SynergiCity: Reinventing the Postindustrial City

March 2013
Edited by Paul Hardin Kapp and Paul J. Armstrong. University of Illinois Press, 2012, 224 pages, $60.

Reviewed by Clifford Pearson

AR Book Reviews, Gimme Shelter: Housing Around the World
SynergiCity: Reinventing the Postindustrial City, edited by Paul Hardin Kapp and Paul J. Armstrong. University of Illinois Press, 2012, 224 pages, $60.
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Focusing mostly on Rust Belt cities in the United States, this book examines urban-revitalization strategies in places such as Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, and Peoria, Illinois. In a lively foreword, urbanist Richard Florida argues that these cities should be wary of megaprojects like “heavily subsidized convention centers and downtown sports stadiums” and should look instead to smaller-scale, grass-roots efforts that have more popular support. The book’s earnest attitude emanates from its chapter-long essays by academics, but its message is undercut by a stodgy design and too many poor-quality black-and-white photos.

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