Neighborhoods are increasingly under pressure to absorb additional growth as cities and towns densify along commercial corridors served by public transit. These projects test the capacity for new development. Through rezoning or the implementation of design and standards guidelines, infill development is transforming former industrial zones into mixed-use destinations.
Cities are redeveloping their waterfronts today not for industry, as in eras past, but for enhancing quality of life. The integration of new uses, creative programming and an emphasis on public/private partnerships are overcoming barriers to redevelopment. Addressing remediation through performative landscapes and the reactivation of vacant buildings by targeting niche markets are bringing vitality to the water’s edge.
Anchor institutions such as universities and hospitals can and should have a role to play in the transformation of their surroundings. Their growth transforms the surrounding context, creating a host of urban planning and design challenges. These concentrations of employment, intellect and financial capital can and should serve as a catalyst for the benefit and development of adjoining neighborhoods.
Urban redevelopment in American cities is neither easy nor quick. It takes a delicate alignment of goals, power, leadership and sustained advocacy on the part of many. Rebuilding the American City highlights 15 urban design and planning projects in the U.S. that have been catalysts for their downtowns—yet were implemented during the tumultuous start of the 21st century. The book presents five paradigms for redevelopment and a range of perspectives on the complexities, successes and challenges inherent to rebuilding American cities today. Rebuilding the American City is essential reading for practitioners and students in urban design, planning, and public policy looking for diverse models of urban transformation to create resilient urban cores.