Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

By: Sharon Zukin (author)Hardback

More than 4 weeks availability


As cities have gentrified, educated urbanites have come to prize what they regard as "authentic" urban life: aging buildings, art galleries, small boutiques, upscale food markets, neighborhood old-timers, funky ethnic restaurants, and old, family-owned shops. These signify a place's authenticity, in contrast to the bland standardization of the suburbs and exurbs. But as Sharon Zukin shows in Naked City, the rapid and pervasive demand for authenticity-evident in escalating real estate prices, expensive stores, and closely monitored urban streetscapes-has helped drive out the very people who first lent a neighborhood its authentic aura: immigrants, the working class, and artists. Zukin traces this economic and social evolution in six archetypal New York areas-Williamsburg, Harlem, the East Village, Union Square, Red Hook, and the city's community gardens-and travels to both the city's first IKEA store and the World Trade Center site. She shows that for followers of Jane Jacobs, this transformation is a perversion of what was supposed to happen. Indeed, Naked City is a sobering update of Jacobs' legendary 1962 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Like Jacobs, Zukin looks at what gives neighborhoods a sense of place, but argues that over time, the emphasis on neighborhood distinctiveness has become a tool of economic elites to drive up real estate values and effectively force out the neighborhood "characters" that Jacobs so evocatively idealized. With a journalist's eye and the understanding of a longtime critic and observer, Zukin's panoramic survey of contemporary New York explains how our desire to consume authentic experience has become a central force in making cities more exclusive.

Create a review

About Author

Sharon Zukin is Broeklundian Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College and Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center.


Preface ; 1. Origins and New Beginnings ; UNCOMMON SPACES ; 2. How Brooklyn Became Cool ; 3. Living Local in the East Village ; 4. Why Harlem is Not a Ghetto ; COMMON SPACES ; 5. Union Square and the Paradox of Public Space ; 6. A Tale of Two Globals: Pupusas and IKEA in Red Hook ; 7. The Billboard and the Garden: A Struggle for Roots ; 8. Destination Culture and the Crisis of Authenticity

Product Details

  • publication date: 07/01/2010
  • ISBN13: 9780195382853
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 312
  • ID: 9780195382853
  • weight: 639
  • ISBN10: 0195382854

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly