: Steve Belmont
Planners Press American Planning Association
: 11.56 MB
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Three decades ago, urban America was troubled by escalating crime rates and a fleeing middle class, but conditions in many cities were enviable then compared to now. Some are so damaged that to restore them to their 1970 condition seems an insurmountable task, and true revitalization may seem unimaginable to those who control their fate. Yet, all is not lost. Cities in Full explores the great potential of the American city and outlines essential elements necessary for its revitalization. Steve Belmont embraces Jane Jacobs' much acclaimed prescription for urban vitality-high densities, mixed land uses, small blocks, and variously aged buildings. This book examines neighborhoods that adhere to precepts and those that do not and compares the results. He examines the destructive forces of decentralization and shows how and why they must be turned into forces of renewal. The author outlines an agenda for recentralizing commerce, housing, and transportation infrastructure and discusses how recentralization is affected by poor social and economic conditions. The author analyzes the deficiencies of current low-income housing policy and offers a strategy more favorable to cities and their metropolitan areas. Belmont exposes neighborhood political forces that sometimes thwart a city's best interests and offers an ambitious blueprint for renewal that includes creating middle and upper income housing at moderate and high densities; revitalizing neighborhood commercial streets with an urban spirit; building new centralized infrastructure; and transforming the public realm to attract the middle class. Exhaustively researched and well illustrated, this book is an invaluable resource for planners dedicated to reviving American cities.