Geography 125: The American City

Geography 125
CCN: 36338
(4 units)
Gray Brechin
Location: 101 Morgan
Times: TuTh 9:30-11

Three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. The American city, palimpsest of a nation. It all comes together in the modern metropolis: economy, society, politics, culture, and geography. Cities as the economic engines of capitalism, centers of industry, finance, business, consumption, and innovation. Cities as political powers and political pawns, and the government of cities, suburbs and metropolitan areas. Cities as magnificent constructs, built of concrete, credit and land rents, from skyscrapers to housing tracts, freeways to shopping malls, airports to open spaces. Cities as landscapes of social division by class, race and nationality, and the turf battles from mean ghetto streets to the hideaways of privilege. Cities as cultural hearths, places of high art and popular entertainment, style and monumentality, rebellion and desire. The geography of civic upheaval, as urban space is constantly remade by growth, economic shifts, building cycles, land speculation, gentrification and redevelopment.