The Shape of the New American City
October 24-25, 2008
Cities are the engines of metropolitan growth in the U.S. economy today. But key economic, demographics and environmental challenges threaten this role. Home to enormous economic disparities, struggling schools, rapidly changing populations, and an infrastructure under increasing environmental pressure, our cities are also places of great social and economic opportunity, deep and diverse cultural resources, and impressive innovation. What are the issues facing cities, the effect of policy decisions in the past, and the potential for significant shift in metropolitan spatial structure in the next half century? The purpose of this conference was to present new research on trends in the urban economic, demographic, residential, social and political environment to serve as the basis for a special volume of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science on how these forces are transforming the American city. For decades, The Annals has been on the leading edge of urban scholarship with path breaking volumes such as Building the Future City (1945), Metropolis in Ferment (1957), Urban Revival: Goals and Standards (1973), Revitalizing the Industrial City (1986) and Globalization and the Changing U.S. City (1997). With this conference, The Annals continues to be on the leading edge of urban scholarship.