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2007 final reading summaries

2007 final reading summaries - L&A B-20 Cities Spring 2007...

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L&A B-20 – Cities Spring 2007 Final Exam Reading Summaries Intro: Cities in the American Experience Week 1 Jean-Paul Satre: “American Cities”, pp 197-205 - American cities as “a camp in the desert” – people are attracted by a commodity/ natural resource mass production of towns driven by ever0new attractions o Buildings built quickly – fragile, transient migrant towns o Homes are merely shells - Continuous change – demolish, rebuilt – in the US, a “city is a moving landscape for its inhabitants, whereas our cities are our shells” o In Europe- change occurs within changeless cities- houses outlive people while American cities change faster that their inhabitants o In Europe streets reflect past customs – the city is the past while in America is it the future “it has not yet become and everything it can be” o In Europe – streets halfway “public places” and points of meeting/ communication while the American street is a highway for driving not walking (no mystery sometimes no sidewalk) - Americans obsessed with the “image of the modern house” o Light materials o Uniform construction - Neighborhoods are juxtaposed units w/ individual vistas o Obsession w/ open space (aka parking lots) o Vertical disorder- buildings of different heights Anne Mackin: Americans and Their Land - American character has been shaped by the abundance of land and resources o Supported social and economic growth and mobility o Thomas Malthus “the happiness of Americans depended … upon their having a great plenty of fertile uncultivated land” o Materialism in general is part of the American Dream; having lots of “stuff” - Too Much Growth? o Attitudes towards growth and property rights are changing as cities clamor to reduce growth o Depletion / degradation of natural resources increased govt regulation o Housing continues to take a greater share of Americans’ income o Widening gap between the rich and the poor o Most unaware about how actions affect the land, natural resources, and overall environment however gradually beginning to see the affects o Must become aware and see how they affect cities and the land we inhabit 1
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Seeking to Construct an Egalitarian Landscape Week 2 Reps-The Making of Urban America - CHARLESTON o 1672: Lord Ashley Cooper instructed Sir John Yeamans to layout a town o “Grand Modell”: Court house in the middle, 4 large streets o after fear of hostile Indians, fortifications constructed o a gridiron design w/ an open square at the center, where 2 principal streets intersect o square as open plaza but quickly disappeared w/ development - SAVANNAH (Oglethorpe 1732) o Encouraged colonization in this area to strengthen the English claim of sovereignty contested by the Spanish o 1717: grant Montgomery permission to create a separate province center of city: Margrave’s house four great parts (forests), 4 miles square middle hollow square is the “city”, area surrounding it will be
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2007 final reading summaries - L&A B-20 Cities Spring 2007...

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