Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

Sharon Zukin

Anno: 2010
Rilegatura: Hardback
Pagine: 312 p.
Testo in English
Dimensioni: 243 x 165 mm
Peso: 639 gr.
  • EAN: 9780195382853
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Descrizione
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's authenticity, 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, the working 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 shows that 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 1962 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Like Jacobs, Zukin looks at what gives neighborhoods a sense of place, but argues 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. With a journalist's eye and the understanding of a longtime critic and observer, Zukin's panoramic survey of contemporary New York explains how our desire to consume authentic experience has become a central force in making cities more exclusive.