Cover image for Downtown, Inc. : how America rebuilds cities
Downtown, Inc. : how America rebuilds cities
Frieden, Bernard J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, [1989]

Physical Description:
xiv, 382 pages, 40 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HT175 .F75 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Looks at the new partnerships between public officials and private entrepreneurs that have helped revitalize the downtown areas of many American cities, and presents studies of big-city malls in Boston, St. Paul, Seattle, and San Diego.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

The authors, professors of urban studies at MIT, present a brief for inner-city revitalization projects such as Boston's Faneuil Hall marketplace, the Horton Place complex in San Diego and retail centers in Seattle and St. Paul. Critics have branded such projects artificial enclaves that turn city residents into tourists and favor corporate interests at the expense of the citizenry. The authors strongly disagree, arguing that downtown retail developments create jobs, promote economic development and reassert middle-class control over crumbling areas. They further contend that, given federal funding cutbacks, cities have no other pragmatic course than to make deals with coalitions of real estate developers and business interests. A book for specialists, the study is full of details on the financing and politics that undergird downtown rebuilding schemes. Photos. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Urban retail malls such as Quincy Market in Boston and Baltimore's Harborplace have garnered both applause and criticism. This book examines, from a variety of angles, the phenomenon of new retail construction in cities. Begun as a series of case studies for university class use, this book also explores how city officials worked with developers to bring mall-style retail centers downtown. In doing so, politics and business were brought together in new, productive ways: ``The new methods for managing downtown development were almost as much of an achievement as the rebuilding itself.'' The bibliographic essay is a gold mine of resources on topics from shopping centers to city development politics. For large public and academic libraries.-- Diane K. Harvey, Johns Hopkins Univ. Lib., Washington, D.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Frieden and Sagalyn's lively yet insightful piece of scholarship thoroughly documents efforts during the 1970s and '80s to commercially revitalize the central business districts of the nation's largest cities. Deftly interweaving the contributions of investors, developers, and government officials, the authors present as complete a picture of this penomenon as readers are likely to get. Their generally optimistic evaluation is sobered by the growing realization that these developments may not be enough to ensure a healthy future for the still-bedeviled central city in the 1990s and beyond. This book is the first comprehensive treatment of the topic. Frieden and Sagalyn (both MIT) have an international reputation in urban studies and planning and are particularly well qualified to undertake this assessment. Photography and other visuals, however, are barely serviceable; picture quality is too often mediocre, and the text cries out for large-scale maps and diagrams to support the narrative. But the bibliography is the best one ever compiled, made especially convenient by a topical breakdown of each chapter. College, university, and public libraries. -P. O. Muller, University of Miami