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Edge City: Life on the New Frontier

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  377 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
First there was downtown. Then there were suburbs. Then there were malls. Then Americans launched the most sweeping change in 100 years in how they live, work, and play. The Edge City.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
ebook, 576 pages
Published July 27th 2011 by Anchor (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 896)
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Feb 20, 2016 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in how we live now
Recommended to Stephen by: not sure, someone
I read this book years ago, before I started graduate school for a degree in City Planning. I just returned form several weeks in Southern California, LA - visiting son and daughter and law and then in Arizona, Scottsdale specifically to see some Frank Lloyd Wright stuff, Taliesin West, the Arizona Biltmore and the David and Gladys Wright House and visit a cousin that I have not seen for several years.

I reread the chapters on Southern California - Community, Phoenix - Shadow Government, since I
Jun 08, 2013 Ian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book for understanding why and how cities in the U.S. are expanding with seeming reckless abandon. An evenhanded and levelheadeded journalistic account, Garreau takes us around the country to survey booming metropolises. In each, we survey a different aspect of the growth of the country. In Atlanta, how development is effected by racial issues, in Detroit, the impact of the car, in New York/New Jersey, the need for a new frontier away from a cramped and in some ways outmoded inter city ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Sunny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Now massively outdated of course, but well worth reading as background to see how we got where we are today. I would adore an updated edition...
Jul 14, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having lived in and around cities of great size, as well as in the rural South and in small towns, I found this fascinating. The ring effect, in particular, was explained very well.
Jul 29, 2014 Harrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: geography
Wow. It took me a while, but Joel Garreau's epic book on the state of suburban sprawl in the 1980s is just as thrilling as when it was published in 1992. Chock-full of perplexing, contradictory motives, Edge City is a whirlwind tour of the United States, using each suburban city locale as a lens with which to analyze a social issue. It all reaches a climactic conclusion over the conflict over the development at Manassas National Battlefield in Virgina, just outside the quintessential Edge City, ...more
May 08, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, for a sociology text, it's pretty cleary written. One can follow it! More importantly, however, is the data that Garreau compiles, and the trends he maps out. Strangely upbeat for the most part, he has a lot of enthusiasm for American ingenuity. While his explanations of why Edge Cities have grown and function the way they do make sense, Garreau still seems a little too nonplussed about it. Also, big swing and miss over his oil price predictions. Nonetheless, if you've ever wondered w ...more
Dec 27, 2009 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really great analysis of the phenomenon of edge cities, which popped up across metropolitan areas in the late 20th Century, nuclei of suburban activity that include lots of office space (jobs) as well as shopping centers and cultural hubs. Focuses on 10 different metro areas and their edge cities. Wish he included the Chicago area though. And since it's written from a journalisitc perspective rather than an urban planning perspective, it makes for a good read but leaves more to be desired.
Hank Stuever
Jul 14, 2013 Hank Stuever rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Way ahead, like that first subdivision out on the prairie. This book was indispensable to those of us who wanted to tell the true stories of suburbs, exurbs, ruburbs, etc. (Disclosure: The author is a friend and former Washington Post colleague; but when I first read this, I didn't know him.)
Nathan Bussiere
Mar 15, 2012 Nathan Bussiere rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-studies
Very interesting look at the phenomenon of edge cities, as experienced in the late 80's/early 90's. The author takes an honest an nuanced approach, giving in to neither kneejerk reaction or mindless boosterism. A very worthwhile piece of book-length journalism.
Feb 01, 2013 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although somewhat out of date (and with the return of the wealthy to the inner cities a bit OBE), this book is still a fascinating look at how our cities in the 1980s and 1990s spawned ring cities in the inner suburbs.
Linda Stewart
Read this as an undergraduate and reread sections years later. Fascinating look at redefining boundaries and movements in these United States.
Kevin Olsavsky
May 28, 2012 Kevin Olsavsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent review of the development of urban/suburban areas in North America throughout the 20th century
Mike Moskos
Apr 14, 2015 Mike Moskos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book, 2015-read
Probably would have received a 4 if I had read it before it became dated.
Apr 02, 2011 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Might be a little dated now, but a great book on city planning and the suburbs.
Oct 07, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that got me interested in Urban Planning
Eric Hines
Sep 26, 2009 Eric Hines marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture, society, cities
cities,cultural theory
Dec 26, 2012 Harry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kinda out of date
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