THE LIVING END by Roger Starr


Email this review


Roger Starr, head of a contracting company, lecturer at Pratt on architecture, Executive Director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council of New York, has his inning with the urb and in the process trounces a host of critics before him, among them Mumford, Mannes, Jacobs, Harrington, Gans, Blake. He tosses assumptions: that cities have deteriorated for everyone who lives in them, that Americans live in communities, that the temptations of money come before the good of the people, that the press is accurate, the more so the more spectacular it sounds. Then he throws out his own ideas about the needs of the city, centering about the problem of the continuing ghetto, the new architecture and urban beauty, the technology of the city (transportation, pollution), the poor, politics. These include priority for the Negro middle class as educative model, more distinctive architecture, more public housing, placing the children of disorganized poverty-ridden families in artificial home environments. While some of his pitches may seem a little wild, he is a stimulating if uneven critic. For new ideas and areas of action, The Living End is a good beginning.

Publisher: Coward-McCann