Cities and Buildings: Skyscrapers, Skid Rows, and Suburbs

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In this text, Ford offers an account of the relationship between urban architecture - especially vernacular architecture - and the spatial arrangement and development of cities in North America. From office towers in the central business district to commercial strips in the edge city , Ford shows how changes in the built environment parallel changes in urban economies and human culture. Focusing on ordinary structures rather than famous landmarks, the book aims to provide a guide to understanding the changing character of any urban landscape. Ford describes how the idea - as well as the appearance - of the modern city has changed with the evolution of buildings such as skyscrapers, skid-row hotels, single family bungalows and ranches, large apartment buildings, public-housing towers, motels, mini-malls and festival market-places. Through illustrated case studies of specific building types in particular places, Ford explores the conflicting forces of decline, revitalization and preservation that constantly transform the urban scene.