Many major American cities are defying the conventional wisdom
that suburbs are the communities of the future. But as these urban
centers prosper, they increasingly confront significant
constraints. In City Bound, Gerald E. Frug and David J.
Barron address these limits in a new way. Based on a study of the
differing legal structures of Boston, New York, Atlanta, Chicago,
Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle, City Bound explores how state
law determines what cities can and cannot do to raise revenue,
control land use, and improve city schools.
Frug and Barron show that state law can make it much easier for
cities to pursue a global-city or a tourist-city agenda than to
respond to the needs of middle-class residents or to pursue
regional alliances. But they also explain that state law is often
so outdated, and so rooted in an unjustified distrust of local
decision making, that the legal process makes it hard for
successful cities to develop and implement any coherent vision of
their future. Their book calls not for local autonomy but for a new
structure of state-local relations that would enable cities to take
the lead in charting the future course of urban development. It
should be of interest to everyone who cares about the future of
American cities, whether political scientists, planners,
architects, lawyers, or simply citizens.
Subjects: Political Science, Law, Architecture and Architectural History
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