Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

20th anniversary of Dream City

The Washington City Paper has a nice "oral history" ("Dream On An oral history of Dream City, the book that chronicled Marion Barry's D.C.") about the book Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C., 1964-1994, which was a profile of the administration of Marion Barry. I think the book, especially the chapter on real estate development, is a very good illustration of "Growth Machine" theory from sociology ("City as a Growth Machine: Toward a Political Economy of Place (Molotch)") which avers that despite intra-elite competition, for the most part, local political and economic elites are united around a pro-growth agenda focused on real estate development.

This review (1997) of the book in the Washington Monthly is very good.

I have a couple of related posts, "A superb lesson in DC "growth machine" politics from Loose Lips (Washington City Paper)," and "Tom Sherwood, Duncan Spencer, Anwar Amal, and thinking about what I call the "Uncivil War"."

The latter I was afraid to write before the 2004 election, I finally got up the gumption to do so in 2005. I'd argue it was a prescient post.

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At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

really good book


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