Naked City

Naked City

The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

Book - 2011
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As cities have gentrified, educated urbanites have come to prize what they regard as "authentic" urban life: aging buildings, art galleries, small boutiques, upscale food markets, neighborhood old-timers, funky ethnic restaurants, and old, family-owned shops. These signify a place'sauthenticity, in contrast to the bland standardization of the suburbs and exurbs. But as Sharon Zukin shows in Naked City, the rapid and pervasive demand for authenticity - evident in escalating real estate prices, expensive stores, and closely monitored urban streetscapes - has helped drive out the very people who first lent a neighborhood its authentic aura: immigrants, theworking class, and artists. Zukin traces this economic and social evolution in six archetypal New York areas - Williamsburg, Harlem, the East Village, Union Square, Red Hook, and the city's community gardens - and travels to both the city's first IKEA store and the World Trade Center site. She showsthat for followers of Jane Jacobs, this transformation is a perversion of what was supposed to happen. Indeed, Naked City is a sobering update of Jacobs' legendary 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Like Jacobs, Zukin looks at what gives neighborhoods a sense of place, butargues that over time, the emphasis on neighborhood distinctiveness has become a tool of economic elites to drive up real estate values and effectively force out the neighborhood "characters" that Jacobs so evocatively idealized.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011.
ISBN: 9780199794461
0199794464
Branch Call Number: 307.14164 ZUKIN
Characteristics: xv, 294 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm.

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