Imagining Urban Futures: Cities in Science Fiction and What We Might Learn from Them

Wesleyan University Press
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Carl Abbott, who has taught urban studies and urban planning in five decades, brings together urban studies and literary studies to examine how fictional cities in work by authors as different as E. M. Forster, Isaac Asimov, Kim Stanley Robinson, and China Miéville might help us to envision an urban future that is viable and resilient. Imagining Urban Futures is a remarkable treatise on what is best and strongest in urban theory and practice today, as refracted and intensely imagined in science fiction. As the human population grows, we can envision an increasingly urban society. Shifting weather patterns, rising sea levels, reduced access to resources, and a host of other issues will radically impact urban environments, while technology holds out the dream of cities beyond Earth. Abbott delivers a compelling critical discussion of science fiction cities found in literary works, television programs, and films of many eras from Metropolis to Blade Runner and Soylent Green to The Hunger Games, among many others.
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About the author

CARL ABBOTT is professor emeritus of urban studies and planning at Portland State University. He is the author of the prize-winning books The Metropolitan Frontier: Cities in the Modern American West and Political Terrain: Washington DC from Tidewater Town to Global Metropolis, as well as Frontiers Past and Future: Science Fiction and the American West.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Wesleyan University Press
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Published on
Sep 13, 2016
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Pages
276
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ISBN
9780819576729
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Science Fiction & Fantasy
Political Science / Public Policy / General
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title

It has been called one of the nation's most livable regions, ranked among the best managed cities in America, hailed as a top spot to work, and favored as a great place to do business, enjoy the arts, pursue outdoor recreation, and make one's home. Indeed, years of cooperative urban planning between developers and those interested in ecology and habitability have transformed Portland from a provincial western city into an exemplary American metropolis. Its thriving downtown, its strong neighborhoods, and its pioneering efforts at local management have brought a steady procession of journalists, scholars, and civic leaders to investigate the "Portland style" that values dialogue and consensus, treats politics as a civic duty, and assumes that it is possible to work toward public good.

Probing behind the press clippings, acclaimed urban historian Carl Abbott examines the character of contemporary Portland—its people, politics, and public life—and the region's history and geography in order to discover how Portland has achieved its reputation as one of the most progressive and livable cities in the United States and to determine whether typical pressures of urban growth are pushing Portland back toward the national norm.

In Greater Portland, Abbott argues that the city cannot be understood without reference to its place. Its rivers, hills, and broader regional setting have shaped the economy and the cityscape. Portlanders are Oregonians, Northwesteners, Cascadians; they value their city as much for where it is as for what it is, and this powerful sense of place nurtures a distinctive civic culture. Tracing the ways in which Portlanders have talked and thought about their city, Abbott reveals the tensions between their diverse visions of the future and plans for development.

Most citizens of Portland desire a balance between continuity and change, one that supports urban progress but actively monitors its effects on the region's expansive green space and on the community's culture. This strong civic participation in city planning and politics is what gives greater Portland its unique character, a positive setting for class integration, neighborhood revitalization, and civic values. The result, Abbott confirms, is a region whose unique initiatives remain a model of American urban planning.

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For U.S. History survey courses

Frame American history through personal and collective journeys
The American Journey: A History of the United States traces the journeys – geographical, ideological, political, and social – that make up the American experience. Harnessing the stories of individuals from different eras, the authors present a strong, clear narrative that makes American history accessible to students. Offering a blend of political and social histories, the Eighth Edition continues to show that our attempt to live up to our American ideals is an ongoing journey – one that has become increasingly more inclusive of different groups and ideas.

Also available with MyHistoryLab®
MyHistoryLab for the U.S. History survey course extends learning online to engage students and improve results. Media resources with assignments bring concepts to life, and offer students opportunities to practice applying what they’ve learned. Please note: this version of MyHistoryLab does not include an eText.

The American Journey: A History of the United States, Eighth Edition is also available via REVEL™, an interactive learning environment that enables students to read, practice, and study in one continuous experience.

Note: You are purchasing a standalone product; MyLab™ & Mastering™ does not come packaged with this content. Students, if interested in purchasing this title with MyLab & Mastering, ask your instructor for the correct package ISBN and Course ID. Instructors, contact your Pearson representative for more information.

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For U.S. History survey courses

Frame American history through personal and collective journeys
The American Journey: A History of the United States traces the journeys — geographical, ideological, political, and social — that make up the American experience. Harnessing the stories of individuals from different eras, the authors present a strong, clear narrative that makes American history accessible to students. Offering a blend of political and social histories, the Eighth Edition continues to show that our attempt to live up to our American ideals is an ongoing journey — one that has become increasingly more inclusive of different groups and ideas.

Also available with MyHistoryLab®
MyHistoryLab for the U.S. History survey course extends learning online to engage students and improve results. Media resources with assignments bring concepts to life, and offer students opportunities to practice applying what they’ve learned. Please note: this version of MyHistoryLab does not include an eText.

The American Journey: A History of the United States, Eighth Edition is also available via REVEL™, an interactive learning environment that enables students to read, practice, and study in one continuous experience.

Note: You are purchasing a standalone product; MyLab™ & Mastering™ does not come packaged with this content. Students, if interested in purchasing this title with MyLab & Mastering, ask your instructor for the correct package ISBN and Course ID. Instructors, contact your Pearson representative for more information.

If you would like to purchase both the physical text and MyLab & Mastering, search for:
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