Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs: 2005

Brookings Institution Press
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Designed to reach a wide audience of scholars and policymakers, the Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs is an annual series that serves as a forum for cutting-edge, accessible research on urban policy. Tentative contents include: •Growth of Medium-Size Cities in China Vernon Henderson (Brown University) • The Effects on Driving Patterns, Commuting Times, and Air Quality of New Public Projects to Expand Urban Rail Transit Matthew Kahn (Tufts University) and Nathaniel Baum-Snow (University of Chicago) • State Fiscal Constraints and Higher Education Spending Peter Orszag (Brookings) and Thomas Kane (UCLA) • Looking Back to Look Forward: What Can We Learn from Philadelphia's 350 Year History? Joseph Gyourko (University of Pennsylvania) • The Effect of California's Proposition 13 on Mobility Nada Wasi and Michelle White (University of California, San Diego) •Metropolitan Migration in the U.S.: The Impact of Immigrant Minorities, Blacks, and Seniors William Frey (University of Michigan) and Kao-Lee Liaw (McMaster University)
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About the author

Gary Burtless is the John C. and Nancy D. Whitehead Chair in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. Janet Rothenberg Pack is professor of business and public policy and real estate at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2010
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Pages
303
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ISBN
9780815713715
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Urban & Regional
Political Science / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
Political Science / Public Policy / Regional Planning
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST

An epic, riveting history of New York City on the edge of disaster—and an anatomy of the austerity politics that continue to shape the world today

When the news broke in 1975 that New York City was on the brink of fiscal collapse, few believed it was possible. How could the country’s largest metropolis fail? How could the capital of the financial world go bankrupt? Yet the city was indeed billions of dollars in the red, with no way to pay back its debts. Bankers and politicians alike seized upon the situation as evidence that social liberalism, which New York famously exemplified, was unworkable. The city had to slash services, freeze wages, and fire thousands of workers, they insisted, or financial apocalypse would ensue.

In this vivid account, historian Kim Phillips-Fein tells the remarkable story of the crisis that engulfed the city. With unions and ordinary citizens refusing to accept retrenchment, the budget crunch became a struggle over the soul of New York, pitting fundamentally opposing visions of the city against each other. Drawing on never-before-used archival sources and interviews with key players in the crisis, Fear City shows how the brush with bankruptcy permanently transformed New York—and reshaped ideas about government across America.

At once a sweeping history of some of the most tumultuous times in New York's past, a gripping narrative of last-minute machinations and backroom deals, and an origin story of the politics of austerity, Fear City is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the resurgent fiscal conservatism of today.

The Paris we know today, with its grand boulevards, its bridges and parks, its monumental beauty, was essentially built in only seventeen years, in the middle of the nineteenth century. In this brief period, whole neighborhoods of medieval and revolutionary Paris -- over-crowded, dangerous, and filthy -- were razed, and from the rubble a modern city of light and air emerged. This triumphant rebuilding was chiefly the work of one man, Baron Georges Haussmann, Napoleon III's Prefect of the Seine.

It was Haussmann's task to assert, in stone, the power and permanence of Paris, to show the world that it was the seat of an empire of mythic proportions. To this end, he imposed grand visual perspectives, as when he transformed Napoleon I's Arc de Triomphe into a magnificent twelve-armed star from which radiated the broadest boulevards of Europe. Below ground, his modern sewer system became one of the wonders of the civilized world, eagerly toured by royalty and commoners alike.

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