The City after the Automobile: An Architect's Vision

By Moshe Safdie; Wendy E. Kohn | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1 The Ailing City

Universal Dispersal

There is a consensus today that our cities are not well. Toward the end of the twentieth century, they are inundated with problems -- physical, social, and economic. Urban transportation is deficient; inner city problems have deepened; violent crime remains a serious threat in Vast areas of the historic city centers.

Is there a common denominator to the ailments of cities of the industrialized West and of the populous Third World, in the North and in the Tropics -- of New York and Mexico City, Jakarta and Hong Kong, Toronto and Copenhagen? Despite distinct differences of scale and resources, of climate and history, there is, indeed, a universal pattern. Everywhere in the world we find examples of expanded regional cities -- cities that in recent decades have burst out of their traditional boundaries, urbanizing and suburbanizing entire regions, and housing close to a third of the world's population. 1

The initial explosion of the traditional city was primarily generated by industrial-era population growth due to prosperity, better medicine, immigration, and the shrinking of traditional agricultural economies, which sent workers streaming into cities. Movement to suburbs surrounding the urban core was then facilitated by extended transit and rail lines, and finally, most decisively, by the automobile. In the United States, the

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The City after the Automobile: An Architect's Vision
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also by Moshe Safdie ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Prologue ix
  • Part I Visions of the City 1
  • Chapter 1 the Ailing City 3
  • Chapter 2 the Evolving City 11
  • Chapter 3 the End of the City 27
  • Part Ii Facing Reality 37
  • Chapter 4 the Making of Public Space 39
  • Chapter 5 Working in the City 55
  • Chapter 6 Living in the City 69
  • Chapter 7 Confronting Mega-Scale 85
  • Part III Toward the Future 101
  • Chapter 8 Planning the Region 103
  • Chapter 9 Traveling the Region 123
  • Chapter 10 the Utility Car 137
  • Chapter 11 the City After the Automobile 151
  • Epilogue: Urbana 169
  • End Notes 175
  • Index 181
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