Skip to main content

The Man-Made City

The Land-Use Confidence Game in Chicago

With its extraordinary uniform street grid, its magnificent lake-side park, and innovative architecture and public sculpture, Chicago is one of the most planned cities of the modern era. Yet over the past few decades Chicago has come to epitomize some of the worst evils of urban decay: widespread graft and corruption, political stalemates, troubled race relations, and economic decline. Broad-shouldered boosterism can no longer disguise the city’s failure to keep pace with others, its failure to attract new "sunrise" industries and world-class events. For Chicago, as for other rust-belt cities, new ways of planning and managing the urban environment are now much more than civic beautification; they are the means to survival.

Gerald D. Suttles here offers an irreverent, highly critical guide to both the realities and myths of land-use planning and development in Chicago from 1976 through 1987.

326 pages | 12 halftones, 8 maps, 12 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1990

Chicago and Illinois

Political Science: American Government and Politics, Urban Politics

Sociology: Urban and Rural Sociology

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. The Man-Made City
The Port City of the Prairie
The Windy City
The Second City
The City That Works
Challenge and Response
2. The Third City
Population and the Rhetoric of Mobilization
The Newsworthiness of Decline
Walking on Water
Make No Little Plans
The Rhetoric of Racial Etiquette
Urban Development as a Confidence Game
3. Neighborhood Redevelopment from Above
Two City Dramas
Shopping Strips and Regional Malls
Fast Foods and Mini-Malls
4. Neighborhood Development from Below
Edgewater and Lake View: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
Rogers Park and Uptown: Advocates and Adversaries
The North River Area: From Generalists to Specialists
Local Communities and the Public Interest
5. The Big Project and the Politics of Urgency
The North Loop: The Foremost Downtown Development in the Nation
The Chicago Central Public Library: Books in the Attic
The State Street Maul
Lying Down in a Partnership
McCormick Place and the Illinois Theater State
6. From the City Beautiful to the Community Under Glass
The City Beautiful
The Suburb in the City: South Commons
The Instant Community under Glass: Presidential Towers
The Sentimental Favorite: Dearborn Park
7. Just a Few Good Men
Indefensible Venality
Visible Power
From Cairo to Chicago
8. Mencken’s Middle Empire
Borrowed Glory
Marketing Nostalgia and Modernity
Still an Outlaw’s Capital
From Production to Consumption
9. The Eleventh Task of Hercules: Political Reform in Chicago
The Darwinian Solution
Cultural Lag
"It’s Our Turn Now"
Making Patronage Work
Public Planning as Constrained Collective Behavior
Chicago: 1987
Methodological Appendix

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press