The Help-Yourself City: Legitimacy and Inequality in DIY Urbanism

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9780190691325: The Help-Yourself City: Legitimacy and Inequality in DIY Urbanism
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When local governments neglect public services or community priorities, how do concerned citizens respond? In The Help-Yourself City, Gordon Douglas looks closely at people who take urban planning into their own hands with homemade signs and benches, guerrilla bike lanes and more. Douglas explores the frustration, creativity, and technical expertise behind these interventions, but also the position of privilege from which they often come. Presenting a needed analysis of this growing trend from vacant lots to city planning offices, The Help-Yourself City tells a street-level story of people's relationships to their urban surroundings and the individualization of democratic responsibility.

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About the Author:


Gordon Douglas is Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Director of the Institute for Metropolitan Studies at San José State University.

Review:


"Rising above mere ethnographic survey of 'do it yourself' urban projects-like guerrilla gardening or citizens' refashioning an urban space-Douglas inventories civic engagement full-on, including larger issues of social order and the costs and benefits of people taking pieces of the city into their own hands. Always thoughtful and without naiveté, he gives us a glimpse of pathways for urban reform and, more important, some manifestations of hope."
--Harvey Molotch, author of Against Security


"A book I have long been waiting for! Douglas explores the diverse ways in which people engage urban space and bring their ideas on to the streets themselves through site-specific planning efforts. The book shows us the broad range of urban knowledges present in any city neighborhood, but also the challenges of negotiating them in public space."
--Saskia Sassen, author of Expulsions


"Do It Yourself urban design is an insubordinate, self-authorized, 'informal,' response to both the deficits of official planning and to the 'help yourself' regime of our old friend, neoliberalism. In this fascinating-and critical-reading, Douglas presents DIY as a progressive inversion of the broken windows theory of policing, rejecting control by coercive orderliness and seeking to cure deficits in the public realm by wanton acts of creative, corrective -if often privileged-addition."
--Michael Sorkin, author of Twenty Minutes in Manhattan


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9780190691332: The Help-Yourself City: Legitimacy and Inequality in DIY Urbanism

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ISBN 10:  0190691336 ISBN 13:  9780190691332
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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2018. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. When cash-strapped local governments fail to provide adequate services, and planning policies prioritize economic development over community needs, how do concerned citizens respond? In The Help-Yourself City, Gordon Douglas looks closely at the people who take urban planning into their own hands, dubbed "do-it-yourself urban design." Through in-depth interviews with do-it-yourselfers, professional planners, and community members, as well as participantobservation, photography, media, and policy analysis, Douglas demonstrates that many do-it-yourselfers employ professional techniques and expertise to enable and inspire their actions. He argues that many unauthorized interventions are created from a position of privilege, where legal repercussions are unlikely,while people from disadvantaged communities where improvements may be most needed face disincentives to taking such actions themselves. Presenting a needed social analysis of this growing trend, while connecting it to debates on inequality, citizenship, and contemporary urban political economy, The Help-Yourself City tells a street-level story of people's relationships to their surroundings and the individualization of democratic responsibility. Seller Inventory # BZE9780190691325

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