Urban Renewal, Preservation, and the Legacy of Urban Planning since the 1960s
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center at The New School (Arnhold Hall, 55 W. 13th St., 2nd Fl., Manhattan)
Fifty years ago, Jane Jacobs stated that city planning had “stagnated” since the 1930s. “It bustles but it does not advance,” she wrote in The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Jacobs’ book inspired a rethinking of planning and urban design. Her devastating critique of urban renewal, together with her activism, helped launch a movement in opposition to the bulldozer and the wrecking ball. Historian Alison Isenberg offers a fresh perspective on planning and urban design from 1950 through the 1970s, years when design professionals challenged urban renewal and struggled to offer Americans something better. The talk focuses on San Francisco, exploring the city’s reaction to the prospect of “Manhattanization” and its efforts to forge an alternative model.