Apr 26, 2007

City reading (i.e. stay tuned)

That time is upon me again, and I'm caught in the humdrum of exam prep. Luckily (or not?) I only have one big exam this term, so once that's out of the way, I'll just have to stress about a take-home exam and a big paper for which I'll have to resist the urge to do the million and a half things I remember I have to do at just the right moment. It's not adult ADD. It's just that springtime feeling, that "can't-stand-being-inside-now-that-it's-finally-warm" feeling. I realize that my patience with some of this stuff is waning, but it's all good. It's a short two weeks before I can pack up these books onto the already loaded bottom shelf of my bookcase.

So for now, not much more to report. Read a couple of really interesting articles about cities, so I'll share the links here:

1) Jersey City ranked #2 in least sprawl in major American cities, after NYC. In the nation. I had no idea that planners viewed the rapid growth in Jersey City to be "smart growth." I have mixed feelings about some of the rapid changes - having spent so much time there while growing up. But it's definitely an interesting piece.

2) Sorta an "answer" to this is a quick review of a new book called The Neoliberal City: Governance, Ideology and Development in American Urbanism, which argues that America's cities are moving away from being places where the poor and working class can afford to live, all as part of this neoliberal wave that encourage gentrification, privatization, and corporate invasion at their expense. It's interesting - I'll see if I can check out the book when I'm free from school.

3) Bonus: A piece in the NY Times (I don't read it myself, but it was on a planning list serv that I read) about Jamaica Avenue. I still like reading these pieces about parts of the city I haven't fully explored, so it's a good one to glance at for a less "deep" read.

Of course, it still smells of the Manhattan-centric odor of the Times and its readership. But I guess Queens is the new Brooklyn... is the new Jersey City? Wall Street West, indeed.

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