Urbanism are linked.


Straight into Compton: American Dreams, Urban Nightmares, and the Metamorphosis of a Black Suburb By Josh Sides (2004)

Hard to reverse the role that popular culture gave to Compton.

Compton maintained its early identity through fervent racial exclusion by white homeowners, real estate brokers, civic leaders, and law enforcement, who sought to scare off prospective black homebuyers through vandalism, cross burnings, bombings, and death threats.

As whites left Compton in response to an influx of black homeowners, they abandoned their businesses, leaving Compton’s Central Business district empty by the late 1960s. Compton compensated by raising property taxes to some of the highest levels.

Compton quickly became a point of pride for thousands of middle-class black Californians. But with more than a third of its population employed in manufacturing industries, Compton was heavily affected by deindustrialization. Nearly half of Compton’s population was under 18 in 1969, and the decline in legitimate employment opportunities fueled street gang activity. Gang wars had become mere internal affairs between black youth, based simply on their neighborhood. Besides renouncing the “straight” lifestyle, Gang affiliation was about being angry over the unfulfilled promises the once-proud city made.

By the 1980s, Compton had taken on another meaning: a symbol of urban crisis. The trade of cocaine turned street gang skirmishes into brutal guerrilla wars as the youth turned their guns upon themselves, spraying neighborhoods and riddling the place that had inspired such pride with holes.

Splintering Urbanism

The City: A Collective Good? By Saskia Sassen (2017)

Concerned mainly with two things:

  1. underutilization of purchased properties
  2. urban legal regimes ability to govern, oversee, or regulate this rise in purchased properties.

The city remains a far stronger enabler of such claims made by those without power than spaces such as mines and plantations, which once played a similar role

The value of the acquisition increasingly resides in ownership or control of the building itself, rather than how the building might be used.

Those with power to some extent do not want to be bothered by the poor, and the mode is often to abandon them to their own devices

Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture; A Tale of Two Globals: Pupusas and Ikea in Red Hook by Sharon Zukin (2004)

Red Hook is considered the gourmet ghetto.

Ikea allowed people to get to Red Hook.

Formalizing Red Hooks food vendors made it lose “authenticity.”

How Safe is Safe?

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future of Los Angeles; Fortress L.A.: The Militarization of Urban Space by Mike Davis (1992)

Public spaces are being attacked.

  1. privatization and policing of public space
  2. use of defensive design
  3. militarization of space through surveillance (controls people behavior)

Bumproof benches:

  • promote people not to sleep on these
  • round, arm rests, single units

Stealth houses:

  • building that you can’t tell the function
  • big blocks of blank concrete
  • no obvious entrance/windows

Public architecture is being turned inside out in service of security and profit. Residential areas with enough leverage can privatize local public space and impose passport control on outsiders. This has been driven by “a demand for social isolation once enjoyed only by the rich,” as residential architects have begun to borrow design secrets from overseas embassies and military command posts.

There’s No Place Like Home

The Annihilation of Space by Law: The Roots and Implications of Anti-Homelessness Laws in the United States By Don Mitchell (1997)

Homelessness is often framed as an urban livability issue instead of a housing issue.

Our legal structure is making it impossible for our homeless to not be criminals.

One response to homelessness: tiny houses.

Gendered Urban Spaces

What would a non-sexist city be like? By Dolores Hayden

We need to reconfigure the conventional home to better serve families.

Dual income family: a married couple where both are in the work force

Dual income trap: household income increases, fixed expenses go up

With two breadwinners, takes go up, two cars, preschool costs.

The conventional home for women:

  • isolates the family from the workplace.
  • too much driving because of too much space.
  • hard to get services.

The idea that suburban houses were built because the woman would always be there is “gendered ideology.”

The Disabling City, Enabling Environments


Medical Model of Disability (individual is the problem):

  • emphasizes an individual’s medical condition
  • people seen as impaired, abnormal, lacking
  • bodies are malfunctioning

Social model of Disability (environment is the problem):

  • looks less at individual and more at societal environments