Main Street: How a City's Heart Connects Us All (Hardcover)
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Mindy Thompson Fullilove traverses the central thoroughfares of our cities to uncover the ways they bring together our communitiesAfter an 11-year study of Main Streets in 178 cities and 14 countries, Fullilove discovered the power of city centers to "help us name and solve our problems." In an era of compounding crises including racial injustice, climate change, and COVID-19, the ability to rely on the power of community is more important than ever. However, Fullilove describes how a pattern of disinvestment in inner-city neighborhoods has left Main Streets across the U.S. in disrepair, weakening our cities and leaving us vulnerable to catastrophe. In the face of urban renewal programs built in response to a supposed lack of "personal responsibility," Fullilove offers "a different story, that of a series of forced displacements that had devastating effects on inner-city communities. Through that lens, we can appreciate the strength of segregated communities that managed to temper the ravages of racism through the Jim Crow era, and build political power and many kinds of wealth. . . . Only a very well-integrated, powerful community--one with deep spiritual principles--could have accomplished such a feat." This is the power she hopes we will find again. Throughout Main Street, readers glimpse strong, vibrant communities who have conquered a variety of disasters, from the near loss of a beloved local business to the devastation of a hurricane. Using case studies to illustrate her findings, Fullilove turns our eyes to the cracks in city centers, the parts of the city that tend to be avoided or ignored. Providing a framework for those who wish to see their communities revitalized, Fullilove's Main Street encourages us all to look both inward and outward to find the assets that already exist to create meaningful change.
About the Author
Mindy Thompson Fullilove (Author) Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, is an American social psychiatrist who focuses on the ways environmental factors affect the mental health of communities. She is Professor of Urban Policy and Health, Urban Policy Analysis & Management Program, Milano School for International Affairs, Management & Urban Policy, The New School. She has numerous published articles and six books, including URBAN ALCHEMY: Restoring Joy in America's Sorted-Out Cities and ROOT SHOCK: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It. Andy Merrifield (Foreword by) ANDY MERRIFIELD is an independent scholar and author of a dozen books, as well as numerousarticles, essays and reviews appearing in Monthly Review, The Nation, Harper's Magazine, NewLeft Review, The Guardian, Literary Hub, Jacobin, and Dissent. He is a prolific writer abouturbanism, political theory and literature, with titles credited to him including DialecticalUrbanism (Monthly Review Press), The New Urban Question, and Magical Marxism. He has alsopublished three intellectual biographies, of Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord, and John Berger, apopular existential travelogue, The Wisdom of Donkeys, a manifesto for liberated living, TheAmateur, together with a memoir about cities and love, inspired by Raymond Carver's shortstories, called What We Talk About When We Talk About Cities (and Love).