The shift in the ideological winds toward a "free-market"
economy has brought profound effects in urban areas. The
Neoliberal City presents an overview of the effect of these
changes on today's cities. The term "neoliberalism" was originally
used in reference to a set of practices that first-world
institutions like the IMF and World Bank impose on third-world
countries and cities. The support of unimpeded trade and individual
freedoms and the discouragement of state regulation and social
spending are the putative centerpieces of this vision. More and
more, though, people have come to recognize that first-world cities
are undergoing the same processes.
In The Neoliberal City, Jason Hackworth argues that
neoliberal policies are in fact having a profound effect on the
nature and direction of urbanization in the United States and other
wealthy countries, and that much can be learned from studying its
effect. He explores the impact that neoliberalism has had on three
aspects of urbanization in the United States: governance, urban
form, and social movements. The American inner city is seen as a
crucial battle zone for the wider neoliberal transition primarily
because it embodies neoliberalism's antithesis, Keynesian
Focusing on issues such as gentrification in New York City;
public-housing policy in New York, Chicago, and Seattle; downtown
redevelopment in Phoenix; and urban-landscape change in New
Brunswick, N.J., Hackworth shows us how material and symbolic
changes to institutions, neighborhoods, and entire urban regions
can be traced in part to the rise of neoliberalism.
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