Edgeless Cities: Exploring the Elusive Metropolis

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Brookings Institution Press, 25 февр. 2003 г. - Всего страниц: 154

Edgeless cities are a sprawling form of development that accounts for the bulk of office space found outside of downtowns. Every major metropolitan area has them: vast swaths of isolated buildings that are neither pedestrian friendly, nor easily accessible by public transit, and do not lend themselves to mixed use. While critics of urban sprawl tend to focus on the social impact of "edge cities"—developments that combine large-scale office parks with major retail and housing—edgeless cities, despite their ubiquity, are difficult to define or even locate. While they stay under the radar of critics, they represent a significant departure in the way American cities are built and are very likely the harbingers of a suburban future almost no one has anticipated. Edgeless Cities explores America's new metropolitan form by examining the growth and spatial structure of suburban office space across the nation. Inspired by Myron Orfield's groundbreaking Metropolitics (Brookings, 1997), Robert Lang uses data, illustrations, maps, and photos to delineate between two types of suburban office development—bounded and edgeless. The book covers the evolving geography of rental office space in thirteen of the country's largest markets, which together contain more than 2.6 billion square feet of office space and 26,000 buildings: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington. Lang discusses how edgeless cities differ from traditional office areas. He also provides an overview of national, regional, and metropolitan office markets, covers ways to map and measure them, and discusses the challenges urban policymakers and practitioners will face as this new suburban form continues to spread. Until now, edgeless cities have been the unstudied phenomena of the new metropolis. Lang's conceptual approach reframes the current thinking on suburban sprawl and provides a valuable resource for future policy discussions surrounding smart growth issues.


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Centrists versus Decentrists The Debate over the New City
A Field Guide to the New Metropolis
The Battle for Number One Downtown versus Edgeless Cities
Charting the Elusive Metropolis
Are Edge Cities Losing Their Edge?
The Many Faces of Sprawl
Facing the Reality of the Elusive Metropolis
Data Sources
Research Methods
Downtown and Edge Cities Comparison of the Lang and Garreau Categories
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Стр. xvi - The form of edgeless cities can be described in various ways — as illimitable, indefinite, undiscovered, imperceptible, elusive. The term "edgeless city" captures the fact that most suburban office areas lack a physical edge. Edgeless cities thus are cities in function, in that they contain office employment, but not in form, because they are scattered, unlike traditional and even some suburban office development.
Стр. xi - I believe that much of metropolitan America has been misunderstood. Many dismiss the nation's built environment, especially the suburbs, as crass, corporate, and alienating. Whole careers have been built out of trashing what are admittedly easy targets. But despite my pro-urban bias, I see no reason to join the chorus. The suburbs need to be understood on their own terms. For better or worse, America is now a suburban nation.

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Robert E. Lang is co director of the Metropolitan Institute and a professor in the Urban Affairs and Planning graduate program at Virginia Tech.

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