CENTRAL CITY/SPREAD CITY by Alvin Schwartz

CENTRAL CITY/SPREAD CITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Eye-catching graphics and a focus on the changing character of several typical Philadelphia area neighborhoods give this survey of urban decay above average impact. Both elements are used effectively to sketch out the results of poor planning and restrictive zoning in the suburbs, decayed housing, poverty and gang and drug related crime in the center city. Schwartz shows how the city's problems, and indeed the city itself, threaten to overtake suburbia, but he also recognizes the contradictory troth that while look-alike housing projects may be the despair of planners and bored teenagers, they still fulfill the dreams of many American adults. The text is refreshingly non-utopian, and a final chapter on the operation of regional planning boards in several cities is a concrete example of how planning at least makes urban problems comprehensible while stressing the importance of political mobilization. Little more than an outline, but one of the dearest and most accessible at this level. . . and Schwartz' bibliography -- listing juvenile fiction and other popular books on urban life -- may help teachers Fred a way to humanize a complex topic.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1973
Page count: 130pp
Publisher: Macmillan