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Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public… (1992)

by Michael Sorkin (Editor)

Other authors: Trevor Boddy (Contributor), M. Christine Boyer (Contributor), Margaret Crawford (Contributor), Mike Davis (Contributor), Robert Fishman (Contributor)3 more, Neil Smith (Contributor), Edward W. Soja (Contributor), Langdon Winner (Contributor)

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2112102,970 (3.91)4
America's cities are being rapidly transformed by a sinister and homogenous design. A new Kind of urbanism--manipulative, dispersed, and hostile to traditional public space--is emerging both at the heart and at the edge of town in megamalls, corporate enclaves, gentrified zones, and psuedo-historic marketplaces. If anything can be described as a paradigm for these places, it's the theme park, an apparently benign environment in which all is structured to achieve maximum control and in whichthe idea of authentic interaction among citizens has been thoroughly purged. In this bold collection, eight of our leading urbanists and architectural critics explore the emblematic sites of this new cityscape--from Silicon Valley to Epcot Center, South Street Seaport to downtown Los Angeles--and reveal their disturbing implications for American public life.… (more)
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Not for speedy reading, the essays in this collection delineated the destruction of the life of American cities, from mega-malls, to underground shopping, to the Disney-fixation of urban areas. What a loss. ( )
  PattyLee | Dec 14, 2021 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sorkin, MichaelEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boddy, TrevorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyer, M. ChristineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crawford, MargaretContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, MikeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fishman, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, NeilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Soja, Edward W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winner, LangdonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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With the precise prescience of a true Master of the Universe, Walter Wriston recently declared that "the 800 telephone number and the piece of plastic have made time and space obsolete."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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America's cities are being rapidly transformed by a sinister and homogenous design. A new Kind of urbanism--manipulative, dispersed, and hostile to traditional public space--is emerging both at the heart and at the edge of town in megamalls, corporate enclaves, gentrified zones, and psuedo-historic marketplaces. If anything can be described as a paradigm for these places, it's the theme park, an apparently benign environment in which all is structured to achieve maximum control and in whichthe idea of authentic interaction among citizens has been thoroughly purged. In this bold collection, eight of our leading urbanists and architectural critics explore the emblematic sites of this new cityscape--from Silicon Valley to Epcot Center, South Street Seaport to downtown Los Angeles--and reveal their disturbing implications for American public life.

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